Timing your visit to Madagascar
When is the best time to travel to Madagascar? The weather in Madagascar differs per region:
- The North: nice to visit year-round. Most rain falls between January - March, but the wheather stays pleasant and warm and the country side is at it's prettiest this time of year.
- The East: possible to visit from April to December, but weather is unpredictable. Days of rain and wind will be altered with calm, sunny weather throughout the year. It is always warm though. The most stable months tend to be June and August till December. This unpredictable weather has its advantages - you will see hundreds of shades of green, the air is filled with the scent of fresh flowers, and there is an absence of fly-in tourism as seen in Nosy Be.
- The South-west (RN7): possible to travel year-round. Most rain will fall between January - March.
- The West coast & Tsingy de Bemahara: accessible from May till mid-November.
When is high season in Madagscar?
July - September is peak season, when some of the parks along the RN7 can feel crowded. Most lodges will be fully booked, so book well in advance. With camp gear set in the back of your roadtrip rental car, you're still flexible. Rent your roadtrip rental car well in advance, as we are fully booked months ahead.
When is rainy season in Madagascar?
The rainy season is from January - March. This is low season. The west and east coast are generally mostly affected by rains and cyclones. Travel along the RN7 to the South and the RN4 to the North is still possible. You will encounter rain, but travelling this time of year surely has its advantages. The landscape is beautifully green, there are few other travelers so there is no need to book you accommodation in advance.
Other things to consider
The coolest months are June and July. Winter daytime temperatures are still very pleasant and even warm at the coast, but night temperatures drop to 5-10C in the highlands (Antananarivo, Andasibe, Antsirabe) and the evenings are cool at the coast.
July to September is the best time to see humpback whales. The island of Ile Saint Marie is the prime whale watching location, but they also pass the west coast from Tuléar up to Belo sur Mer. Around Nosy Be, humpback whales can be seen till the end of October. Turtles and dolphins are regular visitors year-round.