15 Day Tanzania Birding Safari

May 19, 2022 Request QuoteNeed Help?

Itinerary Briefing

The 15-day birding safari in Tanzania is one of the fascinating tours to Arusha National Park, Engikaret Lark Plain, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Mkomazi National Park, West Usambara mountain and Tanga town. Focused on bird viewing but also you will of course encounter unlimited adventures enroute which include Tanzania sanctuaries of wildlife and wonderful landscapes.

Itinerary Day Description

Day 1. Arrival in Kilimanjaro International Airport and birding at Ngaresero Lodge.

Picked from Kilimanjaro International Airport by your guide, depending on time of arrival you will do birding around the lodge which is surrounded by thick forest,  birds to look out among many are Trilling Cisticola, Mustached Grass-Warbler, Mosque Swallow,Red-rumped swallow, Lesser Striped swallow, African Harrier-hawk,Cabanis’s Greenbul, Short-tailed Batis, Horus Swift, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill,Hartlaub’s Turaco,Bar-tailed Trogon, Brown Woodland Warbler, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, White-starred robin, Variable sunbirds etc

Stay overnight at Meru Simba Lodge

Day 2. Birding and big game watching in Arusha National Park.

Breakfast at the lodge, with picnic lunch drive to Arusha national park (20 minutes), birding and bug game watching in the park, the park is among IBAs in Tanzania, this park’s area includes the second highest mountain in Tanzania; Mount Meru (4500m), it is located between two gigantic mountain Kilimanjaro in east and Mount Meru on west side, when weather allows you can see both peaks!! You will enjoy watching big game like giraffes,  Zebras, Buffaloes,  Common Waterbuck, Warthogs, Black and White Colobus Monkey etc, birdlife in this park is abundant so watch carefully for  White-starred robin, Variable and Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Common Bulbul, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Mourning ,Namaqua Dove, Spotted Eagle-owl , African Black-headed Oriole, Red-headed Weaver, Baglafecht Weaver, White-eared Barbet, Blackcap, Waller’s Starling, African Green Pigeon, Crowned Hornbill and many more.

Accommodation at Meru Simba Lodge

Day 3. Birding in Lark plain.

Breakfast at the lodge, then with picnic lunch drive to north of Arusha to Lark  Lark Plain for seeing endemic specie “Beesley Lark” and other dry bush species, later in the afternoon you will be heading to Whistling Thorn Camp which is located just outside Tarangire National Park, birdlife in this area is exciting!!

Accommodation at Whistling Thorn Camp

Day 4. Birding and big game watching in Tarangire National Park.

Breakfast at the camp, then start this day by heading to Tarangire National Park, after entry formalities you will start birding and big game viewing, this park is one of the best parks in Tanzania, famous for the big herds of elephants and huge Baobab trees which are dotted around the park, birding is exciting in this majestic park, about 450 species counted!! Your safari converted vehicle will driven in low speed so that you can have more chance of seeing birds, look for among many Yellow collared lovebird, fire finch, buffalo weaver, Bateleur, Saddle billed stork, African fish eagle, cardinal woodpecker, pear spotted owlet, Namaqua dove, emerald spotted dove, Goliath heron, Open billed stork (depends on season), three banded plover, long toed lapwing, spur winged lapwing, puff crested bustard, black bellied bustard…….

Return to the camp for lunch, rest. In the afternoon around4.00pm you will start a walk in Maasai country which consists of dry bush land for birding, return at the camp in late afternoon for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation at Tarangire Safari Lodge

Day 5. Birding and game drive in Lake Manyara National Park.

Breakfast at the lodge, check out and start drive towards Lake Manyara National Park, you will enter the park through the southern gate, Lake Manyara is famous for her tree climbing Lions, large schools of Hippos at the Hippo pool and the Hot springs. Birding in this park includes  Black-crowned Tchagra,Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Collared Palm-Thrush, Purple-crested Turaco,Yellow-bellied Greenbul,White-backed and Ruppell’s vultures, African Crowned Eagle, African Hawk-eagle, Black Goshawk, African Marsh Harrier, African Fish-Eagle, Bateleur, Common Buzzard, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl,Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Yellow-billed Storks, Great White Pelican, Pink-backed Pelicans, Sacred Ibis, African Spoonbill,Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Black Heron, White-faced Whistling Duck, Black-winged Stilt, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Stint and Collared Pratincole.

