Welcome to East Africa's top Birding specialty Tour Operator


birding tour

Birding is more than just a hobby. It turns out it has become as popular as … well… a phenomenon. So choosing the right Company to ensure that you have a birding tour that suits you can be a little bit daunting. The key in picking the right touring Company most likely lies in asking the right questions and ticking off when the answers match what you need. The very first step in this process is to narrow down your options into a group that you can make a selection from.

Big or Small Tour Company?

Do you choose to go big or small? Depending on what your budget looks like you may decide to go for a big, well established tour company and pay a little more. The benefit here is that it could mean you get a little more and also a company providing a good quality experience. This being said, smaller companies can often provide a more personalised experience. However, you should always research the company as much as possible to see what you are getting for what they are asking and make sure it falls within what it is you want from your tour. Ask about the points that matter to you, i.e. the birds you really want to see, ratio of customers to guides and what comforts the tour offers.

Word of Mouth

Experience is the best proof of a tour company’s service, so ask around! Talk to members of your local bird club, read up on any online reviews the company may have and ask on birding forums if anyone has toured with them before.  Chances are good that you know someone who has taken guided tours. Personal recommendations can be very helpful.

For Starters, Take It Easy

If you’ve never gone on a tour, start with a relatively short trip to see if you enjoy the experience, rather than jump into a marathon trip to some country on the other side of the planet. take into consideration what the pace and intensity of the tour are as well. Some will be more relaxed and have an easier timeline while others may be more challenging. If it is your first time, begin with an easy trip and plan for a more challenging one later. Ask the tour company can tell you about the pace of the trip when you get in touch.

birding tour truck

Questions to Ask the Tour Company

  1. Usually a bird-tour company will have an office with people who know the tour business. If you can’t find out what you need to know by reading the website, or published information about a tour, call the office and ask questions. It could give you in depth knowledge into what you need.
  2. Have they run this tour before? Sometimes it’s wise to avoid a company’s very first trip to a region. You can catch the tour next year, after the itinerary has been perfected.
  3. Is the guide familiar with the area you are visiting? The company may have a long history of trips to the region, but that’s not helpful if this year’s guide has never been there.
  4. What is the maximum group size? Group size can be a crucial factor in the quality of your experience. Fifty bird watchers following one guide is not a good ratio, but effective group size can vary with the terrain. In open surroundings, one leader might be enough for 20 participants. On narrow forest trails, a group of fewer than eight or nine with one leader is probably best.
  5. What is included in the tour cost? This can vary a lot. Some trips can look surprisingly cheap, until you find out that meals are not included in the price. On foreign tours, airfare is normally not included in the price. As a general rule, tour prices do not include laundry costs, alcoholic beverages, personal phone calls, or a private secretary to write down all the birds for you. So make sure you are sure what is included and what you still need to pay for yourself.

If you are looking to go on your inaugural birding tour, or if you are experienced and want to find that lifer that you have been chasing, take a look at our website to find a tour that suits your budget and time constraints. While you are at it, have an experience of a lifetime!

Contact us now with questions about your birding tour.

birding with kids

For a hobby your kids can start that is educational but loads of fun (and can be done when sheltering or in isolation), why not start them on bird watching?

Children can be hard to keep entertained, but there are some ways to make it more manageable while getting them hooked on this easy and inexpensive hobby.

Here are some ways that you can make bird watching a regular family adventure that your children will have indelible memories of.

1. Get your kids to help set up a bird feeder

To watch birds, you need to attract them. You can buy or build birdhouses and bird baths. Bird feeders are essential to attract birds though and it would be wise to have a few on your property to give birds a good reason to stop in.

Preferably, these should be placed near cover so that the birds can quickly move to safety should they feel threatened. Encourage your children to regularly fill the bird feeders.

2. Get bird books, apps or flashcards

There are so many birds. How do you even start identifying them? The easiest is to find some bird books about the birds that are native to the area you are in. You can also look for birding apps online (some are free to download). Another way to keep the kids (and yourself) entertained is to get some flashcards. You can carry these on a binder and take them with you whenever you are birdwatching. At this point, you may want to invest in some binoculars for your kids as well.

3. Make a scavenger hunt

Now that your kids are set up to go bird watching, make it even more fun with a scavenger hunt. Write a list of different types of birds they need to see by a set time or date. The first one to see all the birds is the winner!

