Montagne D’ambre National Park (Amber Mountain National Park) in northern Madagascar is located 35 km from Diégo, in the Antsiranana province, and 1000 km from the capital city. Wander through isolated montane rainforest of 18,200 hectares at an altitude ranging between 800 and 1.475 metres.
A prominent volcanic massif, crater lakes and waterfalls make this one of Madagascar’s most beautiful and biologically diverse areas. Taking its name from the resin that seeps from some of the trees (some over 40 m tall), the Amber Mountain sits in a rainforest rising up from the drier lowland surrounds.
These lowland savannas receive only about 900 mm of rain per while the park is drenched with an average of 3.858 mm annually. This water runs into the long rivers and lakes, and creates a wild beauty of nearly 18,000 hectares of connected green forests. These waterways provide life for many tree ferns, orchids, mosses and lianas.
The forests of Montagne d’Ambre National Park offer a home to 75 different bird species, 35 of which are endemic. These include the faucon, martinet, wild pigeon and perroquet.
There are 59 species of reptiles and 34 species of amphibians living in the forests of Montagne d’Ambre. The rate of 11% of endemism includes: 3 snake families, 1 chameleon family, 3 lizards families and 2 frog families that exist nowhere else. Some species to keep a lookout for include: the panther chameleon, the Madagascar tree boa and the two leaf-tailed geckos.
There are also 25 species of mammals living in Montagne d’Ambre including: the crowned lemur, northern ring-tailed mongoose, fossa and the brown mouse lemur. 6 families of tenrecs, the rare falanouc, and the Galidie Elégante also live in the park.
Amber Mountain National Park is one of the best reserves to visit in Madagascar. A new road through the park means that tourists are no longer limited to the north. The park is easy to get to, features easy trails through rolling hills, and clearly-marked footpaths (in English). Points of interest are labelled and there is a good chance that you will see many of the above-listed species. There are also accessible caves to explore. Beyond the park, there is the very special Ankarana Reserve with amazing limestone formations and interesting vegetation sprouting out of every nook and cranny.