When to go to Madagascar: climate, best times, and months to avoid

When is the best time to go to Madagascar?

There are no clearly defined rainy seasons in Madagascar. Its different regions have very different weather and climate at the same time of year. Madagascar does have a high season, however, and it is associated with a period when it really rains less. This season lasts from May to October.

It rains the most during the winter months. So you will catch the low season in Madagascar from December to March. You can say that in harmony with nature and the position of the island, it is summer here. Swimming might not be very comfortable, but not because of the coolness of the water.

The temperature of the coastal waters during this time reaches +30 ° C. But this is the time of hurricanes, and the excitement of the ocean interferes with recreation. There are also downpours that increase humidity. Washed out roads and dangerous insects only make things worse.

But this is the best time to fly to Madagascar. Airlines and hotels are cutting costs. However, when deciding when it is best to vacation in Madagascar, do not leave “winter” vacation ideas. They love lush festivals, which means that you will find a lot of festivals, where you can see the ancient customs and traditions.

For beach and sightseeing holidays it is better to go here in summer. However, when it is better to go to Madagascar, it is up to you to decide, tripmydream will help you find the perfect tour at any time of year.

winter, Madagascar, festival

Rest in Madagascar in winter

It is in winter on the island there is a decrease in the number of guests. It is hot, humid and windy. It rains almost every day, although it is difficult to identify the season, because rainy days occur in the summer. But the weather in Madagascar in winter does not allow comfortable walking or swimming. This is a bad time for diving and surfing, the ocean water is muddy, close to the shores swim sharks. Most of them in December and January. So for the sake of this even made a separate tour with observation of these terrible predators. Happen in the winter time and festivals. So, December 30 celebrate the anniversary of the Republic, formed in 1975. You can go to Antananarivo, Tuamasina and other major cities in the country. Of seaside resorts can be recommended except Nozi Beach, where the tourism infrastructure is best developed.

spring, Madagascar

Recreation in Madagascar in spring

Spring – time for festivals. In early March, you can celebrate the Malagasy New Year with Alahamandi festivals. At the end of March there is a day of remembrance of heroes. In May there are many culinary festivals. In late spring there are music festivals. Weather in Madagascar in the spring is hot, as indeed throughout the year. It gets a little cooler. In the southern regions during the day + 30 ° C, in Antananarivo, which is located in the mountains, about + 26 ° C, in the west of the country about +32 ° C. The evenings can be cool, especially in the center of the country, where the temperature drops to about +10°C. March, as well as January and February, is considered the worst month to visit.

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summer, Madagascar

Holidays in Madagascar in summer

Despite the fact that it is winter in Madagascar in the summer, it is the Madagascar winter that becomes the perfect summer for us. Such is the peculiarity of this island. The weather in Madagascar in summer is quite warm and dry. There is almost no rain. Daytime temperature is +21 ° C in the center of the island, +28 ° C in the west. It rains occasionally, but it’s brief, drizzling and refreshing rather than cold. Visit the resort of Nozi Bee, it’s at least +20°C during the summer and at night. During the day it’s over +30°C, but the coolness coming from the sea and the woods saves you. You can also safely go to the island of Nusi-Buraha, or Ile St. Mary, which also has good seaside resorts. Morondava, the village of Ifati and other seaside and balneological resorts in the country are ideal for visiting during this period.

Autumn, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Holidays in Madagascar in autumn

The weather in Madagascar in the fall fluctuates between the dry summer and wet winter. It gets hotter as early as September. But if you want to go sightseeing in the country, this is the best time. At the end of October there are far fewer visitors, the southeasterly trade winds come in. You can go to the south of the island, but with tourism there is much worse than in the north. You can, however, rest on the timeless touristy Nozi Bee, where it’s not bad year-round. Explore the island’s culture in the capital, Antananarivo.

Climate and weather in Madagascar by month

Climate of Madagascar

Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean, 420 km from the southeast coast of Africa. Despite its proximity, the weather conditions on the island are very different from the mainland. Arid areas alternate with tropical ones. These are followed by “temperate” and subtropical regions. It is not hot in the center of the island, up to +18. At the same time, in the north-west, the thermometer jumps to +34. Frosts can occur in the mountains, and cyclones rage on the coast of the ocean.

