Isalo National Park, Madagascar
Still I am unsure: is Madagascar more beautiful than it is poor, or exceeds the poverty level its level of beauty? In any case, your senses are challenged. You will enjoy beautiful nature, and then, all of a sudden all the hills that you see along the road are deforested, all trees cut down for firewood. Beauty and barrenness take turns.
Going South, towards one of these Parks, the Isalo National Park, we passed by the typical highland houses, one of which we were given the opportunity to visit.
If you think these are poor places, you have not yet seen these ones:
Three quarters of all Malagasy people have to survive with less than 2 USD per day.
If you show the kids the fotos that you made of them, there is always great laughter, and they will not stop posing for you.
Finally, after a long drive, we reached the Isalo National Park, and a wonderful lodge awaited us, the Satrana lodge. Where we spent to nights.
Citing Wikipedia, the Isalo National Park is a sandstone landscape that has been dissected by wind and water erosion into rocky outcrops, extensive plains and up to 200m deep canyons. So it is not a rainforest park, and you may experience more scorching sun that you might wish. You can make guided walks through this park, which we did.
The guided walk took us even to a beautiful pool where we could swim.
From that pool we hiked for about 2 hours to the picknick place - don’t forget sun protection! Picknick will be prepared for you by the staff, and we got an abundance of food we could not finish.
After this strenuous hike up and down eventually we reached the picknick place - where also the Lemurs were waiting for us. Lemurs we saw at many places in Madagascar, but nowhere they came as close to us as here.
Back in the Satrana Lodge, we enjoyed its comfort and recovered from our walk.