Walking through the canyon with the lemurs

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We head from the hotel to the nearby city and go to the Isalo national park entrance. The entrance ticket is 65.000 Ariary per person – or about 16½ euro. The park ticket office is actually one of the few places in this part of Madagascar where you can actually pay with a credit card so you can save your cash reserves for later when you need to pay the guide fee of 80-120.000 depending on the length of the track you want to do in the park.

Supposedly you could walk from the park office to the entrance to the trail but it would take a long time across open land in the sun so I am quite happy we sit inside the car and drive across the bumpy road to the little parking lot at the trailhead. We get to the parking lot and there aren’t any other cars there this hour of the day so it seems like we will get the trail to our self.

We start walking along the little path and we have some great views of the cliffs in the Isalo national park. It is a very sunny day but the cliffs around here are pretty high and steep so the sun doesn’t reach us when we walk inside the canyons. We reach a little camp site where you apparently could stay if you liked. Just after we leave the camp site there is a large group of ring-tailed lemur’s right next to the path we are walking along. I guess we have no choice but to wait since they are blocking the path.

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The lemurs are cute and nice to watch as they are having a bite to eat for breakfast. They cross the path just in front of us either actually going through the trees or a few heading down to the ground. It takes a while before we are ready to move on along the trail.

We get down to a narrow gorge with a river running down in the river – I guess you can only go down here during the dry season which is now. There isn’t much water in the river but during the rainy season the small river might swell and make it impossible to go along the narrow path we walk along the cliffs. The rocky path is wet from water dripping down from the rock so you have to take care since the wet rock can be a bit slippery.

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Not so impressive waterfall

We try to spot some birds flying around in the gorge and then we come to what I thought would be a highlight of the hike. On the maps I had seen of the area is marked a cascade – or waterfall. I expected this would be a beautiful sight to see during the walk. But when we get to the waterfall I am not impressed. The waterfall has about the same amount of water as my tap in the kitchen sink at home when you do the dishes. I am not impressed with the waterfall but all in all it is a nice little walk this morning.

We get to the end of the trail at a small pool and have to turn back. We walk pass the not so impressive waterfall one more time. We pretty much walk the same way back and get to the camp ground again. There is a group of ring-tailed lemurs at the camp site – maybe the same we saw earlier but it could be a different group of lemurs. We watch the lemurs while the guide goes out searching for other species of lemurs. After a while he comes back and tells us the other lemurs are not here for the moment so we have to settle with the ring-tail lemurs up in the trees and on the ground. We watch the lemurs for a while before we head back out to the parking lot. Another car has arrived but we don’t see any guest so it has been a quiet day of exploring.

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