Kenya & Tanzania Safaris
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Private Birding Safaris

Enjoy unique Birding Safaris in Kenya & Tanzania...

With over 1000 bird species, Kenya & Tanzania have amongst the largest number of species of birds of any African country.  Over 800 species are resident and about 200 are migratory species, with a large number of endemics and over 56 species under threat.  Tanzania has over 80 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) covering over 167,000km2, and identified under criteria set by Birdlife International.

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National Parks & Game Reserves of Tanzania
Tanzania National PArks

 

What birds will I see
on my Private Birding Safari?

Northern Tanzania Safari
Southern Tanzania Safari
Coast & Zanzibar Safaris

 

Birding Tanzania
click on map for detail

Over 1000 bird species

Over 80 Important Bird Areas

 

 


 

East Africa is a land of vast, dramatic landscapes and spectacular wildlife.  The landscapes range topographically from the low-lying coastal regions up to 5825m at the peak of the highest mountain in Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro.  Habitats within these landscapes range from lush forests, woodlands, bush & grasses, to semi-arid country & deserts to freshwater lakes & rivers, soda lakes, coastal beaches & reefs.

East Africa is thus home not only to such icons as Mt Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti with its Great Wildebeest Migration, the Great Rift Valley and Ngorongoro Crater, but also to a host of stunning avifauna that takes advantage of the diverse landscapes.  Tanzania's 80 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) include regions in which there is a high level of endemism, or that contain globally threatened species.

Several IBAs are included on each of our Tanzania Safaris.  Further information about these IBAs and just a few of the species you are likely to encounter on our Tanzania Safaris are listed below.


Important Bird Areas on our Tanzania Safaris
 

Northern Tanzania

Southern Tanzania Coastal & Zanzibar
IBAs

Mt Kilimanjaro
Ngorongoro
Serengeti

Mt Kilimanjaro
Ruaha
Selous
Coastal Forests

Zanzibar
Pemba

Part of a Birding Group?

Then contact us to discuss extra special rates for a private birding safari, exclusive to your group...

... PLUS a donation to your society or favorite charity!



Mount Kilimanjaro & Arusha

The slopes of Kilimanjaro are covered in forest between 1500m and 3000m, with both forest and alpine bird species occurring here.  Enjoy the first day of your Tanzania Safari exploring the forests of Arusha National Park & wetlands of Ngurdoto Crater, in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro.  Some of the birds you can expect to see are listed on the right.

 

Stunning wetlands & waterbirds

Ngurdoto Crater

 

 

Common:  
Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus
Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor
Maccoa Duck Oxyura maccoa
Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus
Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis
Silvery cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes brevis
Trumpeter Hornbill Bycanistes bucinator
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
Alpine Chat Cercomela sordida
Lammergeier* Gypaetus barbatus
   

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is World Heritage listed and a Biosphere Reserve.  The area is comprised of the famous Ngorongoro crater – the world’s largest unbroken caldera –the Crater highlands; a chain of extinct and collapsed volcanoes and the eastern part of the Serengeti Plains. 

Enjoy exploring the diverse range of habitats that occur here, from wetlands and alkaline lakes to forests and open plains.  The area is home to over 550 species of birds, many of them endemic.  Some of the birds that you can expect to see are listed on the right.

 

Jackson's Widowbird
"From January to April, this sociable bird transforms from being a small drab job into a dark, long-tailed bird that dances about frantically to attract a mate.  

Jackson described the antics... as 'a truly ridiculous sight': males set up a small area in long grass in which they repeatedly jump up and down, with jumps getting well over 50cm in height. They dance like this all day, most enthusiastically in the early morning and late afternoon."
David Andrew/ Susan Rhind
Watching Wildlife East Africa

 

Common:  
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus rubber
Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
Kittlitz’s Plover Charadruis pecuarius
Kori Bustard Ardeotis kori
Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor
Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture Gyps rueppellii
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
African Water Rail Rallus caerulescens
Fischer’s Lovebird* Agerpornis fischeri
Jackson’s Widowbird* Euplectes jacksoni
Northern Anteater Chat* Myrmecocichla aethiops
   

Serengeti Plains

This most famous and celebrated National Park in Africa is Tanzania’s largest at almost 15,000km2.  The Serengeti consists of vast, seemingly endless grass plains in the south-east of the park, punctuated by twisted, solitary acacia trees and large kopjes.  In the western corridor where the Grumeti River runs, there are riverine forests, hills, valleys and plains. 

