Adverse environmental stimuli (stressors) activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and contribute to allostatic load. This study investigates the contribution of environmental stressors and life history stage to allostatic load in a migratory population of plains zebras (Equus quagga) in the Serengeti ecosystem, in Tanzania, which experiences large local variations in aggregation. We expected higher fGCM response to the environmental stressors of feeding competition, predation pressure and unpredictable social relationships in larger than in smaller aggregations, and in animals at energetically costly life history stages. As the study was conducted during the 2016 El Niño, we did not expect food quality of forage or a lack of water to strongly affect fGCM responses in the dry season. We measured fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) concentrations using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) targeting 11β-hydroxyetiocholanolone and validated its reliability in captive plains zebras. Our results revealed significantly higher fGCM concentrations 1) in large aggregations than in smaller groupings, and 2) in band stallions than in bachelor males. Concentrations of fGCM were not significantly higher in females at the energetically costly life stage of late pregnancy/lactation. The higher allostatic load of stallions associated with females, than bachelor males is likely caused by social stressors. In conclusion, migratory zebras have elevated allostatic loads in large aggregations that probably result from their combined responses to increased feeding competition, predation pressure and various social stressors. Further research is required to disentangle the contribution of these stressors to allostatic load in migratory populations.