Share this:

Is Tanzania a good destination for birding? 

The short answer: Most definitely! The long answer: Read this blog post so that we can tell you why …

Although most tourists visit Tanzania for the mammals, even the most Big Five-focused safari-goer can’t help but notice the constant birdsong, fluttering wings and beautiful bird sightings in Tanzania. 

At 945,097 square kilometres, Tanzania is the largest country in Eastern African – a little larger than Texas, and seven times the size of England. Tanzania is home to vast, unspoiled wilderness as well as Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world, and the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro. 

In terms of birdlife, it is estimated that Tanzania is home to: 

  • 1123 bird species;
  • of which 24 are endemic;
  • 52 are globally threatened;
  • with 4 species that have been introduced. 

The high number of species of birds in Tanzania is a result of the country’s diverse geographical regions and climates:

  • Mountain forests
  • Tropical coastline
  • Deserts
  • Open savannah grasslands
  • Lowland forests
  • Bush and scrub
  • Lakes
  • Mudflats
  • Permanent swamps.

All of these different biomes attract different species of birds, so a wide variety of habitats results in a diverse array of species within the country.

Top species in Tanzania include: 

  • Secretary Bird
  • Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, 
  • Bare-faced Go-away Bird, 
  • Gabon Nightjar
  • Lilac-breasted Roller
  • Ground Hornbill
  • Red-throated Tit
  • Sooty Chat
  • Numerous vultures, eagles and hawks
  • A wide variety of larks, pipits and widowbirds
  • African Finfoot
  • Livingstone’s & Ross’s Turaco
  • Giant Kingfisher
  • Blue Flycatcher
  • Double-toothed Barbet
  • Pel’s Fishing Owl.

The critically-endangered Long-billed Forest-warbler

The Long-billed Forest-warbler, endemic to Tanzania, is one of the world’s rarest birds. However, the bird seems to be responding positively to conservation efforts that involve working with farmers to allow re-growth of vegetation necessary for the birds. As a result of these efforts, the birds have been able to recolonise some areas, providing new hope for the species’ small population.

When is the best time for twitchers to travel?

For birders, one of the best times to visit Tanzania is arguably between November and April, when masses of migratory birds arrive.

Tanzania has so much to offer!

With beautiful beaches, spectacular safaris, the highest mountain in Africa – and more! – you can bring a whole new dimension to your birding holiday. 

Ready to go twitching in Tanzania? Take a look at some of our tours: 

See the full list of Tanzania tours here:

Contact us to find out more or to book your tour:

Share this: