Red brick homes against bright green terraced rice fields in Madagascar village

Madagascar has a tropical climate with many microclimates, so the weather can vary greatly depending on the time of year and region of the country. The north and south tend to be warm and dry, while the highlands, including the capital, Antananarivo, are cooler. The east is mostly rainforest, where wet weather is always possiblity.

The ideal time to visit is between April and November. (There are heavy rains from December to March, so travel during that time is not recommended.) Each season is unique and offers its own attractions: April and May’s landscapes are lush and vibrant, July provides cooler temperatures good for extensive hiking, September and October bring a new generation of baby lemurs, and warmer days in November are especially good for reptiles.

Smiling tourist in Madagascar with colorful chameleon on his hand

April: The scenery is vibrant green and the parks are not crowded. There is still a chance of some rain but this is an ideal time to visit. It’s the season for the territorial stink fight between male ringtails—an entertaining spectacle. Trees start losing their leaves, making it easier to see small birds, butterflies, and lemurs. The weather is sunny during the day and cool in the evenings. Local rice farmers will be in the rice paddies harvesting the last crop of the season.

May/June: This is the start of the dry season, with temperate weather. It’s a good time to see larger birds like eagles, and temperatures are cool enough that daytime hikes are comfortable.

July/August: This is the winter season; days are typically cool and dry. Birdlife is plentiful, but since it’s cooler, chameleons are harder to spot in the wild (although our guides are very good!). We recommend itineraries like our Magical Madagascar trip that focus on parks south of Antananarivo to avoid the haze that’s common in July as many farmers clear their fields with the slash-and-burn method. This is a good time to see the tsingy limestone formations, since it is cooler during the day.

Ring-tailed lemur family up close in Madagascar

September: Weather is generally warm and dry, especially in the north and south. It is the start of mating season for the largest lemur, the indri, and a good time to hear its calls. Baby ring-tailed lemurs, born beginning in August, are easiest to see in September and October.

October: The weather is warmer and mid-day can be hot in the south and north. There is a chance of afternoon showers in the east. This is an ideal time to see baby and juvenile lemurs. It is the mating season for fossa (in Kirindy) and a good time for birds.

November: It’s warm and the start of the rainy season in the highlands, with afternoon showers. It’s still dry in the east. Daytime temperatures are warm to hot in the north and south, making this a good time to see reptiles and amphibians.

Month Climate and Environment Flora and Fauna
April
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path
  • Landscapes are lush and vibrant; still some chance of rain.
  • Rice farmers harvest the last of their crops (picturesque).
  • Temps range from low 60s to high 70s.
  • Not crowded.
  • Ring-tailed lemurs have territorial “stink fights.”
  • Trees begin to lose their leaves—good conditions for wildlife viewing.
May/June
Magical Madagascar
  • Landscape is lush.
  • Lots of sunshine; dry season begins.
  • Temps range from low 60s to high 70s.
  • Good time to see larger birds, like eagles.
  • Good for viewing nocturnal species (lemurs, birds, geckos).
July/August
Magical Madagascar
  • It’s winter and typically dry.
  • Temps range from low 50s to high 60s.
  • Best time for birding.
  • Reptiles and small mammals are less active but can still be seen.
September/October
Magical Madagascar
and Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path
  • Not much rain (possible afternoon showers on the east coast).
  • Warming up: temps range from mid-70s to mid-80s.
  • Baby lemurs!
  • Previously hibernating animals now active; some nocturnal lemurs are out warming up during the day.
  • Indri mating season begins; good time to hear their calls.
  • Good for birding.
November
Magical Madagascar
  • Warm to hot in the north and south.
  • Beginning of rainy season; higher humidity.
  • Baby lemur viewing season continues.
  • Scenery becomes lush again.
  • Good bird and lemur viewing.
  • Especially good for viewing reptiles and amphibians.

HIGHLANDS

Antananarivo JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average °F 69.3 70.0 68.9 67.3 62.8 60.1 59.0 59.0 61.7 65.3 68.5 68.9
Max °F 77.7 79.2 77.7 76.5 73.0 70.7 68.5 68.7 72.5 77.4 79.3 78.1
Min °F 60.8 60.8 60.3 58.1 52.7 49.5 49.5 49.3 50.9 53.4 57.9 59.9
Rainfall 11.9" 10.2" 7.6" 1.8" 0.6" 0.4" 0.4" 0.4" 0.5" 1.9" 5.9" 10.4"
Days Rain 21 20 17 11 9 9 10 9 7 9 13 20
Humidity 80.5% 81.5% 80.5% 79.5% 78.5% 77.5% 77% 74.5% 70.5% 67% 70% 76.5%

EAST

Andasibe JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average °F 72.1 72.5 71.2 69.4 65.5 62.2 59.9 60.4 62.2 66.0 69.8 71.6
Max °F 81.1 81.5 80.8 79.2 76.5 72.9 68.4 69.4 72.1 77.0 80.6 81.5
Min °F 63.1 63.5 61.9 59.9 54.7 51.6 51.4 51.4 52.5 55.2 59.0 61.7
Rainfall 12.9" 13.3" 10.7" 4.3" 2.9" 3.6" 3.5" 3.1" 2.3" 2.1" 5.1" 10.4"
Days Rain 20.5 20.4 20.2 13.6 11.4 10.3 12.3 12 8.4 12.2 15.7 20.8
Humidity 82.7% 83% 83.6% 82.4% 81.7% 81.5% 81.9% 79.6% 76.7% 76% 79.7% 81.6%

SOUTHWEST

Toliara JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average °F 82 80 79 76 72 71 69 69 72 75 78 81
Max °F 92 89 89 89 84 81 81 80 83 86 87 91
Min °F 72 71 69 64 61 61 58 58 61 65 69 71
Rainfall 2.9" 2.7" 1.8" 0.3" 0.7" 0.5" 0.2" 0.2" 0.4" 0.6" 1.5" 1.8"
Days Rain 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 1
Humidity 76% 76% 76% 76% 74% 75% 73% 73% 73% 74% 74% 76%

View Our Madagascar Itineraries
madagascar chameleon tree branch
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path
16 days from: $5895

Explore Madagascar's remote and seldom-visited nature reserves renowned for their endemic biodiversity: Ranomafana and Isalo National Parks, and Andasibe Reserve, home to the indri lemurs.

madagascar lemurs family
Magical Madagascar
13 days from: $4995

A once-in-a-lifetime natural history adventure in Madagascar introduces you to a variety of lemurs, surreal landscapes, and botanical wonders found nowhere else on Earth. Explore Andasibe, Berenty, and Ankarana and Amber Mountain National Parks.

madagascar ring tailed lemur in tree
Madagascar In Depth: Lemurs, Baobabs, and Stone Forests
26 days from: TBA

A once-in-a-lifetime natural history adventure in Madagascar introduces you to a variety of lemurs, surreal landscapes, and botanical wonders found nowhere else on Earth with Trip Leader Roger Williams.

Contact our Africa Specialists

Africa travel agents sitting on bench

Our Africa specialists are your single point of contact and will be happy to answer any questions about our trips, help you choose the journey that’s right for you, and assist with any extensions you may be interested in. They even have great advice on what to pack! You’ll be in good hands, from the time of your first call to your departure on this adventure of a lifetime.