For bird lovers, 21 days Tanzania safari is a great treat ever. Spend 3 weeks exploring key birding spots in Tanzania with stronghold of bird species, wildlife. As of 2021, over 1156 bird species were recorded in Tanzania alone, inclusive of 34 bird species and 4 introduced species.
You will be visiting key birding spots such as Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Ndutu, Nkomazi, Usambaras and Pemba Island.
Both endemic and near endemic birds will be spotted- the endemic birds especially yellow barbet, lesser flamingos, rufous sparrow, Hildebrandt’s spurfowl, etc; near endemics such as grey chested helmet shrike, little yellow flycatcher, Egyptian vultures, sterling woodpeckers, etc.
Day 1: Welcome to Tanzania (TZ)
Your Tanzania driver will be waiting you at Kilimanjaro International Airport and upon arrival, he will warmly welcome you to Tanzania. Next, he will brief you about your 21 days birding safari in Tanzania and then drive 1 and half hours to Arusha National Park to check in at the lodge for night stay.
Day 2: Arusha National Park bird watching
Enjoy a hefty breakfast, after, leave your room for Arusha birding tour to explore different habitats with distinct species of birds. The birding tour at Arusha National Park will include bird sightings such as the Ruppell’s robin chat, cinnamon chested bee-eater, crowned hawk eagle, white starred robin, brown woodland warblers, etc. In addition, you will also have uninterrupted view of large herds of buffaloes as they roam at the mountain lower slopes.
Day 3: Arusha district birding
Wake up early, then drive around Mt. Meru to the Lark Plains- an area characterized by grasslands and known for endemic species. Birds to expect to sight here include migrant wheatears, yellow throated sandgrouse, chestnut bellied, red fronted barbets, slate colored boubou, black throated barbets, gray headed social weavers, spotted flycatchers, Nubian woodpeckers, riparian strips, red throated tit, etc.
Day 4 to 6: Birding -Tarangire National Park
Enjoy breakfast early and leave Arusha for Tarangire National Park, one of the finest birding sites located in the Northern Tanzania safari circuit. Tarangire birding tour allows you sight lots of endemic and near-endemic birds including the Northern white bellied bustard, red necked francolins, yellow collared lovebird, ashy starling, rufous tailed weaver birds, etc. As you drive towards the Tarangire River, enjoy the best sight of lions, leopards, cheetahs and other species.
Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater
Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater and you will have a good moment at the Rift Valley for a day birding especially at Lake Manyara NP. Birding here will include sighting birds like crowned eagles, silvery cheeked hornbill, African swamphen, herons, egrets and more. Drive to the western rift valley escarpment afterwards to connect to Ngorongoro Conservation Area/Crater.
Day 8: Ngorongoro Crater birding
Enjoy a long day birding in Ngorongoro with bird sightings to enjoy ranging from golden winged, purple tacazee sunbird, coppery colored bronze and more. As you look out for diverse birds to capture their pictures, keep an eye to large herds of mammals plus the breathtaking view of the Crater.
Over 500 bird species make Ngorongoro an Important Bird Area (IBA) including rufous tailed weavers, yellow throated longclaw, woodpeckers, black winged lapwing, yellow billed storks, martial eagles, white pelicans, kingfishers, thick bellied seed eaters, paradise flycatchers, flamingos at Lake Magadi, and around November and April, enjoy sight of migratory birds from Northern Africa or Europe.
Day 9 to 10: Ndutu birding
Spend two days enjoying a remarkable bird sighting in Ndutu including bustards, sandgrouse, larks, etc. Amidst acacia woodland and swamps in the surroundings, birds of interest include green woodhoopoe, fischer’s lovebird, black faced babblers and more.
Day 11 to 12: Serengeti National Park Tanzania birding
Enjoy 2 days of birding experience in the sweeping plains of Serengeti National Park, Northern Tanzania. Over 500 bird species reside in the various habitats of Serengeti including African fish eagles, Kori bustards, grey crested helmet shrike, red throated tit, Schawlow’s wheatear, grey throated spurfowl, secretary bird, rufous tailed weaver, fischer’s lovebird, Jackson’s golden backed weavers, lilac breasted rollers, southern ground hornbill and more.
Day 13: Kilimanjaro Airport
Leave Serengeti for Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer Usambaras extension. This is a rich bird area with birds such as purple banded sunbirds, Usambara akalat, white headed mousebird, spot throat modulatrix.
Day 14: Arusha-Usambara
Drive towards the arid Tsavo-corridor woodlands. You will be exploring interesting birds at Usambaras and Pares including black throated barbet, Somali-Masai endemic birds, red fronted warblers, Somali golden breasted bunting, white bellied go-away bird, red fronted warblers, orange bellied parrot, etc.
Day 15: Lushoto birding
Enjoy a morning bird watching tour in the thorn scrub that you missed the previous day then transfer to the west side of Usambara Mountains. This is characterized by breathtaking landscape and farmlands.
Day 16: West Usambaras birding
The West Usambara Mountains will reward you with bird sightings such as spot throat modulatrix, Usambara weaver which is an endemic bird to Usambara Mountain range, bar tailed trogon, etc.
Day 17: Transfer to Eastern Usambaras
Drive to Eastern Usambaras from the western side. This is likely to take a bit of time given the nature of terrain.
Day 18: Eastern Usambaras birding
After breakfast, go for birding expedition along the Eastern side of Usambara mountain ranges. This is endowed with montane and endemic birds, including Usambara Akalat, long billed tailorbird, Usambara thrush, Red tailed anti-thrush, green headed oriole, etc.
Day 19: Pemba
Transfer from Tanga to Pemba the coastal area in Tanzania and access the island on a ferry. Enjoy sightings of coastal birds especially terns, etc.
Day 20: Birding in Pemba Island
With spicy breakfast enjoyed early, after, leave for Ngezi Forest Reserve to search for endemic birds -4 endemics reside here. You will be sighting birds such as Pemba green pigeon, Pemba scops-owl, sunbirds etc. You may also engage in snorkeling around Manta Reef.
Day 21: Transfer back to Arusha
After an early breakfast, catch up with your flight back home or proceed to another destination. Today marks the end of 21 days birding expedition in Tanzania.