Wednesday , 6 July 2022
The history of Ilakaka, the southern homesteaders' town crossed by the National Road 7, a few miles away from the Isalo national park, the small remote hamlet by what was merely 20 years ago called a stream, is made of the stuff of US American Far West legends. Its notoriety it owns to its primary commodity, its underground teeming with sapphires.

Ilakaka, the rogue sanctuary recovering human shape

The sapphires actually stand at both ends of every story as the main bone of contention in Ilakaka. The bonanza was discovered back in 1996. From then on developed the sapphire rush which raised a mining town up from the outback’s dust. Makeshift cabins walled with metal sheet or wooden planks were home sweet home to the swiftest newcomers in search of good fortune. Twenty years later, those shelter still stand the way they were, although Ilakaka reconnects bit by bit with civilization. Churches and mosques have emerged from the dusty soil. Healthcare centers and phone lines have appeared and standard concrete is gaining ground. The wild wild south’s town, the lair to the rudest types of smugglers, traders and gunslingers to which one man’s life was once not worth a tenth of one precious blue stone’s price, this “San Andreas” type zone now gradually pulls itself together. Trade may still remain the town’s main lung, but guns remain inside holsters more often than ever before. The National Road 7 leads to a Grand Canyon like landscape of the Isalo. Small moonlike craters lay down derelict of human activity now drawn away towards lands of better promises, scattered across the outback as dead witnesses of the frenzy of the earliest days of the rush. But for the centuries to come, Ilakaka, its memory and its signboards will always pay tribute to the sapphires which brought them to life.