The Northern Tanzania Birds and Beasts Safari + Pemba Extension 12th - 24th April 2019

Duration: 
13 days
Price: 
Main Tour: AU$11,300 per person twin share ($650 single supplement). // Pemba extension: AU$4,900 per person twin share and $650 single supplement.
Highlights: 
This fantastic tour of Northern Tanzania includes a visit to the world-renowned Serengeti region which hosts the world’s largest terrestrial mammal migration and is one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world.
Overview: 

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Inala’s East Africa Northern Tanzania Birds and Beasts Safari and Pemba Island Extension 

This fantastic tour of Northern Tanzania includes a visit to the world-renowned Serengeti region which hosts the world’s largest terrestrial mammal migration and is one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. This area is also renowned for its large lion population and is one of the best places to observe prides in their natural environment. Approximately 70 large mammal and 500 bird species are found here.

On this trip we can expect to see between 300 and 350 species of bird, including up to 20 endemic / near endemic species and all of the plains wildlife that the Serengeti has on offer. April is a great time to visit Tanzania, as the crowds have left and there is an excellent chance we will catch up with the Great Migration along this route.

The Pemba Island extension gives you four days of relaxing after the main tour and seeing the incredible and unique birdlife of this beautiful island, including the four additional endemic bird species and several other specialties.

Start Location: 
Kilimanjaro
Tanzania
Finish location: 
Kilimanjaro
Tanzania

Inala’s East Africa Northern Tanzania Birds and Beasts Safari and Pemba Island Extension 

This fantastic tour of Northern Tanzania includes a visit to the world-renowned Serengeti region which hosts the world’s largest terrestrial mammal migration and is one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. This area is also renowned for its large lion population and is one of the best places to observe prides in their natural environment. Approximately 70 large mammal and 500 bird species are found here.

On this trip we can expect to see between 300 and 350 species of bird, including up to 20 endemic / near endemic species and all of the plains wildlife that the Serengeti has on offer. April is a great time to visit Tanzania, as the crowds have left and there is an excellent chance we will catch up with the Great Migration along this route.

The Pemba Island extension gives you four days of relaxing after the main tour and seeing the incredible and unique birdlife of this beautiful island, including the four additional endemic bird species and several other specialties.

Day 1. Friday 12 April 2019. Arrive Tanzania
On arrival at Kilimanjaro airport we will be met by our local transport and transferred to our nearby lodge. On a clear day the peaks of Kilimanjaro and Meru can be seen as we drive east from the airport. Depending on arrival time, we can bird the lodge grounds or nearby forest patches for a productive start to our birding safari. Peter’s Twinspot is a regular in the lodge grounds, so to Verreaux’s Eagle Owl. We can also work on the ID of the more common species, Red-eyed Dove, Hadada Ibis, African Pied Wagtail, