You can visit Madagascar any time of year that you wish, however the best time to visit Madagascar is between the months of April through mid-December. Visit outside of these months and you’ll encounter wet weather that could really put a damper on your vacation. Plus, cyclones are common during this time.
Interested in visiting Madagascar? Here are some insider tips for the best time to visit Madagascar
1- See the whales
From July to September, it is the best time to see humpback whales. Plus, during these months, the weather is generally accommodating and pleasant. Chartering a boat at this time is a wonderful way to get the most out of your Madagascar trip.
2- See the lemurs
One of the best animals to see in Madagascar is the lemur. They’re cute and gentle creatures. October and November are especially great for seeing baby lemurs, however, you can see lemurs year-round in Madagascar. April is one of the best months to truly get your fill of lemurs as the landscape is robust and it’s not the peak of season, making it a quieter experience.
3- Avoid visiting January through March
As mentioned, the wet season brings with it heavy rains and cyclones. The east and northeast portions of Madagascar are particularly vulnerable to these conditions. Roads become flooded and muddy, making them impossible to travel on. You may wind up stranded from lodges when they close down during this time. It also brings out more reptiles.
4- The best time to visit Madagascar
The drier and milder season is a more pleasant experience for travels to Madagascar. Because of its location, July and August are actually the coolest months because that is when winter is there. However, those months tend to be busier since many people are on vacation during that time. September to November are considered excellent for visiting because it’s the end of that cooler, drier weather just before the rainfall gets heavy. Looking for lush greenery? Visit in April and May. Safaris will be much more enjoyable during the times when the landscape is shrouded in green.
5- Geographical considerations that may affect your travels
Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, and because of its diverse range, the weather can change thanks to altitude as well as the geographic positioning. Typically, the south and southwest regions are hot and have little rainfall throughout the year. On the west coast, it’s drier than the east and central regions. Depending on where you plan to travel in Madagascar, the weather can be very different. Be prepared by planning ahead and avoiding the cyclone season.
6- Celebrations are worth visiting for as well
Plan your trip to Madagascar just right and you’ll be visiting during one of the lively festivals and celebrations. There are many of them throughout the year, and you may just catch one during your stay. However, the bigger ones you can always count on happen each year. Among them, the October Madajazzcar Jazz Festival in Antananarivo is a fantastic event to see. This festival started in 1988, thanks to a trio of jazz enthusiasts. From there it grew into one of the largest musical festivals that never misses a beat every year.
There’s also Donia in Nosy Be late in May or early in June every year. It’s an intensive event where you’ll find rock, pop, reggae, and Creole music performed by bands from Madagascar and the neighboring islands. On top of all that excitement, there’s a carnival full of fun and delights as well as sporting events and seminars. It’s a huge event that makes the lively island country of Madagascar even more bubbly and fun. During this time, you’ll also find events all over the island.
Basically, the best time to visit Madagascar depends on what you want to do and see while you’re visiting. As a general rule of thumb, avoiding traveling there during the wetter months when it is more prone to cyclones and visiting the drier regions is best for maximizing your visit. Visiting during the events will give you more to do but will also bring more crowds. If you’d prefer to have the island more to yourself, you should plan your trip so that it doesn’t coincide with those festivals. However, if you’re the fun and adventurous sort, that might be just the thing that you don’t want to miss!