Madagascar Weather and Climate
Madagascar is the second largest island nation in the world after Indonesia. The republic is located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Mozambique.
Around 24 million people live in an area of around 587,000 square kilometers. This results in a population density of 37 inhabitants per square kilometer.
The central area of Madagascar is a plateau about 1100 meters high. The highest point is the Maromokotro mountain with a height of 2876 meters.
The coastal zones are covered by rainforests, almost 90 percent of the island is covered by savannas. Madagascar has an incredibly distinctive flora and fauna, so there are numerous endemic plant and animal species.
Due to its considerable size and the very unique nature of its nature, Madagascar is also referred to as the “eighth continent” by some travel guides. In fact, the country was a French colony for over 60 years and gained independence in 1960.
The capital Antananarivo is located in the central east and has an international airport. The fascinating island can be reached from Frankfurt in around 14 hours – usually with a stopover in Paris.
Climate in Madagascar
In Madagascar there is mainly a tropical climate, so there are no typical seasons. The climate is mainly determined by the rainy season. The hot and rainy season lasts from November to April, the cooler and dry months from May to October. Madagascar combines four different climatic zones on the island:
The east coast is considered tropical and humid, the humid trade wind from the southeast is most noticeable in this region. In the months of October to April there is high precipitation of 1500 to 4000 millimeters, and tropical cyclones can also occur during this time. The temperatures are fairly constant at around 28 ° C.
The north and west coast are known for their year-round warm weather, the average temperature here is around 26 ° C. Compared to the east coast, it also rains significantly less in the rainy season from November to April. The slipstream through the mountains ensures that there is significantly less rainfall here. The southwest coast is considered to be semi-arid with very little rainfall and rather barren vegetation.
The central highlands have a warm, temperate climate. The temperatures here also rise less in summer and can drop to as much as 5 ° C at night. This also applies to the capital Antananarivo, which has pleasant daytime temperatures of 20 to 25 degrees during the dry season. Due to the high altitude, it never gets too hot here, the warmest month of November has an average of 25.8 ° C during the day.
When to go to Madagascar?
The best time to travel to Madagascar are the dry months of April to November. The weather is consistently warm and pleasantly dry during this time. The coastal regions such as Antsiranana in the north are excellent to travel from May to October. With temperatures of around 30 ° C, there is hardly any precipitation here, and the water temperatures of 25 to 27 ° C are very pleasant and bathing-friendly.
Outside of this time, travel to this region of Madagascar must be prepared with particular care, as cyclones and rainfall can make many traffic routes impassable. If you are planning a round trip and want to discover different corners of Madagascar, the months May to September should be especially recommended prefer. The best time to observe animals is before the new rainy season, the ideal travel month is November!
Optimal travel time for the regions
In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (Madagascar).
|Place||Best travel time|
|Antananarivo||April, May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Antsiranana||April, May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Morondova||all except January, February, March and December|
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Antananarivo (Madagascar)
|Daytime temperature||25 ° C||25 ° C||25 ° C||24 ° C||22 ° C||20 ° C||19 ° C||20 ° C||22 ° C||25 ° C||26 ° C||25 ° C|
|Night temperature||16 ° C||16 ° C||16 ° C||14 ° C||12 ° C||10 ° C||9 ° C||9 ° C||10 ° C||12 ° C||14 ° C||15 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||270||221||207||40||15||11||11||12||14||47||160||296|
|Hours of sunshine||6||7||6||8||7||7||7||8||8||9||8||7|
The annual average temperature in Antananarivo is 18.1 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is January (20.7 ° C), coldest month of July with averages of 14.4 ° C.
The annual precipitation is 1304 mm on 98 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. The months of January, February, March and December are considered the rainy season, as more than 175 mm of precipitation can be expected per month. Overall, about 994 mm of precipitation can be expected in the rainy season. You cannot expect snow in any month in Antananarivo.
As our climate table shows, October is the sunniest month with an average of 8.7 hours of sunshine per day. The average annual sunshine is 7.3 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
Highlights and attractions
The capital Antananarivo has a lot of attractions to offer. Madagascar is known for its lemurs and offers a real highlight with the lemur park in Antananarivo. Isalo is located in the southwest of the island and has an impressive natural area to present with the Isalo National Park. In the northern coastal town of Antsiranana, in the Tsingy Rouge Park, you will find impressive rock formations that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
This station should appear in every Madagascar itinerary. Other highlights of the island are the Avenue of the Baobabs in Morondava and the Mantadia National Park in Andasibe. On the Canal de Pangalanes, keep your eyes peeled for freshwater crocodiles, rare cats like the Fanaloka and Fossa, and the shy finger animal Aye-Aye.
In the rainforests and national parks of Madagascar there is also the chance of encountering nocturnal animals the mouse lemur during night stalking. With the exception of three small cat species, there are no predators in Madagascar, and there are no monkeys in the forests either. Lemurs, the national symbols of Madagascar, exist in different species, they form a sub-order of the primates and do not belong directly to the (actual) monkey species.