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Tanzania Bird Watching Tour

Tanzania Bird Watching Tour
When: Sat 5 Feb - Fri 24 Feb 2023
Leader: Chris Doughty and Leons Mlawila
Tanzania Bird Watching Tour
Dar-es Salaam to Dar-es Salaam (20 Days) $11,850
Single Room Supplement $750
Tanzania Bird Watching Tour
Tanzania offers all the essential ingredients of a rapidly vanishing 'Wild Africa'. Literally millions of both birds and mammals live out their lives in a complex web of interactions, where the beautiful and sometimes brutal world of nature reigns supreme. However, there is another, less well-known side to this exciting country: the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania are home to some of the least- known birds in east Africa, including in excess of 40 Tanzanian endemics and a significant number of near-endemics and regional specialities, of which a great many, are both elusive and, unfortunately, endangered. The principal aim of this tour is to observe the great majority of Tanzania's endemic birds, including those that require camping in remote areas. The tour blends together mist-shrouded rainforested mountains and sprawling savanna grasslands, ensuring we enjoy an incredibly rich avifauna, and splendid mammal-watching opportunities. The Eastern Arc Mountains are a crescent-shaped chain of mountains stretching 900 kilometres, from southern Kenya to central Tanzania, and include the Usambara, Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains. Ten million years ago, when the climate was cooler and drier, the lowland forests of northern Tanzania transformed into savanna, leaving the mountain ranges as 'isolated islands' where the tropical rainforests continued to flourish, fed by moisture-laden winds from the Indian Ocean. This chain of mountains became a haven for all types of flora and fauna, which led to a great deal of endemism; today, these forested mountains are known as the Eastern Arc Mountains, and are amongst the most biologically diverse forests in the world. Our journey will take us from the coast of the Indian Ocean near Dar-es-Salaam, through the centre of the country, far off the beaten-track, to the little-known Uluti Forest, in the Udzungwa Mountains, with its southern 'miombo' avifauna and its wealth of mammals. We then visit Mikumi National Park, an area of extensive savannah, dotted with acacias, splendid baobabs and tall palm trees. Mammals are conspicuous in the park, and include African Savanna Elephant, Plains Zebra, Zambezi Kudu, Roan Antelope and Giraffe. In areas of miombo woodland, specialities such as Bohm's Bee-eater, Racket-tailed Roller, Pale billed Hornbill, Miombo Rock Thrush, White-headed Black Chat and Shelley's Sunbird, can be readily observed. We will then search for some highly localised endemics in the remnant forest of the spectacular Uluguru Mountains, before driving through the hot, dry lowlands and climbing up into the Usambara Mountains, where the lush rainforests, are home to many of Tanzania's most rarely seen birds. Our adventure concludes on the idyllic island of Pemba, where we will search in particular, for the island's four endemic species of birds. The timing of the tour has been specifically chosen to ensure the weavers, bishops, whydahs and widowbirds, are still in their exotic breeding plumage. Come with us and enjoy this fabulous Tanzania Bird Watching Tour.
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