Tanzania is a unique birding destination unlike other birding destinations in the region. Tanzania is home to about 1134 bird species. Tanzania is a big country and with a wide scope to do birding: it’s a virgin wilderness with a lot of game and a landscape that reminds you of the old Africa. A birding safari in Tanzania is do diverse with a lot of wild life and not just the birds, the wildebeest in the Serengeti s one of the highlights you out not to miss. When it rains the display of the landscape is rewarding and the turns red due to the sand and the thunderstorms clouds are the refreshing. The beautiful and epic skies during the sunset are spectacular with the orange reflections.
Here are some of the birds you ought not to miss out on your birding safari to Tanzania:
Iringa akalat, Kilombero weaver, Loveridge’s sunbird, Moreau’s sunbird, Mrs Moreau’s warbler, Pemba green pigeon, Pemba scops owl, Pemba sunbird, Pemba white-eye, Böhm’s spinetail, Broad-tailed paradise whydah, Brown-breasted barbet, Brown-necked parrot, Chestnut-fronted helmet-shrike, Golden-breasted starling, Green tinkerbird, Green-headed oriole, Ashy starling, Banded green sunbird, Fischer’s lovebird, Grey-breasted spurfowl, Hartlaub’s turaco, Rufous-tailed weaver, Rufous-winged sunbird, Tanzania seedeater, Tanzanian red-billed hornbill, Udzungwa forest partridge, Uluguru bush-shrike, Usambara akalat, Usambara eagle owl, Usambara weaver, Bar-tailed trogon, Lappet-faced vulture, Livingstone’s flycatcher, Long-tailed fiscal, Marsh tchagra, Pale-billed hornbill, Pallid honeyguide, Secretary bird and White-headed mousebird
BEST BIRDING DESTINATION IN TANZANIA
Below are the best birding spots in Tanzania where you can go for bird watching safaris;
Arusha National Park
This national park is inhabited with over 400 birds some of which are migratory. Some of the birds you expect to see here are;
Hadada Ibis, Sacred Ibis, Greater Pink Flamingo, Lesser Pink Flamingo, Silver Cheeks Hornbill, White-necked raven, African Fish Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Bar-tailed Trogon, African Olive Pigeon, Peregrine Falcon, Red-fronted Parrot, Scaly Francolin, Southern Pochard, Golden Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle, Lanner Falcon, Crowned Eagle, Levaillant’s Cuckoo, Jacobin Cuckoo, Ostrich, Grey Crowned Crane, Mangbettu Sawwing, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Egyptian Goose, Spur-winged Goose, Red-billed Teal, Cape Teal, Great Crested Grebe, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Bearded Vulture, Little Grebe, African Jacanas, Pied Avocet, Red-billed, Oxpecker, Bronzy Sunbird, Grey-headed Bushshrike, White-crested Tilt, African Paradise Flycatcher, Narina Trogon, Yellow-billed Stork, Saddle-billed Stork, African Spoonbill, Black-headed Heron, Cattle Egret, Black-winged Stilt, White-browed Coucal, Hamerkop and Pelicans.
This is the largest fresh water lake in East Africa. It is shared between Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. While on a birding safari in Tanzania, you can visit the Tanzanian section of this lake and explore the birds it has to offer. There are over 350 bird species recorded here. Here are some of the bird you expect to see here; White and Pink-backed Pelican, Yellow-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, Allen’s and Purple Gallinules, Jacana, Cormorant and Long-tailed Cormorant, Little Bittern, Goliath, African Spoonbill, Fish Eagle, Black Crake, Purple and Squacco Heron, Little, Yellow-billed and Great-white Egrets, Hammerkop and Pied and Malachite Kingfishers
This mountain is the tallest free standing mountain in the world. It stands at about 5,895 meters above sea level. Here are some of the special birds you expect to see here: Green Ibis, Rufous Sparrowhawk, Mountain Buzzard, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Sharpe’s Longclaw, Slender-billed Chestnut-winged Starling, Northern Double-collared, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Scarce Swift, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, Montane Oriole, Golden-winged, Crowned Eagle, Jackson’s Francolin, Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-fronted Parrot, Alpine Chat, Tacazze, Green-headed and Scarlet-tufted Malachite.
Serengeti National Park
This park is located in the northern sector of the country. It covers an area of about 30,000 sq km. This park is known for the migration of the largest group of mammals in the world. This park has over 370 bird species recorded here. Here are some of the birds you expect to see here:Black-headed gonolek, Fischer’s lovebird, Red-capped robin-chat, Rufous-tailed weaver, , Rüppell’s vulture, Southern ground hornbill, Schalow’s turaco, Green-backed woodpecker, Grey-backed fiscal, Grey-breasted spurfowl, Grey-crested helmet-shrike, Hildebrandt’s starling, Silverbird, Usambiro barbet, Verreaux’s eagle and Yellow-throated sandgrouse
This nature reserve and mountains is a gem for anyone looking to do a birding safari in Tanzania. A biggest portion of this area has been turned into tea plantations but still there is a lot of area left for anyone wishing to explore the birds here. There is a lot of originality left here. Here are some of the birds you expect to see:
Usambara/Eastern Double-collared Sunbird, Banded Green Sunbird, Long-billed Tailorbird/Forest Warbler, Kretschmer’s Longbill, Southern/Usambara Hyliota, Coastal Cisticola, Amani Sunbird, Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird, Taita Fiscal, Black-fronted Bush-Shrike, Southern Citril, Taveta Weaver, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Fire-fronted Bishop, African Broadbill, Mombasa Woodpecker, Spot-Throat, Dappled Mountain Robin, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Scaly Chatterer, Usambara Eagle-Owl, Pink-breasted Lark, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Northern Grey Tit, Moustached Tinkerbird, Southern Grosbeak Canary, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, Spotted Thick-knee, Half-collared Kingfisher, Usambara Nightjar, Red-tailed Ant Thrush, Sharpe’s Akalat, White-chested Alethe, Kurrichane Thrush, Usambara/Olive Thrush, Usambara Akalat, Banded Parisoma, Superb Starling, Golden-breasted Starling, Hildebrandt’s Starling, Forest Batis, Pygmy Batis, Red-throated Twinspot, Oriole Finch and White-headed Mousebird.
BEST TIME TO VISIT TANZANIA FOR BIRDING
With over 1134 bird species, Tanzania is one of the best birding countries in the region. The best time to visit Tanzania is January, February, and March. These are the dry months. This period is also low season and has low tourist numbers, making it easy to move around easily.
The months of August to November are wet months and not the best time to visit the Tanzania since the roads become abit impassable.
WHAT TO CARRY ON A BIRDING SAFARI TO TANZANIA
Activities of birding are usually away from the cities and into the rural areas of the country and that require specific equipment. Therefore, minding what you carry for this safari is very important. Here are some of the essentials you need to carry on your birding safari to Tanzania: Hiking boots, Field guidebook, Cameras, Pair of binoculars/ Scope, Wide –brimmed hat, Light rain jacket, long sleeved shirts, pants of neutral colors, Water proof day pack/Field bag, Chargers and other important Cables, Flashlights and Medication.