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The nature of the island is unique, beach holidays are possible, but tourism is still in its infancy. The reason for this unstable political situation in the country. The infrastructure is underdeveloped. However, active types of recreation are available to visiting tourists. Ecotourism, diving and surfing are already widespread.

Peculiarities of Madagascar’s climate

The climate of the island is varied. This is due to its length of 1600 km. The amount of solar energy received varies in the areas that are distant from each other. The territory of Madagascar is located in two climatic belts – tropical and subequatrial (northern part). In the areas of the Central Plateau, the climate is divided into zones, according to the altitude above sea level.

The island is warm all year round, with differences in weather due to the amount and regime of rainfall and the division into zones according to altitude above sea level. The terrain regulates the distribution of precipitation, which is brought by winds from the Indian Ocean. Equatorial monsoons reign in the north of the island.

Summer reigns in the southern hemisphere from December to March, with the northeastern monsoon dominating at the end. The southwest monsoon reigns in winter.

The Central Highlands retains most of the rainfall, so it falls more in the eastern part of the island. The amount of moisture, pouring down from the sky in this part of Madagascar, reaches 3000 mm or more. On the ocean coast the temperature in January is higher than +26, in July it’s +20. The skies drop streams of water 140 days a year.

Climbing up the central highlands, there is a cooling climate. In the capital, Antananarivo, the average summer temperature is +20. July brings the thermometer to only +13. Rainfall does not exceed 1500 mm. It rains no more than 100 days a year.

On the leeward side of the highlands, precipitation is no more than 1,000 mm. Moving along the island to the west coast, there is a reduction in rainfall to 400 mm. The average temperature in January is around +30, with sunny weather and only 20-30 days of rainfall a year.

Tourist Seasons in Madagascar

Due to the characteristics of the tropical climate the tourist season in Madagascar lasts all year round. The “dry” season from May to October is considered high. In December and March, tourists leave the paradise because of heavy rains, too warm water (above +30) and activation of dangerous insects.

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On the east coast, only two months are suitable for tourism. The rains subside in September and October near the town of Tuamasina. The rest of the time is divided into three periods – fine drizzle (June to August), just rain (April to May) and heavy rains (November to March).

The savanna-covered areas of the interior of the island near the capital, Antananaviru, are comfortable for tourism from April to October. It is dry and not hot. At night, it is even cold and requires warm clothing. The local summer from mid-November to the end of March is accompanied by rains. But they are short and come in the afternoon, which does not prevent the sun from shining in the sky.

Nouazi-Be, in the northwest of the island, has a dry season from May to the end of October, offering all the attractions of beach holidays and ecotourism. But the sun shines here even during the rainy season. In November and December, there are daily afternoon thunderstorms. In February, fine rain rustles all day long.

At the northern tip of the island is Diego Suarez, a town where windsurfers flock from April to November. Varatraza blows during this time, becoming stronger in July and peaking in October.

Moving further south along the west coast the rainfall decreases. In the town of Tuliar it doesn’t interfere with tourism and sightseeing. The south of the island is extremely dry and hot.

High Season

Madagascar is not an active tourist destination. Tens of thousands of visitors from Germany and France come here, mostly in the summer. The most cultivated beaches of the island of Nusi-Be. Especially favored by tourists is the beach Andilana, where the diving club and excursions by canoe.

The largest of the resorts of Madagascar is Toliara. The beaches, surrounded by baobabs, are extremely clean. Happy tourists are ridden by locals on painted pirogues. There is a 250 km long coral reef here, second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef.

Diving is considered the main entertainment in Tuliar. With amazing transparency of water, visibility is more than 30 meters. The great variety of colorful inhabitants of the ocean depths gives an aesthetic pleasure to everyone who sees this underwater kingdom.

The town of Ambotoloaca offers a tour of the marine park. At a depth of 18 meters, tourists spend hours looking at exotic clams, fish and turtles.

