Tanzania – Africa at its best

10,000 Birds

Tanzania is without a doubt the quintessential African safari nation. Despite being a proud South African, my honest answer is Tanzania. For this post, I have selected what is in my opinion the three essential and must-visit sites in Tanzania and these all fall within the classic Northern Tanzania safari circuit. This 12,000 square mile ecosystem stretches across north-western Tanzania into the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Destinations africa tanzania

Birds of Tanzania

10,000 Birds

Walter Kitundu of Bird Light Wind has an amazing four - part photographic series of the birds of Tanzania. And now he working on the animals, starting with lions. These images are well worth clicking through for, I promise! Asides

Birding crème de la crème: Africa – Ngorongoro Crater to Queen Elizabeth II National Park

10,000 Birds

The bird-richest region of Africa is its equatorial East: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi (unlike the rest, the last one, Burundi, is politically unstable and not recommendable). Tanzania Tanzania has 1050 bird species, of which about 500 to 600 may be observed in 3 to 4 weeks.

Tanzanian Starlings, Shrikes, and Weavers (Part 3)

10,000 Birds

Click on the image to see a Speke’s Weaver colony in action on an escarpment near Lake Manyara, Tanzania. Birding Beat on Assignment Tanzania Weaver BirdsWONDERFUL WEAVERS There are many different Weavers in the world and as far as I can tell they share the skill of masterful nest building… unlike the shabby unstable creations of, say, Mourning Doves. By the way, I’ve tried to ID everyone appropriately but if you have any corrections please say so in the comments.

2012 67

Between the Birds

10,000 Birds

Tanzania has an enormous variety of exquisite birds but unfortunately it has an equal number of distractions that can interrupt your birding experience. This was my first encounter with big cats in Tanzania and of course I’ve never seen anything like it since. Mammals Beat on Assignment Lion TanzaniaTake these pesky Lions for instance.

2012 68

Tanzanian Starlings, Shrikes, and Weavers (Part 1)

10,000 Birds

SUPER STARLINGS Tanzania plays host to a wide variety of Starlings, over twenty species in fact. Birds Beat on Assignment starlings Superb Starling TanzaniaIn California we have the feisty intelligent generalist European Starling. Singularly beautiful as individuals but glared at by many a birder for their stubborn survival streak which can play havoc with the delicate nesting strategies of pre-established locals.

2012 68

Marabou Storks

10,000 Birds

Birds Beat on Assignment storks TanzaniaMarabou Storks are ugly/lovely. They have character. They are unmistakeable. I won’t expend too much energy trying to describe them… I’ll just let the pictures do the heavy lifting this week. Marabou Storks are gigantic. Twelve feet tall at the shoulder! OK it’s more like five feet from head to toe, but they do have wingspans that approach 10 feet, which is getting into Andean Condor territory. And they have hair!

2012 79

UN Refuses to Re-open Ivory Trade

Critter News

Zambia and Tanzania proposed re-opening the trade, but the UN said no.

2010 100

Birding Brazil Blog

10,000 Birds

Derek Kverno has already created epic blog travelogues of his stints in Ecuador and Tanzania. Now he’s moved to Brazil , which means we get to vicariously explore the avifauna of another bird-rich country. Awesome! Asides

Big Cat Week, day 4

4 The Love Of Animals

Ruaha National Park in Tanzania used to be a true paradise for wildlife gathered around the rich Ruaha riverbanks. Another fun sneak peek of Nat Geo Wild’s Big Cat Week! Tonight, Lions on the Edge! Premieres Thursday, December 9, at 9PM ET/PT. Now, the worst drought in decades is pushing all the animals on a march to find water.

2010 100

Lake Natron Threatened With Soda Ash Plant

10,000 Birds

Tanzania’s Lake Natron, renowned as the best place in the world to see Lesser Flamingoes , is threatened by a potential soda ash plant. Three-quarters of the world’s population of Lesser Flamingoes nest at Lake Natron and they would almost certainly have their nesting disturbed, if they are not entirely displaced, by such a development. Hat-tip to Alan for the link. Asides

Our Favorite Bird Books (and one pair of Binoculars) of 2022

10,000 Birds

And what I am saying here doesn’t only apply to his Sri Lanka guide, but to all the others as well (these include the first dedicated guidebooks to Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Suriname). This, 2022, has been a curious year for books about birds and birding.

World birding from a Schrödinger’s house

10,000 Birds

Tanzania 1135 13. Kenya (Masai Mara, Lakes Nakuru and Baringo, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest) and northern Tanzania (Ngorongoro, Serengeti) combined are the birding staple of East Africa. What I truly hate about the pandemic is that it mentally puts me back into the 1990s in the Balkans.

2020 87

Jane Goodall Institute’s New President

4 The Love Of Animals

We are engaging new partners, like the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tanzania, to support local reforestation efforts and we’re working with companies from ESRI to Google Earth Outreach to employ cutting-edge geospatial technology to address conservation challenges in Africa. Maureen P. Smith is the new of the Jane Goodall Institute. You may be familiar with Dr. Goodall and her work with chimpanzees.

2010 109

Jane Goodall Live

4 The Love Of Animals

Goodall will share her incredible life’s journey during this unique live event, which will highlight not only the decades of her most extraordinary study of the wild chimpanzees in Tanzania, but also provide audiences with a rare look into the life of one the world’s most extraordinary people. Angelina Jolie and Jane Goodall photo by Eric Liebowitz. Animal lovers, this is a very special event!

2011 116

Where America dreams of/goes birding?

10,000 Birds

Here are the results: 3 per cent of respondents (in no particular order): Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Tanzania, Madagascar. Kenya and Tanzania combined offer the longest tour list of Africa, South Africa with its good infrastructure and easiness of finding birds comes close second, while Madagascar is there because of its 100 endemics. I had no intention of making a questionnaire or analysing the results.

2019 70


10,000 Birds

However many weavers have wide ranges across Africa, notably the most familiar of all weavers, the Village Weaver, but several are highly range-restricted including the mythical Yellow-legged and Golden-naped Weavers which are restricted to a few forests of inaccessible Eastern DRC, Clarke’s Weaver which occurs in just a few Kenyan coastal forests and the recently described Kilombero Weaver known only from its namesake swamp in Tanzania. Image taken by Adam Riley in Tanzania.

2012 82

“Peacocks and Picathartes: Reflections on Africa’s Birdlife”

10,000 Birds

A lot of destinations were mentioned, with Central and South America leading the way, New Guinea, Indonesia and Australia appearing only at the middle of the list, and African countries (South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar) lagging at the end of the list.

Birding the Kruger Park (4): Letaba area

10,000 Birds

Interestingly, the HBW gives different contact calls depending on the country in which the flycatcher lives: “Contact call a simple ‘zeet, zwayt’ (South Africa), ‘ti-twit tee-twit’ (Gabon), ‘zi’zk’zk’ (Tanzania).”

Benin 56

The Storks of Africa

10,000 Birds

A Marabou Stork arriving at its roost tree, Serengeti, Tanzania by Adam Riley We’ll start off with the largest and ugliest of them all (measuring up to 60in (152cm) in height, a weight of 20 lb (9 kg) and a wingspan of up to 12ft), the Marabou Stork. Yellow-billed Stork portrait (note the pink flush indicating breeding status), Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania by Adam Riley The Yellow-billed Stork has a closely-related sister species in Asia known as Painted Stork.

Africa’s Barbets

10,000 Birds

The next isolated populations are several thousand miles northwards in Malawi, northern Mozambique and the Rondo Plateau in southern Tanzania. Finally the most northern population ranges are found in coastal forests of northern Tanzania and Kenya. From northern Tanzania, Black-collared is replaced by Brown-breasted , and further north again by Black-billed. Image taken in Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania. Image from Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania.

Birding the Kruger Park (2): Bateleur area

10,000 Birds

Medicinal and commercial uses of ostrich products in Tanzania. Bateleur is a very small camp in the Kruger Park – a bit remote, but worth visiting.

Where Are You Birding This Final Weekend of January 2012?

10,000 Birds

Northern White-crowned Shrike in Tanzania by Walter Kitundu a. This may read like something of a non sequitur, but have you ever seen a Rainbow Eucalyptus ? Eucalyptus deglupta is a psychedelic beauty, with stunning, striated bark that spans nearly every color of the rainbow. Take a moment to check out how trippy this tree is. When you’re done, come back and we’ll talk birds. Nice, right? What else is nice is the prospect of seeing brand new birds in beautiful habitat.

2012 58

A Brief Tour of Uganda, The Pearl of Africa

10,000 Birds

While Uganda does not have the international reputation of its neighbors Kenya and Tanzania, the experience there is no less extraordinary – and in many ways, particularly for the birder, it’s even more so. By the time this post publishes, I’ll be on an airplane heading back to the United States following a truly remarkable two week visit to Uganda as part of a group of western birders visiting there to promote the inaugural African Birding Expo.

Exploring the Uncharted Bird World

10,000 Birds

1101-1200 sp: Mexico; Argentina; DR Congo (Kinshasa), Tanzania, Kenya; India. Summer is normally the vacation season, for ordinary tourists at least. Birders follow different patterns of bird migration and their local activities and travel accordingly. But – where? I discovered this cover-photo map somewhere at the BirdLife International’s website. It illustrates the bird richness per country. And what does it tell us, other than the obvious “head for South America” or perhaps Indonesia?

2018 76

Avian Quiz – April 15, 2011

10,000 Birds

In descending order, the list starts with those countries with more than 1,000 bird species, so the country is NOT one of these: - Colombia - Peru - Brazil - Indonesia - Ecuador - Bolivia - Venezuela - China - India - Congo, Dem Rep - Kenya - Tanzania - Myanmar - Argentina - Mexico - Uganda 7. Two oceans ANSWER THIS QUESTION: Determine the country, but do not name it. This week’s quiz is geographically GLOBAL in nature.

2011 53

Introducing the African Birding Beat

10,000 Birds

Quintessential African scene from Tarangire National Park, Tanzania Africa boasts a fabulous and unique avifauna. I look forward to sharing in more detail Africa’s secrets, her top destinations, and birds and wildlife with you, watch this space for the next installment…… Fischer’s Lovebirds in the Serengeti, Tanzania All images © Adam Riley Adam Riley has grown up with a lifelong interest in wildlife, which evolved into a particular fascination with birds.

2011 80

Dreaming of Africa

10,000 Birds

Bird book of choice is the “Birds of East Africa” by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe, a Helm Field Guide covering Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi – also the first complete guide to cover the 1388 species found in this region. It’s hot outside and inside… I am drinking the WHE brew, a Belgrade beer made upon a Neolithic Turdas-Vinca culture recipe (a great brew, my only complaint: bottles are girly-small!)

What is a Palm-thrush?

10,000 Birds

They are also found in patches of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and also north through Zambia, the Congo and Tanzania (just poking into Kenya). A post I wrote a few weeks ago where I made some disparaging remarks about America’s pseudowarblers (and poetry) generated a certain amount of negative feedback, and clearly some apologies are in order. Mum, Dad, I’m sorry I described my childhood as feral.

2015 65

Pink in Africa

10,000 Birds

This attractive (for a lark anyway) species is restricted to the dry savannah Somali-Maasai biome of north-east Africa (northern Tanzania, Kenya, southern Ethiopia and Somalia). It is found in higher-elevation woodlands from northern Zambia and Malawi northwards through Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia and into the Arabian peninsula.

White-backed Vultures are Proper Birds

10,000 Birds

The populations remain stable in Ethiopia, Tanzania and southern Africa, but have collapsed in West Africa and have declined in other parts as well. It can’t have escaped your notice lately that the blog has been overrun with articles about North America’s pseudo-warblers (or wood warblers, as some people, apparently unaware the name is taken by a proper European species, call them), and, even worse, no small amount of poetry.

2015 61

The Bee-eaters of Africa

10,000 Birds

It occurs in similar montane forest edges but further south, with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania forming the bulk of its range. Excellent locations for finding this bird include Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Gorilla National Park and the forests cloaking Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater. It’s a lovely species of moist woodland, and easily found in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve and Malawi’s Liwonde National Park.

Africa’s Big Five and Little Five

10,000 Birds

Prime destinations for seeing African Elephant in the wild include Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda. Elephant Bulls in the Ngorongoro Crater by Adam Riley A matriarchial herd of African or Bush Elephant in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park by Adam Riley The little – elephant shrews are a group of 17 small to medium sized insectivorous mammals that have confused taxidermists since they were first described.

From the Mailbag

Animal Ethics

It is an animated website aimed at educating and inspiring children about endangered species, and all of our characters actually exist in a real-life camp in Tanzania which protects black rhino and wild African hunting dogs. Hello Keith, Mylan, and Jonathan We stumbled across your very worthy site and read some recent posts. you have a very interesting blog! We’re going to go and have an in-depth look this morning, in the meantime, please take a look at our website.

2007 40

Alien species – Rose-ringed Parakeet.

10,000 Birds

Although there is a small wild population in the northern reaches of nearby Uganda, Rose-ringed Parakeets would have been a vagrant for German East Africa (now known as Tanzania) at the time. Rose-ringed Parakeets ( Psittacula krameri ) have become the scourge of the householder in the Home Counties of the UK. Their raucous screeching kick-starts more mornings than alarm clocks and early flights from Heathrow Airport combined.

2014 59

Patch: An Urban Red-tailed Hawk (3 of 4)

10,000 Birds

I’ll be in Tanzania when that post appears working on a new topic for January. (Check out Part 1 here) (Check out Part 2 here) This hawk was a fierce hunter. I’ve seen young Red-tailed Hawk s who just don’t have the hang of it, counting on luck of good fortune to present them with a careless gopher or a rare easy meal. Patch was focused and deliberate, consistent and inventive.

A Bird Rehabber Goes Birding. And Thwarts Mongooses.

10,000 Birds

This is the reason I’m birding in Tanzania with no field guide. The last time I visited my friend India, who lives in the hills above Karatu, I brought my own field guide and filled a notebook with bird names, descriptions, and sketches. But that was seven years ago. India founded and, along with Managing Director Peter Leon Mmassey, runs the Tanzanian Children’s Fund.

The long and winding road

10,000 Birds

This tiny passerine winters in Africa, places like Tanzania, Nigeria, Somalia. Birds fascinate us for many reasons. Flight, beauty, the glimpse into the world of dinosaurs, to mention but a few of those reasons. The migration stories of many of those birds is another. Who doesn’t marvel at Arctic Terns flying from one polar region to another, twice, every single year.

2014 76

Africa’s endangered species

10,000 Birds

A pair of Hooded Vultures in Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania by Adam Riley. Rueppell’s Vulture scanning for a carcass at Ndutu, Tanzania by Adam Riley. An adult (left) and subadult (right) White-backed Vulture with full crops after feeding on the remains of a Lion kill, Ndutu, Tanzania by Adam Riley.

Can we talk about Cecil the Lion?

10,000 Birds

If tourists are too dim to tell Sierra Leone from Botswana or Tanzania, do we really want to rely on them to save Africa’s species? Hi there. I can’t help noticing that you’ve just posted an angry story about Cecil the Lion on your timeline.

Lions 79

Patch: An Urban Red-tailed Hawk (4 of 4)

10,000 Birds

I’m in Tanzania now dreaming up my next post so I’ll see you in 2 weeks. A nice thing about spending 7 months with the same bird, particularly a second year bird, is getting to watch it molt and acquire its adult plumage. Watching a bird mature is also gratifying because the majority of young birds don’t make it to their second birthday, so every adult you see is a special bird indeed.

2011 73

We Should Kill More Lions

10,000 Birds

Take the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. Lion shooting over three years brought $75 million into the economy of Tanzania alone. Assuming you have a passing interest in wildlife, or at the least you know someone that does, and chances are in the last week or so you’ve become aware that some lady from America shot a lion. I’ve certainly seen the story plenty in my Facebook news feed, and were I more of a Twitter user I am sure I would have seen it there too.

Lions 69

Ethiopia’s Endemics

10,000 Birds

Besides birding, Ethiopia offers superb mammal viewing (it can’t boast the volumes of Kenya & Tanzania to the south, but it does have some fascinating species), jaw-dropping scenery, fascinating history and culture (from tribal groups whose lives have little changed in thousands of years, to medieval castles and rock-hewn churches where ancient Christian ceremonies are still performed.)