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Kampala, Uganda

Tanzania is a country located in East Africa within the Great Lakes region bordered by Uganda in the North, Kenya in the North-East, Mozambique and Malawi in the south, Zambia in the South West with Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West. Kenya is also bordered by the Indian Ocean which covers 1,424km of the coast- line.

With the vast tourism activities entailed in this country, birding is famous here and attracts lots of tourists. I would be right to describe Tanzania as one of the greatest places that birders can visit all over the world, this is because it has a resident population of over 1,400 bird species. More to that, more bird species fly in from various places around the world inclusive of Europe and Southern Africa. Tanzania is full of national parks with a variety of landscapes which include open savannah grassland, bushes and scrubs with rivers running through them which end up attracting a great array for birdlife.

Among the species that one couldn’t miss on a birding safari include, the gigantic Marshall eagle, the delicate sunbird, the elusive Shoebill to, omnipresent Marabou, the flamingos, pelicans, and the little grebe, the Secretary Bird, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, eagles and hawks, Ground Hornbill, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Lilac-breasted Roller, Gabon Nightjar, Sooty Chat, numerous vultures and a wide variety of larks, Red-throated Tit, pipits and widow birds among others depending on the place you visit.

Where to go for birding

Lake Victoria

This is the world’s second largest fresh water lake which makes it a good destination as the tourism around it goes way beyond birding but rather a real life time’s tourism adventure as it’s also a home to over 400 bird species. With this number of bird species, birding becomes easy as a number of species can be seen within the same location and such species include, the Hamerkop, Great-white Egrets, Purple and Squacco Heron, Jacana, Yellow-billed Stork, Black Crake, Fish Eagle, Allen’s and Purple Gallinules, Sacred Ibis, African Spoonbill, Pied and Malachite Kingfishers together with very many others. Lake Victoria is 464 km away from Arusha and 927 km from Dar el salaam which provides you with a real safari to take on.

Arusha National Park

With brilliant blue and green water of the Momela lakes surrounded by hilly mountains taking down calm wins through the green shrubs are enough to attract various bird species. This area is known for pink flamingos that keep blazingly beauteous along the water shores with their long necks. You won’t just cross sights with only flamingoes but various bird species that are usually hosted around the waters including the shaggy waterbucks, the waterfowl, with you looking at giraffes that skip through the neighborhood with zebras.

Serengeti National Park

More than 500 bird species have been recorded to in this park which makes it as one of the best destinations for bird watching in Tanzania. Among these are birds which are only found in Serengeti “the Serengeti specials” and can’t be found anywhere else all over the world and these include the grey-crested helmet shrike, Schalow's turacos, red throated tit, grey throated spurfowl, Schalow's wheatear and rufous-tailed weaver.

Other bird species include: Hottentot Teal, the Eqyptian goose, the Northern Shoveler, the White-faced Whistling Duck, the Red-billed Teal and many more. The western part of the park is covered with Savannah and rainy forests which beds various bad species. Serengeti National Park is only 4.4km away from Arusha and 1,014.7km meters from Dar el Salaam. Serengeti is a home to various wildlife which makes it a perfect destination for birding and beyond.

The list of places to visit in Tanzania is endless with the country gifted with various hills and reserves that attract different bird species that make a perfect destination for birding all over the country. Some of these places include the Usambara Mountains in North Eastern Tanzania, Mountain Kilimanjaro which connects with Serengeti National Park, Ruaha National Park, among others.

When to visit

The best time to go for birding in Tanzania is Mid-November to March. This is the time when the migratory birds from parts like Europe and Northern Africa are around. However, birding in Tanzania can be done throughout the year.

What to carry

Birding like any other tourism activity has its must haves on the list of equipments to carry if you want to enjoy the adventure. A binoculars is a must have to spot the different birds from the sky and some from a far. You will need a smartphone with a good camera to record videos of the birds flying all over the sky and anywhere. Clothing, footwear, food and drinks need not be left either.

Other than bird watching, Tanzania is filled with various tourism activities but more so wildlife and the expansive Indian Ocean beaches that can make your safari worthy.

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