Tanzania Birding Tour

Trip duration

10 days/ 9 nights

Brief itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

The tour will start in Tanzania’s tourism capital, Arusha. We shall arrive via the Kilimanjaro Airport, where our driver will be ready to receive us and kick start our journey.

We shall then head to our hotel in Arusha. If we have some few hours to spend, depending on our arrival time, we may make a short trip to some close locations to kick start our birding. We may also pick some birds around our hotel.

Day 2: Tarangire National Park

We shall drive from Arusha across the dry countryside enjoying the scenic views. We may make some strategic stop-overs to add some few species on the way. Soon, we shall enter Tarangire, the land of Elephants and Baobab trees; where many birds await us. Big game will also be encountered as we bird. The local Acacia woodland is also very graceful and full of birds.

Night in Tarangire.

Day 3: Tarangire to Lake Manyara

We shall leave our hotel early, carrying picnic lunches. We shall continue birding inside Tarangire, adding more birds.

Later, we shall drive towards Lake Manyara, a pristine soda lake in the Rift Valley near Tarangire. The local Baobab trees will illuminate our journey through this lowland region. Here we see lots of birds and during good time, lots of Flamingos are seen in the soda waters. We shall keep birding this interesting place during the rest of the day. The local game is mainly composed of monkeys. Others include Savannah Elephants, Lions and much more.

Night in Manyara.

Day 4: Lake Manyara to Gibb’s Farm

On this day we shall start early and seek some extra birds we may have missed in Manyara.

Later we shall head to Gibb’s Farm. This is a great birding location with easy walking terrain that could provide many special birds. The local garden is very productive and there is also a nice forest section where we shall walk. Night at Gibb’s Farm.

Day 5: Gibb’s Farm to Ngorongoro Crater

We shall have an early morning bird walk at Gibb’s Farm to add more birds to our list.

We shall then proceed to Ngorogoro Crater, a large and scenic crater located at about 2000m above sea level. We shall have an opportunity to learn about the crater and also view models of the entire area. This crater is about 600m deep and has an amazing view both from the top and inside the crater. The crater is nestled in a pristine natural forest, full of beautiful indigenous trees.

We shall bird the forest, crater rim and our hotel compound. Night in Ngorongoro.

Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater

Today we shall descend to the crater floor for more birding. The mighty Ngorongoro is an amazing place. It is known as one of the wonders of Africa. Descending down the crater floor takes you through great scenery and you get to experience the local Euphorbia tree varieties. Many birds will be encountered in the crater.

Herds of wild animals are plenty inside the crater as well as wonderful views of the crater walls. Look out for the local Lions, Black Rhinos, Common Zebras, assorted Gazelles, Nile Hippos and Wildebeests.

Night in Ngorongoro.

Day 7: Serengeti National Park via Ol Duvai Gorge Pre-Historic Site

This day will see us cross from the highlands of the Ngorongoro, through Acacia woodlands and into the grassy plains of Serengeti.

On the way, we shall make a short trip to Ol duvai Gorge. The gorge has led to multiple archaeological and paleontological discoveries. Home to the great work by Louis and Mary Leakey, this is a phenomenal destination. Some famous discoveries here include Zinjanthropus, Homo habilis and Homo erectus. You will get to learn all about the work going on at the site in a very interactive way.

We shall later head to Serengeti National Park where we shall have our lunch. The journey to the park passes through the Ndutu Plains and welcomes you to Naabi Area; the beautiful locations where the annual Wildebeest migration starts, by thousands of females calving on these plains. Soon after lunch we shall start game drives in this vast savannah, enjoying the local birds as we head to our hotel.

Night in Serengeti.

Day 8: Serengeti to Lake Victoria

Leaving early, we shall cut through the Serengeti via a transect road that allows us to do a great birding session across the park to add to our birdlist. By lunch time, we shall be at Lake Victoria, where our lodge is located next to the mighty lake.

Later in the afternoon, we shall have a bird walk along the lake shore and the lodge compound. Night at Lake Victoria.

Day 9: Lake Victoria to Serengeti National Park

After an early morning bird walk at the lodge, we shall head back to Serengeti. Another day of game drives in this wonderful park will see us enjoy the sceneries of these vast plains and keep adding to our birdlist. We shall spend time looking around some of the famous rock outcrops, often referred as Kopjes. Look out for animals such as Leopard, Cape Buffalo, assorted Gazelles, Maasai Giraffe, Wildebeest, Common Zebras, Savannah Elephant and Lions.

Here you shall also get an opportunity to learn all about the famous migration and get to follow in the steps of the Wildebeests in a lovely Kopje, modelled to imitate the migration cycle.

Night in Serengeti.

Day 10: Arusha and Departure

On this day we drive back to Arusha picking some extra birds on the way. We arrive in Arusha in the afternoon, in time for our evening flights home.

Highlight Birds

Red-chested Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, Black-headed Gonolek, Taita Fiscal,  Black-fronted Bush-Shrike, Magpie Shrike, Slender-billed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, Spotted Thick-knee, Woodland Kingfisher, Gabon Nightjar, Fischer’s Lovebird, Yellow-collared Lovebird, Black Coucal, Steel Blue Whydah, Swahili Sparrow, Rufous Chatterer, Karamoja Apalis,  African Scops-Owl, Black-winged Lapwing, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Short-tailed Lark, White-tailed Lark, Southern Ground Hornbill, Tanzania Red-billed Hornbill, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Schalow’s Turaco, Cape Teal, Saddle-billed Stork, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Red-throated Tit, Black Bishop, Heuglin’s Courser, Two-banded Courser, Grey Crowned Crane, Kori Bustard, Secretarybird, Lesser Flamingo, Greater Flamingo, Chestnut-banded Plover, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Moustached Tinkerbird, Scarce Swift, Grey-Olive Greenbul, Crested Guineafowl, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, Oriole Finch, Common Scimitarbill, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher, Narina Trogon, Bar-throated Apalis, Brown-headed Apalis, Zitting Cisticola, Lyne’s Cisticola, Hunter’s Cisticola, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Brown Woodland Warbler, Southern Grosbeak Canary, Southern Citril, Thick-billed Seedeater, Brown Parisoma, African Olive Pigeon, Brown-backed Woodpecker, White-naped Raven, Yellow-billed Stork, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Goliath Heron, Great White Pelican, White-headed Buffalo-Weaver, Grey-breasted Spurfowl, Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Coqui Francolin, Pygmy Falcon, Mottled Spinetail, Meyer’s Parrot, Bearded Woodpecker, Southern Red Bishop, Banded Parisoma, Green Woodhoopoe, Brubru, Usambiro Barbet, Red and Yellow Barbet, Superb Starling, Waller’s Starling, Hildebrandt’s Starling and Ashy Starling.

Highlight Mammals and others

Leopard, African Lion, Black Rhino, Savannah Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Nile Hippopotamus, Nile Crocodile

Habitats covered

Savannah, Highland Forest, Wetlands, Semi-arid Scrubland

Photographic opportunities

Excellent

Special moments

Nature Walks, Star Gazing, Ngorongoro Crater, Ol duvai Gorge

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