Climate in Madagascar
When is the best time to visit Madagascar?
It is difficult to determine a single best travel time for Madagascar . Due to the size of the island and the hilly structure, different weather conditions prevail depending on the region. The climate in Madagascar is tropical. But the characteristics are different in the highlands than in the coastal regions. As a result, there are different best travel times for Madagascar for the north , the south , the highlands and the coastal areas . There are no seasons like in this country on the island. A distinction is made between dry and rainy seasons. From January to March there is an increased risk of cyclones on the entire island. Plan her a round trip through Madagascar? The months of April, May, September and October are ideal for this. The high season in Madagascar is between July and October . In order to get cheap accommodation and cheap flights, you have to book well in advance for this period. In this article you will find detailed information about the climate and the best travel time for the individual areas of Madagascar. So you are well prepared for your trip to the island in the Indian Ocean.
Best travel times for Madagascar by region
|North||April to November|
|South||all year rou|
|West Coast||all year rou|
|East coast||July to November|
|central highlands||April to October|
What is the climate like in Madagascar?
While moderate temperatures prevail in the interior, vacationers in the coastal areas can expect a tropical climate . There is a rainy and a dry season in Madagascar . The rainy season lasts from November to April. During these months, tropical cyclones can hit Madagascar. These arise in the north and migrate over the entire island to the south. The dry season in Madagascar is from May to October. A trade wind blows over the east coast all year round. This brings moist air from the Indian Ocean with it. The north and west coasts are influenced by dry easterly winds and monsoon winds. The average temperature on the island is 28 degrees Celsius. The water temperatures are pleasant all year round. With minimum temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius and maximum temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, the Indian Ocean is always suitable for a beach holiday. The weather on the island differs depending on the region. In general, it rains less in the west, at higher altitudes and in the south than on the coasts and in the northwest. The southwest is the driest region in Madagascar. In the following I will tell you which climatic conditions prevail in the different areas.
Indian Ocean water temperatures
|North||28-30 degrees Celsius|
|East||24-28 degrees Celsius|
|West||24-30 degrees Celsius|
|South||24-27 degrees Celsius|
Climate in the north
According to shoppingpicks, the mountains in the north of the island weaken the trade winds coming from the east , which means that there is less rainfall in this region than on the rest of the island. The dry and rainy seasons are more pronounced here than in other areas of Madagascar. With the help of the climate of the city of Antsiranana, I will show you what weather awaits you in the north of the island during your trip.
Climate table for Antsiranana
|Max. Temperature in ° C||31||31.5||32||32||32||31||30||29||30||30.5||31.5||32|
|Min. Temperature in ° C||24||24||24||24||23||22||21||21||21||22||24||24|
|Hours of sunshine per day||6||6||7||8.5||9||9||9||9||10||10||9.5||8|
|Rainy days per month||16||15||12||6||4||3||4||4||2||3||5||10|
|Precipitation in mm||291||280||192||48||12||17||19||17||9||15||56||145|
In the north of Madagascar, vacationers expect warm summer temperatures all year round . The maximum temperatures are on average 29 to 32 degrees Celsius. The minimum values of 21 to 24 degrees are also pleasant. The sun shines 6 to 8 hours a day in winter. In spring it shines for 7 to 9 hours a day. Summer and autumn bring 9 to 10 hours of sunshine with them. Travelers expect the least rainfall in September with 2 rainy days per month. The best time to travel to the north is from April to November. During this time, the least rain falls on 2 to 4 days a month. The highest value with the most precipitation is reached in January.
Climate on the west coast
The west coast of Madagascar has a semi-arid climate. This means that pronounced dry phases alternate with periods of heavy rainfall. The dry season takes six to three quarters of a year. The annual average temperature here is 26 degrees Celsius. Clouds cannot pass the adjacent highlands and therefore do not penetrate to the west coast. This makes the west the driest region on the island. This can also be seen in the vegetation. This part of Madagascar is lined with dry and thorn savannahs. The flora is adapted to the special climatic conditions of the west coast. Resistant succulents, including cacti, grow here. Baobab forests (African baobabs) are also typical of the west coast. During the rainy season, clouds are blown over the high plateau by the stronger east wind. Then here too, nature blooms in lush green. As an example for the climate on the west coast, I provide you with a climate table for the city Morondava available.
Climate table for Morondava
|Max. Temperature in ° C||32||32||32||31||29||28||27||28||29||30||31||32|
|Min. Temperature in ° C||24||23.5||23||21||17.5||15||14||16||18||20||22||23|
|Hours of sunshine per day||9||9||9.5||10||10||10||10||10||10||11||11||10|
|Rainy days per month||11||10||6||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||2||8|
|Precipitation in mm||250||211||115||15||6||5||1||1||5||8||24||133|
The weather on the west coast is very warm all year round . Temperatures are a minimum of 14 degrees Celsius in July and a maximum of 32 degrees from December to March. Compared to the east coast, there is much less precipitation on the west coast. It rains most frequently during the rainy season from November to March. If you look at the whole island, the dry season is most pronounced on the west coast. Here it rains an average of 1 day a month between April and October. With 9 to 11 hours of sunshine per day, this part of the island state is sunny all year round. Due to the optimal climatic conditions, the west coast is suitable for a vacation all year round. The best travel time for Madagascar’s west coast is therefore from January to December. The beautiful beaches in the west are ideal for a beach holiday. The water is calm and if you are lucky you can see dolphins and whales swim by.
