GuideAnthony Raphael
DatesAny Time
Birding Days11
Ground Price£3500
Flight ex UK£500
This trip takes in the best of the northern endemic spcies, with locally-based experts. Exploring a range of habitats, the species list is extensive. The trip can be extended with Serengeti, or the offshore island of Pemba, with its 4 endemic species.
After arrival, we explore the area around Arusha. Mount Meru looms over the town, and is home to many species, and offers a range from montane to wetland species. Specialities can include Abbott's Starling, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, White-eared and Brown-breasted Barbets, Red-fronted Parrot and Forest Batis. Lammergeier is a local, if scarce speciality, along with the commoner Crowned Eagle and Mountain Buzzard. The lark plains north of the mountain hold the endemic Beesley's Lark, as well as Athi Short-toed and Short-tailed.
We next head for Tarangire and Manyara reserves. There are several species endemic to this area, including Fischer’s and Yellow-collared Lovebirds, Ashy Starling and Rufous-tailed Weaver. Crested Barbet could be found with luck, and more likely are Orange-bellied Parrot, Heuglin’s Courser and Magpie Shrike. At night, we may find both Freckled and Slender-tailed Nightjars. Mammals are plentiful and include good populations of Lion and Elephant.
After some final birding at Manyara, we head to Ngorongoro Crater, justly famous for its concentrations of big-game. However, the forests around the caldera are also excellent for birding, with Hartlaub’s and Schalows’s Turacos, Brown-headed Apalis, Tambourine Dove, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Golden- winged, Taccaze, Malachite and Bronze Sunbirds, and the floor itself is excellent for Ostrich, Kori Bustard, Scaly Francolin and Rosy-breasted Longclaw.
The West Usambaras, although degraded, feature Usambara Weaver, Usambara Ground Robin, Sharpe’s Akalat and Usambara Eagle Owl which are all endemic. Species such as Yellow-streaked and Stripe-cheeked Greenbuls, Striped Pipit and Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler are much more easily seen here than in Kenya, and the local races of Mountain and Shelley’s Greenbuls and White-starred Robin could be distinct species.
The lower forests of the East Usambaras are better protected, and highlights possible here include Amani & Banded Green Sunbirds, Long-billed and African Tailorbirds, White-breasted Alethe, Swynnerton’s Robin, Usambara Hyliota and Fuelleborn’s Black Boubou. There is some species overlap with the coastal forests of Kenya, and Sokoke Scops Owl and Sokoke Pipit have both been recorded.
The South Pare area is relatively unexplored, and has a distinctive subspecies (or possibly species) of White-eye. Taveta Golden Weaver is a speciality of the arid region under the mountains.