The 12 days birding safari in Southern Tanzania covers a range of birding sites such as Selous Game Reserve (home to over 440 bird species), Ruaha National Park, Mahale Mountains National Park, Katavi National Park. The birding safari in Southern Tourist Circuit of Tanzania begins and ends in Dar-es-Salaam.
Day 1: To Selous Game Reserve
Leave your accommodation in Dar-es-Salaam for Selous Game Reserve, about 4-5 hours’ drive. Selous is one of biggest reserves in Tanzania with more than 440 bird species including the white backed night heron, brown headed parrot, yellow billed stork, white headed lapwing, etc.
Day 2: Full day birding at Selous Game Reserve
Set off for early morning birding tour in 4x4 vehicle – Selous Game Reserve is endowed with birds such as black winged stilt, white backed vultures, African skimmers, pearl spotted owlet, carmine bee-eaters, white fronted plover, yellow billed stork, racket backed night heron, Dickson’s kestrel, rock pratincole, thick billed cuckoo, brown necked parrot and more.
Day 3: To Ruaha National Park
Take a flight to Ruaha National Park a home to over 570 bird species, including the ashy starling, the hooded vultures, ruppell’s vultures, white headed vultures, white backed vultures, yellow collared lovebird, sooty falcons, Eurasians hobbies, amur falcons, Abdim’s storks, etc.
Day 4: Full day birding in Ruaha National Park
Full day birding tour inclusive of game viewing begins early morning and you will go with packed lunch. Plenty of birds will be sighted in Ruaha including yellow collared lovebirds, white backed vultures, Ruppell’s vultures, endangered hooded vultures, white and Abdim’s storks, Eurasian hobbies, sooty falcons, etc.
Day 5: Katavi National Park
Have a hefty breakfast, after, drive to the airport where you will take a flight to Katavi National Park. Katavi is a 4471sq.kms protected area is Tanzania’s 3rds largest park and hosts up to 450 bird species (pink backed pelicans, black headed heron, yellow throated sand grouse, cuckoo hawk, little sparrow hawk, bare face go-away bird, white backed vultures, crowned plover, whistling duck), 50 mammal species, etc.
Day 6-7: Birding safari in Katavi National Park
Enjoy two day of ultimate birding tour in Katavi National Park to explore diversity of bird species. Over 450 bird species live in Katavi and you will keep an eye in distinct birds including crested barbets, yellow throated sand grouse, cuckoo hawk, little sparrow hawk, bare face go-away bird, pink backed pelicans, black headed heron, white backed vultures, crowned plover, whistling duck, spur winged goose, open billed stork and others. The main birding sites in the park include River Katuma and Lake Katavi.
Day 8: To Mahale National Park
After breakfast, leave Katavi for Mahale Mountains National Park with more than 350 bird species including diverse forest birds, aquatic and migratory birds. These include the bamboo warblers, African fish eagle, crested guinea fowl, palm nut vultures, giant kingfishers, etc.
Mahale National Park is also a home to primates such as yellow baboons, chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, red colobus monkeys plus mammals like buffaloes, bushbucks, squirrels, mongoose, roan antelopes, elephants; colorful butterflies, to mention but a few.
Day 9 to 11: Birding in Mahale NP
You will enjoy 3 days of a guided birding tour in Mahale with a chance to spot birds such as bamboo warblers, grey crowned eagle, crested guinea fowl, giant kingfishers, ross’s turacos, blue cheeked bee-eaters, scaly francolins, trumpeter hornbill, livingstone’s turacos, crested malimbe, etc.
Day 12: Dar-es-salaam
Have breakfast, after drive back to Dar-es-Salaam. You can extend your stay with beach holiday or fly back home- marking the end of 12 days birding safari in Southern Tanzania.