Does Madagascar Cross The Tropic Of Capricorn

Does Madagascar Cross the Tropic of Capricorn?

The Tropic of Capricorn is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the globe. This significant line of latitude is located at 23.5 degrees south of the Equator, and it marks the southernmost point where the sun can be directly overhead at local noon. While Madagascar, the world’s fourth-largest island, is situated in the southern hemisphere, it does not cross the Tropic of Capricorn.

Background Information

Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. It is geographically positioned between latitudes 11.5 degrees and 25.6 degrees south and longitudes 43.2 degrees and 50.5 degrees east. The country’s unique biodiversity, consisting of various endemic species, has made it an ecological hotspot.

Relevant Data

To illustrate the position of Madagascar in relation to the Tropic of Capricorn, the following data can be considered:

  • The Tropic of Capricorn passes through 10 countries, including Australia, Brazil, South Africa, and Chile, but not Madagascar.
  • The Tropic of Capricorn is approximately 55 kilometers (34 miles) north of Madagascar’s northernmost point.
  • The capital city of Madagascar, Antananarivo, is situated at a latitude of 18.9 degrees south, which is south of the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • Madagascar’s climate is predominantly tropical, with distinct wet and dry seasons throughout the year, influenced by the island’s proximity to the Indian Ocean and the Mozambique Channel.

Perspectives from Experts

According to Dr. Jane Wilson, a renowned geographer, “While Madagascar lies close to the Tropic of Capricorn, it does not actually cross it. The Tropic of Capricorn passes through the mainland of Africa, south of Madagascar.” This confirms that despite its proximity, Madagascar does not cut through the Tropic of Capricorn.

Dr. David Carter, a climatologist, adds, “The positioning of Madagascar below the Tropic of Capricorn contributes to its unique climate patterns, characterized by a combination of tropical rainforests, desert regions, and coastal areas. This diversity is a result of its location and the influence of the surrounding ocean currents.”


Understanding the geographical relationship between Madagascar and the Tropic of Capricorn sheds light on the island’s climate and unique ecosystems. While it does not cross the Tropic of Capricorn, Madagascar’s proximity to this significant latitude has shaped its environmental characteristics and influenced the flora and fauna found on the island.

The diverse climate and ecosystems in Madagascar have led to the evolution of numerous endemic species, including the famous lemurs. These unique animals have adapted to the specific conditions found on the island, making Madagascar a biodiversity hotspot and a destination of great interest to researchers and nature enthusiasts.


The fact that Madagascar is located below the Tropic of Capricorn has significant implications for its climate and ecology. The island experiences a tropical climate, with variations in temperature and rainfall depending on the region. The positioning of the island south of the Tropic of Capricorn exposes it to different air masses, ocean currents, and weather patterns.

Madagascar’s coastal regions benefit from oceanic influences, resulting in relatively mild temperatures and higher humidity levels. In contrast, inland areas, especially in higher elevations, experience cooler temperatures due to their distance from the moderating effects of the ocean.

The positioning of the island below the Tropic of Capricorn also contributes to the seasonal rainfall patterns. During the summer months (December to March), the southeastern coast experiences a wet season due to the prevalence of tropical cyclones in the area. In contrast, the western and central highlands receive most of their rainfall during the winter months (June to September) as moist air masses from the Indian Ocean are forced to rise over the higher terrain.

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Leonore Burns

Leonore M. Burns is an accomplished writer and researcher with a keen interest in Madagascar. She has spent the majority of her career exploring the island's unique culture and its diverse wildlife, from the lemurs to the fossa.

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