Birds – Ngorongoro

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.

Both the Ngorongoro highlands and the crater offer excellent birding, with over 500 species recorded. Birdlife in the highland forest is rich and interesting. Among the birds to be seen are white-eyed slaty flycatcher and Livingstone turaco. A number of specialized grassland birds are resident in the crater. Most noticeable are ostrich, kori bustard, crowned crane and the secretary bird. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Notable Birds in Ngorongoro
Black kite
Black-winged lapwing
Hildebrandt's spurfowl
Kenya rufous sparrow
Endemic to Tanzania and Kenya
Lesser flamingo

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

(E) = endemic to Tanzania and (NE) = near-endemic to Tanzania

  • African spoonbill
  • Augur buzzard
  • Capped wheatear
  • Eastern double-collared sunbird
  • Egyptian vulture
  • Fan-tailed widowbird
  • Greater flamingo
  • Hartlaub's turaco (NE)
  • Hildebrandt’s francolin
  • Hildebrandt’s starling
  • Jackson’s widowbird (NE)
  • Kenya rufous sparrow
  • Kori bustard
  • Livingstone’s turaco
  • Namaqua dove
  • Northern anteater chat
  • Red-and-yellow barbet
  • Rosy-throated longclaw
  • Rufous-tailed weaver (E)
  • Scarlet-chested sunbird
  • Schalow’s wheatear
  • Speke’s weaver
  • Verreaux’s eagle
  • White-eyed slaty flycatcher

Best Time for Bird Watching

Although birdlife is generally good throughout the year, from November to April migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa are present, and many resident birds are in breeding plumage. This makes it the best time for bird watching. The best time to watch wildlife is during the Dry season, which is June to October.

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 Ngorongoro?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Ngorongoro
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr