One of the last remnant of the great continental drift, Madagascar (then called Gondwana) has mysterious origins. It is sometimes said that the island has divine origins : its surface of 592 000 km2 is not unlike a left foot, as if it were the last imprint of a facetious giant…
There are 5 climatic zones, which follow the physical geography of the island by differentiating the mild Highlands, the hot and dry western regions, the rainy and the eastern coastal regions under the influence of trade winds, the hot and wet North, and the semi-arid South. Rainfalls are decreasing progressively from the North-East (over 300 m) to the South-West (less than 400 m) with several variants between these two extremes. The dry season or the southern winter is from April to October, and summer is from November to March.
If, at sea level, temperatures range from 27°C to 32°C in summer and 22°C in winter, on the Highlands, they may go down to 4°C or even less in winter nights.
The Malagasy climate is tropical in warm all year in general. Its 2 principal seasons are the opposite of the seasons in Northern Hemisphere, the southern winter is from May to October and the southern summer is from November to April.
September and Octobre are both the months with less rain. Except some rare cyclonic depressions (January to March), the rains are especially at night and the sun appears frequently.
In the centre of the island, with a high relief, there is a rainy season (November to March), where the weather is usually fairly warm. The big rains are from November and it is very violent in March but for a short period. The sun is shining during the day and the rain starts at the end of the afternoon. The south winter is sometimes rigorous. The nights are fresh and the days are usually accompanied by winds.
It is the coast with less rain and more sun. The climate is often dry and the rain in some regions of south is totally non existent. The region of Sambirano, including the isle of Nosy Bé, has a micro climate with night rains. The west coast has at least 330 days of beautiful days a year.
The dry season can last 12 months with some occasional rain.