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14 Days Tanzania Bird Watching Safari

Created with Sketch. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
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Duration

14 Days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

Unlimited

Languages

English

Overview

Tanzania is one of the finest bird watching destinations in Africa, with 1140 species including 200 migrants and 74 marine birds present. Tanzanian avian safaris are best in the rains for migrants and residents in breeding plumage. The preeminent birding locations include Arusha National Park, with 400 birds in a diversity of habitats contained in a small area. You may observe on a white-faced whistling duck, with its whistling three-note lament, or a dusky flycatcher. Tawny eagles and buzzards hover above Ngurdoto Crater, whilst the Momella Lakes is the place for water birds and waders. Lake Manyara National Park offers pink flamingos, pelicans, storks, cormorants, hornbills and many more with over 400 recorded species. Greater and lesser flamingos are also found in Ngorongoro Crater and millions mass on their breeding ground at Lake Natron.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival
You will be met at Kilimanjaro International Airport by your driver-guide and our representative. We will take you to the Rivertrees Country Inn. This charming lodge is situated at the banks of picturesque Usa River on an old German coffee estate and offers stunning views towards Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. Simply walking around the lodge grounds itself is a delight for bird enthusiasts with over 100 species of birds having been spotted in the surrounding area; owls, in particular, like to rest atop the towering trees that surround the lodge. Our safari manager will come to meet you at the lodge and to provide you with a safari briefing followed by dinner.Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 2: Arusha National Park
Spend the full day at Arusha National Park game and bird viewing. Enjoy a picnic lunch at Momella Lake, famous for huge flocks of colorful flamingos and stunning views of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. Game drive around the different habitats in this truly beautiful park. There are black and white colobus monkeys (unique to this park in northern Tanzania), Sykes and vervet monkeys, shy forest duikers, leopards, and substantial herds of antelope. Guided by an armed ranger, you will hike the slopes of Mount Meru in dense forest or at the crater rim of Ngurduto Crater. Birds can be spotted everywhere in this beautiful national park, and species to look out for include silvery-cheeked hornbill, Hartlaub’s turaco, and various water birds including yellow-billed stork and many more. Overnight at hotel. All meals included.
Day 3-4: Tarangire
From Arusha National Park you travel towards Tarangire, Tanzania’s third largest national park and sanctuary for an unusually large elephant population. Majestic baobab trees are an interesting feature of the park, dwarfing the animals that feed beneath them. Animals concentrate along the Tarangire River, which provides the only permanent water supply in the area. There is a great diversity of wildlife including lion, leopard, cheetah, and up to 6,000 elephants. A walking tour with a Masai guide or ranger at the park boundaries is also included. Even at the entrance to Tarangire National Park you will hear and see many birds. Superb starling are of course ubiquitous, while birds that can be spotted in the national park include yellow-necked francolin, lilac-breasted roller, buffalo weaver, ostrich, white-backed vulture, red-billed hornbill, magpie shrike, Fischer’s lovebird, and many birds of prey. Overnight at lodge. All meals included.
Day 5 – Lake Manyara
After breakfast, we depart for to Lake Manyara. Nestled at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the park is recognized for its incredible beauty. You can see many game animals such as buffalo, elephant, giraffe, impala, hippos, and others. The vast majority of the national park area is taken up with the lake itself, so naturally this corner of Tanzania is known for water birds. At the lakeside you can spot greater and lesser flamingo, great white pelican, great white egret, cormorants and plovers in vast numbers – all alongside lazing hippos and trotting warthogs! Overnight at Ngorongoro Farmhouse in Karatu nearby. All meals included.
Day 6 : Lake Manyara – Serengeti
After breakfast, you start on your way to Serengeti National Park. A picnic lunch will be provided. On the way you will stop at the Olduvai Gorge where anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey made many significant discoveries, contributing to the theory that human life originated in Africa. After stopping for your picnic lunch on a kopje (rock outcropping) in Serengeti, you will continue further into the park for game drive. The Serengeti is the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world and boasts many species of plain animals from hare to the elephant. The name Serengeti comes from the Masai word “Siringet” referring to an endless plain. There are various pockets of water in the Serengeti where birds such as sacred ibis, goliath heron, yellow-billed stork, Egyptian geese, plovers, and other water birds gather. Aside from this, there are over 450 species of bird residents in the area, including kori bustard, lappet-faced vulture, marabou stork, grey heron, hamerkop, secretry bird, various sparrow hawks, many eagles, helmeted and crested guinea fowl, cuckoos, kingfishers (including pied and malachite) bee-eaters, rollers, hornbills, shrikes, bulbuls, sunbirds, finches…..simply too many to name! Overnight at camp at Serengeti. All meals included.
Day 7 : Serengeti
A full day of game drives around Serengeti. Depending on the time of year and the migration of the herds, you can expect to see wildebeest, lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, baboons, hippos, rhinos, antelopes, and many birds and other species. Overnight at camp at Serengeti. All meals included.
Day 8 : Ngorongoro
In the morning, drive to Ngorongoro Crater. After arrival you will descend into the crater for a wonderful game drive (with a picnic lunch) inside the Ngorongoro Crater, often described as one of the wonders of the world. It is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and a a natural sanctuary for some of Africa’s densest animal populations. It is one of the few places where the rare black rhino can be observed in their natural setting. Picnic will be taken at Lake Magadi, famous for water birds. There are plenty of birds at the crater bottom, taking advantage of the staggering range of vegetation that can be found in this relatively small area. Ostrich and kori bustard roam the flat grasses, black kites swoop from up high, and turacos quickly dart from tree to tree. With a bit of luck the “Big Five” can be spotted during only one game drive. Overnight at lodge. All meals included.
Day 9 : Ngorongoro – Arusha
In the morning, drive to Ngorongoro Crater. After arrival you will descend into the crater for a wonderful game drive (with a picnic lunch) inside the Ngorongoro Crater, often described as one of the wonders of the world. It is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and a a natural sanctuary for some of Africa’s densest animal populations. It is one of the few places where the rare black rhino can be observed in their natural setting. Picnic will be taken at Lake Magadi, famous for water birds. There are plenty of birds at the crater bottom, taking advantage of the staggering range of vegetation that can be found in this relatively small area. Ostrich and kori bustard roam the flat grasses, black kites swoop from up high, and turacos quickly dart from tree to tree. With a bit of luck the “Big Five” can be spotted during only one game drive. Overnight at lodge. All meals included.
Day 10-11 : Amani Nature Reserve
After an early breakfast, start your drive to Amani Nature Reserve at Eastern Usambara Mountains. There, you will be met by the camp manger and discuss your program. In the late afternoon there is time for bird watching either at your camp or in the forest nearby. There are several bird species endemic to the Usambara area, including the Usambara eagle owl and the Usambara weaver. This is a real treat for genuine bird fanatics! Other notable species that can be spotted in the area include Amani sunbird, Fischer’s turaco, green-headed oriole, and more. Spend two days around Amani Nature Reserve. Overnight at the small basic camp. All meals included.
Day 12-13 : Mkomazi National Park
The next station of your journey is a stay at Mkomazi, the newest of all national Parks in Tanzania. It serves as a buffer to the adjacent Tsavo National Park in Kenya. The Pare and the Usambara Mountains form the boundary in the south. The two mountain ranges in the background scenery, alternating from sparse tree savannas to grassland, are the reason for a such an imposing and breathtaking landscape; and due to protection measures put in place, the number of animals has increased substantially. Although there are not as many animals as in some of the more well-known national parks, the wonderful landscape more than compensates for this. Bird enthusiasts can observe approximately 450 different species of bird life. Lesser-known species include martial eagles and various hoopoes, while more common types of birds include secretary birds, bee-eaters, hornbills, starling, and guinea fowl. Mkomazi is also famous for its breeding projects of African wild dogs, as well as the rare black rhino run by the George Adamson/Tony Fitzjohn African Wildlife Preservation Trust. If possible, you can visit the project and see the wild dogs and rhinos. If you wish, you can easily go on a night game drive on that evening or a guided walk around the camp. Overnight at camp. All meals included.
Day 14 : Kilimanjaro – Departure
Depending on your departure, you still have time in the morning for game and bird watching or relax at your camp before your guide takes you back to Kilimanjaro Airport (driving time approximately three hours) for departure.

