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Isalo National Park, Madagascar

In april 2015 we visited Madagascar, a wonderful African country, which feels a bit like a mix of Asia, Oceania and Africa, because of the population, the island-vibe and the endemic species of wildlife living on this exceptional land. One of the highlights of our roadtrip with the old Nissan Pajero was the Isalo National Park. This park is known for its wide variety of terrain, including sandstone formations, deep canyons, palm-lined oases, and grassland. Our main goal was to take a glimpse of the beautiful Verraux Sifaka alias the lemur who lookes like a little white ghost.

At the end of our morning walk, we were lucky to see one sifaka hanging around a campside. Minding its own business a the tree while eating leaves, fruit, bark and flowers. The Verreaux's sifaka is a medium-sized primate. It lives in a variety of habitats from rainforests to western Madagascar dry deciduous forests and dry and spiny forests. Its fur is thick and silkyand generally white with brown on the sides, top of the head and on the arms. It has a long tail that it uses as a balance when leaping from tree to tree. Its body is so highly adapted to an arboreal existence, on the ground its only means of locomotion is hopping. Actually, the hopping looks like dancing sideways. It's a really funny and cute spectacle to watch.

Although the hikes at the Isalo National Park are exhausting, especially because of the heat and shadowless surrounding. Our challenge was laying in the roadtrip to the park entrance. The Pajero is really strong and already had lots of hard trips over the past years with its owner Coen Oldenhof.

At the end of the afternoon we would like to watch the sunset at the natural window in the park, a sandstone formation. We drove up there, but realised that the car was making strange noises and steam was coming out of the bonnet. We immediately knew this wasn't a good sign, so we stopped and tried to drive back to the little town Ihosy. We made it before dark and also find a helpful mechanic to fix our problem.

Next to the overwelming wildlife and nature. The Madagascar people are really friendly, warm and welcoming. I would love to go back someday!

"Travel will make you remember what it is to be truly alive again"

Acknowledgement: next to my own experience, I used Wikipedia as a source of information.

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