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Herping on our Kenya & Tanzania Safaris

Enjoy unique Herping Safaris in Kenya & Tanzania...

Kenya & Tanzania are the ideal destinations for an African Herping Safari.  They are home to a unique and diverse array of reptiles and amphibians including a variety of snakes, lizards, worm lizards, crocodiles, tortoises & turtles and frogs.  There are over 400 species of reptiles in East Africa and over 275 of these occur in Tanzania; many of these are endemic.  Amphibian species in Tanzania number around 130.   These numbers are likely to rise as the herpetofauna in the region is still poorly known.

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National Parks & Game Reserves of Tanzania
Tanzania National PArks

 

What reptiles will I see
on my Herping Safari?

Northern Tanzania Safari
Southern Tanzania Safari
Zanzibar Safaris

 

Birding Tanzania
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Over 400 reptile species in Region

Chameleons... Dragons... Geckos... Cobras... Vipers... Pythons... and more!

 

 


 

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.  Reptiles occur throughout these diverse landscapes, apart from above the snow line.

Join us on a unique African Safari where we look for & appreciate all the animals, big AND small.  We incorporate herping within all our safaris, taking extra time on our guided bush walks to discover what Tanzania has to offer for the keen Herper. 

Ethical Herping on Safari

Please be assured that we are ethical in our search for and enjoyment of reptiles;

  • We replace any objects moved.
  • We do not destroy micro-habitats to get at hiding animals.
  • We do not crowd or stress animals for our own enjoyment.

 

 

Herping in Tanzania & kenya is exciting - especially as much of it is still unchartered and there is still a real possibility of finding new species!  A few of the species you are likely to encounter on our Tanzania Safaris are listed below.
Regions visited on our Tanzania Safaris
 

Northern Tanzania

Southern Tanzania Zanzibar Safaris
Regions

Arusha Nat Pk
Tarangire
Ngorongoro
Serengeti

Arusha Nat Pk
Ruaha
Selous
Coastal Forests

Zanzibar
Pemba

Part of a Herping Group?

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

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



Arusha National Park

Arusha National Park lies to the eastern side of the Great Rift Valley and encompasses the eastern slopes of Mt Meru.  Spend 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 reptiles and amphibians that occur in the area are listed on the right.

 

Frogging in wetland areas

Chameleons in evergreen forests

 

 

Common:  
Turner’s Thick-toed Gecko Pachydactylus turneri
Egyptian Cobra Naja haje
Gracile Chameleon Chamaeleo gracilis
Guttaral Toad Bufo regularis gutturalis
Mascarene Grass Frog Ptychadena mascareniensis
Northern Platanna (frog) Xenopus muelleri
Olive Marsh Snake Natriciteres olivacea
Red-headed Rock Agama Agama agama
Southern African Rock Python Python natalensis
Leopard Tortoise Geochelone pardalis babcocki
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
Jackson's Chameleon* Chamaeleo jacksoni merumontanus
Kilimanjaro Two-horned Chameleon* Chamaeleo tavetanus
   

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is situated to the east of the Rift Valley escarpment.  The semi-arid park and surrounding region consists of baobabs and acacia trees making for excellent wildlife viewing. 

Southern African rock pythons are often seen resting in acacia trees in the park’s swampy areas.  Enjoy exploring the diverse range of habitats in this region.  Some of the reptiles that occur in the area are listed on the right.

 

Southern African Rock Pythons in acacia trees

Semi-arid habitat

 

 

Common:  
Boomslang Dispholidus typus
Kenya Pygmy-Chameleon Rhampholeon kerstenii
Kenya Sand Boa Eryx colubrinus
Leopard Tortoise Geochelone pardalis babcocki
Pancake Tortoise Malacochersus tornieri
Puff Adder Bitis arietans
Red-headed Rock Agama Agama agama
Southern African Rock Python Python natalensis
Speke's Hinged Tortoise Kinixys spekii
Sundevall's Writhing Skink Lygosoma sundevalli
Tree skink Mabuya planifrons
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
Short-necked Skink Mabuya brevicollis
Tiger Snake* Telescopus semiannualtus
   

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. 

Explore the diverse range of habitats occurring here, from wetlands and alkaline lakes to forests and open plains.  Some of the reptiles that occur in the area are listed on the right.

World Heritage listed

Ngorongoro Crater

Extinct & collapsed volcanoes

 

Common:  
Brown House Snake Lampropholis fuliginosus
Flap-necked Chameleon Chamaeleo dilepis
Red-headed Rock Agama Agama agama
Ruwenzori side-striped chameleon Chamaeleo rudis
Spotted Bush Snake Philothamnus semivariegatus
Tropical Spiny Agama Agama armata
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
Hanang Hornless Chameleon* Chamaeleo uthmoelleri
   

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. 

The Serengeti is famous for its million strong Great Wildebeest Migration, and the great river crossings.  Nile crocodiles occur in these rivers and are able to feast to their heart's content during these periods. Other reptiles also occur in the Serengeti and some of the reptiles that you should see during your time here are listed on the right.

Vast Grass Plains

Large kopjes (granite outcrops)

Riverine Forests, Hills & Valleys

 

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Common:  
Black-necked Spitting Cobra Naja nigricollis
Brown House Snake Lampropholis fuliginosus
Dwarf Sand Snake Psammophis angolensis
Mwanza Flat-headed Agama Agama mwanzae
Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus
Nile Monitor Varanus niloticus
Slug Eater (snake) Duberria lutrix
Southern African Python Python natalensis
Speke's Hinged Tortoise Kinixys spekii
Spotted Bush Snake Philothamnus semivariegatus
Striped Skink Mabuya striata
Tropical Spiny Agama Agama armata
Variable Skink Mabuya varia
   

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.  During your time in the park you should see some of the reptiles listed on the right.

Untouched wilderness

Vegetational transition zone

Stately Baobabs

Common:  
Angolan Green Snake Philothamnus angolensis
Black mamba Dendroaspis polylepis
Boomslang Dispholidus typus
Brown House Snake Lampropholis fuliginosus
Kenya Sand Boa Eryx colubrinus
Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus
Nile Monitor Varanus niloticus
Pancake Tortoise Malacochersus tornieri
Sundevall's Writhing Skink Lygosoma sundevalli
Variable Skink Mabuya varia
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
Tiger Snake* Telescopus semiannualtus
   

 

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 a safari in this park include the boat and walking safaris, both of which allow for wildlife-observation from a different perspective.  Some of the species of reptiles we should see are listed on the right.

 

Largest African Game Reserve

Mighty Rufiji River

Network of Lakes & Lagoons

Unusual Boat Safari

Rocky cliffs of Stiegler's Gorge

 

Common:  
Boomslang Dispholidus typus
Great Plated Lizard Gerrhosaurus major
Green mamba Dendroaspis angusticeps
Mozambique Agama Agama mossambica
Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus
Nile Monitor Varanus niloticus
Snouted Night Adder Causus deflippii
South-Eastern Green-Snake Philothamnus hoplogaster
Striped Skink Mabuya striata
Sundevall's Writhing Skink Lygosoma sundevalli
Tree gecko Hemidactylus modestus
   
Unusual or endemic* to region:
Tiger Snake* Telescopus semiannualtus
   

Coastal Forests

The coastal region of East Africa is ecologically rich, highly diverse and home to a diverse range of reptiles.  The coast includes thick forests, thickets, mangroves, river inlets, saltpans, tidal mudflats and offshore islands. The region is thus of major importance for many animals.  During your time on the mainland coast, some of the reptiles you should see are listed on the right.

 

Ecologically Rich & Highly Diverse

Forests & Mangroves

River Inlets, Saltpans, Tidal Mudflats

Offshore Islands

 

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Common:  
Black-lined Plated Skink Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus
Dull-green Day Gecko Phelsuma dubia
Gaboon Viper Bitis gabonica
Giant one-horned Chameleon Chamaeleo melleri
Semi-Ornate Snake Meizodon semiornatus
Striped Skink Mabuya striata
Tree gecko Hemidactylus modestus
Tropical Girdled Lizard Cordylus tropidosternum
Tropical House Gecko Hemidactylus mabouia
Variable Skink Mabuya varia
Yellow-bellied Hinged Terrapin Pelusios castanoides
Yellow-headed dwarf gecko Lygodactylus luteopicturatus
   

Zanzibar Safaris

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Zanzibar

Zanzibar Island is famous throughout the world for its spices and for its outstanding coral reefs.  Less well-known is  the range of terrestrial fauna on the island - reptile species include 2 endemic species.  The indigenous Jozani Forest Reserve is the last remaining forest and is home to a number of reptile species.  During your time in Zanzibar, you should see some of the species of reptiles listed on the right.

 

Spice & Coral Island

Indigenous Forests

2 Endemic reptile
s
pecies

 

Common:  
Brook's Gecko Hemidactylus brooki
Brown House Snake Lampropholis fuliginosus
Green Turtle Chelodina mydas
Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata
Nile Monitor Varanus niloticus
Spotted Bush Snake Philothamnus semivariegatus
Tree gecko Hemidactylus modestus
Yellow-headed Dwarf Gecko Lygodactylus luteopicturatus luteopicturatus
   
Unusual or  endemic* to region:
Usambara Green-snake* Philothamnus macrops
Zanzibar Blind-Snake* Rhinotyphlops pallidus
   

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 five endemic reptile 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 should see some of the reptile species listed on the right.

Lush jungle-like canopy

5 endemic reptile species

Marine turtle nesting beaches

 

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Common:  
Brook's Gecko Hemidactylus brooki
Brown House Snake Lampropholis fuliginosus
Central African Rock Python Python sebae
Green Turtle Chelodina mydas
Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata
Mozambique Spitting Cobra Naja mossambia
Tree gecko Hemidactylus modestus
Yellow-bellied Hinged Terrapin Pelusios castanoides
   
Unusual or  endemic* to Pemba :
Pemba Day Gecko* Phelsuma abbotti
Pemba Island Writhing-skink* Lygosoma pembanum
Pemba Marsh Snake* Natriciteres pembana
Pemba Wolf Snake* Lycophidion Pembanum
Pemba Worm Snake* Leptotyphlops pembae
   

 

Part of a Herping Group?

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

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

 
     
 

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

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

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

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

On Safari: | BirdingHerping | Photography | Climb Kilimanjaro | Gorilla Safaris | Chimpanzee Safaris |


Conservation Safaris
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