A Guide to the Serengeti Great Migration in March

By Julian 05 June 2017

Tanzania's Serengeti Great Migration; a guide to March

The Serengeti is the ‘mother’ of all safari parks and the Great Migration one of the planets most impressive wildlife events; this is a park that epitomises the very essence of safari. Home to the largest herds on earth and with Africa’s Big Five on show, the Serengeti is one of those rare places that exceeds your expectations.

The 1.5 million strong 'Wildebeest Great Migration' is the parks major attraction and the majority of trips to the Serengeti should be designed around it. In this 12-part month by month blog series, I look at each month’s movements of the herds and all the other wildlife caught up in the action. I will also link you to my suggestions for the best places to stay throughout the year, to make sure you’re in the thick of the herds whenever you travel. And there are a few suggestions for how you might like to combine your Great Migration trip with other areas. Intrigued? Read on…

A Guide to the Serengeti Migration in March

The busy calving months of January and February are over, however the southern Serengeti and northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) are still the place to be and some years calving can continue well into March. The onset of Tanzania’s heavy rains often starts in March, focusing the herds on the southern plains due to the fertility of the volcanic soil and nutrient rich grasses. Localised rainfall can spread the herds from the central Seronera River Valley to the Maswa Game Reserve to the western border of the park and Salei/Gol in the East, but the main ‘mega-herds’ tend to focus the month from Kusini and the Moru Kopjes (just south of the centre of the park) down to Lake Ndutu and the short grass plains of the NCA.

Summary – A fantastic time to see the herds at the end of calving season. Great rates outside the February peak season and epic game viewing combine with a very quiet Serengeti in terms of other travellers. A clever time to visit in my opinion.

 VIDEO OVERVIEW - Below is a 60 second video overview of the movement of the Great Migration in March.

WHERE TO STAY? Follow this link to a blog and video on where best to stay for the herds in March.

WHAT IS THE BEST SAFARI IN MARCH? Beneath the video below is more information on the parks I would combine with the Serengeti in March, and also my suggestion for the best safaris.

What parks are best to combine with the Serengeti in March?

  • The Ngorongoro Crater is virtually impossible to turn down. This spectacular game-drive area may be busy, but how often are you going to have the opportunity to drive on the floor of an extinct volcano… and with one of the highest densities of animals anywhere all around you?! The setting is nothing short of exceptional.
  • The Serengeti is vast. In March I’ve always believed the best trips involve two locations in the park so you either a) maximise your chance of seeing the ‘mega’ herds or b) explore a part of the park that you will basically have all to yourself!
  • Nearby Lake Manyara is always a nice ‘soft’ introduction to the region. Famous for its tree climbing lions it is a busy park in terms of tourists and for that reason, is a location that splits opinion amongst guides.
  • Only a few people visit Tarangire in March, preferring to wait until the herds arrive later in the year. It is an interesting addition to avoid the crowds, and the place to go if you are prepared to work for your sightings.
  • My secret spot in the north is Lake Natron, for the quality of walking, the sheer beauty of the scenery, and the fact you are off the tourist track – I think it’s well worth a visit. You have to want to be adventurous, though!
  • And finally, the beaches of the Zanzibar Archipelago or Tanzania's mainland coast…or further afield to the Seychelles or Mauritius? The beach options are endless, and picture perfect.

The best Serengeti safaris in March

I’ve always believed the best trips in March start with the Ngorongoro region (potentially with Lake Manyara) before heading into the Serengeti for a stay with the herds in the southern plains of the park. I’d then suggest splitting your location in the park and including another location in the far north or splitting your time across another part of the southern Serengeti. Lamai Serengeti’s reduced rates are very attractive in the far north. At this time of year, the Serengeti is wild, remote, and with very few tourists, so you can enjoy amazing lodges at reduced rates and a special part of the park all to yourself! Personally I’d always include Lake Natron for a couple of nights of adventure!

Alternatively Singita in the western Serengeti offers a similar experience to the north. Combining somewhere like Singita’s Faru Faru with the Ngorongoro and Serengeti mobiles is as good as safari gets.

Are you looking to arrange a safari?

If so, then we would love to help you design it! With all the information on the net today we quite often find clients somewhat confused and flooded with information. The best thing you can do is to speak to someone in the YZ office about your plans. We have three members of staff who have worked in the Serengeti and can talk you through the best options for you, at the right time of year.

Wies ([email protected], pronounced Veece!) is a professional safari guide and camp manager, while Lauren ([email protected]) worked for Legendary Expeditions and Mwiba. They know the Serengeti backwards… and they love to chat about it!

Please feel free to get in touch with either them or myself on [email protected].