Southern Madagascar Part III: Isalo National Park & Zombitse-Vohibasia
Isalo National Park
We arrived at Isalo N.P. late afternoon, checked in to our hotel and then went to an area called “La Fenêtre” where there is a window-like hole in the rock. We were extremely lucky as there was an amazing sunset on one side and a dramatic thunderstorm with huge clouds and lightning on the other. It was a beautiful place and the unusual surreal light made it magical. There was a small group of people there but I managed to take pictures without them in it.
Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park
The next day we drove back to Zombitse which was densely wooded and didn’t have much light. We saw two large boas, owls, plenty of chameleons and these lizzards that kept fighting so viciously they both started bleeding:
When we left to drive back to Isalo I saw a beautiful chameleon crossing the road. As chameleons do it was moving very slowly imitating the movement of a leaf in the wind (rocking back and forth) to avoid being spied by a predator. I was more worried about the cars that might get him before he reaches the other side, but with Jean-Paul’s lead foot we had moved on too far when I thought of getting out to help the guy cross.
We hiked to a beautiful wooded creek close to some steep rocks and saw some huge millipedes as well as a chameleon.
Then we spotted a group of Sifakas and after following them into a dense wood I got some portraits of one of them.
There was also a lovely cool natural pool further down the canyon which was a welcome place to cool off after stalking Sifakas in the jungle.
After our hike we headed to the convenience store at the exit of the town and as we got out of the vehicle there was a man standing at the entrance holding a 4 foot crocodile that he had caught illegally and was hoping to sell. The croc was still alive but had a wound between the eyes (he had probably whacked it with an axe). This was very disturbing to see, especially as it was out in the open and no one seemed to intervene. Jean-Paul cussed the guy out and he backed off, but I am sure he returned as soon as we left.