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Bird Watching

Tanzania is a fantastic birding destinations. With one of the largest species lists of any African country:

over 1,100 of which over 800 species are resident and nearly 200 are regular migrants. 22 species are endemic to Tanzania and a further 43 are near-endemic. Migrants are present from November to April. However it is not only the number of species which sets Tanzania apart as the country protects some of the world's largest and most pristine wilderness areas and the quality of wildlife watching and birding in Tanzania is unsurpassed.

While birding is possible in all of the national parks, the Southern Circuit has outstanding bird viewing in Udzungwa, Ruaha & Kitulo National Parks.

Sample Itineraries

3 Day Ruaha Birdwatching             Iringa Area Birdwatching

Udzungwa

  • The park has the second highest bird diversity in Africa behind only the Ituri Forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is considered one of the most important bird areas in Africa. Ornithologists are attracted to an avian wealth of more than 400 species, from the lovely and readily-located green-headed oriole to more than a dozen secretive Eastern Arc endemics. Four bird species are peculiar to Udzungwa, including a forest partridge first discovered in 1991 and more closely related to an Asian genus than to any other African fowl.

Ruaha

  •  With a checklist of 450 birds including the likes of crested barbet - an attractive yellow & black bird whose persistent trilling is a characteristic sound of the southern bush, can be found alongside central Tanzanian endemics such as the yellow-colored lovebird and ashy starling. Recently discovered species include the Ruaha Red-billed hornbill or Tockus ruahae. The black skin around the eye is what makes this bird different from other Red-billed hornbills.  As well, another new bird is the Ruaha Chat which is differentiated by the plumage of the female.

Kitulo

  •  is an important bird area (IBA) with wintering sites for various bird species from South Africa as well as Australia and Europe. Some species from North Africa, abdims storks in particular, use Kitulo as a wintering area. The plateau is also a home of breeding colonies of blue swallows and denhams bustard. Other endemic bird species include: lesser kestrel, pallid harrier, njombe cristicola, kipengere seed eater and uhehe fiscal. A number of waterbirds can be found at Nzambwe crater lake including yellow billed duck, white faced whistling ducks, common teal, open billed stocks, red knobbed coot and uncommon forest magpie manikin.

Interesting links about birdwatching in Tanzania: Birding Tanzania Blog    Important Bird Areas of Tanzania

The Parks which we offer bird watching tours include:

  • Ruaha National Park

    Ruaha National Park is Tanzania’s and East Africa’s largest park with an area of about 20 226 km2 , it is next only to Katavi Park in its untouched wilderness,

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  • Udzungwa National Park

    The park offers excellent hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. A variety of trails are available to suit different abilities, including the  half day hike to Sanje Waterfalls

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  • Kitulo National Park

    Tanzania's newest park is a rare botanical marvel, the first national park in tropical Africa to be gazetted largely for it floral significance.

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