4. Make a seen-it book

When you begin watching birds as they start visiting your yard, you can create a book that details the birds as your child first sees them. If your child is able to, let them write the list. As an additional interesting task, get your child to draw their version of the bird with the date they first saw it.

This can be carried out as birds return seasonally. This will also make your child aware when new birds and rare birds are seen.

5. Join in

Make a point of enjoying bird watching with your children. Take note of the bird feeders, look outside and keep an eye out for bird movement. When you do spot birds, call the children over to look at them and see if you can identify them together. Kids are eager to join in and enjoy anything their parents love too.

If you are looking for a fantastic birding experience in Tanzania once world borders are open, take a look at our tours, or contact us on tours@tanzaniabirding.com. We look forward to meeting and hosting you.

Source: Mothering

birding checklist

Birding Apps and checklists can keep you up to date with the latest information on what birds are being seen in a given area. In other words, if you are a birding enthusiast, it can keep you birding ‘fit’.

Today we are going to take a look at some Apps to help you identify and get facts on birds. We also take a look at some birding checklists that you can download to have with you while birding, and then some birding competition sites that you can list your sightings on (just for those that are a little competitive).

Birding Apps

There are a number of these worldwide the cover different geographical regions. They range from free options to paid versions and can be incredibly useful when starting out to identify family groups, colours and calls, or even when you are experienced to make sure you are correct when it comes to similar species. Let’s take a look at some of these Apps.

#1 iBird Pro Guide

Whether you are an experienced birder, a bird watcher or a beginner at birding, iBird’s intelligent search engine and comprehensive species accounts will turn you into a birding expert. From well-known birds to exotic rare species, iBird works like magic, revealing a list of birds that perfectly matches your search choices.

This can be purchased for the UK and North American regions. There is a free version available.

#2 Merlin Bird ID

Merlin is more than just a field assistant to help you identify birds, Merlin is a customizable field guide for birds around the world. Get identification help and discover what birds to look for near you with Merlin Bird ID. You can download the app here.

#3 Audubon Bird Guide

The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to more than 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Built for all experience levels, it will help you identify the birds around you, keep track of the birds you’ve seen, and get you outside to find new birds near you. 

#4 Song Sleuth

Song Sleuth turns your Android phone or tablet into an automatic bird song identifier covering the 200 most common vocalizing land birds in the U.S.A. Not just for beginners, the App also has features for intermediate birders who might need an identification hint or wish to study the included example recordings to take their birding ‘ear’ to the next level. Advanced birders who don’t need any identification help will appreciate the ability to make and keep recordings for further study.

#5 Newmans Birds Southern Africa

Includes over 1000 high-quality photographs of 975 bird species (i.e. ALL the species for the region). There are detailed descriptions (including species’ status), illustrations and distribution maps and accurate illustrations of each bird as it is seen in the field, with labels showing diagnostic features. The App includes over 800 bird calls with multiple call types (song, duet, alarm, mating). Buy the full version here or try the free version first (download here).

#6 Roberts Bird Guide

Roberts Bird Guide displays Southern African birds on full pages of the book for instant comparison and identification. Search the family list or swipe the pages for a bird, play the sound, view the distribution, add to your list, view and compare similar birds, open the Bird Page for text and photographs, or open the Bird Guide list for the selected bird. This can be purchased here.

Birding Checklists

For some birding checklists of species in Southern Africa, see the different options below:

Zest for Birds


African Bird Club

Birding Tracking Lists

Tracking which species of birds you have seen and where you spotted them, is good fun. You realise as the numbers start adding up how many different types there are and also which birds you are more likely to see in different areas.

Here are some Bird Tracking List sites:

Bird Lasser

BirdLasser is a fun, easy way to record your bird sightings and share with friends, your community and contribute to conservation. You can also share that special sighting with your fellow birders in real-time via email or post a trip report.


Record all your wildlife observations with any device. Import all your past records and create your personalised Tree of Life. Manage your wildlife observations and photos from all over the world. Get prepared with personalised country checklists. You can visit the iGoTerra website for further details.


eBird Mobile makes it easy to record the birds you see in the field, and seamlessly link these observations to eBird with a global online database of bird records used by hundreds of thousands of birders around the world. This free resource makes it easy to keep track of what you see, while making your data openly available for scientific research, education, and conservation. 

