Madagascar is a large island in the Indian Ocean, and has a tropical climate, rainy along the east coast, arid in the south-west and temperate in the mountains. In inland areas, mountain ranges mitigate the climate, while the rains vary depending on slope exposure. Being in the Southern Hemisphere, the country has reversed seasons compared with Europe or North America.

The whole country has a rainy season from November to March, though it produces little effects in the southwest, which therefore is arid, and in most of the country there is a dry season from April to October (or from May to September in the north), except on the east coast where it rains all year round. As is typical of the Tropics, the rains usually occur in the form of thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon, so there's no shortage of sunshine even in the wettest months, at least in the morning hours.

The best time to visit the entire Madagascar, to make excursions and to visit the various flora and fauna attractions, corresponds to the months of September and October: in this way you can avoid the heat, but also the rains and the possible cyclones of the austral summer, but also the night cold, which at high altitudes is more intense in winter, from June to August. However, the period from June to August can also be good, although it's very rainy on the east coast, and as we said it can be cold in mountain areas.

For a beach holiday, the west coast is preferable to the east coast, being sunnier and less rainy. Anyway, on the west coast you can go from mid-May to October, in the east coast in September and October. As regards the west coast, you can distinguish between the northern part, the one facing north-west, which is warm throughout the year (see Nosy-Be, Antsiranana), and the central-southern part, which in winter can sometimes be reached by cool air masses from the south and can experience cold nights (see Toliara): therefore, in the latter it's preferable to go in September and October, but if you intend to go in July or August, to avoid surprises you can choose the northernmost area. In Nosy-Be you can go from mid-May to October, although in October a little atmospheric instability begins to occur, with the first afternoon thunderstorms.

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