Included/Excluded

  • Lodge safari according to the itinerary
  • Transportation in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Professional, English-speaking guide
  • Overnight accommodation according to the itinerary
  • Meals according to the itinerary
  • Mineral water
  • All mentioned activities
  • All national park fees
  • Flying Doctors insurance (AMREF) during the safari
  • Flights
  • Optional activities
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Travel insurance

Tour Categories

Tanzania Safaris

Durations

Multi day

Languages

English

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

FAQs

What can I expect on a typical safari day?
This is your safari trip, your adventure! You decide how you want to spend your time on this vacation. If you would like to spend a full day on safari, you are definitely welcomed to do so. Visa Expeditions does not restrict your mileage, fuel or how much time you want to be on safari. While some days you may decide set out by sunrise, other days you can have a slower-paced breakfast before starting your daily exploration. Simply sit down with your guide to plan your day and meals the night before. Your guide will have plenty of suggestions, but of course, the decision is yours.
What to Bring on Safari
Safaris are casual vacations! Dress comfortably and pack lightly. As you will be spending most of your safari viewing in the vehicle, loose-fitting and light coloured clothing is recommended. Avoid dark colours (i.e. black, dark blue) as they tend to attract unwanted attention from insects such as the tsetse fly.
What are the park fee regulations?
All park fees and conservation fees have a 24 hours limit. We plan your itinerary according to the park permits paid. Your safari driver guide will brief you the night before and provide suggestions regarding your schedule. Please note that any penalty fee resulting from the client’s wish to extend their stay will be at the guest’s expense.
Am I allowed to walk around the national parks?
It is recommended to stay inside your vehicles at all times when you are in the national parks unless your driver-guide find a safe area to stop for lunch or to stretch your legs. If you are keen on hiking, there are guided walks that are available in Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro. Within the Serengeti National Parks, long walks are not permitted during to conservation reasons, however, some lodgings will offer short walks near the lodge or camp.
Will there be wildlife roaming at the camps and lodges?
It is important to never assume that any of the animals encountered on your game drive are tame. Though attacks by wild animals are unusual, nothing in the African wilderness is predictable. While you are staying in your safari lodges and camps, it is important to be especially cautious and aware of your surroundings as many of these areas are not fenced and contain wildlife roaming freely. If you have children with you, keep them in sight and do not let them wander alone. At smaller tented lodges, you will always be escorted to and from your tent for dinner or during the night. Should you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to raise them to the staff or your guide.
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