When Is the Best Time to Visit Madagascar?
If you’re a nature lover or an up-and-coming photographer, Madagascar should be at the top of your list. On this vast and illustrious island, 90 per cent of all flora and fauna species are unique. There is also a vibrant culture that celebrates festivals throughout Madagascar all year round. From beaches with forests and rainforests to semi-arid deserts and active volcanoes, you’ll find everything. This is not surprising. In short, the weather is very diverse, and it is not always easy to predict patterns of weather.
January – March
You can visit Madagascar in the first three months of the year, but it will probably get very wet. Rainfall in January can reach 340 mm, and in February there is an increased risk of cyclones, especially in the northeastern part of the island. The risk of getting caught in a cyclone is low, but March is still part of the rainy season.
During these months, you can enjoy a cheap and tourist-free experience, but many hotels, homes and parks are closed due to irregular weather and lots of mud. This is not the best time to get the most out of Madagascar. April and December are much better options if you wish to avoid tourists and don’t mind a little rain.
April – June
After three months of rain, April is a relief for the people of Madagascar. There may still be some showers, but there is plenty of sunshine. It’s a good time to see reptiles and lemurs that make full use of the lush landscape. Most national parks open in early April.
May is not yet a high season, so it’s one of the most enjoyable months to visit Madagascar. The landscape is vibrant and lush, and lemurs are in full swing as they can no longer find shelter from the rain. Hotel prices haven’t peaked yet and finding accommodation is relatively easy.
The end of May is also the time for the Donia Festival, the largest cultural event on Nosy Be Island. The festival of unity and culture lasts for several days, with indigenous music, dance and sports.
By June, the average rainfall is declining rapidly, but it may still be raining. The flora is particularly impressive during this period, with humpback whales beginning to return to the coast of Il Sainte-Marie.
July – September
July is the peak season for tourism in Madagascar, so it’s a good idea to book everything in advance to avoid disappointment. In the middle of winter in Madagascar, temperatures drop to 15-20 ° C and get even drier. This means it’s more refreshing than humidity, which makes it an ideal condition for a walk in a rainforest-like Rano Mafana. The rainforests of July are full of life, but some small species hibernate. July is also an ideal time to see humpback whales that have landed in winter.
August temperatures are similarly cool indicating that creatures such as dwarf lizards and chameleons hibernate. Travel to Madagascar in August for further exploration of the coast. In September, the temperature is high, and the environment is calm. The kids return to school at the beginning of the month, so it’s very quiet.
October – December
October, when the temperature is high and there is little rain, is the best time to travel to Madagascar. It is also the month of baby lemurs.
Temperatures continue to rise in November (about 28 ° C), and all wildlife is hibernating. Birds are still in the breeding season, so it’s a great month to see the flora and fauna. There are many snorkelling opportunities, and there is a wide variety of tropical fish in the coastal areas.
December is the hottest month in Madagascar, but it is also the beginning of the rainy season. It’s best to travel south of the cool and dry island.