Amber Mountain (Montagne d'Ambre)

Amber Mountain (or in French, Montagne d'Ambre), is a rainforest oasis on a volcanic massif in the dry tropics of northern Madagascar. Its high mountainous topography captures rain, which brings an average of 3 ½ metres of rainfall each year. Most of this falls between December and early April, so anytime outside of that can provide lovely conditions for a visit to this lush Eden.

The park's name derives from deposits of a soft amber called copal. It's stunning scenery of rocky cliffs, montane forest, waterfalls and clearwater pools certainly contributed to it becoming Madagascar's first national park in 1958. This was during the French administration of the country, when they designated 182 km2 of land between 850m and 1475m altitude.

As you might expect, mid altitude forest of this kind is a haven for orchids, lianas, trees reaching 40 metres in height and ferns such as the epiphytic and ground-standing Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus). It is also a haven for species found only within this island of rainforest, including the Amber Mountain rock thrush (Monticola sharpei erythronotus), the tiny Montagne d'Ambre Leaf Chameleon (Brookesia tuberculate) & the Amber Mountain Chameleon (Calumma amber).

Other animals we can root out for you include the Pill Millipede, so-called because it curls up into perfect balls in self-defence; tree boa constrictors, leaf-tail geckos, butterflies and some of the 7 species of lemur found here. These include the Crowned Lemur (Eulemur coronatus), also found amongst the tsingy of the Ankarana National Park; Sanford's Brown Lemur (Eulemur sanfordi); and the Amber Mountain Fork-marked Lemur (Phaner electromontis).

Amongst 77 species of bird, the Madagascar Crested Ibis and the Malagasy Kingfisher are a couple of highlights.

Our tailor-made journeys to Montagne d'Ambre are usually combined with the Ankarana Tsingy National Park, starting at the airport of Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) in the far north of Madagascar and ending at Nosy Be … or vice versa.

  • Amber Mountain (Montagne d'Ambre) in Northern Madagascar
  • Amber Mountain Rock Thrush (Monticola sharpei erythronotus) male Photo credit: Charles J Sharp
  • Montagne d'Ambre leaf chameleon (Brookesia tuberculata) male Photo credit: Charles J Sharp

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