Climate on the east coast
The climate on the east coast is influenced by the trade wind all year round. This brings hot air with it during the summer months. Due to the nearby mountains, it rains more often on the east coast compared to the rest of the island. The trade winds hit the mountains from the southeast and bring rain and hot air with them. Using a climate diagram for the city of Toamasina, I will show you the typical weather conditions on the east coast.
Climate diagram for Toamasina
|Max. Temperature in ° C||30||30||29||28||27||25||24||24||25||27||28||30|
|Min. Temperature in ° C||23||23||23||22||20||18||18||17||18||19||21||22|
|Hours of sunshine per day||7||7||6||6.5||6.5||5.5||5.5||6||7||8||8||8|
|Rainy days per month||19||17||21||18||17||18||22||20||15||13||14||17|
|Precipitation in mm||392||390||488||311||253||260||265||210||124||105||175||291|
The best travel time for Madagascar’s east coast is from July to November. During these months there are pleasant temperatures of a maximum of 24 to 28 degrees Celsius. The lows are between 17 and 23 degrees Celsius. The number of hours of sunshine varies only minimally and is between 5.5 and 8 hours per day. The climate diagram shows that the highest level of precipitation occurs during the rainy season between December and March. The most rainy days per month are in March, July and August. The months of September, October and November are the driest. The Indian Ocean reaches between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius over the year. A bathing holiday on Madagascar’s white sandy beaches is therefore possible all year round. It is true that the east coast is lined with one fantastic beach after the other. However, you have to note that there is no protective reef here.
The Indian Ocean is therefore rougher on the east coast than on the west coast and sharks swim closer to the shore. You can find safe stretches of beach, for example, at the Bay of Ramena and the Fort Dauphin peninsula. The climate also has a great influence on the flora. The tropical, humid weather favors the cultivation of rice, fruit, vegetables and cassava.
Climate in the central highlands
In the highlands there are pleasant temperatures all year round . The average temperature is 20 degrees Celsius. Compared to the other regions of Madagascar, it is milder during the day in the highlands. Many travelers find this pleasant. However, holidaymakers have to be prepared for cooler temperatures here at night. Due to the altitude, the humidity is also lower. Using a climate table for Antananarivo, I’ll show you what weather you can expect in the highlands of Madagascar. Because Antananarivo is not only the largest city in the island state. It is also the capital of Madagascar and is 1,400 meters high in the island’s mountainous region.
Climate diagram for Antananarivo
|Max. Temperature in ° C||28||26||25||25||23||21||20||20.5||23||25||26||26|
|Min. Temperature in ° C||16.5||17||16||15||13||11||10||10||11||13||15||16|
|Hours of sunshine per day||6||7||6||8||7||7||7||8||8||9||7.5||7|
|Rainy days per month||18||17||17||9||6||6||8||9||4||8||14||20|
|Precipitation in mm||270||257||183||50||20||7||11||15||9||67||170||304|
Compared to the climate on the east coast, it is only slightly cooler during the day in the highlands. The maximum average temperatures are between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperatures are on average 10 to 17 degrees Celsius. Most precipitation falls in Antananarivo in the months of December, January and February. It rains a little less in March and November. These two months mark the beginning and the end of the rainy season. The best time to travel to Madagascar’s highlands is from April to October . During these months you will spend a nice holiday on the island with the most optimal climatic conditions. Due to its volcanic origin, the highlands are the most fertile regions the island and is therefore used for the cultivation of coffee, sugar cane and vanilla.
Climate in the south
In the south , the climate is pleasant all year round and therefore easy to travel to every month. This part of Madagascar has very little rain. Even during the rainy season, there is little rainfall. From May to July, travelers expect warm temperatures without heat waves during the day. Temperatures drop at night. The climate table for Tolagnaro shows you the typical weather for the south.
Climate table for Tolagnaro
|Max. Temperature in ° C||29||29||28||27||25.5||24||24||24||25||26||28||29|
|Min. Temperature in ° C||22||22||21||20||18||17||16||16||17||18||20||21|
|Hours of sunshine per day||7||8||6||8||8||7||7||8||8||8||8||8|
|Rainy days per month||11||12||12||12||11||10||10||8||7||8||11||11|
|Precipitation in mm||201||166||224||128||132||125||130||103||65||98||105||124|
The rainy days per month fluctuate only minimally in the south. It rains on an average of 7 to 12 days. The number of hours of sunshine is also quite balanced. The sun shines between 6 and 8 hours a day in the south of Madagascar. The average temperatures are at maximum values of 24 to 29 degrees Celsius. It gets coldest in July and August with 16 degrees. Due to the constant warm weather, this area is suitable for a holiday all year round. Therefore, the best time to travel to the south of the island is from January to December . Do you want to sail the Onilahy River? Due to the water level, this is only possible from November to February.
The best time to travel to Madagascar differs from region to region. If you look at Madagascar holistically, you can speak of a tropical climate. At higher altitudes, however, the weather conditions are more moderate than on the coast. Madagascar has the rainy season from November to March . This is different. In the east it rains a lot all year round. In comparison, on the west coast there is only half as much precipitation during the rainy season as on the east coast. At the beginning of the year, the cyclone risk is between January and March the highest. Roads can be impassable due to heavy rainfall. Avoid this period so that your trip does not fall into the water. If you want to save money, book your vacation during the rainy season. The optimal travel time for a round trip is in April, May, September and October. During these months there is a pleasant climate all over the island.
Now you know everything about the best time to travel to Madagascar. Book your flight and your hotel and let yourself be enchanted by the second largest island nation on earth. Enjoy the unique flora and fauna. Try the local cuisine and experience the culture of the Madagascans. I promise you: a trip to the multi-faceted island is highly recommended! I wish you good weather and an unforgettable time during your Madagascar vacation.