Welcome to East Africa's top Birding specialty Tour Operator

birding tours

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.

technology binoculars

Tanzania is an extensive, untouched wilderness and has the second largest lake in the world; Lake Victoria – a freshwater lake, home to 400 species of bird, and one of the seven summits, Mount Kilimanjaro. It is also considered one of the best places for wilderness viewing in the world including Arusha, Serengeti, Norongoro Crater, Tarangire and Manyara National Parks.

The National parks in Tanzania are made up of a variety of landscapes including open savannah grassland, bush and scrub with large rivers running through them. This means that these parks host an incredible array of birdlife including the Secretary Bird, numerous vultures, eagles and hawks, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Gabon Nightjar, Lilac-breasted Roller, Ground Hornbill, Red-throated Tit, Sooty Chat, and a wide variety of larks, pipits and widowbirds. The thick riverine forest bordering the Mara and Talek rivers hold African Finfoot, Livingstone’s & Ross’s Turaco, Giant Kingfisher, Blue Flycatcher, Double-toothed Barbet and the rare Pel’s Fishing Owl; while the feeding ground for the largest concentration of Lesser Flamingo’s on the planet (being about 2 million) is found at Lake Natron.

Tanzania Top Birding destinations

Arusha National Park

The verdant grassy hills surround the tranquil beauty of the Momela Lakes, all shimmering in shades of green and blue. Their shallows sometimes host Pink Flamingos in their thousands. These lakes support a rich selection of resident and migrant waterfowl, and shaggy waterbucks line the watery fringes. Giraffes lope along the grassy hills between dazzling zebra herds, while pairs of wide-eyed Dik-Dik dart into scrubby bush like overgrown hares on spindly legs.

Lake Victoria

This Lake is home to over 400 species of birds, which makes it easy to view them in a few days. White and Pink-backed Pelican, Cormorant and Long-tailed Cormorant, Little Bittern, Goliath, Purple and Squacco Heron, Little, Yellow-billed and Great-white Egrets, Hammerkop, Yellow-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, African Spoonbill, Fish Eagle, Black Crake, Allen’s and Purple Gallinules, Jacana, and Pied and Malachite Kingfishers are all residents. With a surface area of just under 70 000 km², Lake Victoria is the second-largest freshwater lake in the world. But despite its size, it is fairly shallow, only reaching 75m at its deepest.

By NASA – NASA World Wind, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.phpcurid=42445846

Mount Kilimanjaro

This is the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, the summit of which is 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level. Highland species here include several extremely uncommon birds such as Green Ibis, Rufous Sparrowhawk, Mountain Buzzard, Crowned Eagle, Jackson’s Francolin, Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-fronted Parrot, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Scarce Swift, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, Montane Oriole, Alpine Chat, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Sharpe’s Longclaw, Slender-billed Chestnut-winged Starling, and 13 species of sunbirds including the Northern Double-collared, Golden-winged, Tacazze, Green-headed and Scarlet-tufted Malachite.

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve across the border in Kenya, protect the largest and most diverse collection of terrestrial wildlife on Earth, and remains one of the last great migratory systems still intact. The Serengeti is the jewel in the crown of Tanzania’s protected areas, which calculated together, make up some 14% of the country’s land area. This is a conservation record that few countries come close to.

Usambara Mountains

These mountains and tropical forests are considered incredibly significant ecologically and as a Biodiversity hotspot. There are protected zones throughout the range which are still being expanded and contributed to by the Tanzanian government, associated NGO’s and research teams, and donor countries. The Usambara Mountains are fairly unique in East Africa with their natural areas still being cloaked in tropical forests, which are otherwise seen primarily in Western Africa.

If you are looking at one of these popular destinations for your birding tour, consider our experienced guides to get you in the best spots to see that bird you have been waiting to see. You can get in touch with us from our website.

Sources: Fatbirder, Go2Africa, Nasa

Birding tour vehicles

The end of 2019 is approaching at the rate of knots with very little birding planning time left this year. It seems that 2020, along with the golden rays of opportunity, are floating tantalizingly close. So in an effort to thwart the stress of needing a holiday from your holiday early next year, we decided to present you with some tours that could bring you a welcome reprieve from the busyness of a new year.

