Tanzania Birding Tour
TANZANIA BIRDING TOUR
16 days/ 15 nights
Day 1 and 2: Lark Plains to Tarangire National Park
Our Tanzania Birding Tour will start in Arusha, the tourism capital of Tanzania. We shall drive from Arusha early and head on a detour north to the Lark Plains- to enjoy a site for the very rare Beesley’s Lark. We shall enjoy the morning birding here, and then start heading south to Tarangire.
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. We shall enjoy birding here for the next two days of our Tanzania Birding Tour.
Nights in Tarangire.
Day 3: Lake Manyara to Ngorongoro Crater
We shall leave our hotel early, carrying picnic lunches. We shall drive to 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 day. The local game is mainly composed of monkeys. Others include Savannah Elephants, Lions and much more.
In the afternoon, we shall carry on with our Tanzania Birding Tour, and proceed to Ngorongoro 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 4: 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 5 and 6: Serengeti National Park via Ol Duvai Gorge Pre-Historic Site
The first 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.
The following day we shall spend time scouting the vast Serengeti as we enjoy birds we may have missed the previous day.
Nights in Serengeti.
Day 7: 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. Here we shall enjoy a different habitat on the Tanzania Birding Tour, a fresh water lake.
Later in the afternoon, we shall have a bird walk along the lake shore and the lodge compound.
Night at Lake Victoria.
Day 8: 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 9: To Arusha
On this day we shall drive back to Arusha picking some extra birds on the way. We shall hope to pick any species we missed earlier in Ngorongoro Conservation Area; as we transect through.
Night in Arusha.
Day 10 and 11: East Usambaras (Amani)
We shall leave Arusha and head southwards to the mighty Usambaras- one of the most iconic birding sites in Africa. This is one of our top birding sites on the Tanzania Birding Tour. Our destination will be Amani Forest, a hidden gem in northern Tanzania. Birding will also be active along the way and we shall stop for any special birds we come across. We shall spend the next two days exploring this area for its rich birds.
We shall try for the rare Usambara Eagle-Owl during a night search.
Nights in Amani.
Day 12 and 13: West Usambaras (Lushoto)
We shall start with more birding at Amani, then move to the nearby West Usambaras to continue our birding in this great place. On the way we may be lucky to find more birds and we shall stop to pick any species we may be still missing on our Tanzania Birding Tour.
Soon we shall arrive at the West Usambara Forest. We shall spend the rest of our time in Usambara enjoying this area.
Nights in Lushoto.
Day 14 and 15: Same-Mkomazi National Park Area
We shall scan the West Usambara forest for more birds in the morning. Later, we shall leave the Usambaras and head north to the Same area. We may find more interesting species on the way and we shall make several stop-overs to enjoy birding. On arrival at Same, we shall bird the area, where many dryland and open habitat species will be awaiting us; then relax at our hotel for the night.
The following day, we shall enjoy birding in the mighty Mkomazi National Park the whole day, with breaks in between. This amazing park is home to Black Rhinos, African Wild Dog, Common Zebra, Maasai Giraffe, Savannah Elephant, Cape Eland and Common Impala. Birds are in plenty too, including many species from Southern Kenya- which highly boosts our Tanzania Birding Tour list.
Nights in Same.
Day 16: Nyumba ya Mungu Reservoir Area to Arusha
On this day, we shall return to Arusha, with a detour visit to a nearby reservoir. We can expect to add some more birds that we have missed earlier.
Later, we shall drive to Arusha arriving in time for our evening flights home; marking the end to our lovely Tanzania Birding Tour.
Usambara/Eastern Double-collared Sunbird, Red-chested Sunbird, Banded Green Sunbird, Amani Sunbird, Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, Black-headed Gonolek, Taita Fiscal, Black-fronted Bush-Shrike, Magpie Shrike, Tiny Greenbul, 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, Red-tailed Ant Thrush, Sharpe’s Akalat, White-chested Alethe, Usambara/Olive Thrush, Usambara Akalat, Spot-Throat, Dappled Mountain Robin, Kurrichane Thrush, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Scaly Chatterer, Rufous Chatterer, Beesley’s Lark, African Scops-Owl, Usambara Eagle-Owl, Black-winged Lapwing, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Pink-breasted Lark, Beesley’s Lark, 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, Northern Grey Tit, Red-throated Tit, Black Bishop, Heuglin’s Courser, Two-banded Courser, Grey Crowned Crane, Kori Bustard, Secretarybird, Lesser Flamingo, Greater Flamingo, Chestnut-banded Plover, Moustached Tinkerbird, Scarce Swift, Grey-Olive Greenbul, Crested Guineafowl, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, Oriole Finch, Common Scimitarbill, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher, Narina Trogon, Long-billed Tailorbird/Forest Warbler, Kretschmer’s Longbill, Southern/Usambara Hyliota, Bar-throated Apalis, Brown-headed Apalis, Karamoja Apalis, Coastal Cisticola, Zitting Cisticola, Lyne’s Cisticola, Tiny 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, Taveta Weaver, Slender-billed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Fire-fronted Bishop, Grey-breasted Spurfowl, Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Coqui Francolin, Pygmy Falcon, Mottled Spinetail, Meyer’s Parrot, African Broadbill, Mombasa Woodpecker, Bearded Woodpecker, Southern Red Bishop, Banded Parisoma, Green Woodhoopoe, Brubru, Usambiro Barbet, Red and Yellow Barbet, Superb Starling, Ashy Starling, Waller’s Starling, Golden-breasted Starling, Hildebrandt’s Starling, Forest Batis, Pygmy Batis, Red-throated Twinspot, Oriole Finch, White-headed Mousebird
Highlight Mammals and others
Leopard, African Lion, Cheetah, Black Rhino, Savannah Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Nile Hippopotamus, Nile Crocodile
Savannah, Highland Forest, Wetlands, Semi-arid Scrubland, Eastern Arc Mountains
Nature Walks, Star Gazing, Ngorongoro Crater, Ol duvai Gorge, Tanzania endemic Birds, Usambara Mountains, Lake Victoria