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Tanzania Bird Watching Safaris

Tanzania is an amazing bird watching destination in the world. Tanzania boasts at least 1,038 recorded bird species, the 3rd biggest in Africa. Eight of the 10 families endemic to mainland Africa are present. Raptors, plovers, parrots, turacos, bee-eaters, barbets, starlings, weavers, pipits and sunbirds are well represented. Led by excellent guides specialised in Bird life, our birding safari will visit some of the most interesting areas in Northern Tanzania focusing into different habitats and ecosystems.

Our birding safaris are only for keen and enthusiastic birders and naturalists, for people interested in something else than viewing wildlife from the comfort of their vehicle. Apart from the usual game drives in the traditional sit-in-car style, we will walk with our binoculars in the Acacia woodlands and plains of Sinya, the Mountain Forests of Arusha National Park and Ngorongoro, the Baobab country in Tarangire, the Rift Valley escarpment and ground water forest at Lake Manyara and the Serengeti Plains in search of the most interesting bird species.

Southern Tanzania is equally rich in interesting bird species. Our south Tanzania bird watching safaris takes you through the magnificent Ruaha and Mikumi National Parks and Selous Game Reserve. Most Southern Tanzania Safaris ends with time to relax on the deserted white beaches on the coast south of Dar es Salaam providing more relaxed bird watching. Bird life in Ruaha, Mikumi and Selous Game Reserves is prolific with around 450 species recorded in each park. Eurasian migrants flock to Ruaha twice a year – March to April and October to November - joining the resident kingfishers, hornbills, sunbirds, egrets, plovers and fish eagles, and in general the best months for birding in south Tanzania are from October-April.

In contrast to popular safaris which are oriented towards large mammal viewing, our bird watching safaris present a truer picture of the rich biodiversity of Tanzania & East Africa with attention given both to birding and to regular wildlife observation. In a nutshell, Tanzania is country blessed with a particularly rich and varied birdlife - it is a true birding treat!

Tanzania's Most Popular Bird Watching Sites
Northern Parks are home to many bird species including many Tanzanian specialties (grey-breasted spur fowl, Fischer's lovebird, Rufous-tailed weaver, ashy starling and yellow-collared lovebird) more than 40 raptors including vultures, eagles, harriers, hawks, falcons and kites. turacos, starlings, barbets, woodpeckers, sunbirds, honey guides, larks and many more. Tanzania Bird Watching Safaris

Southern Parks like Mikumi, Ruaha and Selous are where we look for miombo woodland specialties such as pale-billed and trumpeter hornbills, Reichenow's woodpecker, Dickinson's kestrel, violet-crested turaco, brown-necked parrot, pale batis, miombo rock-thrush, orange-winged pytilia, and broad-tailed paradise-whydah. These are also good general birding sites with an abundant avifauna of storks, herons, raptors, bee eaters, weavers and more. When in the south we sometimes bird the vast kibasira swamp, where 3 new bird species were discovered in the last 10 years. We stand a very good chance of seeing both the two distinctive cisticolas which are as yet undescribed and the Kilombero weaver.

Eastern Arc Mountains, long isolated from other highland blocks, the flora and fauna of these mountains have evolved into a significant number of endemic and near-endemic species. Birding in the Uluguru, Usambara and Udzungwa Mountains we look for fuelleborn's boubou, white-chested alethe, Usambara akalat, African tailorbird, Chapin's apalis, Mrs. Moreau's warbler, spot-throat, loveridge's, banded, and Uluguru violet-backed sunbirds, and Usambara weaver. Other species, which are harder to see but also occur are : dapple-throat, long-billed tailorbird and Udzungwa Forest partridge.

Western Tanzania Birding Destinations include Rubondo Island, Mahale Mountains and Gombe Stream National Parks. These are remote destinations and are hard and expensive to get to but the rewards for those who make it are great. These are beautiful forest parks, they are world renown for their populations of chimpanzees but also for other forest & lake inhabitants like Sitatunga, spotted necked otters, red tailed monkeys and red and black & white Colobus.

The Bird species common in Western Tanzania include giant kingfisher, blue breasted kingfisher, crowned eagle, African broadbill, Ross's turacos, Livingstone's turacos, trumpeter hornbill, palm nut vulture, green pigeon, emerald cuckoo, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, yellow-whiskered Greenbul, crested guinea fowl, redwing starlings, violet-backed starlings, golden rumped tinker-bird, double-toothed barbet, red-chested cuckoo, red-capped robin-chat, Peter's twin spot only to name a few. Rubondo Island is also famous for having the world's largest population of African fish eagles.

