Trip report: Tanzania custom tour (Sept 2018) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Charley Hesse. This was a custom tour.

A tour to Tanzania provides most of what people people would expect of their ‘once in a lifetime’ safari experience, with endless Acacia strewn-savannas covered by huge herds of wildebeest, hunted by dangerous predators. Also, the iconic Ngorogoro Crater and the stunning backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro. On this custom tour, in addition to this well-trodden but unmissable safari circuit of the north, we explored the East and West Usambara mountains and Pemba Island, with their range of fascinating endemics, Our tour started on the paradise island of Pemba, surrounded by crystal-clear, turquoise waters. Here we found all 4 of the island endemics, which bare its name, plus the handsome Mangrove Kingfisher. In the Usambara Mountains, we did remarkably well, sweeping through our list of targets, many baring the name Usambara, including Usambara Eagle-Owl, Thrush, Weaver, Hyliota & Akalat. Other targets we found were Spot-throat, Banded & Uluguru Violet-vacked Sunbirds plus Long-billed & African Tailorbirds. Arusha National Park on the slopes of Mt Meru gave us our first big mammals, with Buffalos, Giraffes & Zebras but also Grey Crowned Cranes and both species of flamingo. At the Engikaret Lark plains we found our target Beesley’s Lark, and at Tarangire NP, an almost overwhelming array of mammals and birds, including our first Leopard, Hyaena, plus countless raptors, hornbills, bustards… the list goes on. Our first view of the Ngorogoro crater left us breathless, and our exploration inside the crater the next day was fascinating. Our trip finished in spectacular safari fashion in the incomparable Serengeti with Lions, Cheetahs, Leopard and an awesome Serval.

Tanzania Trip Report Sept 2018 (custom tour). (4.1 MB, pdf format).