Lemur in the Sky with Diamonds
A wonderfully padded ring-tailed lemur's foot dangles from a branch.
A deadly trap awaits an unsuspecting beetle, should he choose to walk along this woody byway.
The boulders and cliffs offered some relief from the scorching sun that bleaches rock and dries river beds. The place had a very wild west feel.
View of Parque Isalo
We hiked for a day along deep ravines, long-grass plains and cliff edges before entering a fertile valley and a haven for lemur species and other animals.
The Elephant Plant
Nature's equivalent of a tub of water, this succulent species is able to hold and conserve water in its voluminous belly and survive months of extreme drought.
Lemurs are extremely vocal primates and as we approached the rocky plateau we could hear their calls echoing around the caverns.
The red and golden hues of sandstone in mid-morning light is a sight to behold. The rocks blush a deeper shade of purple as the sun begins to set.
Savannah and scrubland stretched out for miles beyond the rocky outcrop.
Common in the arid regions of southern Madagascar, this scorpion is in a defensive position with claws at the ready.
The flora and fauna of Isalo is adapted to a scarcity of moisture.
The Painted Hills
Iron and copper leave rusty red and green streaks in the rock faces, testament to their centuries of erosion. Below the great cliffs lay swathes of deciduous forest.
A rocky outcrop fringes a wide expanse of savannah in this arid zone of Madagascar.
Hardy trees such as this acacia thrive in the thorny desert.
Perfectly adapted to life on the cliffs, the lizard has excellent eyesight to target its insect prey and watch out for predating birds and snakes.
Spiny Tailed Rock Lizard
Like all reptiles, this lizard basks in sunlight to warm its blood and build up energy. In a flash, he's back under a rock crevice.
Patterns in the Desert
The Rock Lizard's back is a beautiful pattern of black and white cross-hatches.
A Rocky Wilderness
The perfect setting for a western movie, this inhospitable landscape harbored a rich collection of wildlife in its narrow valleys, rocky crevices, and any other spot where water could accumulate.
The fiery red landscape, almost moon-like at times, was a perfect place to spot chameleons and rock lizards.
These black grasshoppers with red markings on their upper parts are highly venomous, the colour serving as a warning to lemurs and other predators.
Snakes are abundant in Madagascar and our guide produced a fine specimen from under a dry bush.
The edge of a river bed in Isalo. I love the effect that running water creates over sunlit sand.
Cracks in the Clay
A dry river bed awaits its next drink of the year.
Walk in the Park
The landscape stretched out before us in earthy browns and greens, and dotted with red or purple rocks that glistened under the sun.
A lemur's eyes are impossibly round. They give his owner an anxious look as he scurries the forest floor for food, and an almost cartoon-like humor when they are half-closed with tiredness.
The interior of such a large island mass sees clouds roll over without so much as a drop of rain. All of that changes in the wet season when tropical storms brew up in the Indian Ocean and flood the valleys.
Purple hued cliffs lock themselves around a verdant trail of deciduous forest.
A Guide's Find
Scouring the ground for animals and plants is all in a day's work for Davide. Here he delicately picks up a poisonous locust species by its wings.