Birds – Tanzania

Philip Briggs
Expert
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.

Tanzania is one of Africa’s best birding destinations. It has one of the largest species lists of any African country: over 1,100, of which over 800 species are resident, and nearly 200 are regular migrants. There are 22 species endemic to Tanzania, and a further 43 near-endemic. Migrants are present from November to April.

Notable Birds in Tanzania
Ashy starling
Common and endemic
Black crake
Common
Fischer's lovebird
Locally common and near-endemic
Hartlaub's turaco
Locally common and near-endemic
Red-and-yellow barbet
Locally common

Birding Rating

Endemic Birds

  • Ashy starling
  • Banded green sunbird
  • Fischer's lovebird
  • Grey-breasted spurfowl
  • Iringa akalat
  • Kilombero weaver
  • Loveridge's sunbird
  • Moreau's sunbird
  • Mrs Moreau's warbler
  • Pemba green pigeon
  • Pemba scops owl
  • Pemba sunbird
  • Pemba white-eye
  • Rufous-tailed weaver
  • Rufous-winged sunbird
  • Tanzania seedeater
  • Tanzanian red-billed hornbill
  • Udzungwa forest partridge
  • Uluguru bush-shrike
  • Usambara akalat
  • Usambara eagle owl
  • Usambara weaver

Other Birding Specials

  • Bar-tailed trogon
  • Böhm's spinetail
  • Broad-tailed paradise whydah
  • Brown-breasted barbet
  • Brown-necked parrot
  • Chestnut-fronted helmet-shrike
  • Golden-breasted starling
  • Green tinkerbird
  • Green-headed oriole
  • Hartlaub's turaco
  • Lappet-faced vulture
  • Livingstone’s flycatcher
  • Long-tailed fiscal
  • Marsh tchagra
  • Pale-billed hornbill
  • Pallid honeyguide
  • Secretary bird
  • White-headed mousebird

Best Time for Bird Watching

The birdlife in Tanzania 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 wettest months are March and April, when parts of the country may experience storms on a daily basis. The Wet season is also the hottest time of the year. This may make it uncomfortably hot on the coast. For wildlife viewing, the dry season is 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 Tanzania?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Tanzania
Bird Species
1100+
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr