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Birdwatching in Tanzania
Birdwatching in Tanzania
Birdwatching in Tanzania
Birdwatching in Tanzania
Birdwatching in Tanzania
Birdwatching in Tanzania

A range of endemic bird species make Tanzania a great location for a birdwatching holiday.

Tanzania birdwatching

Best camps and lodges for birdwatching in Tanzania

With a range of endemic bird species, Tanzania is a great location for a birdwatching holiday. A tremendous amount of ornithological research has been carried out here in the past twenty years, which has hugely increased the information and resources for bird watching in Tanzania. Come for great endemics, near-endemics and speciality birds.

The changes suggested by ongoing research make listing an exact number of endemics difficult. Some sources suggest around 22-23, whilst others split into sub-species and suggest as many as 34. A handful of spectacular endemic birds that most sources agree on include: the Udzungwa forest-partridge; Mrs Moreau's warbler; Loveridge's sunbird; and the Usambara eagle-owl.

Birding in Tanzania is not only recommended for endemism. Over 1000 species have been recorded here and birders in Tanzania will love the range of environments and the sheer variety of birds to be seen on a safari holiday. For some of the best lodges and areas for birdwatching in Tanzania, see our ideas below.

Beho Beho

Nyerere National Park is a good park for to visit on a birdwatching trip to Tanzania. During our visit in 2019 we saw white-fronted bee-eater, a beautiful hoopoe, a bat hawk, crested guinea fowl, a Verreaux eagle owl and a vibrant red bishop.

Ikuka Safari Camp

Ruaha National Park is a paradise for birdwatching in Tanzania. More than 580 species have been recorded in the park and visitors could well spot a hundred or so different species in a single day. Ikuka’s lofty location is perfect to watch raptors soaring above the plains.


Fanjove Lodge

From November onwards, Fanjove receives hundreds of migratory birds to the island, which will be a fascinating site for any keen birder in Tanzania.


Sand Rivers Camp

Nyerere National Park is a great park for a wide variety of bird species. When we were here last, we saw different species of kingfisher, hornbills and a great deal more. The Sand Rivers hide is a fantastic place to camp out for a few hours and observe these birds.


Kwihala Camp

Ruaha National Park has an extraordinary diversity of birds, with over 580 different species recorded, making Kwihala a good choice for birdwatching in Tanzania. Mid-November to March is a great time for keen birdwatchers to visit this park, and the knowledgeable guides are a real asset. The woodland around camp is a magnet for birds and it’s a great location to spot purple-crested turaco.


Mdonya Old River Camp

Ruaha's position at the centre of Tanzania, north of Selous but south of most of Tanzania's other parks, gives it an interested cross section of birds; a fascinating park for birdwatching in Tanzania.


Siwandu

With a wonderful location on the river, birdwatching around Siwandu is great. The guides are knowledgeable and there’s a wide variety of species. We had no problems sighting European rollers, hoopoes, fish eagles and hammerkops, amongst many others.


Oliver's Camp

Tarangire National Park is the best park for birdwatching in Tanzania. Avid bird watchers will enjoy sitting in the central mess tent at Oliver's where you might spot flycatchers, superb starlings, morning thrushes, and even a pair of yellow-winged bats.


Oliver's Camp

Tarangire National Park is the best park for birdwatching in Tanzania. Avid bird watchers will enjoy sitting in the central mess tent at Oliver's where you might spot flycatchers, superb starlings, morning thrushes, and even a pair of yellow-winged bats.


Oliver's Camp

Tarangire National Park is the best park for birdwatching in Tanzania. Avid bird watchers will enjoy sitting in the central mess tent at Oliver's where you might spot flycatchers, superb starlings, morning thrushes, and even a pair of yellow-winged bats.


Rekero

Kenya birdwatching is good here for the variety of habitats in the vicinity. Birders will enjoy the privacy of the tent veranda areas with uninterrupted views across the rocky valley of the Talek River.

Best camps & lodges for Birdwatching in Tanzania


Kwihala Camp

Kwihala Camp

Ruaha National Park has an extraordinary diversity of birds, with over 580 different species recorded, making Kwihala a good choice for birdwatching in Tanzania. Mid-November to March is a great time for keen birdwatchers to visit this park, and the knowledgeable guides are a real asset. The woodland around camp is a magnet for birds and it’s a great location to spot purple-crested turaco.


99% (111 reviews)
Rubondo Island Camp

Rubondo Island Camp

The birdlife around Rubondo Island Camp is excellent, making this one of the best places for birdwatching in Tanzania. Boat trips are particularly special, with the appropriately named Bird Island particularly impressive: numerous storks, fish eagles, African darters and egrets.


100% (6 reviews)
Mwagusi Safari Camp

Mwagusi Safari Camp

Ruaha's position at the centre of Tanzania gives it an interesting cross section of birds – and makes it a fascinating park for birdwatching in Tanzania. Early-morning bird-walks are a very popular activity at the camp to catch the dawn chorus with a guide before breakfast.


96% (115 reviews)
Ikuka Safari Camp

Ikuka Safari Camp

Ruaha National Park is a paradise for birdwatching in Tanzania. More than 580 species have been recorded in the park and visitors could well spot a hundred or so different species in a single day. Ikuka’s lofty location is perfect to watch raptors soaring above the plains.


97% (55 reviews)
Sand Rivers Camp

Sand Rivers Camp

Nyerere National Park is a great park for a wide variety of bird species. When we were here last, we saw different species of kingfisher, hornbills and a great deal more. The Sand Rivers hide is a fantastic place to camp out for a few hours and observe these birds.


96% (80 reviews)
Grumeti River Camp

Grumeti River Camp

Over 360 bird species have been recorded in the Serengeti’s western corridor; and six are endemic to the Serengeti Plains. The black-headed gonolek, silverbird, Fischer’s lovebird and grey-breasted spurfowl will particularly appeal to birdwatchers in Tanzania.


93% (9 reviews)
Oliver's Camp

Oliver's Camp

Tarangire National Park is the best park for birdwatching in Tanzania. Avid bird watchers will enjoy sitting in the central mess tent at Oliver's where you might spot flycatchers, superb starlings, morning thrushes, and even a pair of yellow-winged bats.


96% (60 reviews)
Beho Beho Tree-house

Beho Beho Tree-house

The guides here are real experts on the birdlife, and the Selous is a great area for birdwatching in Tanzania. With waterbirds in the floodplains and lakes around the Rufiji River and dry-country raptors in the Beho Beho Hills, there’s good variety here.


98% (33 reviews)
Impala Camp

Impala Camp

While birdwatching in Nyerere National Park on our last visit to Impala Camp we spotted malachite kingfishers and regal African fish eagles. We were also fortunate enough to see dozens of carmine bee-eaters building their nests in the river’s banks.


96% (278 reviews)
Siwandu

Siwandu

With a wonderful location on the river, birdwatching around Siwandu is great. The guides are knowledgeable and there’s a wide variety of species. We had no problems sighting European rollers, hoopoes, fish eagles and hammerkops, amongst many others.


97% (82 reviews)
Beho Beho

Beho Beho

Nyerere National Park is a good park for to visit on a birdwatching trip to Tanzania. During our visit in 2019 we saw white-fronted bee-eater, a beautiful hoopoe, a bat hawk, crested guinea fowl, a Verreaux eagle owl and a vibrant red bishop.


100% (170 reviews)
Impala fly-camp

Impala fly-camping

Heading out fly-camping gives you the option of exploring deeper into the park to find a wider variety of bird-life. Whilst birdwatching in Nyerere National Park you may see a range of birds, from malachite kingfishers to African fish eagles.


92% (31 reviews)
Sand Rivers fly-camping

Sand Rivers fly-camp

Nyerere National Park is a great area for birdwatching in Tanzania - and these fly-camps deep in the bush, combined with walks around the fly-camp area, allow you to really experience Nyerere National Park and get to know the birdlife there.


99% (14 reviews)
Ruaha River Lodge

Ruaha River Lodge

Ruaha's position at the centre of Tanzania, west of the Selous Game Reserve and south of most of Tanzania' other parks, gives it an interesting cross-section of birds - and makes it a fascinating park for birdwatching in Tanzania.


92% (12 reviews)
Rufiji River fly-camping

Rufiji River fly-camp

Nyerere National Park is a classic area for birdwatching in Tanzania, from the waterbirds found in the lakes and floodplains that surround the Rufiji River, to the dry-country raptors in the hills to the north.


90% (2 reviews)
Mdonya Old River Camp

Mdonya Old River Camp

Ruaha's position at the centre of Tanzania, north of Selous but south of most of Tanzania's other parks, gives it an interested cross section of birds; a fascinating park for birdwatching in Tanzania.


92% (132 reviews)
Fanjove Island Lodge

Fanjove Lodge

From November onwards, Fanjove receives hundreds of migratory birds to the island, which will be a fascinating site for any keen birder in Tanzania.


100% (6 reviews)

Best camps & lodges for Birdwatching in Africa

Birdwatching elsewhere in Africa

Our top ideas and inspiration for Birdwatching in other countries.


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Where to see wildlife species in Tanzania

Maximise the chances of seeing your favourite animals based on traveller sightings reports from the field.


Lion

Lion

Panthera leo

Lions are at the top of the food chain and also most safari wish-lists, but with their numbers falling fast, any encounter with these majestic apex predators always feels like a privilege.

81% SUCCESS

3,035 sightings from 3,731 observations

Where to see lion in Tanzania

Leopard

Leopard

Panthera pardus

The most numerous of Africa’s big cats, leopard occur across many habitats, from wild tracts to populated areas. Their grace and their elusive nature make them a unique safari drawcard.

47% SUCCESS

1,939 sightings from 4,140 observations

Where to see leopard in Tanzania

Cheetah

Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus

The cheetah is the fastest land animal and the only cat that hunts by pure speed. Found largely in open grasslands, its slim, elegant form is today an increasingly rare sight.

33% SUCCESS

1,049 sightings from 3,179 observations

Where to see cheetah in Tanzania

Wild dog

Wild dog

Lycaon pictus

African wild dogs are among the continent’s most compelling animals. Much misunderstood, these rare, tie-dyed canids are amazingly efficient hunters with a fascinating social life.

31% SUCCESS

871 sightings from 2,771 observations

Where to see wild dog in Tanzania

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

The spotted hyena may be thought of as ‘ugly’ and ‘cowardly’. In fact, this versatile and intelligent carnivore is one of Africa’s most fascinating and warrants attention on any safari.

55% SUCCESS

2,173 sightings from 3,940 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Tanzania

Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Connochaetes sp.

Superficially bovine in appearance, wildebeests are known for their spectacular migrations sometimes in huge numbers. These resilient animals are some of Africa’s most successful herbivores.

68% SUCCESS

2,484 sightings from 3,665 observations

Where to see wildebeest in Tanzania

Buffalo

Buffalo

Syncerus caffer

One of the ‘Big Five’, buffalo earned a fearsome reputation in hunters’ tales. By contrast, big herds of these sociable bovids are placid, but mount formidable defences against predators.

83% SUCCESS

2,557 sightings from 3,090 observations

Where to see buffalo in Tanzania

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Pan troglodytes

The chimpanzee is our closest living relative. This highly intelligent great ape is a forest animal with a sophisticated social life. Any encounter in the wild is a memorable experience.

100% SUCCESS

28 sightings from 28 observations

Where to see chimpanzee in Tanzania

Eland

Eland

Taurotragus oryx

Africa’s largest antelope, eland are culturally important from prehistoric rock art to modern game farms. Though widespread, they are also shy so sightings are uncommon and often fleeting.

49% SUCCESS

1,465 sightings from 2,976 observations

Where to see eland in Tanzania

Elephant

Elephant

Loxodonta africana

By far the biggest of the so-called Big Five – indeed, the largest land animal on the planet – the elephant shapes the very landscape it inhabits and is a defining presence on any safari.

91% SUCCESS

3,627 sightings from 3,992 observations

Where to see elephant in Tanzania

Oryx

Oryx

Oryx sp.

Oryx are impressive antelopes, with a powerful physique and elegant markings set off by rapier-like horns. They cut a distinctive dash in some of Africa’s harshest landscapes.

70% SUCCESS

1,328 sightings from 1,904 observations

Where to see oryx in Tanzania

Gerenuk

Gerenuk

Litocranius walleri

With its slender frame and extraordinarily long neck, this unmistakable East African antelope resembles an attenuated impala and often stands on its back legs browse high shrubs.

76% SUCCESS

89 sightings from 117 observations

Where to see gerenuk in Tanzania

Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis

The world’s tallest land mammal, giraffes are herbivores which have evolved many unique adaptations. Their iconic outlines tower above the bush in many of Africa’s wildlife areas.

86% SUCCESS

3,505 sightings from 4,070 observations

Where to see giraffe in Tanzania

Hippo

Hippo

Hippopotamus amphibius

The territorial calls of the hippo create a signature soundtrack to Africa’s rivers & wetlands. Despite an endearing smile, this aquatic herbivore has a notoriously aggressive disposition.

89% SUCCESS

2,649 sightings from 2,972 observations

Where to see hippo in Tanzania

Roan antelope

Roan antelope

Hippotragus equinus

Africa’s second largest antelope and one of its most handsome, with a powerful build and distinctive markings, roan are wary of people, but renowned for their bravery against predators.

23% SUCCESS

473 sightings from 2,022 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Tanzania

Sable antelope

Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger

Perhaps Africa’s most beautiful antelope, sable are renowned for their combative nature, even holding off lions. Shy and restricted in range, sightings of sable are always special.

23% SUCCESS

456 sightings from 2,015 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Tanzania

Sitatunga

Sitatunga

Tragelaphus spekii

The sitatunga is the most aquatic of Africa’s antelopes and specially adapted to its swampy habitats. Though widespread across Africa, only a handful of places offer reliable sightings.

18% SUCCESS

60 sightings from 329 observations

Where to see sitatunga in Tanzania

Striped Hyena

Striped Hyena

Hyaena hyaena

The striped hyena is the most widespread of the world’s hyenas, but absent from southern Africa. A rarely-seen nocturnal scavenger, it is shyer and more solitary than its spotted cousin.

14% SUCCESS

123 sightings from 904 observations

Where to see striped hyena in Tanzania

Zebra

Zebra

Equus sp.

The zebra is a quintessential African animal: the horse in stripy pyjamas at the end of every child’s A–Z. There are three species, of which the plains zebra is much the most common.

84% SUCCESS

3,823 sightings from 4,542 observations

Where to see zebra in Tanzania

Aardvark

Aardvark

Orycteropus afer

The aardvark is one of Africa’s most bizarre and enigmatic animals. A shy, nocturnal termite-eater, signs of its presence may be scattered about the bush whilst sightings remain elusive.

2% SUCCESS

68 sightings from 3,315 observations

Where to see aardvark in Tanzania

Pangolin

Pangolin

Smutsia sp.

Pangolins appear to be more pine cone than animal in their unique armoury of scales. These nocturnal, ant-eating oddities are not only highly elusive but also increasingly rare.

2% SUCCESS

54 sightings from 3,321 observations

Where to see pangolin in Tanzania

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

The black rhino is the smaller and rarer of Africa’s two rhino species but has the more fearsome reputation. Shy and heavily persecuted, it tends to stick to cover.

30% SUCCESS

623 sightings from 2,046 observations

Where to see black rhino in Tanzania

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

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Discover all that Tanzania has to offer


Beach holidays

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Discover Africa's coast and tropical islands.

Birdwatching

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Diverse habitats, discreet hides and superb guiding.

Cultural experiences

Cultural experiences

Get an insight into Africa's cultures and history.

Diving & snorkelling

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Find captivating marine life beneath the waves

Family holidays

Family holidays

Hand-picked camps for an incredible family safari.

Honeymoons

Honeymoons

Romantic safaris and castaway island retreats.

Luxury

Luxury

First-class service, scenic vistas and unparalleled comfort await you during these carefully selected luxury holidays. 

Photography holidays

Photography holidays

Great holidays to suit the keen photographer.

Private villas & houses

Private villas & houses

Enjoy Africa with just your friends & family

Riding holidays

Riding holidays

Explore Africa's wilderness on horseback.

Solo Travel

Solo Travel

Trip ideas ideally suited for a solo traveller.

Walking

Walking

Explore Africa's most scenic trails on foot.

Walking safaris

Walking safaris

Explore Africa's untouched wildernesses on foot.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Wellness escapes in stunning locations

Wildlife safaris

Wildlife safaris

These trips include hard-hitting game and fascinatingly elusive species alike, as well as superb guiding and a variety of diverse ecosystems.

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