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a 13 Day Tanzanian Birding Expedition

Birding
Wildlife

Set out on a remarkable 12-day birding expedition through the most spectacular national parks in Tanzania. This carefully designed itinerary guides participants through diverse habitats, providing opportunities to observe a wide variety of bird species and iconic African wildlife. Tanzania’s national parks and reserves are home to approximately 1,100 bird species, making it an ideal destination for birding enthusiasts.

Duration: 12 Days
Places to Visit: Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area/Crater, Udzungwa Mountains National Park

Itinerary:

Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha City

Distance: 55km/1hr drive
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, an expert birding guide will warmly welcome participants and introduce the wonders of Tanzania before escorting everyone to the selected accommodation in Arusha City. Take the evening to rest and prepare for the exciting birding adventure ahead.
Mid-Range: Planet Lodge Hotel on BB
Semi-Luxury: Kibo Palace Hotel on BB

Day 2: Arusha City – Arusha National Park

Distance: 50km/1hr drive
After a hearty breakfast, set out on a short drive to the nearby Arusha National Park. Begin the day with a guided walking safari, accompanied by a skilled park ranger. Choose from various trails that wind through diverse habitats, offering opportunities to spot a wide array of bird species, including the striking Hartlaub’s Turaco, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, and the elusive Abyssinian Crimsonwing. In the afternoon, enjoy a leisurely game drive, keeping an eye out for the park’s resident wildlife, such as the playful Black and White Colobus Monkeys, stately giraffes, and majestic buffalos. Return to Arusha City for an evening of relaxation and overnight stay.
Mid-Range: Planet Lodge Hotel on Full Board
Semi-Luxury: Kibo Palace Hotel on Full Board

Day 3: Arusha City – Tarangire National Park

Distance: 120km/2hrs drive
After breakfast, collect packed lunch boxes and set off on a scenic drive to Tarangire National Park. Upon arrival, the guide will handle the park entry formalities before participants begin a full-day game drive. Tarangire is renowned for its impressive elephant herds and exceptional birding opportunities. Keep binoculars ready to spot species such as the Ashy Starling, Yellow-collared Lovebird, and the enigmatic Southern Ground Hornbill. In the evening, retire to the lodge for leisure time and an overnight stay.
Mid-Range: Lake Burunge Tented Lodge on Full Board
Semi-Luxury: Tarangire Sopa Lodge on Full Board

Day 4: Tarangire National Park (Full day)

Dedicate a full day to exploring the wonders of Tarangire National Park. In addition to its large elephant population, the park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including lions, leopards, and cheetahs. Birding highlights include the Rufous-tailed Weaver, Northern Pied Babbler, and the striking Pygmy Falcon. Take a moment to appreciate the park’s iconic baobab trees and the sprawling savannah landscape. As the sun sets, return to the lodge for a well-deserved rest and overnight stay.
Mid-Range: Lake Burunge Tented Lodge on Full Board
Semi-Luxury: Tarangire Sopa Lodge on Full Board

Day 5: Tarangire National Park – Lake Manyara National Park

Distance: 90km/2hrs drive
After an early breakfast, bid farewell to Tarangire and head to the spectacular Lake Manyara National Park. This compact park is famous for its tree-climbing lions, but it is also a birder’s paradise. Spend the day exploring the park’s diverse habitats, from the lakeshore to the dense woodlands. Keep an eye out for the Crowned Eagle, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, and the vibrant Lilac-breasted Roller. In the evening, drive to the lodge for leisure and overnight stay.
Mid-Range: Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp on Full Board
Semi-Luxury: Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge on Full Board

Day 6: Lake Manyara National Park – Serengeti National Park (Central-Seronera)

Distance: 205km/4hrs drive
After breakfast, set off on a journey to the world-renowned Serengeti National Park. Along the way, enjoy a game drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where participants may spot species such as the Red-throated Tit, Schalow’s Wheatear, and the majestic Martial Eagle. Upon entering the Serengeti, marvel at the vast grasslands that stretch as far as the eye can see. In the evening, settle into the accommodation for leisure and overnight stay.
Mid-Range: Embalakai Authentic Camp on Full Board (located inside the park)
Semi-Luxury: Serengeti Serena Lodge on Full Board (located inside the park)

Day 7-8: Serengeti National Park (Full days)

Spend two full days exploring the Serengeti’s rich ecosystems, from the open plains to the riverine forests. The park is home to an incredible diversity of bird species, including the endemic Gray-breasted Spurfowl, the striking Fischer’s Lovebird, and the majestic Secretary Bird. In addition to the abundant birdlife, keep an eye out for the park’s iconic mammals, such as lions, cheetahs, and the great wildebeest migration (depending on the season). Overnight at the chosen accommodation within the park.
Mid-Range: Embalakai Authentic Camp on Full Board (located inside the park)
Semi-Luxury: Serengeti Serena Lodge on Full Board (located inside the park)

Day 9: Serengeti National Park – Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Distance: 145km/3.5hrs drive
After an early breakfast, take a final game drive through the Serengeti before heading to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The journey takes participants through the stunning landscapes of the Ngorongoro Highlands, offering a chance to spot highland species such as the Golden-winged Sunbird, Baglafecht Weaver, and the elusive Abyssinian Nightjar. In the evening, check into the lodge, perched on the rim of the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater, for leisure and overnight stay.
Mid-Range: Country Lodge Karatu on Full Board (located outside the park)
Semi-Luxury: Ngorongoro Serena Lodge on Full Board (located at the Crater rim)

Day 10: Ngorongoro Crater Tour – Udzungwa Mountains National Park

Distance: 545km/8hrs drive
Rise early for a awe-inspiring descent into the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries on Earth. The crater floor is home to an astonishing concentration of wildlife, including the critically endangered Black Rhino. Birding highlights within the crater include the striking Rosy-throated Longclaw, the endemic Rufous-tailed Weaver, and the majestic Kori Bustard. After a memorable morning of wildlife viewing and birding, begin the journey to the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, stopping for lunch along the way. Upon arrival, check into the lodge for leisure and overnight stay.
Mid-Range: Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp on Full Board
Semi-Luxury: Hondo Hondo Tented Camp on Full Board

Day 11-12: Udzungwa Mountains National Park

Dedicate two full days to exploring the unique biodiversity of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, a hidden gem in Tanzania’s birding circuit. This ancient rainforest is home to several endemic bird species, such as the Udzungwa Forest Partridge, Rufous-winged Sunbird, and the elusive Udzungwa Thrush. Venture into the forest’s nature trails, accompanied by expert local guides, to discover the park’s rare avian treasures and primates, including the Udzungwa Red Colobus and Sanje Crested Mangabey. Overnight at the chosen accommodation within the park.
Mid-Range: Udzungwa Forest Tented Camp on Full Board
Semi-Luxury: Hondo Hondo Tented Camp on Full Board

Day 13: Udzungwa Mountains National Park – Dar es Salaam – Departure

Distance: 350km/6hrs drive
After a final early morning birding walk and breakfast, begin the journey back to Dar es Salaam. Along the way, enjoy a farewell lunch at a local restaurant, reflecting on the extraordinary birding and wildlife experiences of the past twelve days. Upon arrival in Dar es Salaam, the guide will transfer participants to Julius Nyerere International Airport for onward travel plans.

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