Birds – Katavi NP

Philip Briggs
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Tanzania.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Katavi is mainly visited in the Dry season, which isn’t the best time for birding, but the rivers harbor a large concentration of water-associated birds throughout the year. Particularly common are herons, plovers, spoonbills and groups of stork including yellow-billed, saddle-billed and open-billed stork. Raptors are well represented, with the fish eagle, bateleur and white-backed vulture being very common. Over 400 species have been recorded, and migratory birds are present from November to April.

Notable Birds in Katavi
African fish eagle
African openbill
Lilac-breasted roller
Pink-backed pelican
Yellow-billed stork

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

  • African golden oriole
  • African paradise flycatcher
  • African spoonbill
  • Bateleur
  • Black cuckoo-shrike
  • Crested barbet
  • Little bee-eater
  • Red-billed hornbill
  • Saddle-billed stork
  • Sulphur-breasted bush-shrike
  • White-backed vulture
  • Yellow-throated sandgrouse

Best Time for Bird Watching

The birdlife in Katavi is good year-round, but at its best from November to April when the migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa are present. At this time, many resident bird species are nesting and are in breeding plumage. The rains usually arrive in November and last until early June. For birding specifically, November to March is the best time. The problem, however, is that many roads become hard to travel after continuous rain. As a result, most camps are closed from March to May. For wildlife viewing, the middle and end of the Dry season (June-October) is considerably better.

Best Parks for Birding Including Birding Rating

All the well-known safari parks offer good birding opportunities, and specials can be found pretty much everywhere you go. The often-overlooked Arusha National Park has an amazing diversity of habitats that host an incredible list of 400 species in a small area. Lake Manyara offers a good variety of waterbirds.

Want to Visit Katavi NP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Katavi NP
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr