Madagascar is a superb destination, it matters not what you want to see. From unique wildlife, amazing landscape, friendly people to the beautiful tropical beaches. But the best time to visit Madagascar will depend on your interest.
For those into wildlife we’d say July to October. If birding is your thing then November or December would work. If you fancy a good beach, please avoid the cyclones. This is because Madagascar is a huge island with a varied climate. So, when is the best time to visit Madagascar?
Some background information
Madagascar could pass for a forest paradise, in the veritable heart of Africa. That makes it a perfect holiday destination all year round. Madagascar is famous for its lush forests, varied wildlife, rich history and cultural heritage.
Here you can visit the Rova forts of Tana or the plantations of Domaine Aavyland. there is also the presidential palace, and have a blast doing so. Madagascar definitely has something for everyone!
As with most countries, it may be critical to find out the weather in Madagascar. This is so that you can visit when it’s just right.
Madagascar is the place to be for nature lovers or budding photographers. It is vast and luscious island with up to 90 per cent of all animal and plant species unique. Madagascar also boasts of a vibrant culture. There are festivals celebrating all things Malagasy throughout the year.
Madagascar covers almost 600000 square kilometers (230,000 square miles). That makes Madagascar the world’s fourth largest island.
In Madagascar you will find everything you need for an great African holiday destination. From forest-lined beaches and lowland rain forests to semi-arid deserts and active volcanoes. This means the climate is quite varied, and weather patterns are not always easy to predict.
Best Time to Visit Madagascar by Month
January to March
This is cyclone season so it would not the best time to visit Madagascar. You can visit Madagascar in the first three months of the year. the down side is that you are likely to get wet.
In January rainfall can reach up to 340mm. February presents high risk of cyclones, particularly in the northeast of the island. March is still part of the peak rainy season, although there is a lesser risk of cyclone.
The three months presents opportunities for cheap and tourist free experience. But, many hotels, lodges and national parks will are closed. This is due to unpredictable weather and lots of mud.
January to March would not the best time to visit Madagascar. You will not make the most of what Madagascar has to offer. For those who do not like crowds but would not mind a bit of rain, April and December are much better bets.
April to June
As April progresses, the rain begins to drop. As we tend towards May you are likely to be rain free and dry underfoot. The temperatures are warm but not too hot.
It’s also not too busy in these three months of the year. You are likely to get the reserves and popular places more to yourself. It will also be easier to get your first choice of accommodation.
If you are looking at what to do in Madagascar during the period, wildlife will not work. It is winter and hibernating species will not be around. Please note that this doesn’t affect lemurs. If the heat and busyness of the peak season isn’t for you, this is the best time to visit Madagascar.
What Activities to do Between April – June
After 3 months of rainfall, April comes as a relief to the residents of Madagascar. While there may still be some downpours, there will also be plenty of sunshine. This is the perfect combination to entice the island’s wildlife out of hiding. It is a great time of year to observe both reptiles and lemurs making the most of the lush landscape. Most of the national parks will be open by early April.
One of the best months to visit Madagascar is May. The landscape is lush and vibrant and lemurs will be in full swing as they are no longer sheltering from the rain
What’s more, the end of May marks the time for Nosy Be’s biggest cultural event of the year: The Donia Festival. It is the celebration of unity and culture. The festival takes place over several days and showcases home-grown music, dance and sport.
By June, average rainfall has fast decreased but there may be the odd shower. The flora is particularly striking at this time of year. The humpback whales start returning to the coast of Ile Sainte Marie.
It is also the perfect time to visit the southwest of the island. you can try Isalo National Park. This park can be hot in the summer months.
The three months present the peak season months in Madagascar. It is the best time to visit Madagascar. September and October are the peak months, especially for wildlife lovers. It’s advisable you book everything well in advance to avoid disappointment. But by October present some hot climate an average of 29°c.
What Activities to do Between July – September
Whales are generally seen off the north east coast from about mid-July to mid September. July is also an ideal time to observe humpback whales as they have settled on coast for winter. The first half of September being the best time.
Temperatures during this time drop to a cooler 15-20°C and it is also much dryer. This means conditions are ideal for a trek through rain forests like at Ranomafana. This is because it will be more refreshing than humid. The rain forests in July are buzzing with life. But, some small species will be in hibernation.
Temperatures in August are still cool. It marks the time when creatures such as dwarf lemurs and chameleons go into hibernation. If going to Madagascar in August, you’ll get much more pleasure from exploring the coast. The Island of Tsarabanjina in Nosy Be offers fabulous snorkeling opportunities.
September brings warmer temperatures and a more peaceful atmosphere. Those hibernating creatures also become active again thanks to a rise in temperature. You will get the best of both worlds. This is also the peak of Madagascar’s bird breeding season. Many of the native birds have spectacular plumage and unique characteristics. You may discover observing them is one of the highlights of your Madagascar safari tour.
These are some of the hottest months in Madagascar.
October has lovely warm temperatures and little rain. It is among the best time to travel to Madagascar. It is also the month of baby lemurs. Now just a few weeks old, they adorably cling to their mothers’ backs as they swing through the trees. The Andasibe Reserve is an excellent spot to view the cuteness.
Temperatures go up further in November around 28°C. By now all species of wildlife are out of hibernation. Birds are still in their breeding season. So this is a great month to observe the flora and fauna.
November also sees the start of the rains. If you’re into birds and amphibians and can cope with the climate though, these are the right months for you.
Snorkeling opportunities are in plenty. There is also a myriad of tropical fish in coastal areas such as Tsarabanjina and Ifaty.
While December is the hottest month in Madagascar, it is also the start of the wet season. You are best off traveling to the south of the island where it is cooler and drier. One benefit of higher rainfall is that chameleons, snakes and lizards become more active. It’s a great opportunity for photographers to take some action shots.
If you are not scared of some rainfall, December is a great time to travel to Madagascar. Please ensure you pack waterproof clothing as well as your beach clothes.
Madagascar is an all year round destination. Thus, the best time to visit Madagascar depends on what you want to do. Now that you know, don’t hesitate to let us know and we will help you book your African holiday to Madagascar.