Malagasy chameleons are threatened by the relentless pace of habitat destruction. Their great popularity amongst herpetoculturalists has also resulted in collection for international animal markets. Most previous fieldwork has focused on the compilation of much needed species inventories, but little attention has been given to estimating chameleon population densities. This lack of information prevents a reliable assessment of the effects ofhabitat loss and direct exploitation on wild populations. A simple and repeatable methodology for the monitoring of chameleon populations is therefore urgently required. The present study developed survey techniques based on distance sampling within an area of relatively undisturbed rain forest at Ranomafana National Park. In total 394 individuals from six species were recorded and population densities (± SE) of 27.2 ± 5.4/ha Brookesia spp. and 21.4±4.0/ha Calumma spp. were estimated using the computer program DISTANCE. The authors propose that monitoring of chameleons in areas subject to different threats should begin immediately using the methods outlined in this paper.