Overview – 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.
Pros & Cons
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.
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Anthony is a photographer and writer for travel magazines and Lonely Planet, including the guides to Kenya and Botswana & Namibia.
Madagascar: land of lemurs
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...
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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...