Accommodation at Bougainvillea Lodge

Day 6. Birding around the lodge and game drive en-route to Serengeti.

Breakfast at the lodge, walk around lodge garden searching for bird species around the lodge, the highlight here is Golden-winged sunbird. Check out the lodge, picnic lunch will be carried, leave the lodge to Serengeti national park, the route will be driving around the crater rim, watch out for forest species like Shallows Turaco, Tambourine dove, Variable sunbird, and many more. After about one hour drive you will start descending to the low land, now you will be crossing open grassland with number of Maasai bomas on the way, watch carefully on the plains for Larks, Cisticolas , Augur Buzzards, Yellow wagtail, capped wheatear, Kori bustard, Secretary birds etc.

Arrive at Naabi hill gate around lunch time, picnic lunch will be served at the gate, birding at the gate, watch for Superb starling, Ruppells long tailed starling, Hilderbrandt sterling, White headed buffalo weaver, Red billed buffalo weaver, Rufous tailed weaver, Common waxbills and many more. After lunch continues with a game drive towards central Serengeti, big game viewing and birding will be done en route.

Accommodation at Serengeti Katikati  camp

Day 7. Birding and big game watching in Serengeti National Park.

After an early breakfast at the lodge, picnic lunch will be carried and start another day of exploring this wonder of nature,  your bird guide will take the main road heading to the Western corridor, the main purpose to take this road is to search for dry bush species/ rarities especially Karamoja Apalis, after few kilometers your driver guide will change direction and now you will be heading to central Serengeti where birds and big game are always plenty, birds to watch here includes Buff-bellied Warbler, Red-faced Crombecs, Winding Cisticolas,Tawny-flanked Prinias, Dideric Cuckoos, White-browed Coucals, Grey-headed Kingfishers, Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, Cardinal Woodpecker, Black-headed Gonolek,Rufous Chatterers chested Sunbirds,Isabelline Shrike,Angola Swallow, Black-billed Barbet, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Brubru, Black-backed Puffback, Mariqua Sunbird,Karamoja Apalis,Plantain-eater,Southern Ground Hornbill,Bateleur,Harrier-hawk and Little Sparrow hawk. Common Sandpiper Black Crakes Montagu’s Harrier, Black-shouldered Kite,Black-chested Snake-Eagle,White-bellied Bustard, dainty Temminck’s Courser, Ruppels Long-tailed Starling, White-headed Buffalo-Weavers, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Dark Chanting Goshawk,Coqui Francolin, Isabelline Wheatear, Yellow-billed Stork, Klaas’s Cuckoo,Usambiro Barbet, Scarlet-chested Sunbird….

Big games among many are Leopards, Lions, Maasai Giraffes, School of hippos, Cape buffaloes, Black backed and Side striped jackals, Elephants, Cheetahs etc.

Lunch will be served at best location in the park.

Accommodation at Serengeti Katikati Camp

Day 8. Birding and game drive en-route to Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Continental breakfast will be served at around 07.30am, then at around 08.00amleave the lodge and start another day of enjoying the wonder of God creation, today you will be heading Ngorongoro conservation area, game drive enroute will be done, your guide will use different route to reach Naabi hill gate where Picnic lunch where Wine/Tea/Coffee will be served, After meals and birding at the gate you will continue with your journey to Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge/Serena Lodge/Rhino Lodge, on the way especially when you reach highland watch out for these bird species among many;

