Three different migration events involving three different species of herbivorous occur every year in the ecosystem comprised of the Tarangire National Park, the Manyara Lake National Park, the Natron Lake, the Western part of the Kilimanjaro Mount, the Masai Steppes, the Tarangire Conservation Area and some game controlled reserves:
  • The migration of wildebeests and zebras
  • The migration of buffalos, antelopes and gazelles
  • The migration of elephants
The search for water and food are the causes of these migratory movements that make the animals gather along the banks of The Tarangire river, as it is the only reliable source of water in the area during the dry season from June to October.
In this period, in the Tarangire National Park, that is crossed longitudinally from South to North from the homonymous river, there is a high concentration of animals, second only to the Serengeti National Park; it is not unusual to spot huge herds of elephants comprising more than 100 individuals that go down to the river to drink; it is not common, however, to spot large specimens since most of the elephants in the park  came to light after intense poaching in the 1980s.
During the green season, from November to May, however the animals are no longer forced to stay on the banks of the Tarangire River and move in search of new pastures and waterholes away from the river valley.

Animals tend to disperse in the Tarangire ecosystem and migrate outside the park: wildebeests and zebras make their way to North and North-East into the Natron Lake, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Manyara Lake; buffaloes, antelopes and gazelles move Southwards and South-Eastwards into the game controlled area and the Masai steppes; while the majority of elephants move Northwards, Eastwards and Southwards.

The best months to visit the Tarangire National Park are undoubtedly in the dry season, from June to October.