Trip report: Tanzania, Birding Among the Beasts (Aug-Sept 2004) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Keith Barnes.

As usual, northern Tanzania was an extravaganza of birding set against the wildest and some of the most unique of Africa’s backdrops, Arusha NP, Mkomazi, the Usambara Mountains, Pemba Island, the expansive Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. As a wilderness experience, the mammals of northern Tanzania are hard to beat. Amongst the mammal highlights were 3 Cheetah on a kill, two leopard, as well as omnipresent lion prides and many species of ungulates amongst the 52 mammal species encountered! The birding yielded 480 species. Given that this is during the period when Palearctic and Intra-african migrants are not present this is a good haul. Birding highlights included some of Africa’s most endangered birds, the Critically Endangered and recently recognised Beesley’s Spike-heeled Lark and the equally enigmatic Moreau’s Tailorbird of the East Usambara Mountains.

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