Located in the tropics, the varied topography in Tanzania gives rise to a large variety of ecosystems all of which attrat their own diverse mix of bird species. The ecosystems range from mountain woodland to a tropical coast, and each possible elevation includes deserts, open savanna grasslands, swamp land, montane forests, rainforests, lakes and mudflats.
Some of the best places to witness Tanzania’s extensive bird life include Mount Kilimanjaro, the Tanzania rift valleys and the endless plains of the Serengeti National Park. Some of these may well already be on your safari itinerary as they are host to an abundance of unique animals and awe inspiring scenery. The rift valley lake of Lake Manyara contains over 400 bird species – this is more than the total number found in the United Kingdom.
Prominent bird species include secretary birds, various vultures, falcons and birds of prey, yellow-throated sandgrouses, bare-confronted go-away birds, lilac-breasted rollers, Gabon nightjars, red-throated tits, ground hornbills, sooty chats, and a range of warblers, widowbirds and pipits. The thick riverine forest are home to African finfoots, giant kingfishers, Livingstone’s & Ross’ turacos, double-toothed barbets, blue flycatchers, and the uncommon Pel’s fishing owl. Lake Natron is also located close to the National Parks and is the spectacular host to one to two million lesser flamingo.
Arusha is another location well known for its abundant bird life, especially the beautiful Lake Duluti and its forested shores. With the help of a guide, some sturdy walking boots and a decent pair of binoculars, this region makes for a perfect area to see a diverse range of species. Highlights include the chance to see Maccoa ducks swimming on the lake, or the splendid Peters’ twinspot up in the trees. The area is also well known for its black-throated apalis and bar-tailed trogons, both of which you have a good chance of encountering on a bird walk.