Birding Factoids

1,104 species
in 75 families

21 endemic species
30 endangered species
76 speciality species
3 week trip expectation -
about 400 species

Checklist of Tanzania BirdsTours and GuidesEco-LodgesSpeciality BirdsMap and General Country InformationClimate
Many of the photos on this page are from Ross Warner's Tanzania Bird Photo Safari,
Neil and Liz Baker's East-African Birds Gallery
and Ron Eggert's East African Birds Gallery.
Also, check out images of Tanzania's Birds on Stamps
Tanzania Specialities
Superb Starling - Photo copyright Ross Warner
Photo copyright Ross Warner
Grey Woodpecker - Photo copyright Nigel Blake
Photo copyright Nigel Blake
Martial Eagle - Photo copyright Ross Warner
Photo copyright Ross Warner
Snowy-crowned Robin-chat - Photo copyright Gerard Mornie
Photo copyright Gerard Mornie
Lesser Bristlebill - Photo copyright Brian Schmidt
Photo copyright Brian Schmidt
Kori Bustard - Photo copyright Ross Warner
Photo copyright Ross Warner
Capped Wheatear - Photo copyright Stefan Tewinkel
Photo copyright Stefan Tewinkel
Long-toed Lapwing - Photo copyright Eric Van Poppel
Photo copyright Eric Van Poppel
Great White Pelican - Photo copyright Allen Chartier
Photo copyright Allen Chartier
Beautiful Sunbird - Photo copyright Gerard Mornie
Photo copyright Gerard Mornie
Hadada Ibis - Photo copyright David Geale
Photo copyright David Geale
    ....Coastal Forests Project Tanzania - Important Bird Areas by Neil 
      and Liz Baker. Detailed information is provided on the following areas: 
      • Pangani
      • Lindi
      • Muheza
      • Rufiji
      • Handeni
      • East Uambara
      • Mtwara
      • Newala
      • Bagamoyo
      • Kilwa
      • Kisarawe
    ....Tanzania's Natural Attractions - Tanzania has some world famous
      natural attractions. They include Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti National Park , and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Less famous attractions but which are worth a visit are parks in the western and southern parts of the country, such as the Selous Game Reserve. This site provides information on all Tanzania's national parks and game reserves. Another site on the parks and reserves.
    ....Tanzania Birding Destinations - this commercial site provides
      information on a number of key birding locations in Tanzania, including:
      • Arusha Park
      • Ngorongoro Crater
      • Lake Manyara Park
      • Tarangire Park
      • Serengeti National Park
      • Mikumi National Park
      • Udzungwa National Park
      • Usambara Mountains and Amani Nature Reserve
    ....Tarangire National Park - Mkungunero District - In the extreme
      southeast corner of the park there are several pools of fresh water which form oases in otherwise dry country. These pools attract a wide variety of water birds and mammals.
    ....Serengeti National Park - Over 350 recorded bird species include 34
      species of raptors, six vultures, plus kori bustard, ostrich, lesser flamingo, and several with a comparatively restricted distribution such as rufous-tailed weaver.
    ....Selous Game Reserve - The rich birdlife includes
      knob-billed duck, southern ground hornbill and bateleur eagle.
    ....Ruaha National Park - Tanzania’s best kept secret is the Ruaha
      National Park - due to its relative inaccessibility, Ruaha is Africa as it once was centuries ago, yet with all the comforts that today’s traveler expects. Thousands of birds flock to Ruaha on their annual migration from Europe to Asia, and 465 bird species have been sighted in the park. The park's residents include kingfishrs, plovers, hornbills, green wood hoopoes, bee-eaters, sunbirds and egrets.
    ....Tanzania's Tourist Profile - The wildlife resources are among the
      finest in the world. They include, in the north the Serengeti plains, the Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Lake Manyara. In the south, the Selous Game Reserve,     Mikumi, Ruaha, Gombe Stream, Mahale Mountains and Katavi national parks, and Ugalla Complex. Links are provided with information on all these sites.
    ....An Annotated List of the Birds of Gombe National Park, Tanzania.
    ....Trip Report: Tanzania - 11th August to 31st August 2003, by Mark
      Sutton. Our initial plans were to spend the first half of the holiday in Kenya, with the second half in Northern Tanzania, but due to terrorist threats the UK Government were advising against travel to Kenya. As a result we could not get insurance cover for Kenya, this combined with our personal safety concerns meant we changed our plans to a purely Tanzanian trip at quite short notice. 
    ....Trip Report: Tanzania - 14th December 2000 to 9th January 2001 -
      by David B. Collinge. Tanzania was both a marvellous and shocking experience. This was my first visit to Africa and I was not prepared for the extent to which Africa differs from Europe. In addion to accounts of the individual sites visited, summary lists of the bird and
      mammalian life seen are provided and practical information about getting around.
    ....Trip Report: Kenya & Tanzania - October 12 to November 8, 2000. 
      By Linda Lee Baker. The animal & bird watching was excellent in each country, but was far better in Tanzania.  This was our fourth trip to the continent (South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe previously), and we saw more animals than in the last 3 trips combined.
    ....Trip Report: Tanzania: September 10 - November 30, 2000. By Henrik
      Gustafsson. This trip was a part of my teacher-training program and not a pure birding trip. My time in Tanzania began with three weeks of work in a secondary school in Marangu. After this, I went on a four-day safari visiting Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara. After a few more days back in Marangu I went out travelling again, mostly in the Zanzibar Islands. Tanzania is a beautiful and friendly country that I without doubt can recommend a visit to.
    ....Tanzania and Kenya Trip Report - October 7-27, 1999 by David Kelly. 
      My annual holiday this year was to be in Australia but the friends we were going with couldn't make it, so my wife, Lillian, and I decided to go to Kenya. From the UK one of the most economical ways to visit Africa is to go by overland truck. This means that you follow a preset itinerary and that you have to camp but we had a good time. 
    ....Trip Report: Tanzania - by Ross Warner. In December 1997, 
      my wife and I went on a two-week photography safari to Tanzania. We flew to Arusha, Tanzania by way of Amsterdam, and then traveled to the following locations: 
      •      Serengeti National Park 
      •      Ngorongoro Conservation Area 
      •      Tarangire National Park 
    ....Tanzania Trip Report - Dar-es-Salaam, Selous’s Game Reserve
      and Morogoro - 25 September to 1 October 1993 by Michael Mills
    ....Trip Report: Tanzania: September 1999, by J. P. Paris. A friend 
      called me in January, 1999 and asked me if I wished to join a small group of 5 for a trip in Tanzania in September. I did not take long time to accept! The trip was very classic in fact. We visited the main National Park of the North Tanzania.
    ....Tanzania and Kenya Trip Report -  30 June to 20 July 1996 by 
      Michael Mills. This trip report covers Nairobi, Amboseli NP, Arusha, Arusha NP, Tarangire NP, Ngorogoro Crator and Serengeti NP.
    ....Trip Report: Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi, February 1996. 
      'Cheating' for Southern African Species North of the Zambezi River, by Mike Pope and Grant Dunbar. It was the following extract of an article about birding in Kenya that caught my attention about what really does lie north of the Zambezi. It comes from "Where to watch birds in Africa."  'Expect to see more birds than you can possibly imagine in Kenya. Some bird tour companies notch up to 600 species in 2 weeks and 700 species in 3 weeks. In 1991 Brian Finch set the African record by notching up a staggering 797 species in just 25 days, this also included 70 mammal species...' 
    ....Trip Report: Tanzania, January 2 - February 4, 1998 - by Gonçalo
      Elias, Portugal
    Factoids taken from Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley.
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Tours and Guides

...>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Tanzanian Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Secretary-bird - Photo copyright Ross Warner
Photo copyright Ross Warner
Hartelaub's Bustard - Photo copyright Noato Noda
Photo copyright Noato Noda
Reichenow's Batis (Weaver) - Photo copyright Paul and Helen Harris
Photo copyright Paul and Helen Harris
    **..Tanzanian Tours with Tropical Birding. Our trips are generally 
      for keen birders, both experienced and inexperienced. It is not necessary to be an expert or a super-lister to enjoy yourself. Our tours are designed for enthusiastic travellers who enjoy spending most, if not all, of their holiday time birding. Our goal is to get birders to the world's most amazing places, seeing the world's most amazing birds, in as much comfort as possible. Our trips range from shorter day-trips out of Cape Town to intensive three-week birding safaris throughout the continent and we offer both set departure and custom-made tours.
    **..Birding Tanzania - with Birding & Beyond Safaris. Tanzania boasts
      a  large number of unusual and endemic bird species, and a list which nearly equals that of neighbouring Kenya. We shall visit the famous northern parks, as well as areas of endemism, which include the Eastern Arc Mountains of Usambara  Udzungwa and Uluguru, plus the  Kilombero floodplains, where several new specieshave been discovered in the last twenty years. In addition we will visit Tanzania`s most popular destinations to include:The Serengeti Plains,Ngorongoro Crater,Lake Manyara,Tarangire,Arusha and Mikumi Parks. BIRDING & BEYOND SAFARIS will be happy to host you Birding in Tanzania.We  are a specialized Bird watching operator in East African Safaris. Our target market circles around all categories of Bird watchers around the world. We will guide you Birding and Big Game viewing through out Tanzania and provide options for extentions into neighbouring Kenya and Uganda. Our Itineraries  are designed to to take you through the most popular bird and Big Games  sites in Tanzania. Our Experience is what makes us Unique!
    **..Big Game & Birds of Northern Tanzania with Victor Emanuel Nature
      Tours (VENT). The savanna grasslands of East Africa are the most famous wildlife spectacle in the world. Nowhere else on earth is there such a massive concentration of large animals–predators and prey alike. Nowhere else is there such a wide variety of unique wildlife, and nowhere else is such a fabled wildlife so easily observed. This is a classic African safari focusing on the very heart of this almost unbelievable wildlife extravaganza–the huge game parks of northern Tanzania, including the legendary Serengeti Plains and Ngorongoro Crater. Birds are equally abundant - we would expect to find over 400 species in total on this short wildlife safari. 
      VENT offers nearly 140 tours to over 100 land-based destinations each year and is the largest tour company in the world specializing in birding and natural history.
    **..The Ecology of Tanzania and Kenya - Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris.
      • June 26 to July 16, 2004
      No place in the world can offer such an immensity of mammals and birds! This safari will encompass the diversity of East Africa’s unparalleled wild lands, our favorite tour now for over twenty years.  We focus on East Africa’s stunning natural history, animal behavior, birding, and photography.  This is natural Africa as it should be, defining the in-depth nature tour. Leaders: Doug & Gail Cheeseman and local drivers. 16 participants.

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White-headed Buffalo-weaver - Photo copyright Ross Warner
Photo copyright Ross Warner

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Endemics and Specialities

in Tanzania

Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.5, supplemented by material found in Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley. African speciality birds, while not endemic, are those that can only be found in three or less countries of Africa. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in Tanzania. 

Endemics in Tanzania
___ Banded Sunbird
___ Grey-breasted Spurfowl
___ Kilombero Weaver
___ Kipengere Seedeater
___ Loveridge's Sunbird
___ Moreau's Sunbird
___ Mrs. Moreau's Warbler
___ Northern Mountain Greenbul
___ Pemba Green-Pigeon
___ Pemba Scops-Owl
___ Reichenow's Batis
___ Rufous-tailed Weaver
___ Rufous-winged Sunbird
___ South Pare White-eye
___ Southern Mountain Greenbul
___ Udzunga Forest Partridge
___ Uluguru Bushshrike
___ Uluguru Mountain Greenbul
___ Usambara Akalat
___ Usambara Eagle-Owl
___ Usambara Weaver
Endangered Birds in Tanzania
(endemics are printed in bold italic)

Breeding Birds

Non-Breeding Birds

___ Abbott's Starling
___ Amani Sunbird
___ Banded Sunbird
___ Blue Swallow
___ Dappled Mountain-Robin
___ East Coast Akalat
___ Grey-crested Helmet-shrike
___ Iringa Akalat
___ Karamoja Apalis
___ Kilombero Weaver
___ Kungwe Apalis
___ Long-billed Tailor-bird
___ Mrs. Moreau's Warbler
___ Rufous-winged Sunbird
___ Sokoke Pipit
___ Sokoke Scops-Owl
___ South Pare White-eye
___ Spotted Ground-Thrush
___ Swynnerton's Robin
___ Taita Falcon
___ Thin-billed Flycatcher-Warbler
___ Udzungwa Forest Partridge
___ Uluguru Bushshrike
___ Usambara Akalat
___ Usambara Eagle-Owl
___ Usambara Weaver
___ Wattled Crane
___ White-winged Apalis
___ Corn Crake
___ Lesser Kestrel

Other Near-Endemic Birds in Tanzania
(adapted from Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley.)

___ Abbott's Starling
___ African Tailorbird
___ Amani Sunbird
___ Athi Short-toed Lark
___ Babbling Starling
___ Bertrand's Weaver
___ Black-lored Cisticola
___ Broad-winged White-eye
___ Brown-headed Apalis
___ Buff-bellied Penduline Chat
___ Buff-shouldered Widowbird
___ Chapin's Apalis
___ Chubb's Cisticola
___ Churring Cisticola
___ Dapple-throat
___ East Coast Akalat
___ Eastern Double-collared 
___ Sunbird
___ Fire-fronted Bishop
___ Fischer's Greenbul
___ Fischer's Starling
___ Fischer's Turaco
___ Fuelleborn's Boubou
___ Golden-winged Sunbird
___ Grey-crested Helmetshrike
___ Hartlaub's Turaco
___ Hildebrandt's Starling
___ Hunter's Cisticola
___ Jackson's Widowbird
___ Karamoja Apalis
___ Kenrick's Starling
___ Kenya Grosbeak-Canary
___ Kretschmar's Longbill
___ Kungwe Apalis
___ Laura's Wood-warbler
___ Lesser Seedcracker
___ Long-billed Tailorbird
___ Long-tailed Fiscal
___ Malagasy Scops-Owl
___ Miomba Barbet
___ Mombasa Woodpecker
___ Moorland Chat
___ Northern Pied-Babbler
___ Olive-headed Weaver
___ Olive-flanked Robin-Chat
___ Oustalet's Sunbird
___ Pale Batis
___ Pangani Longclaw
___ Plain-backed Sunbird
___ Red-faced Barbet
___ Red-throated Tit
___ Scaly Babbler
___ Scaly Chatterer
___ Scheffler's Owlet
___ Sharpe's Akalat
___ Sharpe's Greenbul
___ Sharpe's Pied-Babbler
___ Short-tailed Batis
___ Sokoke Pipit
___ Sokoke Scops-Owl
___ Spot-throat
___ Sterling's Woodpecker
___ Stripe-cheeked Bulbul
___ Swahili Sparrow
___ Swynnerton's Robin
___ Taveta Golden-Weaver
___ Tiny Greenbul
___ Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird
___ Usambara Barbet
___ Violet-winged Sunbird
___ White-chested Alethe
___ White-headed Mousebird
___ White-winged Apalis
___ Yellow Flycatcher
___ Yellow-browed Seedeater
___ Zanzibar Bishop

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Weather and Best Birding

  Information obtained fromand
from Where to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley.

Month Birding Conditions Dar Es Salaam
F / C
January Best birding
81.3 / 27.4
February Best birding
81.7 / 27.6
March Best birding
80.8 / 27.1
April ...
79.0 / 26.1
May ...
77.2 / 25.1
June ...
75.0 / 23.9
July Good birding
73.9 / 23.3
August Good birding
74.3 / 23.5
September Good birding
75.2 / 24.0
October Good birding
77.0 / 25.0
November ...
79.2 / 26.2
December ...
81.1 / 27.3
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