The Indian Ocean offers a year-round playground of white sand beaches, sunshine and warm waters so all you need to do is pick the season and location best for you.
Close to the equator, temperatures rarely fall below 20ºC and seasons tend to be divided into wet and dry with a wet season in which warm tropical rain usually clears to blue skies in a matter of hours.
Choosing the perfect destination and time of year to travel to the Indian Ocean can depend on what you’re looking for from your holiday. Keen divers may want to follow key migration seasons, windsurfers are looking for sea breezes while sunbathers want nothing more than to follow the warm sun.
October-April: summer in Mauritius, 26ºC to 32ºC
- This is the island’s wettest season but rainfall rarely lasts long and tends to be local, the microclimate on the island means the weather can differ within a few kilometres.
- The warm waters of the Mauritian summer bring with them a vast array of marine life so this is a great time of year for divers, snorkelers and those interested in big game fishing.
May-October: winter in Mauritius, 20ºC to 26ºC.
- These cooler, drier months are perfect for excursions, sports, hiking and taking in the sights of this beautiful island.
Year-round temperatures approx. 24ºC-32ºC
October-April: Northwest Trade Winds bring warm weather but with it an increased risk of rainfall, although these usually occur in the form of short, sharp showers.
May-September: Southeast Trade Winds bring cooler, drier temperatures but the wind tends to be stronger creating larger waves making this the perfect time of year for surfing, windsurfing and sailing. Those looking for calmer waters at this time of year need to look for one of the many sheltered beaches on each of the islands.
April/May and October/November: the months in which one trade wind gives way to another offering calm bright dry days with no wind, creating the perfect conditions for scuba diving and big game fishing.
Average temperatures 27ºC to 30ºC
December-March: North-eastern Monsoon. The nation’s driest season with plenty of warm sunshine. It is also a great time to get out on the water to try some water sports. Divers and snorkelers will also marvel at the migration of the Manta Rays through our waters at this time of year.
May-November: South-western Monsoon. Brings slightly more unsettled weather with a stronger wind making this the ideal time for sailing, surfing and windsurfing. There is still plenty of marine activity to enthral snorkelers and divers at this time of year including the migration of the beautiful whale shark.
April: when one monsoon gives way to another is a dry, calm month making it the ideal time to enjoy clear waters and uninterrupted sunbathing.
November-April: warm, wet season
May-October: cooler, drier season
Within these general seasons there is a lot of local variation in Madagascar depending on elevation and which side of the island you are on (the west coast is dryer as it is most protected from the trade winds) and the driest of all is the extreme south.
Because there is so much to see in Madagascar many people choose to visit from May to October as this is the perfect time to explore nature trails, take hikes through the national parks and explore its unique wildlife.
September to December: warm and dry
The highest visibility for divers is from October to December and April to May, although many divers and nature lovers prefer to time their visits to coincide with the sperm whales’ arrival in July and August.
- Check out our website for the best in 5* luxury in the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar, or to make a booking
- For more inspiration see our guide: 11 things you didn’t know about the Indian Ocean
- Take a glimpse at some of the most inviting beaches of the Indian Ocean.