Tanzania is a country located in East Africa. To the north it borders Kenya, to the south Lake Malawi and Mozambique, to the west lake Tanganiyka and Uganda and to the east its shores ride on the Indian Ocean. It's a vast unspoiled wilderness and has the second largest lake in the world; Lake Victoria (a freshwater lake, home to 400 species), and one of the seven summits, Mount Kilimanjaro, and is the best place in the world for wilderness viewing at Arusha, Serengeti, Norongoro Crater, Tarangire and Manyara National Parks.
The geography is diverse leading to various climates. Although in the tropics, the higher areas are reasonably cool. Because it straddles the equator there are just two seasons - wet and dry. Tanzania's variety of species of birds, over 1000, vary in each location due to the nation's geographic diversity. From mountain forest to tropical coast, every conceivable altitude range: deserts, open savannah grassland, lowland forest, bush and scrub, lakes and mudflats.
The National Parks have open savannah grassland, bush and scrub with large rivers running through them. Top species include: Secretary Bird, numerous vultures, eagles and hawks, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Gabon Nightjar, Lilac-breasted Roller, Ground Hornbill, Red-throated Tit, Sooty Chat, and a wide variety of larks, pipits and widowbirds. The thick riverine forest bordering the Mara and Talek rivers, hold African Finfoot, Livingstone's & Ross's Turaco, Giant Kingfisher, Blue Flycatcher, Double-toothed Barbet and the rare Pel's Fishing Owl. The alkaline Lake Natron is also located near the National Parks; feeding ground for over one million [exceptionally two million] Lesser Flamingo. Greater flamingo are also found, in far smaller numbers. Mt. Kilimanjaro has three vegetation zones: Rain forest, Alpine Forest, and Moorland, making for species diversity.
12 Top Birding Locations in Tanzania
1. Serengeti National Park 2. Noronogoro Crater 3. Arusha National Park 4. Ruaha National Park 5. Rubondo Island National Park 6. Lake Victoria 7. Lake Natron 8. Lake Eyasi 9. Lake Manyara 10. Lake Tanganyika 11. Usambara Mountains 12. Mt. Kilimanjaro
Arusha National Park
...rolling grassy hills enclose the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes, each one a different hue of green or blue. Their shallows sometimes tinged pink with thousands of flamingos, the lakes support a rich selection of resident and migrant waterfowl, and shaggy waterbucks display their large lyre-shaped horns on the watery fringes. Giraffes glide across the grassy hills, between grazing zebra herds, while pairs of wide-eyed dik-dik dart into scrubby bush like overgrown hares on spindly legs.
Home to over 400 species that can be seen in just a couple of days. White and pink-backed pelican, cormorant and long tailed cormorant, little bittern, goliath, purple and squacco heron, little, yellow-billed and great-white egrets, hammerkop, yellow-billed stork, sacred ibis, African spoonbill, fish eagle, black crake, Allen's and purple gallinules, jacana and pied and malachite kingfishers are all resident. For the Lake Victoria experience you do not need a formal safari as you can arrange to visit Mwanza and stay right on the lake.
Highland species include several extremely uncommon birds such as Green Ibis, Rufous Sparrowhawk, Mountain Buzzard, Crowned Eagle, Jackson's Francolin, Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-fronted Parrot, Hartlaub's Turaco, Scarce Swift, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, Montane Oriole, Alpine Chat, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Sharpe's Longclaw, Slender-billed Chestnut-winged Starling and 13 species of sunbirds; including the Northern Double-collared, Golden-winged, Tacazze, Green-headed and Scarlet-tufted Malachite.
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve across the border in Kenya, protect the greatest and most varied collection of terrestrial wildlife on earth, and one of the last great migratory systems still intact. The Serengeti is the jewel in the crown of Tanzania's protected areas, which altogether make up some 14% of the country's land area, a conservation record that few other countries can match.
The Usambara Mountains are fairly unique in East Africa with their natural regions still covered in tropical forests, which otherwise continentally remain primarily in Western Africa. Considered tremendously significant ecologically and a Biodiversity hotspot. There are many protected zones throughout the range, which are being expanded and contributed to by the Tanzanian government, associated NGO's and research teams, and donor countries.
