Best time to visit Madagascar

Madagascar has a surprisingly diverse climate, thanks to its immense size and wide variety of habitats
The best time to visit Madagascar is generally from July to October when itís quite dry and mild Ė though much depends on the reason for your trip. The Central Highlands are cold and wet between May and October, but these months are ideal for exploring Madagascarís arid southwest, where summer temperatures (November to January) are unbearably hot. July to December is the best time to visit Madagascar for wildlife, with baby lemurs on display from October, birds breeding between September and December, and humpback whales arriving at Ile St Marie in July and August. Rainy season in Madagascar is January to March, with cyclones likely in February.

When to visit Madagascar, month by month guide

Madagascarís central highlands and north coast can get extremely wet in January all the way through to March with the cyclones of February making the start of the year well-worth avoiding although, accommodation will be cheaper and there will certainly be fewer tourists. April still finds a few storms but on the main this is the start of Madagascarís dry season with plenty of lush green foliage making April or May the best time to visit, especially for surfers. Visiting Madagascar in June and July is perfect for watching baby lemurs as well as humpback whales on Ile Sainte-Marie, and birdwatchers will want to hang around until August and September to catch the abundance of endemic and migratory species. Madagascarís iconic ring-tail lemurs are born in October and a visit to national parks, such as Isalo, lets you see these cuties up close, particularly now itís cooler in the southwest. Temperatures begin to soar in the southwest during November and December with rains returning to Antananarivo, the central highlands and the north of Madagascar. December is definitely the best time to visit Madagascar if youíre hoping to hit the beach.

Antananarivo & highlands Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
16
26
300
FEB
16
27
280
MAR
16
26
200
APR
15
25
50
MAY
12
24
10
JUN
10
22
12
JUL
10
20
5
AUG
10
21
5
SEP
11
24
10
OCT
12
26
50
NOV
15
27
155
DEC
16
26
260
PLAY

Responsible travel recommends

Laurenne Mansbridge, of our supplier Pioneer Expeditions, shares with us her best time to visit Madagascar:
"My favourite time of year is May because the rains have finished so everything is lush and green. You donít see many other tourists as they tend to go in September and October, but everything is just beautiful Ė itís pretty perfect."
Our cultural pick

Hiragasy

Theatre, dance, storytelling and music are combined in these traditional Malagasy performances. Held each July, particularly by the Merina of the highlands, the tradition began in the 1700s when the royals appointed troupes to perform for their subjects. The audience participates, showing their approval Ė or disapproval! Ė for the troupes.

Our top Madagascar Holiday

Madagascar tailor made wildlife holiday

Madagascar tailor made wildlife holiday

An adventure observing unique wildlife in Madagascar

From £2885 20 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Madagascar or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Festivals & events in Madagascar

Nosy Beís Donia Festival

in May or June is one of the best opportunities to enjoy homegrown music as well as sporting events. The carnival-like celebration takes place at the Hell-Ville stadium over four days.

Since 1988, Antananarivoís Madajazzcar Festival

This festival has united jazz musicians from the Indian Ocean and across the world for 12 days each October, inspiring fantastic musical fusions.
Did you know about...?

Festival of the Lobster

Lobster-lovers should get down to Fort Dauphin on the south coast in June for the annual Feria Oramena Ė the Festival of the Lobster. Eat grilled spiny lobster while listening to traditional music, and watching a local wrestling match Ė called Ďringaí
Written by Vicki Brown
Photo credits: [Page banner: BMR & MAM] [Hiragasy: Heinonlein ] [Festival: Frontierofficial]