If you want to find out more about birding tours, take a look at our birding tours for 2020 in Tanzania, or email us on tours@tanzaniabirding.com.

nature health

Children are naturally curious. Why not take advantage of this and introduce them to a healthy pastime?

Birdwatching is inspiring and refreshing. It connects us to a place and gets us outside in our yards and neighbourhoods to explore. So how do you get started and how do you make this hobby interesting for children? Take a look at some tips and games that your children can play to get them birding.

How to Bird

Prompt children with the knowledge that birds are not easy to see, and sometimes adults struggle too. But if you listen quietly and carefully, you can hear them. Help them by telling them to close their eyes and listen, and then to point to the area the call is coming from.

Where to go

This is one hobby where you don’t need to go far. You can see birds on the street, in your yard, in parks and in conservation areas. But having water or a dam in an area means it will attract birds. You may see herons, ducks, egrets and if you are lucky, swans.

What to look for

Not having much luck finding birds? Look for telltale signs that birds leave behind. Try finding nests, the remainder of cracked seeds or bird poop.

Which binoculars to use

Binoculars take some getting used to, and it can be difficult for children. Kids also find spotting through scopes challenging. Why not teach them to focus on staying still and looking for movement of birds or other animals? Or for fun and to get them into the habit, why not make a pair of DIY cardboard binoculars?

children birding


How do you get a child interested in something? Make it a game! Here are some ways that will help them get into birding.

Scavenger hunt

Get them interested in a goal – try to see as many different birds as possible. For many children, counting up from zero to a number eg. ten, will be enough to keep them focused and enjoy learning.

Help children be more observant. Make a list of birds you would like to see before heading out. Use general categories like hawks, doves, sunbirds or even small animals in groups below four.


Encourage children’s independence. Let them pick an area on a map (that has a green patch) close to you to visit. When you arrive, let your child select which trail to take and guide you, telling you which things or places they want to study along the way.

Binocular spy

If your child is able to make use of binoculars, teach them to use them properly by asking them to read signs at different distances. Start closer to you and continue to move further away until they are able to hold the barrels steady and turn the focus wheel steady while operating.

Once they have this in their skills, play ‘I Spy’ to help them find smaller objects.

Sound off

Most children can easily tell you what a dog or a chicken sounds like, but what about a guineafowl? Get your child to imitate the bird sounds they hear and then use a field guide app to pull up the bird and play back clips to listen to and identify. Then get them to voice their own translation of the songs and calls.

Now that you have the actionable steps to getting your birding skills on point, plan and book ahead for a tour. You can contact us on tours@tanzaniabirding.com

Source: Audubon

Yellow-collared Lovebird

There is hardly ever a bad time to view birds. But that being said, there are optimal times when your viewing will definitely be of higher quality.

In a busy world with limited time to enjoy the finer things in life, how do you find the right time to get the best viewing?

We provide you with a few quick tips to increase your viewing quality.

Best time of day to view birds

Birds, like humans, have patterns that they carry out their activities like feeding, roosting and other habits. Learning those patterns can help you get the best viewing in the time you have.


Birds spend most of their time trying to find food for themselves or to feed their hatchlings or mate. One of the most active feeding times is early in the morning when the sun rises and warms up insects. This makes it easier for insect-eating birds to forage. At the same time, other species are also recovering after a long night. The late evening has a similar pattern for feeding birds so they can store energy for the night.


Birds that enjoy sunning themselves are often easy to find in the mid-afternoon when the sun is at its best strength. Birds use the sun for temperature regulation and feather mite control, so this is a very opportune time to view birds in any season.

view early morning


Birding by ear is much simpler when the birds are singing. During the spring and summer, birds are working hard to establish their territories and attract mates. They do this by often singing in the early morning (although some do sing at night) when it is still and sounds carry further. Birders who are in the field early morning are more likely to take advantage of the sounds birds make to find and identify different species.


Birds will drink at any time of day but are more likely to visit birdbaths and other water sources when the sun is at its hottest. Likely drinking times, particularly at garden bird baths, are the same times the birds are feeding; when they will take advantage of the water while simultaneously eating.

Familiarising yourself with the basics of bird behaviour is an easy way to learn when to go birding. It will provide lots of opportunities to view a variety of bird behaviours with different species of birds.

If you want to find out more about birding tours in 2020, take a look at our birding tours for 2020 in Tanzania. Or email us on tours@tanzaniabirding.com.

Source: Thespruce