Birdwatching in Tanzania? No better place in the world. Tanzania is home to over 1000 species of wild birds, and 29 of them are endemic, which means you can only meet them here. This nation is famous in the world for its National Parks, such as Kilimanjaro, Tarangire, Serengeti, Arusha and many others. You can find incredible birds along the coast, in the former volcanic calderas and lakes, in forests. Each place has its characteristics and season, so it is very important to be well informed about where and how to go on a birdwatching safari.
Flamingo bird, the king of Tanzania
Is it the lion the king of these savannahs? Not really. In Tanzania, the main protagonist is the flamingo bird. Especially the pink flamingos. You will meet these birds everywhere. The best locations where to spot them are Ngorongoro Crater Reserve and Lake Natron. African flamingos got used to heavy waters with chemical elements in them, so they can live in the salty ammonia lake Natron or on the dry and sandy plains of Ngorongoro caldera.
Other birds to see in Tanzania
Flamingos are the main attraction in Tanzania, but not the only one. Among so many interesting birds you will admire pelicans, gray herons, kingfishers . Do not miss the endemic yellow-collar parrots, red-cheek blue birds, Speeke weaver birds, Beesley larks. Most birds can be spotted along the sea shores or around Lake Manyara (South Selous Game Reserve) because they are marine birds. But if you go birdwatching on the Eastern Arc Mountains or at Tarangire Park you will meet steppe eagles, long-crested eagles, eagles of prey and falcons too.
What to wear, what to bring
In order to face a nice birdwatching safari in Tanzania you will certainly need lightweight fabric clothes, better if cotton or linen, sporty and short-sleeved. Never forget a hat, sunglasses and long trousers and boots. Make sure you always have a water proof jacket, for rainy days or colder hours, and sunscreen for the hot sun. Of course you must have a photocamera, a binocular or telescope, a guide to understand what bird you are looking at.
Best period for birds in Tanzania
The best period to go birdwatching safari in Tanzania is short after the rain season, or in the mid of it! Rains can be very heavy and the muddy roads make it all very difficult. But rains also bring insects, birds’ favourite food. So, more insects more birds. During the rainy season (October-December or March-May) you can admire many kinds of birds, also many chicks at their first fly.
If you want to admire flamingos, though, you must book your safari during the dry period of July-September or January-February. This is the time when these beautiful pink birds take care of their young ones. The safari will be less troubled because there are no rains. This will allow you to walk along rivers and lakes, to stop and hide and wait patiently for the show of the gathering of these wonderful animals.