The surroundings of Antsiranana and Mahadzanga attract beautiful beaches. Large white or golden sand, picturesque lagoons and blue ocean waves – that’s what attracts tourists to Madagascar.

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Lovers of active sports will find on the island absolutely everything for themselves. Sailing, diving, windsurfing, rock climbing, and just rock climbing – wait for their fans. Thrill seekers will raft down a rough river, overcoming rapids and rifts. Sport fishing in the ocean and underwater hunting will give minutes of excitement.

Vacationers are offered sightseeing excursions and national parks.

Low season

The tourist season comes to a standstill in winter, from December to March. It rains heavily. Bathing in the ocean is impossible with water temperatures of +30 and giant waves. Seeing the beauty and sights is uncomfortable because of the constant wetness and water pouring from the sky. The roads are washed out and to get to the right places, you have to spend a lot of time and effort. At this time there are not many tourists and the airports are empty.

But travel agencies have recently begun to actively promote holidays in Madagascar during the Christmas vacations. The locals live poor, but are very fond of all kinds of festivities. Christmas vacations will fly fun for tourists who have decided to vacation here out of season. The residents of the island have a lot of holidays. So at any time on the island you can take part in colorful fun.

Tips for tourists

The crime rate in the country is not high. But you should not take large sums of money and leave valuables unattended in the hotel. See the city or admire the beauties better in a group or accompanied by a guide.

In Madagascar, women do not walk alone, only accompanied by a sister, brother, husband or friends. A lady walking alone is often mistaken for a member of an ancient profession. Therefore, female tourists are not advised to walk unaccompanied.

You can swim in the ocean only in lagoons or places with coral reefs, where sharks can’t get in. Mangroves and river mouths threaten reptiles. Mosquitoes are dangerous in humid rainforests. There are malaria pathogens, which are resistant to common medications. Tourists traveling to Madagascar, it is recommended to begin taking antimalarial drugs before departure and finish within a few weeks after return.

Standing or sluggish water bodies with fresh water are home to leeches, as are damp forests. Swimming is allowed only in designated areas.

There are no restrictions on clothing on the island. The only thing that is not welcome is a military-style costume. The local police arrests for this. Just as elsewhere, when visiting places of worship, clothes must be as modest as possible.

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It is necessary to bring warm clothes, as the evenings and nights can be chilly. Sandals are good for walking on the reefs and sturdy, thick shoes for hiking in the savannah.

Water for drinking and making ice and brushing teeth should be boiled. Milk as well. Fruits and vegetables should be washed and peeled. Eat only well-cooked meat or fish.

Weather in Madagascar by Month

Winter in Madagascar

Travel to the island in winter is impractical and even dangerous. Heavy rains wash out roads and demolish bridges. Water temperatures in the raging ocean rise above 30 degrees, and insects and snakes become active. The average temperature across the island at this time is +24. It rains of varying intensity everywhere. It is only at the southern tip that the sun shines and the weather is hot.

Spring on the island

The ocean temperature drops, but huge waves appear. In addition, there is an increase in plankton, which attracts predatory fish. It is not safe to swim or dive. March in the east of the country is still accompanied by heavy rains, while in the center of the island and in the northwest, the skies are already getting lighter and the rains are rapidly diminishing. But the holiday season won’t arrive until May.

Island summer

The dry season lasts all summer in the central and northwestern regions, but temperatures drop to +10 at night. The east of the country is gradually getting rid of heavy rains, turning into small drizzles. In the northern part of the island in the summer and fall blows “varatraza”. , a favorite wind of windsurfers. In August, tourists in many places around the island are interested in watching the mating games of humpback whales.

Tropical Autumn in Madagascar

The east coast of the island receives moderate fall rains. September here is accompanied by the activity of sharks, which are watched by descending into the ocean in a special protective cage. Predators live in the shallow waters until January, then go into the depths of the ocean.

November in the east begins the resumption of the heavy rainy season. Elsewhere on the island, it is still the dry season. In the capital, November always begins to rain in the afternoon. This is when thunderstorms occur one after the other in the northwest. In the south, on the other hand, it is dry and warm. October and September in the north are accompanied by “varatraza”. So autumn is still a good time to visit the island.

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