Personally I always prefer autumn and spring, to visit just about anywhere in the world... Madagascar is lovely in April May, or October November. Weather patterns these days are a total mess and pretty unpredictable, but there are higher chances of rain the longer you leave it into the summer. Although it can rain all year round, from December to April is cyclone season so you have the risk of rains. February March you are pretty much guaranteed rain. about 6 years ago
September to December is good for bird watching. October/November is baby lemur season. It's also the most pleasant time of year for weather, after the winter but before cyclone season in February/March.
Here's a few other tipos on Madagascar: http://journals.worldnomads.com/safetyhub/country/127/Madagascar
It's had some political upheaval recently, but seems to be stabilising. Crime is lower than many other African nations, but of course petty crime's always a problem in crowded environments (and because much of the island is lush wilderness that's not everywhere, just mostly the capital). You're advised not to drive rural roads at night because bandits sometimes set up roadblocks. Also be wary if walking a beach alone after dark.
If you're going off the beaten path (which I know you love Original Nomad) it's suggested you take a guide to the southern provinces of Toliara and Fianarantosa which are considered crime hot spots by some.
Also in rural areas, the unique religious and cultural mix means there are local 'taboos' known as FADY. They vary from place to place, so try to get some local knowledge beforehand... probably why the local tourism authorities say hiring a guide is a great idea.
Phil about 6 years ago