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Bird Watching

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Birds watching

Tanzania is an amazing birding destination in the world. Tanzania boasts a bird list of 1,038 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, this safari will visit some of the most interesting areas in Northern Tanzania focusing into different habitats and ecosystems. This is a safari for keen naturalists, for people interested in something else than viewing wildlife from the comfort of their vehicle. Apart from the usual game drives in 4WD 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.

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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.

Northern parks

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Northern parks are home to countless birds 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, chats, water birds and more.

Southern parks

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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

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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

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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.

Bird species 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.

Usambara Mountains

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The Usambara Mountains are very special mountains, often that tired cliche 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.

The primary source of knowledge for the cataloguing of birds in this area is due to Reginald and Winfred Moreau who lived in Amani from 1926 to 1948. The East Usambara Mountains is accessible with care and our robust 4 x 4 Land cruisers or Land cruiser. Here you will find the Amani Game Reserve [Amani being Swahili for peace]. 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.

Accommodation here is basic, clean and reasonably priced. Local people who speak English and are full conversant with the flora and fauna of the area are available for hired as guides. [Note that it is customary to tip for good service if you hire a guide]. The Amani Nature Reserve Information Centre was built by the Germens in 1914. The centre is open everyday.

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. A more comprehensive list is available to anyone that is interested through the Tanzania Tourist Information website or specialist tour operators. Trekking through these sometimes very cool and wet forests is the equivalent of being transported back to pre historic times.

The effort and time spent travelling to this area is rewarding indeed the experience so moving to be almost magical or spiritual. Once you have climbed up and through the sometimes quite steep forest, you emerge onto the Amani Plateau. There are also a large number of birds that are spotted at the higher altitudes so the climb is well worth the effort.

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.

 

Comments

  • By Ezra Gakom

    Very nice travel

  • By Mandari Mugina

    Thank you for your very good service

  • By Godfrey Mange

    Nice hotels, vehicles, It was very nice. Great job

  • By Membe Mine

    Tanzania is good



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