Madagascar is on a lot of travelers’ bucket lists. People are fascinated by this location because of the diverse landscape and intriguing wildlife. If you want to travel this way, you may be wondering when the best time to visit Madagascar is.
Between September and November is the best time to visit Madagascar. Weather is ideal for sightseeing, with daily highs being between 77 and 86 F/ 25 and 30 C. Wildlife is more active this time of year, making tours more exciting. You can also find the best deals on flights in October and November, saving over $1,000.
Do you want to plan a trip to Madagascar? You’re in the right spot. Today, we’re going to discuss when the best time to visit is based on what you want to do. We will also give you a monthly breakdown so you know what to expect during your visit.
When You Shouldn’t Visit Madagascar
February is the most humid month in Madagascar. It is the peak of the hot and rainy season. If you want to book your trip full of outdoor activities, this will be the least comfortable month for exploring. Visitors can also expect more rainy days between November and March.
December, January, and February are the most expensive months to book a flight to Madagascar. If you’re flying from North America, you will need to book a connecting flight. Flights can range from $3,000 to $5,000 or higher this time of year.
July and August are the busiest months for tourism in Madagascar. If you travel in the summer months, you can expect more crowds for tours and popular attractions.
What Is The Cheapest Time To Visit Madagascar?
The most expensive part of traveling to Madagascar is the flight. The cheapest months to book flights are in October and November. During peak season, flights from the US can get as high as $5,000 or more. In autumn, you can find flights for as low as $1,200.
If you want to save money on your trip, make sure you plan in advance. Travelers are able to get better discounts on flights if they start looking at least 2 months ahead of time. You can also find better deals on flights that are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
There are hotels and resorts for all budgets in Madagascar. If you want somewhere nice to stay for under $100, you’re in luck. The cheapest hotel in the area is Hotel La Ribaudiere, which has a rate of $24 per night.
Hotel rates do fluctuate based on popular travel times. You may notice when arranging a hotel room that prices are higher from July through September than the rest of the year.
Best Time To Visit Madagascar: Monthly Breakdown
January: Good Time To Visit Southern Areas
When planning a trip to Madagascar in January, we recommend visiting the southern region. This is the start of cyclone season, so you can expect more rain and poor conditions. Areas in the south aren’t affected as greatly, so you'll see more dry days this way.
To avoid extreme rainfall, we recommend visiting areas like Taolagnaro and Toliara. You may experience afternoon rain showers, but they won’t be as extreme as in other areas of the country.
The rainy season does have its advantages. It leaves the landscapes lush and green. This gives visitors a better chance to see reptiles and lemurs while they’re on a tour.
- New Year’s Day
- Wild South Madagascar Tour
- Shop for souvenirs
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February: Best Month To Avoid Crowds
The quietest month for tourism in Madagascar is in February. There is heavy rain across the country, so people are less likely to book a trip this time of year. If you don’t like dealing with long lines and crowded places, this is a good time to visit.
February is hot and wet in Madagascar. Visitors prefer to visit indoor attractions this time of year. There are plenty of museums, art galleries, and unique shops throughout the country. You can even book a rainy afternoon at a spa to relax.
- La Medina Spa
- Is’Art Galerie
- Musee de la Photographie de Madagascar (specialty museum)
March: Madagascar New Year
March is a fun month to visit Madagascar because you can enjoy the traditional New Year’s celebration. The country does ring in New Year’s on January 1, but their traditional New Year’s is called Alahamadi Be.
During Alahamadi Be, there are celebrations throughout the country. Residents decorate their properties for the occasion. There will be festivities that include traditional music and dancing during this celebration.
Another big celebration in March is Martyrs’ Day on the 29th. This is a public holiday in which people pay respect to the dead for the sacrifices they made. It also celebrates Madagascar’s independence.
- Celebrate Alahamadi
- Learn traditional dances
- Visit Labo Photo Pierrot Men (art gallery)
April: Fun In The Sun
April brings fewer rain showers in Madagascar. The weather is still nice and warm, with daily temperatures around 76 F/ 24.5 C. Tourist season hasn’t started, so if you visit this time of year, you can enjoy attractions without crowds.
The warm weather provides excellent conditions for spending the day by the water. April weather provides the best conditions for surfing. It’s also a great time of year to go on a hike and explore more of the country’s landscape.
Madagascar has a very big Christian population. Easter is considered one of their most important religious celebrations. If you visit at Easter, you can attend a service at one of the local cathedrals.
Related Read: Best Time to Visit Tanzania
May: Most Comfortable Weather
May is one of the best months to visit Madagascar for experiencing good weather and low crowds. This is the first month of the dry season when mornings are cool and daytime highs are around 68 to 77 F/ 20 to 25 C.
Many visitors enjoy spending the day by the beach followed by an evening around the campfire. It’s also a great time to explore the highlands because the peach blossoms and lavender blooming create a beautiful view.
Labor Day is on the 1st of May. This is a holiday throughout the country. Most people enjoy relaxing activities on this day, like countryside drives and picnics on the beach.
The Zegny'Zo Arts Festival is held annually in May. This fun event is hosted to promote art in Madagascar. People can join workshops, watch performances, and meet local artists.
- Take pictures of flowers
- Beachside picnics
- Zengy’Zo Arts Festival
June: Best Month For Photography
Photographers are likely to have the best time on their trip if they visit in June. The landscapes and rainforests are captivating this time of year. The grass is lush and green, while colorful flora brightens up the scenery.
This is also one of the best months to book a tour. It’s slightly cooler this time of year, with daily average temperatures remaining around 68 F/ 20 C. While tourist season is just starting, it’s generally not as busy as the months to come.
There are fun events in June as well. Feria Oramena is a carnival focused on seafood. Fisemana is an annual festival celebrated by the Antakarna people. Famadihana is a traditional family event that starts in June and lasts for 3 months.
- Take pictures of blossoming flora
- Enjoy seafood at Feria Oramena
- Spot lemurs
July: Best Time For A Family Vacation
July is a popular time for tourists because the weather is great and there’s a lot of activity. Most days have a temperature range of 71.5 to 82.5 F/ 22 to 28 C. This is a great time of year to explore one (or several) of the national parks.
Whale Festival takes place in July. This is a 9-day event that takes place on Nosy Boraha island. There will be a carnival, mountain bike races, film screenings, and more fun events.
July is also the start of humpback whale season. You may be able to spot a whale as they migrate north this time of year.
- Whale Festival
- Visit Ranomafana National Park
- Relax by the water
Related Read: Best Time to Visit Botswana
August: Best Conditions For Outdoor Activities
August is one of the best months to visit to spend time outdoors. If you’re interested in an active holiday, this is a great time of year to go to Madagascar. Most days have temperatures of 68 to 72 F/ 20 to 22 C.
This is one of the best times of year for hiking and trekking. It’s also a good time to try out kitesurfing. However, always book your activities in advance because August is a busier month for tourism.
- Visit Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
September: Best Month To See Wildlife
September is one of the best months for spotting a variety of wildlife in Madagascar. The weather starts to warm up compared to previous months, with most days being around 73.5 F/ 23 C.
Since the weather is warmer, wildlife begins to come out. It’s easier to spot animals that you may not be able to see in the cooler months. You’ll have a better chance of seeing reptiles, like chameleons, lizards, and snakes. It’s also a good time for seeing lemurs.
- Visit Avenue of the Baobobs
- Take pictures of wildlife
October: Summer In Madagascar
October is the peak of the summer season in Madagascar. If you visit this time of year, you can expect daily temperatures of around 79 F/ 26 C. With little rain, it’s a great time to spend outdoors exploring or relaxing by the beach.
Madajazzcar is one of the biggest music events in the country, held annually in October in Antananarivo. This two-week celebration is focused on jazz music. Musicians from all over the world attend this event.
November: Enjoy Tropical Weather
November feels more tropical around Madagascar. The temperatures and humidity levels begin to rise this time of year as the wet season begins. Most days will have temperatures of 86 F/ 30 C or higher.
When you don’t get hit with a rainy day in November, it’s a good time to enjoy water activities. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular this time of year. It’s also a good time to book a boat tour.
Soul of Madagascar is a great company to look into when traveling this way. They offer a variety of different tours so you can see exactly what you want. Since they aren’t as busy in November, you can do more with your time.
- Boat tours
- Scuba diving
- Soul of Madagascar Tours
Related Read: Best Time to Visit Mauritius
December: Holidays In Madagascar
December is another balmy month in Madagascar. You can expect temperatures of around 82.5 F/ 28 C. While it’s a great time of year to spend time outdoors, it’s a good idea to have backup plans for unexpected rainy days.
People in Madagascar celebrate the Christmas season. While there won’t be any snow, you will still find plenty of traditional winter-themed decorations around the country. Visitors can attend church services for Christmas. There will also be Yuletide parties throughout the country.
- Tour the highlands
- Yuletide parties
- Buy holiday gifts at local shops