Whilst it is most famous for its million strong Great Wildebeest Migration, the Serengeti is also home to over 500 bird species.  The highest bird numbers and diversity occurs from October to April. Some of the birds that you can expect to see here are listed on the right.

Vast Grass Plains

Riverine Forests, Hills & Valleys

Over 500 bird species

 

Secretary Bird
"Standing 1.2m high & striding up to 20km a day, this high stepping bird is unique to Africa.  It kills its prey with a rain of swift kicks from thick, powerful feet and snakes are stamped to death in a lethal flamenco.

Its body & head resemble those of a large eagle, but other traits suggest a common ancestry with storks. 

Courtship flights are very raptor-like and include graceful swoops from great height in a "pendulum display" as well as tumbling in mid-air with feet outstretched towards each other."
David Andrew/ Susan Rhind
Watching Wildlife East Africa

 

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Common:  
Common ostrich Struthio camelus
Chestnut weaver Ploceus rubiginosus
Little bee-eater Merops pusillus
Malachite kingfisher Alcedo cristata
Marabou stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus
Pin-tailed whydah Widua macroura
Secretary bird Sagittarius serpentarius
Superb starlings Lamprotornis superbus
   
Migrants:
Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaicus
May-Aug
European Roller Coracias garrulous
Oct-Apr
Levaillant’s Cuckoo Oxylophus levaillantii
Oct-Jun
Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus
Oct-Apr
White Stork Ciconia ciconia
Feb-May
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
Fischer's Lovebird* Agapornis fischeri
Grey-breasted Spurfowl* Francolinus rufopictus
Rufous-tailed Weaver* Histurgops ruficaudus
   

Southern Tanzania Safaris

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Ruaha National Park

Despite being Tanzania’s second largest National Park, Ruaha is rarely visited and remains a relatively untouched wilderness.  It is located on a dry central plateau, and is bounded by the Mzombe River to the north and the Ruaha River to the south. 

The wildlife and vegetation found in this transition zone is a unique combination of Eastern (Acacia-Combretum) and Southern (Crachystegia) African species.  The park includes riverine vegetation and baobabs that provide hollows for many bird species.  There are over 400 species of birds, and during your time in the park you can expect to see some of the birds listed on the right.

 

Untouched wilderness

Vegetational transition zone

Stately Baobabs

Common:  
Brown Parrot Poicephalus meyeri
Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus
Pale-billed Hornbill Tockus pallodirostris
Pink-backed Pelican Oelicanus rufescens
Purple-crested Turaco Tauraco porphyreolophus
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver Bubalornis niger
von der Decken’s Hornbill Tockus deckeni
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
Ashy Starling* Lamprotornis unicolor
Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae
Oct-Nov
Yellow-collared Lovebird* Agapornis personatus
   

Selous Game Reserve

Although Selous Game Reserve is little known, it has been World heritage listed and is one of the largest protected areas in Africa at over 50,000km2. The park consists of plains punctuated by hills and occasional rocky outcrops cut by the mighty Rufiji River; the banks of the river gradually give way to the rocky cliffs of the spectacular Stieglers’ Gorge.  The myriad of tributaries form a network of lakes and lagoons, connected by channels of water.

The highlights of this park include the boat and walking safaris, both of which allow for bird-observation from a different perspective.  With over 440 bird species recorded in Selous, some of the species you can expect to see are listed on the right.