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Number of Species
Number of bird species: 1113
Number of endemics: 23
Grey-breasted Spurfowl Pternistis rufopictus Udzungwa Forest Partridge Xenoperdix udzungwensis Pemba Scops Owl Otus pembaensis Nduk Eagle-Owl Bubo vosseleri Pemba Green-Pigeon Treron pembaensis Uhehe Fiscal Lanius marwitzi Uluguru Bushshrike Malaconotus alius Reichenow's Batis Batis reichenowi Usambara Akalat Sheppardia montana Iringa Akalat Sheppardia lowei Uluguru Mountain Greenbul Andropadus neumanni Green-throated Greenbul Andropadus chlorigula Northern Mountain Greenbul Andropadus fusciceps Pemba White-eye Zosterops vaughani Mrs Moreau's Warbler Bathmocercus winifredae Banded Sunbird Anthreptes rubritorques Loveridge's Sunbird Nectarinia loveridgei Moreau's Sunbird Nectarinia moreaui Rufous-winged Sunbird Nectarinia rufipennis Rufous-tailed Weaver Histurgops ruficauda Kilombero Weaver Ploceus burnieri Usambara Weaver Ploceus nicolli Kipengere Seedeater Serinus melanochrous
Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder
A Wildlife Survey of the East Usambara and Ukaguru Mountains, Tanzania
The Birds, Amphibians, Reptiles, Butterflies, Fishes and Mammals Edited by TD Evans and GQA Anderson Series: BIRDLIFE STUDY REPORTS 53 106 pages, line illus, tabs, figs, maps. BirdLife International Distributed by NHBS 1992
ISBN: 50233Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania
Dale Zimmerman, Don Turner, David Pearson, Ian Willis and Douglas Pratt Series: CHRISTOPHER HELM IDENTIFICATION GUIDE SERIES 740 pages, 124 colour plates, line drawings, 1,000 maps. Christopher Helm 1996
ISBN: 0713639687Buy this book from NHBS.com
Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe Series: HELM FIELD GUIDES 604 pages, 287 col plates, distrib maps. Christopher Helm
ISBN: 0713673478Buy this book from NHBS.com
Field Guide to the Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania
Dale A Zimmerman, Donald A Turner and David J Pearson 576 pages, 124 col plates, line illus, 800 distrib maps. Christopher Helm 2005 re-print
ISBN: 0713675500Buy this book from NHBS.com
Important Bird Areas in Tanzania
Elizabeth Baker and Neil Baker 303 pages, line illus, tabs, maps. RSPB Distributed by NHBS 2002
ISBN: 9987558046Buy this book from NHBS.com
Newman's Birds of Southern Africa
Kenneth Newman Paperback - 510 pages ( 1 January, 1999) Southern Book Publishers
ISBN: 1868127575Buy this book from NHBS.com
Photographic Guide to Birds of Prey of Southern, Central and East Africa
David Allan, Peter Hayman (Illustrator) Paperback - 144 pages ( 1 November, 1996) New Holland Publishers (UK) Out of Print
ISBN: 9781868725212Buy this book from NHBS.com
Guides & Tour Operators
Aim 4 Africa
Experience the thrill of an African Safari by visiting the world renown national parks such as Serengeti, Selous, Manyara, Tarangire and the Ngorongoro Crater…
Birding & Beyond Safaris
We invite you to read through our web-pages in order to be able to come up with the actual desired Holiday of your lifetime. We always have one more lifer for you…
We have designed this mega-tour (31 days) to try and get to the magic 900! Taking in Kenya, coupled with areas just over the border in Northern Tanzania, Eastern Uganda and Rwanda, our trip will certainly be the birding trip of a lifetime.
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
Would you like to go on a bird safari? Then come out with us! Birdingtours is the leading German-speaking specialist for bird watching tours in Germany, Europe and worldwide. Our holidays are characterized by specialized organization, good accommodation and selected guide. Together with birdingtours, you will experience unique natural landscapes and the fascinating world of the feathered.
East African Safari & Touring Co
East African Safari & Touring Co Serengeti, Ngorogoro Crater, Selous, Tarangire, Lake Manyara - evocative names that, for most people, define the safari experience as surely as the wildlife that inhabits them. If your previous travel experience was with the Discovery Channel or if you have tried safaris elsewhere, but believe there is still more to experience, Tanzania offers unparalleled game-viewing across as diverse a range of habitats and eco-systems as exist on the continent of Mother Africa. The wealth of options available within the major Tanzanian parks defies comparison with anywhere else on the continent or, indeed, the planet.
Fish Eagle Safaris
Small groups, small camps and finely honed, leisurely itineraries result in an Africa safari which adds up to more than just looking at game…
Guide - Hamisi (Zola) Jafari
His specialist areas are Northern Tanzania and Usambara Mountains: mailto:email@example.com or phone +25 56 941 9181
Most probably it will be images of Tanzania and surrounding East Africa. Perhaps the magnificent snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, or vast plains teeming with wild animals co-existing with the colourful Maasi herdsmen in the Serengeti and the lush valleys of the Maasi Mara.
Natural High Tanzania
We specialise in tailor-made African safaris to Tanzania, East Africa. This site contains in-depth information on all game parks in Tanzania, the best Safari Camps and Lodges and the different types of safari available…
Nature's Wonderland Safaris
We proudly present a selection of exciting Birding safaris, Wildlife safaris, Adventure tours and Camping safaris through the Eastern part of Africa ranging from 4 - 37 days, many of which can be combined with a relaxing interlude on the coast…
Usually combined with Kenya…
Speedway Safaris is a tour and travel company based in Uganda specialising in organising trips to National Parks, gorilla tracking, hotel bookings, chimpanzee trekking, mountaineering excursions, birding trips, adventure travels, sightseeing expeditions, car hire, community tours, guided nature walks plus vacation and customized tours in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. Speedway Safaris offers tour itineraries from 2 up to 20 days exploring Uganda's beautiful landscape and vegetation…
Tanzania Adventure - we offer tailor made private Safaris in East Africa for the discerned traveller, Kilimanjaro climbs and Zanzibar holidays…
We are an innovative and rapidly-growing company offering superb birding tours to many tropical destinations throughout the world. One of the things that sets us apart is our commitment to protecting the same birds that we love to show our clients. We are running several tours in conjuction with BirdLife International where we will donate half, or in a few cases ALL of the profits to bird conservation!
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2007 [01 January] - Jan Vermeulen
…The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home of Ngorongoro Crater, regarded as the 8th wonder of the world. Mention the name "Ngorongoro Crater" to any nature lover who has been there, he will have no fine words to describe this "Africa's Garden of Eden". In short, it is breath-taking in its beauty. The Ngorongoro Crater is one of earth’s most amazing natural wonders. The Ngorongoro Crater, which is 16 km wide and 600 m deep, is the largest unbroken volcanic caldera in the world. Lush forests clad the crater rim where the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge is situated, overlooking the grasslands and lakes of the Crater below…
2010 [04 April] - Chuck Bell
We arrived in Arusha, Tanzania late in the evening to begin a "Megafari" designed and led by Tropical Birding's Keith Barnes…
2010 [04 April] - Keith Barnes
This was the first leg of the Megafari – a true trip of a lifetime for most of the participants. Our Tanzania leg ended up being the most successful Northern Tanzania trip we had ever run, netting an incredible 426 bird species in only 11 days…
2013 [06 June] - David & Amanda Mason - Northern Region
We had been looking at East Africa for a number of years before we decided to take the plunge and head for Tanzania and the iconic locations of the Serengeti plains and the Ngorongoro crater, where both the wildlife and the birds promised great variety and splendour….
2013 [06 June] - Wayne Jones - Rockjumper Birding Tours
Tanzania is surely one of the top safari destinations on the world, providing the quintessential African experience. Our tour took in the vast wilderness of the famed Serengeti, the magic of the Ngorongoro Crater and the diversity of Tarangire – and everything in between We recorded 388 bird species and 49 mammal species or subspecies, a very successful haul indeed!…
2013 [10 October] - Pat & Judy Hayes - Northern Region
Our chosen destination for this trip was Tanzania: the country has a very large bird list, good infrastructure, a well established tourist industry, plus it gave us another chance to see the big game Tanzania is famous for…
2013 [12 December] - Regina McNulty - Tanzania (and Nairobi)
My husband and I did an 11 day Birding Safari in Tanzania with Nature’s Wonderland Safaris out of Nairobi. We flew into Nairobi and spent two nights with one day devoted to sightseeing and some birding before taking a shuttle bus to Arusha, Tanzania. We had an amazing time and the whole trip went flawlessly. We would recommend Nature’s Wonderland Safaris and Joseph Mwangi without reservation. We ended up with a list of 316 birds and saw an amazing amount of wildlife….
2013 [12 December] - Terry Stevenson - East Africa Highlights: Kenya & Tanzania
Beginning with an afternoon in Nairobi National Park we saw our first Olive Baboons, Black-backed Jackals, Burchell's Zebra, Common Giraffe, African Buffalo, and a variety of antelopes and gazelles. Birds varied from Ostrich and White-bellied Bustard on the plains, to Egyptian Goose and Blacksmith Plover around the pools, secretive Shelley's Francolins, noisy Hadada Ibis, and a whole array of small passerines in the bush and acacia woodland. Perhaps most surprising, though, was a fabulous female Greater Painted-snipe standing amongst the reedy fringes of the hippo pool…
2014 [02 February] - Terry Stevenson - East Africa Highlights: Kenya & Tanzania
Our 2014 East Africa Highlights tour followed our well-tried route visiting many of the best areas of Kenya and Tanzania in just 21 days. In total contrast to our other departure just two months previously, Tanzania was now lush and green, Kenya dry, but with the Rift Valley lakes still at record highs…
2014 [05 May] - Callan Cohen
...Upon entering the park, we had our first taste of mammal viewing in a grassy plain where Plains Zebras, Giraffes, Warthogs and a few secretive Bushbucks gave as a small taste of the superb game viewing later in the trip. Red-billed Oxpeckers joined the zebras while Spot-breasted Barbet and Chinspot Batis were the trees above us....
2014 [10 October] - Nik Borrow
...The aim of this trip was to try to see some of the most difficult endemic Tanzanian birds. We began with White-headed Mousebirds and Tsavo Sunbirds in the thorn-scrub en route to Same and brightly plumaged Taveta Golden Weavers along the Pangani River. On the heights of the South Pare Mountains, we sought out the South Pare White-eye and Usambara Doublecollared Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird and Brown-breasted Barbet were also found...
2015 [06 June] - Ken Behrens - Kenya & Tanzania
This was a custom trip for a group of friends, one of the things that Tropical Birding does best. The Kenya portion of the itinerary was very similar to our set-departure tour. At the end of the trip, we visited the Usambara Mountains of northern Tanzania.
2015 [07 July] - Terry Stevenson - Kenya & Tanzania
Our July 2015 Kenya Highlights tour began, as always, at the Ole Sereni Hotel overlooking Nairobi National Park. We then went south to Lake Magadi (near the Tanzania border), north to Mount Kenya and the arid lowlands of Samburu, west to Lake Baringo in the Great Rift Valley, and further west to Kakamega Forest and Lake Victoria, before returning to the Rift Valley at Nakuru and back to Nairobi. The final leg involved flights to and from the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve -- the jewel of Kenya's wildlife parks.
2015 [11 November] - Stefan Lithner
2016 [02 February] - Kenya & Tanzania
Our January-February 2016 East Africa Highlights tour benefitted from exceptional rains across most of the region from early December onwards. This unexpected, prolonged period of rain meant that many birds were still breeding, and one of the tour highlights was seeing a displaying African Broadbill at Kakamega. Additionally, a good variety of sunbirds, weavers, widowbirds, and bishops were in full breeding plumage -- with Northern Red Bishop at Bogoria being simply stunning!
2016 [05 May] - Markus Lilje - Kenya & Tanzania
...The highlights are really too diverse to mention briefly, but included watching African Elephant under Baobabs and in front of Mount Kilimanjaro, thunderstorms over the Ngorongoro and the Serengeti as it was covered in Wildbeest, walking the forest on the slopes of Mount Kenya and exploring the dry Doum Palm and Acacia savannah of the dry northern reserves. Some wildlife included flocks of Vulturine Guineafowl, a Leopard with 2 adult cubs, very close Cheetah playing and surveying thier surroundings, 3 species of Courser, Heuglin’s Bustard, Saddle-billed Stork, the dazzling Golden-breasted Starling, Hartlaub’s Turaco, diverse waxbills, barbets, hornbills, raptors, beeeaters and so, so much more…
2016 [10 October] - Pete Morris
...The near-mythical Udzungwa Forest Partridge was the obvious star, but the stunning Swynnerton’s Robin, unique Rufous-winged Sunbird, Whitewinged Apalis and skulking Dapple-throat were just a small part of the excellent supporting cast! It was actually my frst time around many of these sites, and I have to say I was very impressed with it as a birding destination and certainly relish the prospect of another visit...
2017 [03 March] - Kevin Zimmer
...Almost immediately, we stopped for White-browed SparrowWeavers and a small group of Red-billed Quelea right beside the road. Other stops yielded singing Pink-breasted Larks, Rosy-patched Bushshrikes, Southern GrosbeakCanary, and Blue-naped and White-headed mousebirds, among many others...
Places to Stay
Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge
It is difficult to imagine a more spectacular setting for Lake Manyara Serena Lodge - on the edge of the Mto Wa Mbu escarpment, overlooking the Great Rift Valley and the stunning Manyara soda lake. Tree-climbing lions are but one lure.
Wag Hill Lodge
Wag Hill, an ecofriendly Lodge, offers the ultimate in privacy and seclusion, providing an opportunity to relax, unwind, fish and explore one of the last indigenous environments on the shores of Lake Victoria, Tanzania. Wag Hill Lodge is situated on 17.3 hectares of protected indigenous forest and is dedicated to fostering the natural environment of Lake Victoria. Wag Hill Lodge is a paradise for bird lovers as the protected indigenous flora attracts many species of birds. There is an abundance of egrets, pied kingfishers, grey-headed kingfishers, malachite kingfishers, ibises, cormorants, storks, bulbuls, sunbirds, wagtails, shrikes, monarchs, flycatchers and the majestic fish eagle, to name but a few.
African Bird Club
Tanzania has Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, some of the best areas for watching game in the world, friendly people and a good tourist infrastructure. It also has a bird list of over 1,000 species which includes a host of endemic and near endemics so there is something of interest for all birdwatchers in Tanzania…
Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania
P0 Box 70919, Dar es Salaam. +255 51 112496 firstname.lastname@example.org Tanzania has unparalleled wildlife and natural resources. Perched on the crossroads of many of the extensive biomes that cover Africa, it also boasts the highest and lowest points on the continent; the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the bottom of Lake Tanganyika. Whilst recognised for its unmatched concentrations of large herbivores, the remarkable diversity of habitats from coral reefs to montane forests all combine to make Tanzania the most biologically rich nation in mainland Africa.
Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania
The Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania's mission is to work towards the conservation of the flora, fauna, and environment of Tanzania for the benefit of mankind. The Society was founded in 1988 and is Tanzania's only national conservation organization. WCST's Arusha Branch was revived in 2002 after about eight years of dormancy. The Branch was revived in order to revitalize WCST's efforts to achieve its mission in the northern part of the country and to respond to pressing conservation issues in the region as perceived by a growing number of past and present WCST members.
Tanzania is a very important country ornithologically. It has one of the largest species lists of any African country, over 1,000 of which over 800 species are resident and nearly 200 are regular migrants. 56 species are of global conservation concern of which 21 are endemic to Tanzania and a further 43 species occur in only one or two other countries…
Rubondo Island National Park
Description of the park and its attractions including fauna…
Selous Game Reserve
The rich birdlife includes knob-billed duck Sarkidiornis melanotos, southern ground hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri and bateleur eagle Terathopius ecaudatus…
Serengeti National Park
Over 350 recorded bird species include 34 species of raptors, six vultures, kori bustard Choriotis kori, ostrich Struthio camelus and lesser flamingo Phoenicopterus minor (LR); and several with a comparatively restricted distribution such as rufous-tailed weaver Histurgops ruficauda…
Tarangire National Park
The water holes are the feeding ground of the saddle-bill stork. This is a distinguished looking bird with black head, neck, wing coverts and tail, white body and bright red bill banded in black with a yellow saddle. Saddle-bills are to be seen either alone or in pairs, feeding on fish, frogs and small mammals. They move with a slow deliberate gait, but strike quickly if they see suitable prey…
Reports, reflections and resources of an independent birder living in Tanzania…
Birdman BLOG - James Wolstencroft
James Wolstencroft has become known as the birdman of Arusha. His first east african safari was in 1976 although he didn't settle in Tanzania until 2005; bringing Elsie, his wife, and their two sons. James is a lifelong naturalist and very keen birder, whose enthusiasm for all forms of wildlife, has encouraged an interest in many others, some of whom have become avid birders…
Birds of Tanzania: a working checklist
During 1993 the ornithological sub-committee of the East African Natural History Society embarked on a revision of the Birds of East Africa (Britton 1980). As an initial step a revised checklist was required for the East African avifauna. BirdLife International had adopted the latest world list of birds (Sibley and Monroe 1990) for it`s Important Bird Areas programme.
Gombe National Park Bird Checklist
An annotated list of the birds of Gombe National Park, Tanzania.
Tanzanian Birds Images with links to Distribution Maps & Calls - This site may be searched from an alphabetical list of common names, by taxonomic order or by typing the common or scientific name in the search box. On many of the species pages there is a link to the Tanzania Bird Atlas distribution map for that species, courtesy of Neil and Liz Baker. There are also links to bird calls at the Macaulay Library at the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology…
The Uluguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania are one of the most important mountains in Africa for the conservation of biological diversity. They are also the source of the water supply for the largest city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, which has between 3 and 4 million people. In addition to these global and national values they are also home to over 100,000 people in the Luguru tribe who prefer to live on the mountains because of the favourable climate which allows them to grow crops through much of the year, including fruits and temperate vegetables which they can export to the townspeople of the lowlands.
Photographers & Artists
Photographer - Martin Goodey
Some excellent photographs of birds in Tanzania…
Photographer - Ron Eggert
A website for bird and animal lovers with photos and photo stories from Kenya and Tanzania. See also: http://www.birdingafrica.net
Photographer - Ross Warner
Watch a slide-show of excellent photographs…