Booking a tour can be stressful. But once you are on the tour, you realise that it was worth the minor inconvenience of checking and rechecking documents and luggage as you leave home and drive to the airport, before you get on the plane.

Some handy tips to help make sure you are covered on your birding tour can be found in our blog articles on Endemic bird species in Tanzania and Technology and Gear to get your excited about birding.

Top Tanzania Tours

Tanzania is our home and speciality destination. Tanzania Birding offers a range of safari tours to help you have a great birding trip. They range in length and activity, and can also include photography and big game tours. This makes it easy to fit your adventure in with your schedule, hobbies and budget. 

7 Days Northern Tanzania – 7 days birding express

Birding, wildlife and photography. A 7-day private tour. Depart from anywhere. Your size and your style. Includes Arusha area Endemics, Tarangire NP and a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater and Ngorongoro Highlands. This tour is available year-round.

7 Days North-Eastern Tanzania – Birding on Borrowed Time

7 Days private birding tour with wildlife and photography. Depart from anywhere with your size and style group. Includes Arusha area Endemics, Mkomazi Dry Country Specials and West Usambara Endemics. Can be taken all year round.

Tanzania Birding and Cultural experience – 12-day experience 

The featured destinations are Arusha Maasai Steppes, Masai Cultures, Lake Manyara and Village cultural Walks, Ngorongoro Highlands Hike, Hadzabe Traditional hunters and gatherers tribesmen, Datoga Black Smith smelters, Lake Eyasi, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge Museum and the Serengeti Plains. The tour includes cultural, birding and photographic opportunities and can be taken all year round, except for April and May.

Tanzania Birding the North – 12-day tour

This tour visits Serengeti, Ndutu region, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Arusha and Tarangire National Parks, and includes Wildebeest migration and calving, the Big Five, and Birding and Photographic opportunities. This tour is available year-round at your pace, with your size party.

Tanzania Birding the South – 14-day tour

The featured areas of this tour are Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi, East Udzungwas, Ruaha National Parks, Kilombero Flood Plains and Miombo woodlands Birding. The tour is available all year except – Mid April to Mid May. The tour is a birding safari with lots of wildlife and photography opportunities.

Tanzania Birding in Luxury – 14-day slow pace birding, photography and big game safari

This tour visits Ndarakwai Private Ranch, Serengeti, Ndutu region, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Parks with Big Five, slow pace Birding and Photographic opportunities. Take this tour any time of year with your size party.

Photo: Timothy Kadlecek

Best of Northern Tanzania Birding and Big Game Photographic safari – 14 days

This 14-day tour can be taken at leisure with the best of photographic opportunities, visiting Arusha National Park, Lake Victoria, Central Serengeti, and Tarangire Park, to name a few. This tour is available all year round.

East and Southern Tanzania Birding – 18-day tour

This is a fixed departure tour which leaves each year on:

14 – 31 March

14 – 31 July

02 – 19 December.

This tour visits Arusha, Mkomazi NP, South Pare Mountains, West and East Usambaras, Amani Nature Reserve, Mikumi NP, East Udzungwas, Ruaha National Parks, Kilombero Flood Plains and Miombo woodlands Birding, and Ruaha NP with birding, Big Game and Cats Photographic Opportunities.

Lake Victoria to the East Coast – 21-day tour

This is a fixed departure tour which leaves each year on:

07 – 27 January

04 – 24 May

October 20 – 18 November

The tour features Lake Victoria, Serengeti, Ndutu region, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Arusha, Lark Plains, Mkomazi NP, West and East Usambaras, and Pemba Island Endemics and Beach, taking in plenty of birding, game and photographic opportunities.

The Grand Tanzania Anniversary route – 31-day tour

This grand tour takes in Lake Victoria, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Arusha, Lark Plains, Mkomazi NP, West and East Usambaras and Pemba Island Endemics and Beach, Mikumi NP, Udzungwas, Kilombero Flood Plains, Miombo Woodlands, and Ruaha National Park, with incredible birding, photographic and Big 5 opportunities. The tour is customised to the group and its style.

To book your exciting 2020 birding safari, get in touch with us at https://www.tanzaniabirding.com/contactus.html