 

Largest African Game Reserve

Mighty Rufiji River

Network of Lakes & Lagoons

Unusual Boat Safari

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Common:  
African Palm Swift Cypsiurus parvus
African Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer
Brown-headed Parrot Poicephalus crptoxanthus
Common Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
Crowned Hornbill Tockus alboterminatus
Dickson’s Kestrels Falco dickinsoni
Green wood-Hoopee Phoeniculus purpureus
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris
Pel’s Fishing Owl Scotopelia peli
White-backed Night Heron Gorsachius leuconotos
   

 


Coastal & Zanzibar Safaris

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Coastal Forests

The coastal region of Tanzania & Kenya is ecologically rich, highly diverse and home to over 450 species of birds.  The coast includes thick forests, thickets, mangroves, river inlets, saltpans, tidal mudflats and offshore islands. The region is thus of major importance for many water birds, including migratory waders.  During your time on the mainland coast, some of the birds you can expect to see are listed on the right.

 

Over 450 species of birds

Ecologically Rich & Highly Diverse

Forests & Mangroves

River Inlets, Saltpans, Tidal Mudflats

Offshore Islands

 

Common:  
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Palm-nut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis
Striated Heron Butorides striatus
Water Thick-Knee Burhinus vermiculatus
Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea
White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata
   
Migrants:
Curlew Sandpiper Cakidris ferruginea
Aug-May
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
Sep-May
Little Stint Calidris minuta
Aug-May
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinerus
Aug-April
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
African Water Rail Rallus caerulescens
 
   

Zanzibar

Zanzibar Island is famous throughout the world for its spices and for its outstanding coral reefs.  With over 200 bird species on the island, there is a diverse range of avifauna here, including both endemic species and subspecies.  There are two IBAs here and both are important for water birds such as terns and waders. 

The indigenous Jozani Forest Reserve is the last remaining forest and is home to more than 40 bird species including several endemic species.  During your time in Zanzibar, you can expect to see some of the species of birds listed on the right.

 

Spice & Coral Island

Indigenous Forests

Endemic Species & Subspecies

Waterbird haven

 

Common:  
African Jacana Actophilornis africanus
African Pygmy Kingfisher Ispidina picta
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Crab Plover Dromas aedeola
Dark-backed Weaver Ploceus bicolor
Dimorphic Egret Egretta dimorpha
East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningi
Mangrove Kingfisher Halcyon senegaloides
Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
   
Unusual or  endemic* race:
Fischer's Turaco* Tauraco fischeri
Grey Sunbird* Cyanomitra veroxii
Little Greenbul* Andropadus virens
   

   

Pemba

Pemba lies to the north of Zanzibar Island and about 50km off the mainland.  Despite its proximity to Zanzibar, it is rarely visited by tourists and remains relatively remote.  The largest remaining patch of forest, Ngezi forest, has a lush jungle-like canopy with thick cover on the forest floor and is home to four endemic species. 

The nearby Misali island is covered in forest and our secluded beach retreat is surrounded by mangrove forests.  During your time on Pemba island, you can explore these habitats and expect to see some of the bird species listed on the right.

 

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Common:  
African Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer
Bat Hawk Macheiramphus alcinus
Brown-headed Parrot Poicephalus crptoxanthus
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
   
Unusual or  endemic* to Pemba :
Pemba Green Pigeon* Treron pembaensis
Pemba Scops Owl* Otus pembaensis
Pemba Sunbird* Cinnyris pembae
Pemba White-eye* Zosterops vaughani
   

 

Part of a Birding Group?

Then contact us to discuss extra special rates for a private birding safari, exclusive to your group...

... PLUS a donation to your society or favorite charity!

 
     
 

We hope that this has whet your appetite to come birding in Tanzania.

Join us on a unique Luxury Tanzania Safari where we take time to observe the birds & support conservation programs to conserve their habitat. 

We hope to see you soon on our Tanzania Safaris... until then, happy birding!

 
Private Safaris in Tanzania: | Classic Tanzania Safaris |Connoisseur Tanzania Safaris |  
Private Safaris in Kenya:     | Classic Kenya Safaris Connoisseur Kenya Safaris

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Conservation Safaris
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