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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.

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.

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.


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.

Birdwatching elsewhere in Africa

Our top ideas and inspiration for Birdwatching in other countries.

Birdwatching in Botswana


Much of northern Botswana consists of vast tracts of untouched wilderness with plenty of wildlife...

Birdwatching in Kenya


Kenya is a prime destination for a birdwatching holiday at any time of year. Tremendous geographical ...

Birdwatching in Malawi


Malawi has a number of species which are rare in the rest of Southern Africa, and birdwatching ...

Birdwatching in Mozambique


Mozambique stretches over 2000km from north to south. It is a lush and varied country, and birding ...

Birdwatching in Namibia


The best time for bird watching in Namibia is during the rains - typically between around November ...

Birdwatching in Rwanda


Birdwatching in Rwanda is somewhat overlooked in favour of gorilla-trekking trips. However, birdlife ...

Birdwatching in Seychelles


The Seychelles is a disparate group of islands - some granitic; some coralline - scattered around ...

Birdwatching in South Africa

South Africa

South Africa has the highest number of endemic bird species in mainland Africa. Birding in the ...

Birdwatching in Zambia


Birdwatching in Zambia will reveal a mix of south, east and even central African birds. Birdlife ...

Birdwatching in Zimbabwe


Whilst Zimbabwe doesn't have any endemics, it's still great for bird watching. A Zimbabwe holiday ...

Where to see wildlife species in Africa

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



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.


2,925 sightings from 3,591 observations

Where to see lion in Africa



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.


1,869 sightings from 3,970 observations

Where to see leopard in Africa



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.


1,003 sightings from 3,034 observations

Where to see cheetah in Africa

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.


838 sightings from 2,662 observations

Where to see wild dog in Africa

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.


2,090 sightings from 3,786 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Africa



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.


2,373 sightings from 3,512 observations

Where to see wildebeest in Africa



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.


2,465 sightings from 2,972 observations

Where to see buffalo in Africa



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.


28 sightings from 28 observations

Where to see chimpanzee in Africa



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.


1,399 sightings from 2,866 observations

Where to see eland in Africa



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.


3,495 sightings from 3,839 observations

Where to see elephant in Africa



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.


1,270 sightings from 1,815 observations

Where to see oryx in Africa



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.


88 sightings from 112 observations

Where to see gerenuk in Africa



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.


3,365 sightings from 3,897 observations

Where to see giraffe in Africa



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.


2,554 sightings from 2,865 observations

Where to see hippo in Africa

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.


457 sightings from 1,955 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Africa

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.


436 sightings from 1,951 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Africa



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.


59 sightings from 315 observations

Where to see sitatunga in Africa

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.


119 sightings from 861 observations

Where to see striped hyena in Africa



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.


3,672 sightings from 4,351 observations

Where to see zebra in Africa



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.


67 sightings from 3,195 observations

Where to see aardvark in Africa



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.


52 sightings from 3,188 observations

Where to see pangolin in Africa

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.


605 sightings from 1,956 observations

Where to see black rhino in Africa

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