Birds – Tanzania

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.

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
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

Endemic birds only occur in Tanzania.

Other Birding Specials– Treats for Avid Birders

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 Includes 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.

Recommended Birding Books

  • Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania
    Dale A. Zimmerman
  • The Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi
    Terry Stevenson and John Fanshaw
  • East Africa Birds: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species in Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda (Wildlife and Nature Identification)
    James Kavanagh
  • Pocket Guide: Birds of East Africa
    Dave Richards

Want to Visit Tanzania?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Tanzania
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr