Madagascar Geography and Climate

Madagascar is world famous for its unique flora and fauna, numerous sandy beaches and coral reefs. For more than 2 million years, the island has been isolated from the mainland, so a large number of endemic animals live here, including more than 50 species of lemurs. To protect the natural diversity of Madagascar, national parks and reserves were opened here, which will be of interest to lovers of ecotourism and hiking. Sandy beaches stretch along the entire coast of the island, where you can relax all year round. The main resorts of the country have opportunities for diving, and the islands of Sainte Marie and Nosy Be are among the best divers in the Indian Ocean.

It is best to go to Madagascar from April to December, when the main resorts of the country have comfortable dry weather. Ecotourism lovers should visit nature reserves and national parks from September to November, when the animals are most active and the chance of rain is low.

The official languages of the country are Malagasy and French. Malagasy belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian languages belonging to the Austronesian family. English is widely spoken in major tourist centers.

Geography in Madagascar

According to top-engineering-schools, Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean, 425 km east of southern Africa. It is the fourth largest island in the world (after Greenland, New Guinea and Kalimantan). The area of the country is 581.5 thousand square meters. km, which also includes several nearby small islands. Madagascar is separated from Africa by the Mozambique Channel.

The central part of the island is occupied by a plateau, the average height of which ranges from 1000 to 1600 m. The highest point of the country is located in the north-west of the plateau – this is an extinct volcano Marumukutru (2876 m). On the east and west coasts, the plateau abruptly turns into plains and lowlands.

The main rivers of the country are Betsyboka, Tsiribigya, Mangoki, Onilakhi and Mahayamba. All of them flow into the Mozambique Channel in the west of the country. The largest lake in Madagascar is Lake Alaotra.

Climate in Madagascar

The climate of the northern part of the island is subequatorial, the southern one is humid tropical. The northwest coast of Madagascar is the hottest. Here in the summer (between December and February), daytime air temperatures can reach 35 degrees Celsius, nighttime temperatures – 25 degrees Celsius. In winter (between June and July) in the northwest, about +32 degrees are observed during the day, and about +23 degrees at night. As you move south, away from the equator, the temperature drops. So in the south-east of the country in the summer, daytime temperatures rise to 30 degrees Celsius, and nighttime temperatures are about +22 degrees. In winter, during the daytime, about 24 degrees of heat is observed here, at night – about +16 degrees.

In the region of the central plateau at altitudes from 1000 to 1600 m, the air temperature in summer in the daytime rises to +26 degrees, at night it drops to +16 degrees, in winter it is about 20 degrees of heat during the daytime, and about 10 degrees of heat at night. In the more elevated areas of the plateau, frosts often occur in winter.

In Madagascar, from 400 to 3600 mm of precipitation falls annually. Their greatest number is noted on the east coast of the island, where humid air masses from the Indian Ocean come throughout the year, and the smallest – in the south-west of the country. The maximum precipitation falls in the summer from December to February, at the same time powerful cyclones with stormy weather often come to the east of the island. In summer, up to 500 mm of precipitation per month can fall in the east of the island, and up to 100 mm in the west. In winter, these figures are respectively 100 mm and 10 mm.

Best time to visit:
It is best to go to Madagascar from April to December, when the main resorts of the country have comfortable dry weather. Ecotourism lovers should visit nature reserves and national parks from September to November, when the animals are most active and the chance of rain is low.

HIKING

In Madagascar, hiking in the reserves and parks of the country is very popular. There are many routes of various difficulty levels created here. In the Andringitra National Park in the east of Madagascar, the second and third highest peaks of the island are located, to which hiking trails lead through the forests. Ambergris National Park has a network of trails with a total length of 20 km. Isalu National Park, with its erosional landforms, is often compared to the Grand Canyon. The central plateau of the island is interesting with long mountain ranges and vast areas of flattened plateaus, wide valleys and an abundance of lakes.

EXCURSIONS

African, Asian and European cultures are mixed in the cities of Madagascar. Here you can see buildings made in the French style, colorful bustling markets and craft centers. The landscapes, flora and fauna of Madagascar are no less interesting, so tourists are offered numerous excursions to the protected areas of the island.

Madagascar Geography