Isalo National Park Swimming Pool Hike

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Isalo National Park Swimming Pool Hike

Isalo National Park in Madagascar is a hiker’s paradise, known for its desert-like terrains and natural swimming pools. Hidden among the canyons and unique rock formations that were formed over the course of millions of years, these pools provide a cool break from the heat. Let’s explain what you can expect when hiking to the natural swimming pools of Isalo National Park.

The natural pool hiking trail is a 5.1-kilometer loop through Isalo National Park. This moderately difficult walk has an average completion time of approximately 1 hour and 39 minutes. Hikers should be prepared for some elevation gain, about 212 meters, as they trek through the terrain.

Isalo National Park Swimming Pool Hike
Isalo National Park Swimming Pool Hike

Hikers will go through dense forests and stunning canyons, where they will see dramatic rock formations and may come across rare endemic plant species. The trail not only tests hikers’ stamina, but also provides many photo opportunities, particularly with the varying shadows and lights at different times of day. As you hike through Isalo National Park, you may spot some of the endemic species that call this place home. While the park is not particularly known for large wildlife, it still offers a chance to observe various bird species and possibly lemurs in their natural habitat.

Isalo National Park Swimming Pool Hike
Isalo National Park Swimming Pool Hike

Natural Swimming Pools

The natural pools are the crowning jewel of this adventure, providing a refreshing dip after the hike. The clear, cool waters offer a sharp contrast to the sweltering heat, and they are surrounded by dense vegetation, creating the feeling of an oasis in the midst of a desert. Before reaching the sunny areas that lead to the peak, the trail begins with the uphill sections that are shaded. This will make the difficult parts of the hike a little bit more tolerable once you reach the top of the hill. When you have finished taking in the magnificent views, you will make your way down to the natural swimming pools, which are the primary attraction.

Given the climate and terrain of Isalo National Park, hikers should come prepared with plenty of water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes. Considering that the sun can be very strong, particularly on the more open sections of the route, it is also recommended that you wear a hat and sunglasses. The trail has received positive reviews from those who completed it. Hikers have praised the trail’s excellent state and recommended it over less strenuous hikes nearby. It’s evident that the loop, with its reward of a swim in the natural pools, presents a well-rounded experience for hikers.

Isalo National Park Hike
Isalo National Park Hike

The hike to the natural swimming pools in Isalo National Park combines challenge and relaxation in equal measure. It’s an experience that allows one to intimately connect with Madagascar’s unique terrain, witness the diversity of its ecology, and indulge in the simple joy of swimming in a natural pool after a rewarding hike. This trail promises to be a memorable part of your Madagascar tour.

This hike is included as part of the itinerary of the 10-day 1000 Views of Madagascar, which is a guided group tour with a maximum of ten travelers. Now is the perfect time to reserve your spot on this guided group tour, as spots are limited and they are filling up fast!

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