Madagascar has the perfect travel time for everyone, but it is not the same time of year for everyone. Because it all depends on what you want to see!
If you want to see Madagascar’s mascot, the lemurs, you should come to Madagascar at the end of the dry season. The best time to observe lemurs is September and October. At this time the lemur babies climb on their mothers’ backs and undertake their first forays on their own. Thus one can observe young animals and family ties fantastically. November is the mating season of the Fossa, Madagascar’s largest predator, and the mating season for most birds – if you want to see this spectacle live, you have to wait for the rainy season to begin. Most orchids also bloom in November or February – but if you want to see special species, you should check when and where they bloom.
December and January are cyclone seasons in Madagascar, but the north and east coast are particularly affected. Around the holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve many Madagascans also go on holiday, so hotels may become very full.
Reptile lovers should definitely wait for the rainy season to visit Madagascar. Lizards, snakes and turtles are most active during the rainy season. The chameleons show their brightest colors at this time, and many reptiles lay their eggs and are therefore not only in the treetops and well hidden. Skillful is who chooses the end of the rainy season around March and April: Mostly there are already many dry days, but the reptiles are still active enough to observe them.
If you prefer to get to know Madagascar’s culture and history instead of untouched nature, the dry season from May to September is the best option. At this time you can also visit more remote destinations such as the Tsingy de Bemaraha, which are sometimes cut off from the environment during the rainy season. During the dry season, however, the roads are passable.
Humpback whales are only found off the coasts of Madagascar at the end of July, August and September to give birth to their young. They run so close to the beaches that you can watch some of them from the shore. But beware: July and August are absolutely high season in Madagascar. During this time it can be difficult to get hotels and sleeping accommodations on site. A high season stay in Madagascar should therefore be booked well in advance.
In short, find out when what you want to see is best to find. Or simply ask an experienced tour operator.