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.
|Trees begin to lose their leaves—good conditions for wildlife viewing.||November is the beginning of rainy season; higher humidity.|
|May and June are a good time to see larger birds, like eagles.||November is warm to hot in the north and south.|
|May and June is a good for viewing nocturnal species (lemurs, birds, geckos)|
|November 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.
|September is the start of mating season for the largest lemur.||Reptiles and some mammals are less active from June to September|
|Baby ring-tailed lemurs, born beginning in August, are easiest to see in September and October.||Little rain and cooler temperatures.|
|A good time to see the tsingy limestone formations, since it is cooler during the day.||Months of July and August can be busy, so book in advance.|
|It is the whale season on the east coast.|
|Good time for birding.|