The Usambara Mountains are very special mountains, often that tired cliché is used comparing them to Switzerland. These mountains are defiantly African mountains, not European but African. Baron Von Saint discovered the African violet – the world’s favourite flower here in the Usambara’s in 1892, you will find them here in every shade of red, blue and pink. In Usambara Mountains, you will find the Amani Game Reserve. This Game Reserve is made up of lush cool forest and teaming with rare birds. Thirteen species of birds are registered on the list of threatened species. The rare Tailorbird (Orthotomus moreaui), Amani Sunbird (Anthreptes pallidigaster), Hyliota usambarensis, Dricrurus adsimilis and Terpsipone viridis are just a few of the long list of birds that are spotted regularly in this area.

Tanzania has its many endemic birds, but due to conducive environment, has a very reliable source of food and breeding sites, that is why it also attracts birds from other continents. These birds stay for a certain period and go back to their original area, phenomenon occurs yearly. These kinds of birds are famously called Migratory Birds.

Popular Tanzania Birds - Top Attractions
Hoopoe is a beautiful bird, commonly feeds on the ground. usually seen in small noisy flocks. Common in the northern Tanzania National parks and game reserve: Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire & Manyara. Other birds: Fischer's lovebird, grey-rumped spur fowl and babbler-like rufous-tailed weaver. This bird tops birders list for any visit to Tanzania Tanzania Bird Watching Safaris

Parrots are forest dwelling birds. Although they have been documented in the mountain forest of Kilimanjaro and Meru, they are all over eastern arc mountains, especially Usambara and Udzungwa Mountains. Western forests, such as Mahale Mountain Forest National Park as well as Serengeti Fish eagles are usually seen on the trees near the water bodies. Skilled at fish catching. Excellent place to see them: Rubondo Island National Park Rufiji River and Ruaha National Parks. The river banks offer spectacular view of birds.

Crowned-Crane a graceful, long legged bird, it looks like a stork and heron.. Cranes are grassland dwelling birds. They are widely distributed in swamps, lake shores and grassland, commonly seen in pairs, small parties and flocks. Ngorongoro Crater harbour so many Carnes Ostrich: The largest bird in the world. It is the most well-known bird, Ostrich is flightless. Mostly found in the northern plain, that is Tarangire National Park and Serengeti, and Ruaha National Park in the south .however, they do no reside in Mikumi National park or Selous Game Reserve.

Bee-Eaters: This specie is very colorful and nice to watch, usually perched on fences and trees. They feed on bees and wasps. There are about 4 types of bee-eaters commonly seen in Tanzania, they differentiate themselves by colors and size. commonly found in Lake Manyara, Highland forests, Usambara, Coastal areas and Southern Tanzania.

Secretary Birds: Unusual looking bird of prey found on the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, & Tarangire and Ruaha National park. It has a quill-like feather on its head, and it is so pompous when it stride. Secretary birds rarely fly and do so when absolutely necessary.

Marabou Stork, a scavenger normally seen with other vultures sharing a carcass. It has huge beak and the deep pink pouch swinging on the neck. Commonly see in almost all national parks and game reserves around the country

Other Birds: Vorreaux's eagle owl, crested cranes, hornbill, whydahs, flycatchers, guinea fowl, woodpeckers, weavers, cattle egret and many types of vultures and scavengers are all seen in Tanzania

Please note that on your birding trip, you need birding binoculars, an othinology book for better indentification of Tanzania birds. Click here to DOWNLOAD our Checklist (Adobe PDF Document) for Birds of Tanzania available free of charge.

In addition, our Tanzania birding tours can be booked as a private departure on your most convenient dates or you may join our scheduled departure where you will meet other birders whose approach to birding is similar to yours i.e. observing birds in their natural habitats instead of being in a hectic rush so as to fill a checklist. Our groups are limited to 6-12 birders at a time (and / or 2-3 birders per guide) and this gives us the ability to offer a highly personalised service to our clients.

Further Information and Travel Planning
At AfriChoice!, we have a wide range of carefully designed Tanzania birding safaris and trips to explore the diverse bird species in Tanzania that will give you a rewarding Tanzania holiday and Bird Watching Adventure. AfriChoice! offers the best opportunity to realize an unforgettable bird watching safari in Tanzania. Your safari consultant will always be at your assistance should you need a birding safari to Tanzania. For more information, DO NOT hesitate to contact us >.
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