Ambre Nature Reserve (Ambohitra)

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Parc National de Montagne d'Ambre covers 18,200 hectares (44,954 acres) in the north of Madagascar. The area in a volcanic massif has been protected since 1958 in an effort to preserve the biological diversity as well as the pristine mountains. Species found in the area don't differ much from these in the eastern rainforests, but there are animals and plants that are unique to the area. The area is totally covered in thick rainforest and the average amount of rainfall tops 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) a year.

People usually visit the park to see some of the seven lemur species that roam the area. There are also many reptiles and amphibians in the Ambre Nature Reserve, including frogs, geckoes, chameleons and snakes. 73 different species of birds have been seen in the area.

The best time to visit the park is during the dry season. There are about 20 km of walking routes in the park. Along one of them you will find the Petite Cascade, a small waterfall that flows into a beautiful pool in the rocks. Cliffs, covered in vegetation, surround the pool. The Petit Lac is a crater lake, but to reach it you will have to get over the crater's rim, quite a steep walk uphill. Not far from the Petite Cascade starts a path known as the Jardin Botanique. The path runs through a stretch of forest with a great variety of plants. Orchids, palms, lianas and bromeliads can all bee seen there.

Ambre Nature Reserve lies 715 km north of Antananarivo. The best place to stay is Antsiranana, some 40 km to the north. From Antsiranana you can get to other places in Madagascar by air or with a taxi-brousse.


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