Call Us on

+ 2 5 4 - 7 3 7 - 2 2 2 6 6 6 - 24 hours a Day

or emails us on

You are here: Home Tanzania Tanzania Wildlife Safaris Bird Watching Safari - 18 Days

Bird Watching Safari - 18 Days

E-mail Print

StarlingDay 01

The tour begins with a flight from London or Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam where we’ll spend the night.

Day 02

We’ll spend the day investigating coastal areas not far from the city for waders and terns, possibly including stately Crab Plover, as well as Dimorphic Egrets.

Night in Dar es Salaam

Day 03

African Fish Eagle with its CatchWe’ll have another short excursion along the shore before breakfast, perhaps locating a Mangrove Kingfisher or seeing Fish-Eagles catching their breakfasts offshore. After our own breakfast we’ll depart for Mikumi National Park, driving alongside freshwater swamps with dancing orange-red Zanzibar Bishops and Open-billed Storks searching for aquatic snails.

After Morogoro we’ll enter the wooded savannas of Mikumi National Park. Elephant and Zebra can be seen from the road, as well as glistening Superb Starlings and sentinel Brown-headed Parrots.

Night at Mikumi – B,L,D

Day 04

Dickinson's-KestrelAfter an early breakfast sure to feature many wildlife distractions we’ll search the surrounding acacia and miombo woodland and the grassy plains for Dickinson’s Kestrel, usually associated with Borassus Palms.

We may see the splendid pink Northern Carmine Bee-eaters darting after insects and Speckle-throated Woodpeckers tapping the timber for tasty hidden morsels.

Elsewhere Stierling’s Barred Warblers sing like crickets from the tops of acacias and Yellow-throated Petronias wag their tails.

In the afternoon we’ll head out again, maybe finding the long-crested green and crimson Livingstone’s Turaco, the smart white-capped Arnott’s Chat and, if we are most fortunate, the stunning Racquet-tailed Roller.

Later we’ll drive to the Udzungwa Mountains, arriving late in the evening.

Night at a lodge in the Udzungwa Mountains – B,L,D

Day 05

This morning we’ll drive to Ifakara. It is here, just 20 years ago, that three new species were discovered: Kilombero Weaver, common in the floodplain, and two cisticolas still awaiting description but known as Kilombero and White-tailed. All three species are numerous and should not be difficult to find. Not so easy to see are the morose, booming Coppery-tailed Coucals at their northernmost range and strident and argumentative White-headed Plovers.

We could also see Red-headed Quelea, the secretive Anchieta’s Tchagra, attractive Zebra Waxbill and a wide variety of marshland species. After lunch at a local hotel we’ll return to Ndzungwa National Park for the remainder of the afternoon to look for birds in the lower forest. We’ll climb as high as the waterfall where the endemic Rufous-winged Sunbird was first collected (though it seems it is really an inhabitant of the higher levels).

Also present here are the hyperactive Livingstone’s Flycatcher, also at the northern edge of its range, possibly the skulking Lesser Seedcracker, and more- common species including Green Barbet.

Day 06

Today we’ll drive to the Uluguru Mountains, passing through the Mikumi National Park on the highway towards Morogoro town. From Morogoro, we’ll take a winding road into the Uluguru Mountains, arriving at the Uluguru Mountains Agricultural Research Hostel near Tegetero, the starting point of our hike into the Ulugurus. The hostel is basic but with clean shared toilets and shower rooms and substantial fresh food – B,L,D

Days 07 - 08

From our hostel we can see the towering Uluguru Mountains all around us. We’ll spend two full days in the Ulugurus, driving some of the way and then walking uphill to reach the forest. Species we’ll be hoping for include the endemic Uluguru Bush-Shrike with its musical duet, the nectar-loving Loveridge’s Sunbird and local species such as Chapin’s Apalis, East African Citril and the very local Bertram’s Weaver.

We’ll return to a hotel in Morogoro for these two nights – B,L,D

Day 09

Leaving Morogoro we’ll drive north to Amani in the East Usambaras for a short stay. Rainfall is plentiful here because of the proximity to the coast and as a result the vegetation is luxuriant. On the way we may see striking pied Palm-nut Vultures and fiery Black-winged Red Bishops. Soon the lowlands give way to these impressive mountains and we’ll climb into lush forest, leaving the aridity behind us. Before the major ascent we’ll stop at a bridge, where a short look could reward us with a watchful Half-collared Kingfisher.

Night near Amani – B,L,D

Days 10 - 11

Exploring the forest patches surrounding the tea plantations, we’ll be on the lookout for Long-billed Apalis, a dowdy warbler but one of Africa’s rarest species, the crimson-naped Fischer’s Turaco, a noisy but colourful inhabitant of the canopy, yodeling Green-headed Orioles, shadow-loving Sharpe’s Akalat, the endemic Banded Green Sunbird, and Usambara Drongo, still undescribed but living in our garden!

After dinner one night we’ll look for Usambara Nightjar and Usambara Eagle-Owl, and this walk may reward us as well with some locally endemic reptiles. Other birds may include the very distinct eastern form of Pale-breasted Illadopsis, almost certainly a species in its own right, and Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird. There is also a chance of finding the very elusive Dappled Mountain Robin.

Nights near Amani – B,L,D

Day 12

Descending briefly into the dry lowlands, we’ll climb again, this time to the cool of the West Usambaras for a three-day stay. White-necked Ravens should be along the roadside and radiant Lilac-breasted Rollers find perches on the flowering heads of sisals.

As we enter through the rocky gorge we’ll keep an eye open for Striped Pipit and more colourful Cliff Chat. The waterfall that tumbles down this rugged landscape can attract many birds, especially if there is a good crop of corn nearby. Our beautiful hotel is an ideally located home-away-from-home. The spacious Old World rooms are comfortable, and the home-cooked food is delicious.

Night in Lushoto – B,L,D

Days 13 - 14

Over the next two days we’ll explore the local forest in search of its two endemics, Usambara Akalat and the attractive Usambara Weaver, which clambers over the epiphyte-laden branches in the manner of a nuthatch.

Other species here include Hartlaub’s Turaco at the southern end of its distribution, noisy but well-hidden Evergreen Forest and Cinnamon Bracken Warblers, piping Black-fronted Bush-Shrike and the unusual Spot-throat, whose ear- splitting song is reminiscent of a Blackcap on steroids. Angola Colobus Monkeys give their mechanical calls at dawn shortly after the African Wood-Owls have retired.

Nights in Lushoto – B,L,D

Day 15

Leaving the Eastern Arc Mountains we’ll proceed to Arusha for an overnight stay. Patches of semi-arid acacia along the way may reveal species at the extreme southern edge of their range, such as the statuesque Buff-crested Bustard, the squeaky Pink-breasted Lark, the diminutive Mouse-coloured Penduline-Tit and the colourful Red-and-yellow Barbet. As we near Moshi, and if we are lucky, Mt. Kilimanjaro may clear itself of its misty shroud and grant us a fine view.

Night in Arusha – B,L,D

Day 16

This morning we’ll have an optional pre-breakfast trip down to Duluti, a crater lake overlooked by our lodge. The entire lake is surrounded by forest, and Noisy Silvery-Cheeked and Trumpeter Hornbills bugle from emergent perches, Grosbeak Weavers construct their plant-fiber nests in the reeds and various herons may be present. On the lake we may see Long-tailed Cormorant, African Fish-Eagle or the impressive Giant Kingfisher.

After breakfast, we’ll cross the Great Rift Valley to the famous Ngorongoro Crater Highlands and on to the thorn scrub, wooded habitat and soda lakes around Ndutu where Fischers’s Lovebirds and endemic Grey-breasted Spurfowl are a possibility. Bush birds such as Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, Green- winged Pytilia, Swahili Sparrow, White-crowned Shrike and Slate-colored Boubou are common.

Night at Ndutu Lodge – B,L,D

Day 17

After an early breakfast, we’ll depart Ndutu for the floor of Ngorongoro Crater, where the abundant wildlife still includes a few ponderous Black Rhinoceros, a swimming pool full of Hippopotamus, Lions lazing under the tattered bushes on the golden plain, and a variety of plains animals everywhere. Birds also abound, from diminutive Pectoral-patch Cisticolas to Ostrich.

The swamps attract a variety of waterfowl, including the curious Cape Wigeon, and a ribbon of soda-loving Lesser Flamingos paints a swath of vivid rose around the central lake. Stately Kori Bustards scour the grassland for grasshoppers, African Marsh- Harrier and Great Sparrowhawk hunt for small birds, and every corner holds something of interest.

After a picnic lunch, we’ll ascend the crater walls into the forest around the rim, looking out for the silky-crested Schalow’s Turaco, regally dressed Golden-winged Sunbird, and inquisitive-looking Montane White-eye. Our lodge is situated near the rim, where nights can be cold, and is surrounded by lush montane vegetation.

Night at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge – B,L,D

Day 18

This morning we’ll wind our way back toward Arusha, pausing for anything of interest. Along the way, we’ll take a detour to look for the endemic Beesley’s Lark, found in very arid plains at the northern base of Mount Meru. This might be one of the world’s rarest birds, and only two pairs are known for certain.

Also here we’ll be on the lookout for two other uncommon lark species, the Athi Short-toed and the Short-tailed. Around midday we’ll return to Arusha. Once in town the afternoon will be available for packing and perhaps last minute shopping. We’ll transfer to the airport in the late afternoon to connect with our flight back to London where the tour ends on Day 19 – ( L)

Included in the Package
  • All accommodations
  • All meals except while in Arusha on departure day
  • All government and hotel taxes and service charges
  • All land travel
  • All Intra - Kenya scheduled and charter flights
  • All park, reserve, and conservation area entrance fees
  • All game-viewing activities; guided walks, horseback rides, or 4x4 game drives in open top vehicles
  • All vehicle transfers to - from Bush Homes, airports, hotels, etc.
  • Half day tour of Nairobi with a private driver - guide
  • AMREF medical evacuation coverage
Not Included in the Package
  • Some alcoholic beverages and other personal expenses
  • Lunch and dinner while in Nairobi on departure day (account direct)
  • Gratuities to drivers-guides and staff members - $7-$10 per person per day)
  • Intra-Kenya Airport departure taxes ($2 per flight payable at departures)
  • Kenya International departure tax ($40 payable at departure)
  • Pre-trip inoculations
  • International Airfares
  • Kenya visa fees (estimate $75 per person)
  • Travel Insurance

Please Note:

All private charter flights are subject to weight limits that can not be exceeded for safety reasons. If these weight limits are exceeded then the travelers will be held responsible for the extra costs incurred to upgrade the charter flight.

Sometimes these flights cannot be upgraded due to all charter planes being booked - this could result in a delay in travel time and pose problems for the travelers. Your luggage weight should not exceed 33 lbs. per traveler. Please advise us on the weight for your travel

Most charter flights are booked on single engine aircraft. In the event of bad weather prevailing, it may be necessary to upgrade to a twin engine plane which is approved for instrument flight conditions. If this occurs, the extra cost of the twin engine plane will be your responsibility

Bird Watching Safari - 18 Days


  Asta kivulini safaris - Kato Member East Africa Wildlife Society   kivulini  safaris - swom account Kivulini safaris - linked in Wildlife Centre