Bird Watching in Tanzania  : Tanzania is well renowned for wildlife safaris in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro conservation areas; trekking safaris on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru; and excellent beaches in Zanzibar island. It is also one of the world’s best birding destinations. Tanzania is a hotspot for birders, with some of the world’s most diverse settings. With a resident population of over 1,000 different bird species, plus many more that migrate in from Europe and Southern Africa, Tanzania is undoubtedly one of the best destinations on the planet for bird watching safari.

Bird watching in Tanzania is not the most well-known safari activity in Tanzania, compared to game drives, walking safaris, and other safari activities such as canoeing and trekking, but trust me when I say that if you appreciate birds, bird watching is another of the best activities you will love in Tanzania. Bird watching in Tanzania is unparalleled in any other East African country (Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda). Bird watchers in Tanzania will be able to witness water birds, woodland birds, and other common birds from a variety of habitats, including open grassland.

Bird watching is best done at all Tanzania’s 24 national parks, with Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Mkomazi National Park, Kilimanjaro National Park, and Udzungwa Mountainous National Park being the most popular. Bird watching in Tanzania is best done early in the morning and late in the evening, when the majority of birds are active and you will be able to observe a greater variety of bird species.

What are the best place for bird watching in Tanzania? The top 5 best places for bird watching in Tanzania (national parks) are listed below.

Bird Watching in Tanzania
Rosy-patched Bush shrikes
  1. Serengeti National Park.

When it comes to African safari tours, many birders, wildlife photographers, and other outdoor enthusiasts think of the Serengeti National Park. And with good reason. This is, without a doubt, one of Africa’s most important wildlife attractions. The Serengeti (and the neighboring Maasai Mara in Kenya) are teeming with bright, colorful bird species, as well as mammal specialties like leopards, cheetahs, lions, lesser cats, and all the other megafauna that make Africa famous.

The Serengeti is also home to a number of attractive bird species, which is an added bonus for the great wildebeest migration. Fischer’s Lovebirds forage on the ground, rest and speak among themselves in acacia trees, or soar low over the grassland in small flocks. There are plenty of magnificent starlings, Rosy-patched Bush shrikes, and other brightly colored East African birds. East African endemics bird spices like the Grey-crested Helmet shrike and Red-throated Tit are rarer and more limited within the park.

The Serengeti national park is also home to endemic bird species found only in northern Tanzania, such as the Ashy Starling and Rufous-tailed Weaver. The Serengeti is also home to some of Africa’s most famous birds, including the world’s heaviest flying bird, the Kori Bustard; eight vultures; owls; and birds of prey, including Africa’s largest eagle, the Martial Eagle; and the acrobatic, colorful Bateleur (also one of Africa’s most distinctive eagles).

  1. Tarangire national park.

Tarangire has a bird list of over 500 species, making it an excellent place to go bird watching in Tanzania. Its marshes, which are generally green all year, are the park’s most common breeding grounds for a variety of bird species. In addition, it is home to a number of dry bird species near the edge of their range in Tanzania, such as the pied babbler and the vulturine Guinea fowl.

Those who are serious about bird watching should keep an eye out for enormous flocks of vivid yellow-collared lovebirds, rufous-tailed weavers, and ashy starlings, which are all common in the arid savannah of Tanzania’s north-central region. From November through April, you can witness a variety of migratory bird species in Tarangire national park, Tanzania since most of migratory birds from all over the world such as Europe are present in this place.

  1. Lake Manyara national park.

Over 400 bird species can be found in Lake Manyara National Park, including Eurasian migrant birds, acacia-associated birds, raptors, and three endangered Tanzanian bird species: the Rufous-tailed weaver, Ashy starlings, and Black-collared Lovebird. Flamingos gather in flocks of tens of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands on the lakeshores of Lake Manyara National Park and Lake Natron, providing excellent possibilities for flamingo watching.

The flamingos’ nesting area is Lake Natron, while their feeding ground is Lake Manyara, and Lake Nakuru in Kenya. Some of the birds that can be seen in the floodplains of Lake Manyara include: Crowned Plover, Grey Crowned Crane, Fischer’s Sparrow Lark, Two-banded courser, and Black-faced Sandgrouse.

Bird Watching in Tanzania
Two-banded courser

Long-tailed fiscals, the uncommon Pangani Long claw, occupy the bush clumps on the border of the floodplain. The Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Narina Trogon, Crowned Hornbill, Schalow’s Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, Crowned Eagle, and ground-dwelling Crested Guinea fowl are among the birds found in the Lake Manyara forest.

  1. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro highlands, together with the crater, offer a fantastic bird-watching experience, with over 500 species documented. The highland forest has a diverse range of birdlife. The white-eyed slaty flycatcher and the Livingstone turaco are two of the common birds that may be found here. Within the crater, there are numerous resident specialized grassland bird species. Ostriches, Kori bustards, crowned cranes, and the secretary bird are the most visible. From the beginning of November until the end of April, you’ll be able to see a variety of migrant bird species.

African spoonbill, Anteater chat, Augur buzzard, Capped wheatear, Eastern double-collared sunbird, Egyptian vulture, Fan-tailed widow bird, Greater flamingo, Hildebrandt’s spur fowl, Hildebrandt’s starling, Kenya rufous sparrow, Kori bustard, Livingstone turaco, Namaqua dove, Red-and-yellow barbet, Rosy-throated long claw, Rufous chatterer, Scarlet chested sunbird, and the White-napped raven are among other bird species available in Ngorongoro conservational area.

  1. Nyerere national park.

Nyerere National Park, located in Tanzania’s southern circuit just a few kilometers from Dar es Salaam, is Tanzania’s largest national park and one of the best places in Africa for birdwatching safaris. More than 440 bird species can be seen in the park’s various areas. Bird species can be seen in their native habitats, with the lagoons, River Rufiji, islands, and channels being the most abundant in Nyerere.

Boehm’s bee-eater, Livingstone’s flycatcher, yellow-bellied bulbul, white helmet shrike, wattle-eyed flycatcher, red-throated twin spot, grey-hooded kingfisher, black cuckoo-shrike, African skimmer, red-winged warbler, spotted flanked barbet, and red-billed helmet shrike are some of the bird spices that can be seen in Nyerere national park, Tanzania.

What to expect on your birding safari tour in Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the top birding destinations in Africa. It boasts one of the most diverse species lists of any African country, with over 1,100 species, including over 800 resident species and approximately 200 regular migrants. There are 22 endemic species (meaning they are exclusively found in Tanzania) and 43 near-endemic species (meaning they are only found in Tanzania and surrounding countries).

Expect to see more birds than you thought on your Tanzania bird watching safari. Expect to encounter both permanent and migratory birds, as well as birds from various habitats, such as aquatic bird species, terrestrial bird species, woodland bird species, and so on.

Expect to see endemic bird species such as the Ashy starling, Banded green sunbird, Fischer’s lovebird, Grey-breasted spur fowl, Iringa akalat, Kilombero weaver Loveridge’s sunbird, Moreau’s sunbird, Mrs. Moreau’s warbler, Pemba green pigeon, Pemba scops owl, Pemba sunbird, Pemba white-eye, Rufous-tailed weaver, rufous-winged sunbird, Tanzania seedeater, The Tanzanian red-billed hornbill, Uluguru bush-shrike, Usambara akalat, Usambara eagle owl, Usambara weaver, etc.

Other bird spices that you can see on your Tanzania safari includes Bar-tailed trogon, Broad-tailed paradise whydah, Brown-breasted barbet, Brown-necked parrot, Chestnut-fronted helmet-shrike, The golden-breasted starling, The green-headed oriole, Hartlaub’s turaco, A lappet-faced vulture, Livingstone’s flycatcher, Long-tailed fiscal, pale-billed hornbill, pallid honeyguide, Secretary bird, White-headed moosebird etc.

Bird Watching in Tanzania
A lappet-faced vulture

Things needed for a bird watching safari in Tanzania (Packing list for bird watching in Tanzania)

Once you’ve decided to go for bird watching safari in Tanzania, you’ll need some gear to get you through the best birding season possible. It is a fairly easy hobby that does not require much, but there are a few things that you cannot do without when you go birding. The following are the most important things/packing lists needed for bird watching safari in Tanzania


 The only way to enjoy birding without binoculars is if you are an expert birder who can recognize different bird species from a distance or by their sounds. Many birds dislike being seen and may flee if they realize they are being watched, which is where the binoculars come in handy.

Binoculars will assist you in seeing birds that are far away as well as those that are hidden in the trees. There are many different types of binoculars available on the market, but for a fun birding adventure, it is best to choose ones that are adjustable.

Hiking/walking boots

When birdwatching, you’ll need good hiking footwear. These are really useful on muddy and slick trails since you will be passing in different national park habitats searching for different bird species.

Water and food/snacks.

Because birds prefer to stay as far away from humans as possible, the majority of birding activities take place in the wild and remote locations. As a result, you should bring extra food and water to ensure that you do not go hungry while birding.

Repellent for insects

These birds live in woodlands and grasslands, which provide breeding grounds for a variety of insects, particularly mosquitoes. So, if you want to enjoy birdwatching in Tanzania without being bothered by insects, bring insect repellant with you.

The hides

The hides allow you to get close to the shy birds without being seen. Several birds will flee if they become aware that they are being watched or that one is approaching them, which is where a hide comes into play.

Voice recorders

The sounds and call signals of some birds make it easy to identify them. A portable recording device makes it simple to distinguish between the various bird species.

A video camera

When it comes to birdwatching, a camera is essential since it will allow you to save your memories of the birds and show them to your family and friends when you return home.


Tanzania’s birdlife is good all year, but it’s especially good from November to April when migrating species from Europe and northern Africa arrive. Many resident bird species are nesting or in breeding plumage at this time. According to the birders of the Ngorongoro and Serengeti national parks, this is the optimum season for wildebeest calving in the Ndutu area, so expect to see a lot of predators in action, since most of them are in this area during this time trying to hunt freshly born wildebeest infants.

Conclusion, when we speak of Tanzania bird watching safaris, we are referring to the country with the largest and most diverse permanent bird population found in Tanzania’s parks and Miombo woodland. While on your birding safaris in Tanzania, you’ll be able to see a lot of the country’s wildlife, which includes seeing the Serengeti National Park to see the big five creatures of East Africa, including lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, and leopards, as well as other animal species. Other notable attractions that you can enjoy seeing them in your Tanzania bird watching safari includes the Ngorongoro Crater which is the largest unbroken crater in the world and  the famous Mount Kilimanjaro, which is known as African icon.

Exploring Tanzania for birding is quite magical safari experience you will never forget, and you should book your holiday as soon as possible to visit Africa and Tanzania in particular. As much as possible, learn about, record and photograph as many bird species as possible in your Tanzania bird watching safari tour. Apart from the aforementioned national park, Mahale Mountains National Park, Ruaha National Park, Katavi National Park, Amani Nature Reserve, Arusha National Park, Burigi-chato National Park, and others are excellent places to visit for a bird-viewing safari.

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