Overview – Madagascar

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Insight guide to Madagascar.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.

Philip is the author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.

While many visitors to Madagascar come for the beautiful beaches, the island with its 50 national parks and reserves is nothing short of a top ecotourism destination. If you like an active holiday, Madagascar won’t disappoint as all wildlife viewing is done on foot. For a true adventure, you can even go out at night, looking for animals by flashlight.

Rates (USD) $159 to $948 pp/day
Best Time to Go August to November (Less rainfall)
High Season July, August and December (Many parks get busy)
Size 587,041km² / 226,658mi²

Pros & Cons

  • Idyllic beaches and island life
  • Unique habitats and wildlife
  • Great hiking opportunities
  • Relatively off-the-beaten-track eco destination
  • Lack of facilities and services, and bad roads
  • Limited variety of wildlife
  • You might get a lot of rain

Madagascar Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Madagascar is a diversity hot spot, offering a unique kind of safari. You won’t see the ‘normal’ safari animals here – there are no elephants or lions. Instead, the island is home to over 100 species of lemurs, as well as a wealth of reptiles, amphibians and birds. Most of these animals are endemic to Madagascar. Of particular interest are the chameleons, which vary greatly in color, shape and size.

Weather & Climate

Madagascar has a hot tropical climate, but there are big regional variations. In the highlands of the interior, you’ll experience a cooler and less humid climate. There is a lot of rain throughout the year on the east coast but the south-west is usually hot and dry. There is, however, a Wet (November to April) and Dry (May to October) season throughout the country.

Best Time to Visit

The shoulder months of April, May, October and November are the ideal travel times. The cool, dry months from July to September are very pleasant, but these months are less rewarding for wildlife viewing. January to March is the height of the Wet season, also referred to as cyclone season, and the east coast is particularly vulnerable. July, August and the December holidays are best avoided due to crowds.

Premier Parks & Reserves

Want to Visit Madagascar?

Madagascar Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Madagascar: land of lemurs
4/5

Often referred to as the ‘Eighth Continent’, Madagascar is epic in scale, a unique world that I love for its wildness, vast tracts of wilderness, and wildlife. Separated from Africa for millions of years, its wildlife is found nowhere...

Latest User Review
CarolineG  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Apr 15, 2020
Wonderful Wildlife!
5/5

I thought my trip to Madagascar was amazing. I went for 2 weeks with Natural Habitat Adventures in the Summer of 2013. We saw 21 species of lemurs, an endless number of birds, with many endemics, and lots of chameleons. Our accommodations...

Full Review