African Hill Babbler, Thick-billed Seedeater, Brown Woodland Warbler and Montane White-eyes, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Bronze and Green-headed sunbirds, Black-winged Bishop,Holub’s Golden Weaver, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove,  White-necked Raven, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Black-throated Wattle-eye, ChinspotBatis, Gray-capped and Brown Woodland Warblers, Abyssinian (Olive) Thrush, Brown-headed Apalis, Tambourine Dove, Mountain Wagtail, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater and Collared Sunbird, Sharpe’s Starling, Purple-throated and Grey Cuckoo-shrikes, Black-fronted Bush shrike, Narina Trogon, Red-capped Robin-chat, Grey-headed Nigrita, Spectacled Weaver, Moustached Tinkerbird, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, African Hill Babblers and Montane Nightjar, Cape Rook, Kestrel, Chestnut-bellied Sand grouse, Yellow-throated Sand grouse, shallows’ Turaco and many more

This 265 sq km and 610m deep caldera is the home of many species, it is also known as “Noah’s Ark” due to abundance of wildlife in this 19m wide caldera. This is also the home of the endangered black rhinos, lions, hippos etc.

Accommodation at Rhino Lodge

Day 9. Birding and big game experience in Ngorongoro crater then drive to Arusha.

Very early wake up at around 05.30am, then with packed breakfast and lunch descend in the crater to experience the beauty of nature, the views in the morning are extremely amazing at this wonderful unbroken caldera. It is also regarded as “Noah’s Ark” due to the abundance of species co-existing in this 19.5km wide caldera. It has an area of 265 sq km and 610 km depth. Here is the home of rare and most endangered species in Africa the Black Rhino, other big games among many are Lions, Leopard especially around Lerai forest, Elephants, Buffaloes, Spotted Hyenas, Golden Jackals, Warthogs “Pumba”, Hippos etc. Bird life is also astonishing, watch for Moustached Tinkerbird, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, African Hill Babblers and Montane Nightjar, Cape Rook, Kestrel, Chestnut-bellied Sand grouse, Yellow-throated Sand grouse, Rufous-crowned Roller, White-throated Bee-eater,  Singing Cisticola, Wailing Cisticola,Yellow Bishop,Schalow’s Wheatear,Northern Anteater-Chat, Yellow-fronted canary, Steppe Buzzard, Abdim’s Stork, Rueppell’s Robin-chat, Spur-winged Goose, Saddle-billed Stork, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Hunter’s Cisticola,Eastern Mountain Greenbul,Streaky Seedeater, Cape Robin-chat,Kenrick’s Starling,OlivePigeon, Schalow’s Turaco,Tropical Boubou,Dusky flycatcher, White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher,Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Violet backed starling, Broad -billed Roller, Augur Buzzard, Long Crested Eagle, Lesser Flamingoes, Black Crake, Olive Thrush  and many more. Breakfast and lunch will be served at location in the crater. Soon after lunch you will start ascending out of crater, now you will be heading to Arusha town for overnight stay.

Accommodation at Planet Lodge.

Day 10. Birding and big game watching in Mkomazi National Park.

Early breakfast at the lodge, check out the lodge then pick the picnic lunch. Depart to Mkomazi National park (4hours). This park is located below Pare Mountain which makes eastern arch chain, Big game watching in the park especially rarest Gerenuk Antelope, Beisa Oryx etc, Birding in the park for dry country species like Vulturine Guinea fowls, Pigmy Kingfisher, Mannikins etc. Game drive will proceed till late afternoon.

Accommodation at  Elephant Motel

Day 11. Birding around the lodge then drive to West Usambara mountain.

Breakfast at the lodge, birding around the lodge gardens, check out then drive to West Usambara for overnight.

Accommodation at Irente Ciff Lodge

Day 12. Birding in West Usambara Mountains.

Breakfast at the lodge, start birding around West Usambara for endemics, specialties and rarities . Picnic lunch will be served.

Back to the lodge in late afternoon.

Accomdation at Irente Cliff Lodge

Day 13. Birding West Usambara and visit local projects.

Breakfast at the lodge, another day of birding in West Usambara, come back to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you will visit local development projects and orphanage centers.

Accommodation at Irente Cliff Lodge

Day 14. Drive to Tanga town for site seeing.

Soon after breakfast you will check out the lodge and start driving to Tanga town for sightseeing at this Tanzania’s historical town and beach relaxation at Indian Ocean

Accommodation at Raskazone Hotel

Day 15. Transfer to Tanga Airport.

Leisurely breakfast at the lodge, lunch, then transfer to Tanga Airport for flight to Dar es salaam/ Kilimanjaro Airport to catch your international flight.

Included Services

  • All Road transfer as per trip itinerary including airport pick up and drop off transfers.
  • 05 days, 4 nights private trip package
  • Transport and wildlife drives in modified 4WD Land Cruiser with photographic roof hatch
  • Services of a professional English-speaking safari guide
  • All wildlife reserve entry fees as per trip itinerary
  • All game drives as mentioned
  • All accommodation during safari
  • 2 ltr mineral waters per person / day during game drives
  • Domestic flight from Arusha to Zanzibar ONE WAY

Excluded Services

  • International Flights & All items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for safari guide
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Drinks and beverages in lodges
  • Hot Air Balloon Safari in Serengeti
  • Laundry
  • Accommodation on Zanzibar

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Covid-19 Travel Requirements

Traveling to and from Tanzania during Covid-19

The information on this page will be updated regularly as requirements and protocols change. Date of last update: 25/Oct/2021. The information found in the government Travel Advisory No. 8 of 14 Sept 2021 is summarized below:

[ All our Moak Tanzania safari guides have been vaccinated against Covid-19] in brackets

Leaving Home

Your international airline may have pre-boarding testing requirements. Please study the requirements of your airline and international airport(s) carefully. Most of our guests travel through Amsterdam and currently if you have a transfer in Amsterdam you do not need to show a negative NAAT (PCR) test result or rapid test result on arrival in the Netherlands. A transfer is when you change planes and continue your journey within a few hours, and in any case within 1 day without leaving the airport where you transfer. Please make sure to check the entry requirements of your final destination.

Arriving into Tanzania

Tanzania recommends all travelers to fill out a Traveler’s Health Surveillance Form within 24 hours prior to arrival. Follow this link: https://afyamsafiri.moh.go.tz/ to get the form.  Once completed the traveler will receive a completion notification from the Ministry of health containing their Unique Health Code (UHC) which they will show upon arriving. 

[If arriving directly onto Zanzibar, please use this link instead.] In grey background 

[Also, all travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate upon arrival. The test must be a Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test, with the sample tested within 96 hours of departure to Tanzania.] GREEN COLOR

All travelers arriving from countries experiencing variants of concern/interest or who have traveled through those countries in the last 14 days regardless of route taken, will be subjected to Rapid tests at their point of entry at their own cost.  The Rapid test cost is $10 per traveler  (or $25 per travel if arriving directly onto Zanzibar). This cost can be pre-paid online when you complete your online Traveler’s Health Surveillance Form.

[We strongly recommended to pre-pay to avoid unnecessary queue upon arrival.] RED COLOR

Traveling in Tanzania

While traveling in Tanzania, standard Covid-19 protocols (masking, social distancing, and sanitizing) will be adhered to by your guide and those working in the tourism industry, while in public settings, airports/airplanes, and the common areas of accommodations. All full time Moak safari guides have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Much of your time on safari, social distance from other travelers and when outside will be our paramount goal. However, if you plan to travel in a more populous area like in city or towns, we suggest you wear a mask when social distancing from other people cannot be maintained.

Departing Tanzania

Prior to departing Tanzania, Covid-19 testing (PCR and/or Rapid Test) will be required for most travelers. Please study the requirements of your airline and international airport(s) carefully. Covid-19 testing costs (PCR Test $50+facility fees pp / PCR Test on Zanzibar $80 pp / Rapid Test $10 pp) are the responsibility of the traveler. 

As your tour operator, we will help coordinate proper test timing, location, and test payment.

PCR Test Procedures (General):

  • PCR Tests should be administered no more than 3 days prior to your scheduled departure. 
  • Your Final Summary Schedule will indicate the date when your test should administered.
  • Testing sites will vary based on your specific travel itinerary
  • Testing Fee Payment (Mainland) – Once your appointment has been made, our staff in Arusha will receive your testing payment Control Number (unique number for each traveler). We will make the payment on your behalf and you will reimburse this cost to your guide ($50 per person – cash). Since test requirements are subject to change, reimbursement on site will be the most accurate approach.
  • Testing Fee Payment (Zanzibar) – Once your appointment has been made we will prepay for the test and then forward your test scheduling confirmation on Zanzibar. The location of the test will be based on where you are staying on the island. There are facilities on the east coast as well as in Stone Town. The cost of the test on Zanzibar is $80 per person.
  • Facility Fee Payment – You will be responsible for the facility fee that will be paid on site. This fee will range from $10-20 per person depending on the testing facility.
  • Testing Procedure (day of) –
    • Masks are required at the testing sites.
    • Have your passport available for check in as well as payment confirmation (provided by your guide).
    • Sample collection will take place in the morning. Test collection hours vary at each site.
    • Please expect the process to take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Results – Once the testing process is complete and the certificate is ready, a notification with your results and certificate will be sent from the National Public Health Laboratory – Tanzania () to the email address used during registration (usually your safari consultant’s email unless otherwise specified). You may also check https://pimacovid.moh.go.tz/#/booking (for mainland / northern safari circuit locations) or  https://zanzibarcovidtesting.co.tz/app/home (for Zanzibar) for updates using your passport number to pull up your results. Please note that once the sample leaves the testing site, the testing site will not receive information about results. Should you have any concerns please ask your guide to contact the Regional Laboratory Technologist at +255 713 819 450 (Warda) or +255 715 361 518(Nangai).
    • For travelers departing JRO, a printed copy of your test result will be given to you in Arusha. We will also email you a PDF of the certificate.
    • For travelers departing DAR or ZNZ,we will email you a PDF of the certificate.

Note for travelers returning to the United States :

Before boarding a flight to the United States, you are required to show one of the following:

If you are fully vaccinated: Proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 3 days before travel.

If you are NOT fully vaccinated: A negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 1 day before travel.

This regulation goes into November 8, 2021. We will inquire as to your vaccination status so that we can help you coordinate your testing accordingly.


Rapid Test Procedures (updated August 23, 2021)

  • If you are departing on an airline that requires a Rapid Test prior to boarding you need to arrive at your international airport of departure 5 hours prior to departure.
  • All international airports (JRO, DAR and ZNZ) have Rapid Test capacity.
  • Pre-registration is not required
  • Payment of $10 can be made in cash by depositing into the on-site bank.
  • Results are provided within 15 to 20 minutes of taking the test.
  • UPDATE: currently a Rapid Test is NOT required if you are just transiting through Amsterdam (AMS). You still need to be traveling with a valid NEGATIVE PCR test.

Common PCR Testing Sites in the Northern Circuit

  • Arusha Region
    • Arusha Lutheran Center Referral Hospital – daily
      • $25 USD (cash)
      • You can request to have someone come to you to administer the test (this should be pre-arranged)
    • Mt. Meru Regional Referral Hospital – 8 am – 3:30 pm daily
    • FAME Medical Health Center – 8:30 am – 11:30 am daily
      • $15 USD (cash or credit accepted)
  • Mara Region
    • Seronera Airstrip (Musoma Regional Referral Hospital) – 7:00 – 10:00 am daily
      • 20,000 Tshillings (approx $8.60)
    • Kogatende Airstrip (Musoma Regional Referral Hospital) – 8:00 – 10:00 am daily
      • 20,000 Tshillings (approx $8.60)
  • Zanzibar 
    • Global Hospital (Stone Town) – 7:30 am – 2:30 pm M-Sat, 8 am – 12 pm Sun
    • Testing sites on East Coast of Zanzibar  – 7:30 am – 2:30 pm M-Sat, 8 am – 12 pm Sun
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