Birding in Tanzania

Tanzania is a country located in East Africa. To the north it borders Kenya, to the south Lake Malawi and Mozambique, to the west lake Tanganiyka and Uganda and to the east its shores ride on the Indian Ocean. It's a vast unspoiled wilderness and has the second largest lake in the world; Lake Victoria (a freshwater lake, home to 400 species), and one of the seven summits, Mount Kilimanjaro, and is the best place in the world for wilderness viewing at Arusha, Serengeti, Norongoro Crater, Tarangire and Manyara National Parks.

The geography is diverse leading to various climates. Although in the tropics, the higher areas are reasonably cool. Because it straddles the equator there are just two seasons - wet and dry. Tanzania's variety of species of birds, over 1000, vary in each location due to the nation's geographic diversity. From mountain forest to tropical coast, every conceivable altitude range: deserts, open savannah grassland, lowland forest, bush and scrub, lakes and mudflats.

The National Parks have open savannah grassland, bush and scrub with large rivers running through them. Top species include: Secretary Bird, numerous vultures, eagles and hawks, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Gabon Nightjar, Lilac-breasted Roller, Ground Hornbill, Red-throated Tit, Sooty Chat, and a wide variety of larks, pipits and widowbirds.

The thick riverine forest bordering the Mara and Talek rivers, hold African Finfoot, Livingstone's & Ross's Turaco, Giant Kingfisher, Blue Flycatcher, Double-toothed Barbet and the rare Pel's Fishing Owl. The alkaline Lake Natron is also located near the National Parks; feeding ground for over one million [exceptionally two million] Lesser Flamingo. Greater flamingo are also found, in far smaller numbers. Mt. Kilimanjaro has three vegetation zones: Rain forest, Alpine Forest, and Moorland, making for species diversity.

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