The climate is tropical along the coast, temperate inland, and arid in the south. The weather is dominated by the southeastern trade winds that originate in the Indian Ocean anticyclone, a center of high atmospheric pressure that seasonally changes its position over the ocean. Madagascar has two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April; and a cooler, dry season from May to October. There is, however, great variation in climate owing to elevation and position relative to dominant winds. The east coast has a subequatorial climate and, being most directly exposed to the trade winds, has the heaviest rainfall, averaging as much as 3,500 mm 137.8 in annually. This region is notorious not only for a hot, humid climate in which tropical fevers are endemic but also for the destructive cyclones that occur during the rainy season, coming in principally from the direction of the Mascarene Islands. Because rain clouds discharge much of their moisture east of the highest elevations on the island, the central highlands are appreciably drier and, owing to the altitude, also cooler. Thunderstorms are common during the rainy season in the central highlands, and lightning is a serious hazard.

Antananarivo receives practically all of its average annual 1,400 mm 55.1 in of rainfall between November and April. The dry season is pleasant and sunny, although somewhat chilly, especially in the mornings. Although frosts are rare in Antananarivo, they are common at higher elevations.


Madagascar's long isolation from the neighboring continents has resulted in a unique mix of plants and animals, many found nowhere else in the world. This has led some ecologists refer to Madagascar as the "eighth continent". Of the 10,000 plants native to Madagascar, 90% are found nowhere else in the world. Madagascar's varied fauna and flora are endangered by human activity, as a third of its native vegetation has disappeared since the 1970s and since the arrival of humans 2,000 years ago, Madagascar has lost more than 90% of its original forest. Most lemurs are listed as endangered or threatened species.

The eastern, or windward side of the island is home to tropical rainforests, while the western and southern sides, which lie in the rain shadow of the central highlands, are home to tropical dry forests, thorn forests, and deserts and xeric shrublands. Madagascar's dry deciduous rain forest has been preserved generally better than the eastern rainforests or the high central plateau, presumably due to historically low population densities.


While Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean, it was originally settled by people of Indonesian and African descent, which you can clearly see when you look at the inhabitants. Others have suggested that the people of Madagascar descended from Indonesians and Africans who mixed before their arrival on the isolated island, but studies prove people of Madagascar came from Borneo and Africa. It is not fully known how the inhabitants came there or if they were there already.

Only later did Arabs, Indians, and Chinese immigrants mix into the population of the island. The Malagasy way of thinking is a mixture of cultures, as well as their appearance and fashion style. It is a melting pot. Madagascar is part of the African Union, which is now being reconsidered due to the recent 2009 political turmoil.That said, it is essential to the people of Madagascar that tourism continues to thrive. And there is no reason why it should not. There is no violence related to the political crisis and certainly nothing a tourist needs to concern themselves with.