Madagascar in May

May marks the start of a stable and dry southern winter. There’s no rain at all on the west coast from May until November and average daytime temperatures rarely stray outside 20°C (68°F) to 25°C (77°F). Many wetlands, marshes and deltas are still swollen from the rains, but access gets much as the month progresses and conditions are generally pleasant and sunny in the highlands, despite the occasional chilly morning.

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While some of Madagascar’s wetlands are still inaccessible in May, fly-in safaris to lodges around Morondava and Mahajanga are now possible, where you’ll find a great mix of quiet beaches and beautiful deciduous forest. It’s a wonderful time to spot small mammals and curious reptiles, including chameleons, giant jumping rats, tenrecs and dwarf lemurs, before they go into hiding for the winter. Madagascar’s interior is green and lush and views from the highlands are spectacular. The peach blossom valleys and lavender scented hillsides around Fianarantsoa are especially pretty.

Practical information

  • Cooler temperatures and clear skies make Madagascar’s northern and eastern beaches especially comfortable during May. May is still considered the ‘shoulder season’ and you can expect lower prices from hotels and operators attempting to attract pre-season visitors. On Nosy Be, the weeklong Donia Festival in Hell-Ville is usually at the end of the month, although sometimes it shifts to the first week in June. The festival features live music, a carnival, dance performers, and even a beauty pageant. In Antsiranana, look out for the weeklong Zegny’Zo Arts Festival with its parades and circus acts, street painting and puppetry.
  • Some inland regions are still inaccessible in May, and you’ll be just too early for the start of the whale watching season which begins in early June.

Our Recommended Itinerary

North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 1

  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 2

Encounter the beautiful three bays of Diego Suarez
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 3

Diego Suarez To Joffreville
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 4 to 5

Ankarana via Red Tsingy Special Reserve
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 6 to 7

Days of Leisure in Nosy Be
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 8

  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)
  • North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

day 9

End of Journey

View Full Itinerary

Popular Madagascar Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Tropical East Madagascar Tour (11 days)

Tropical East Madagascar Tour (11 days)

With its spectacular rainforests, beaches and waterways, this former pirate hideout offers a relaxed ambiance and more than enough activities to keep guests occupied...

 | North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

North Madagascar Diego Suarez and Nosy Be Beach Tour (10 days)

Two of Madagascar's most popular destinations are yours to explore in this relaxed beach-based itinerary...

 | Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)

Western Madagascar Adventure (10 days)

One of the absolute highlights of this trip is a visit to the famous Baobab Avenue where you can watch a breathtaking sunset....

 | The Wild South Madagascar Tour (11 days)

The Wild South Madagascar Tour (11 days)

Take a Madagascar island adventure holiday and be one of the few to explore this mystical place...



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