March in Africa is an interesting 'in-between' month: not quite summer, not quite autumn, and still a long way from winter. It's a bit like Wednesday – not as relaxing as Friday but far enough from Monday! It's also strategically placed between Christmas and Easter, making it an ideal off-season month to travel.
Some destinations really come into their own: big cats are still stalking the Serengeti’s wildebeest herds, turtles are nesting on Indian Ocean islands by moonlight, and the weather is mild – in fact, Africa in March is as wild and beautiful as it is crowd-free.
But where are the best places to visit in Africa in March? Well, we’ve been planning trips to Africa for thousands of travellers since 1998 – here are our best picks for where to travel in March…
By March, the grazing is generally down to stubble across the southern Serengeti, and the vast wildebeest herds must begin their journey west and north in search of new pastures. Accompanied by thousands of month-old calves, wildebeest raise great columns of dust as they move stoically across the land. Stragglers that fall behind soon fall prey to watchful lions, cheetahs and spotted hyenas.
This is a great time to experience the Wildebeest Migration, and you'll still have your pick of accommodation. March is considered low season in Tanzania, which means crowd-free game viewing and pocket-friendly costs.
It's also a great time to combine the Serengeti with the legendary Ngorongoro Crater, as it’s one of the quietest months for this Big 5 hotspot. If you’re looking for the perfect blend of two safari destinations that deliver unbeatable wildlife experiences, then the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are where to travel in March. Plus, you can crown your safari with some R&R on the tropical island of Zanzibar – the days are sunny and hot, and visibility in the water is perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Thanks to its abundant resident wildlife and temperate climate, the Masai Mara is widely regarded as a fantastic year-round safari destination. But if you want to experience a flagship Kenya reserve without the safari crowds, then the Masai Mara is where to travel in March.
Although the Wildebeest Migration’s mega-herds are only expected from about August, the Masai Mara’s wide-open plains provide a sanctuary for an abundance of resident animals like elephant, buffalo, giraffe, and the Mara’s famous big cats: lion, leopard and cheetah. Cheetahs are particularly well adapted to the Mara’s flat plains, which makes it one of the best places to watch the world’s fastest land mammal chase down its prey.
Another highlight of any Masai Mara safari is watching the sunrise unfurl across the boundless plains from a hot-air balloon. And cultural tourists will revel in the opportunity to visit local villages for a fascinating glimpse of traditional Maasai culture, lifestyle and traditions.
A visit to the Masai Mara is also very easy to combine with other prime Kenya safari destinations like Amboseli (to see East Africa's biggest elephant herds) and the hidden gem of Samburu (for cultural interactions with the Samburu people in a breath-taking landscape).
The Quirimbas Archipelago is an elixir for body, mind and soul. Made up of 27 coral islands strung along Mozambique's northern coast, this idyllic archipelago has miles of pristine private beaches with forested interiors that are home to monkeys, birds and crabs with pincers so powerful they can break open coconuts. It’s the perfect place to flop into a hammock when you're done with the superb snorkelling and scuba diving, and March has a trump card up its sleeve: it is the best time to see turtles nesting!
Our favourite islands in the Quirimbas Archipelago:
- Medjumbe Island – only 800m in length, this tiny castaway island is the perfect romantic retreat.
- Quilalea Island – part of a marine protected area, this tropical paradise is completely uninhabited and boasts an incredible abundance of sea life.
- Ibo Island – dating back to the early 1600s, this forested island has a fascinating history of slaves, pirates and trading.
Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago is really one of the best places to visit in March if you’re looking to add a beach or island holiday to your safari. You can fly direct to the archipelago's mainland airport from South Africa, Tanzania or Kenya.
4. South Africa
Kruger National Park
In terms of temperatures, March is 'Goldilocks Season' in the Kruger National Park: it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold, it's just right! Summer’s afternoon thundershowers are on the wane and the early morning chill of winter is months away. The Kruger is one of the best places to visit in March. The region is lush and green, full of colourful birds and contented animals. We recommend heading straight for the iconic Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Hugging Kruger’s unfenced western border, the private Sabi Sand is home to exceptional wildlife and superb luxury lodges. Exclusivity is the byword here, and you’ll have access to activities that are not permitted in parks and reserves – off-road game viewing and guided nature walks enrich the feast of morning and afternoon game drives, delivering a more interesting and diverse experience.
Why is South Africa in March such a fantastic holiday option? Well, you can easily combine your Kruger safari with a few days in the gorgeous Cape Town – and every local will tell you that Cape Town has the best weather in March!
Cape Town is truly one of those 'have-it-all' cities. Residents are surrounded by beautiful mountains and beaches, historical landmarks, and the bottle-green valleys of the Cape Winelands. All bathed in over 3 000 hours of sunshine a year – compared to London’s 1 500, or New York City’s 2 500. If you’re looking for buzzing beaches, a vibrant nightlife and world-class cuisine, Cape Town is where to travel in March.
Sleek horses nodding contentedly under oak trees, winding country lanes and the pleasant hum of bees – England in high summer? No, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in South Africa in March.
Home to historic battlefields, game reserves and a long, sun-drenched coastline, KwaZulu-Natal is South Africa’s most diverse province with a charming heart called the Midlands. Grand country houses and spa resorts are tucked away in the green folds of its rolling hills alongside some of the country’s finest cuisine, and all these charms set against the backdrop of the Drakensberg Mountains.
It’s an ideal place to explore from the back of a horse or with a pack on your back. There’s golf and fly-fishing, hot-air ballooning and bird watching, too. Go in March for warm, pleasant weather without the humidity and blanketing cloud cover of a KwaZulu-Natal summer. If you want to super-size the experience, then simply add on a safari in one of the KwaZulu-Natal game reserves, or build in a tour of the historic Battlefields region.
5. Victoria Falls
Like almost everything else in Africa, the spectacle at Victoria Falls is entirely dependent on rainfall. Between February and July, the mighty Zambezi River is in full flood and the Falls are at its most thunderous – usually peaking between March and April.
Dazzling clouds of mist can float more than 1 300 feet (396 metres) above the waterfall, and you can hear the mighty roar of 'The Smoke That Thunders' from 25 miles (40 kilometres) away! Victoria Falls is where to travel in March if you want to enjoy the most spectacular views of the world’s biggest waterfall is full flow.
If you’re looking to stay within easy walking distance of Victoria Falls, then the Zimbabwe side of the waterfall is a good option. There are lovely hotels and comfortable lodges to choose from. If you’re looking for a more tranquil riverside retreat, then consider one of the luxurious lodges further upstream on the Zambia side.
Ready to Plan Your Visit to Africa in March?
Get in touch with our team of Africa Safari Experts to help tailor-make a trip that’s right for you: