Tanzania has a lot of favorite birding spots for tourists and some of them will be listed in the article. There are also many guides who can take you through the birding process by identifying the different bird species and their characters. But for as long as you follow their guidelines, you will enjoy birding in Tanzania.
Where To Go Birding in Tanzania
There are several birding destinations in Tanzania and some these include the following:
Arusha National park
Arusha National park should be on everyone’s birding list when visiting Tanzania. The park has over 400bird species that have been recorded and some of these include the following:
- Migratory birds
These can be seen from November to April and they include the verreaux’s Eagle, Raptors and the Augur buzzard which can be seen flying above the crater Ngurdoto.
- water birds
The water birds can be seen lounging around the Momella Lake and some of the bird species include the pelican, duck, and Heron birds, the little Grebe, Flamingo and the Wader.
Mikumi National Park
Mikumi is a good birding spot in Tanzania and it has over 500 bird species that have been registered. This park is highly dominated with hills and the Miombo woodlands with a view of the plains and these act as habitats for the different bird species which include the pale billed Hornbill, Hoopoes, wood Hoopoes, the Shelley’s sunbird Marabou stork, Bateluer eagle, guinea fowls, yellow throated long claws, black bellied bustards and the Racket Tailed Roller.
Udzungwa Mountain National Park
The Udzungwa Park is one of the top three mainland conservation areas in Africa and it is an excellent spot for birding and some of the bird species that have been recorded to be habituating in Udzungwa are the pell’s vulture, Rofous winged sunbird, Francolin, the Udzungwa partridge, the white shrike flycatcher, Trumpeter Hornbill, Fork tailed Drongo, Uluguru violet-Backed sunbird, African Marabou, African hobby and the crowned Eagle.
Serengeti National Park
There are several bird species that can be seen in Serengeti National park and over 500 birds can be found in this vast National Park and they include the grey breasted spurfowl, the Rofous- tailed weaver, Kori Bustard, Fischer’s lovebird, the secretary bird, black headed heron, purple grandier, Darnauds-barbet, white bellied goaway bird, white crowned shrike, variable bird, grey headed sparrow and the red backed scrub robin.
Ngorongoro crater has over 500 birds that have been recorded so far and it has different habitats and some of the bird species found in the Crater are the Livingstone Turacos, white eyed slaty flycatcher, black kite, Hildebrandt’s spurfowl, Kenya Rufous sparrow, Black winged Lapwing, and the lesser Flamingo.
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National park is a good birding spot area but it should be noted that it is the least accessible park in Tanzania due to its remote nature and it s quite big almost the same size as the Serengeti National Park.
some of the birds found in this park migrate from the Asian countries to Africa due to the cold weather and they come to habitat and reproduce and some of these birds that migrate include the Lorenzo rosi, steppe eagle and the Marius swart that fly in the sky in large numbers creating a beautiful scenery for birders to see.
It has over 500 bird species and some of them include the Ruaha Redbilled Hornbill, the steppe eagle, D’armaund’s barbets, the Marabou storks, the woodland kingfisher, crowned cranes, yellow collared lovebirds, weavers and the spotted eagle owl.
Lake Manyara Forest
Lake Manyara is a good birding spot in Tanzania and it has more than 400 different types of birds habituating in the area. You can be sure of getting a glimpse of at least 100 bird species in a day as you traverse the park. Most birds are attracted to Lake Manyara because of the water body which provides food to the different birds and water.
The bird species that are found in Lake Manyara forest include the African Hawke eagle, the lesser flamingo mostly when the water is at the right level, pink backed pelican, Ground dwelling crested guinea fowl, crowned Hornbill, silvery cheeked Hornbill, Schawlow’s turacos, Narina Trogon, the Baglafecht weaver, little bee-eater, Black Heron, Martial eagle, sacred Glossy ibis and the Emerald cuckoo.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National park has over 500 bird species and these are found in the different bird habitants in the park and you should note that the best time to visit the National park is between April and November. The different bird species I Tarangire include the Vulturine Guinea fowl and the Northern pied babbler which are known as dry country birds.
Other bird species in Tarangire are The Ashy starling, Red bellied parrot, Tawny eagle, Red and yellow barbet, the Rufous tailed weaver, the white headed buffalo weaver, African grey flycatcher, Great white pelican, Ostriches, Yellow collared lovebird, pink breasted lark, slate colored boubou, mouse-colored penduline tit, Northern White-crowned shrike, Bare faced go away bird and the speckle fronted weaver.
Selous Game Reserve
Selous game reserve has over 440 bird species and these include two common ones that are the warders and weavers. It should be noted that the best time to visit Selous Game reserve is from April to November due to the increase of migrating birds at that time.
Other bird species found in Selous include the Green-headed oriole, Knob billed duck, Bataluer Eagle, Sothern Ground Hornbill, crested lark, African snipe, geese, spur winged lapwing, The African spoonbill, African skimmer, White-fronted plover, Thick billed cuckoo, white-backed night heron, Brown-headed parrot, yellow billed stork and the Bohm’s bee-eater.
Mahale Mountains National Park
Mahale Park has over 350 bird species and most of these are what we term as forest birds which make them quite difficult to spot. Mahale also receives a number of migratory birds between November and April and this is the best time to come and view the different bird species in the area.
There are several bird species that are found in Mahale Park and some of these include the crested guineafowl, the palm-nut vulture, the giant kingfisher, the African fish eagle, the Livingstone’s turacos, and Ross’s Turacos.
Katavi Game Reserve
Katavi has over 400 bird species and is known to be a good birding area for bird lovers due to its location in a remote area. Some of the species that can be seen when visiting Katavi include the crested barbet, Bateleurs, African fish eagle, spoonbills, saddle bills, paradise flycatchers, storks, pink backed pelican, African open bill, yellow billed stork and the lilac breasted rollers.
Things needed before you can go for birding.
There are several things that you need when you go for birding and some of those are listed below:
- Identification book
Identification books help you to identify which type of bird you are seeing at the moment. Many birds have the same features and this book helps you to identify and differentiate them easily.
As we are now very much aware of the fact that birds like to mostly keep away from humans, it is better to carry binoculars as these will help you view the birds from a distance as the binoculars can be adjusted to make it feel like you are viewing them up close.
- food and water
Most of the birding processes are done in the wild and remote areas since the birds tend to stay away from people as much as possible. Therefore you need to carry enough snacks and water so that you do not get hungry when birding.
- insect repellant
These birds are found in forests and grasslands which are breeding habitats for many insects especially mosquitoes. So in order for you to enjoy birding with less hustle from the insects carry insects repellant to enjoy birding without interruptions.
A camera is not all that necessary but for those who want to keep memories of how the adventure was and for those who want to compare the birds that are being seen with those that are in the books, a camera is very mush needed when you go birding.
The hides help you to approach the shy birds without being easily spotted. There are several birds that fly away once they realize they are being watched or if one is approaching them and this is where a hide comes into the picture.
- Portable voice recorders
Some birds are easily identified due to the sounds and call signs that they make. A portable recording device helps to identify the different birds easily.