When is a good time to travel to Madagascar?

Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar

Because of its geography, Madagascar’s climate is highly variable. Generally, Madagascar has two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April and a cooler, dry season from May to October.

The east coast is the wettest part of the country and thus home to the island’s rainforests. This area is also hit periodically by devastating tropical storms and cyclones.

The central highlands are considerably cooler and drier, and are the location of much of Madagascar’s agriculture, especially rice.

The west coast is home to dry deciduous forests. Deciduous trees lose all their leaves during the 6 to 8 month dry season.

When rains return, these forests erupt in a sea of bright green leaves. The southwest of Madagascar has the island’s driest climate. Parts of this area can be considered desert because so little rain falls.

Lemurs – All year.  To discover them, you have a lot of choices of national parks and reserves. 

Birds – October to mid-November.

Whales – Mid-July to September.  Humpback whales pass by the coast of the island every Year. 

LOW (WET) SEASON – December, January, February and March

December through March is Madagascar’s tropical summer and the hottest and wettest period, with January to March being particularly wet with heavy rains and cyclones.  We do not recommend guests travel at this time.

SHOULDER SEASON – April, May, June and November

Heavy downpours can still be expected in April, May and June, but between these showers, the sun will usually shine.

Plus SymbolTrees begin to lose their leavesβ€”good conditions for wildlife viewing.Minus SymbolNovember is the beginning of rainy season; higher humidity.
Plus SymbolMay and June are a good time to see larger birds, like eagles.Minus SymbolNovember is warm to hot in the north and south.
Plus SymbolMay and June is a good for viewing nocturnal species (lemurs, birds, geckos)
Plus SymbolNovember good for reptiles and amphibians

HIGH (DRY) SEASON – July, August, September and October

The Madagascan winter runs July through November and this drier milder season is the best time to visit, especially to see lemurs. July and August specifically are the coolest months of the year, as well as the busiest.

Plus SymbolSeptember is the start of mating season for the largest lemur.Minus SymbolReptiles and some mammals are less active from June to September
Plus SymbolBaby ring-tailed lemurs, born beginning in August, are easiest to see in September and October.Minus SymbolLittle rain and cooler temperatures.
Plus SymbolA good time to see the tsingy limestone formations, since it is cooler during the day.Minus SymbolMonths of July and August can be busy, so book in advance.
Plus SymbolIt is the whale season on the east coast.
Good time for birding.