Bird Watching

For beginners, Tanzania prides in a bird checklist that consist of more than 1100 species. this fortunately allows even novices to encounter at least 50 to 100 various species on just a single bird-watching day, not considering which rural part they are in Tanzania.

The finest Tanzania safari bird-watching destinations in the country are Arusha Natioanl Park, Lake Manyara National Park, and then water species, grassland species plus forest birds can best be seen in Tarangire as well as the Serengeti. The Selous Game Reserve in the South is a perfect alternative for those interested in see the river dwellers.

Lake Manyara Birding

Manyara provides over 400 bird species and in just a single day one can see close to 100 of the species. Among the highlights you will see are thousands of the pink flamingos in additional of various large water-birds like the storks, pelicans and cormorants. Lake Trangire’s swamps are occupied by over 500 bird species whereas the drier areas support the Kori bustards, which are the heaviest flying birds, ostriches, turkeys, the yellow- collared lovebirds, and a variety of weavers.

Birding Tours in Selous

On the other hand, the Selous Game Reserve prides too of a great profusion of bird life which is greatly influenced by River Rufiji. The river offers natural features such as sandbanks, channels oxbow lagoons and lakes that provide a wonderful habitat for the birds. Among the bird species you are likely to see while in the Selous are: African skimmers, Mangrove kingfisher, grey-hooded kingfisher broad-billed roller, grey Penduline-tit, brown-breasted barbet, palm-nut vulture, Boehm’s bee-eater, spotted-flanked barbet, green-capped eremomela, red-billed helmetshrike, Sterling’s barred warbler, spotted-flanked barbet, black cuckoo-shrike, red-faced Crombec, Red-throated twinspot, Dickinson’s kestrel, green-capped eremomela, purple-banded sunbird, pearl-spotted owls, Arnot’s chat, yellow-bellied bulbul, red-winged warbler, Von der Decken’s hornbill, white helmet-shrikes, Layard’s black-headed weavers, freckled nightjar, mosque swallow, wattle-eyed flycatchers, waders, green-billed coucal, Bennett’s woodpecker, red-throated twinspot and the Livingstone’s flycatcher.

Roughly 30 endemic species of birds in Tanzania are majorly restrained to the Eastern Arc Mountains, thus ranking these as the most significant bird haven in the entire country. On the other hand, a minimum of five endemic species can be sighted in the country’s northern conservation national parks.

Endemic birds found in Tanzania.

Grey-breasted Spurfowl, Kipengere Seedeater, Udzungwa Forest Partridge, Yellow-throated Mountain Greenbul, Usambara Weaver, Pemba Scops Owl, Kilombero Weaver, Nduk Eagle-Owl, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Pemba Green Pigeon, Rufous-winged Sunbird, Uhehe Fiscal, Moreau`s Sunbird, Uluguru Bushshrike, Loveridge`s Sunbird, Reichenow`s Batis, Banded Sunbird, Usambara Akalat, Iringa Akalat, Pemba White-eye, Mrs Moreau`s Warbler, Uluguru Mountain Greenbul and Black-headed Mountain-Greenbul.

When is the best time to go Bird watching in Tanzania

From a general point of view, Tanzania at large possesses a hot climate all year round with its altitude being the main determining factor. However, important to note is that the hottest months start from November all through to the finish of March and yet the coolest months start in June and go on until the end of September. Nonetheless the coastal areas all through the year hot. The country experiences two rain seasons with the long rains starting mid-March all through to May and from November to the finish of December, the country experiences the short rains.

The Palaearctic migrant birds arrive in Tanzania starting October or November and then leave the country either in March or April.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is often overlooked in Tanzania's northern safari circuit. Only and hour or so's drive out from the city of Arusha, this is arguably one of East Africa's last discovered jewels and is well worth including in a visit up here. Often dubbed as the main reason to come here, the vast elephant herds that wander in and out of the park throughout the year are to be seen to be believed. This is not, however, the only reason to come here with both lesser and great Kudu to be seen, plentiful lion, leopard and cheetah, as well as a variety of interesting habitats and accommodations.
Not much is known of the migratory patterns of the thousands of elephants that arrive into the park for the dry season, although many have been traced from Amboseli National Park in Kenya, almost 300kms away. As they all arrive in the dry season it would suggest that they come here for the nourishment and water that the many baobab trees in the park provide as well as the marshlands along the eastern edge.
One of the great features for those that decide to come and visit the park is that it is still relatively un-crowded (which can be an issue in other parks in the north, such as the Ngorongoro Crater), with only a handful of lodges that sit inside the park. What this allows is a sense of space and also of being able to take time with the animals and not feel like you are rushed at all.
In the last couple of years the park has started to become know and, as such, there are now a handful of camps that have placed themselves on the northern border to the park, in the migratory corridor that runs between Tarangire and Manyara National Parks. From these bases, it is possible to both have a private experience as well as accessing the parks for a more intense game experience.
For us the great benefit of being in Tarangire is that a few of the camps have an opportunity to walk inside the park. This allows a much more personal view and experience of safari and is definitely recommended to all of our clients.

Here you can find the gallery of different kinds of birds in Tanzania

See Gallery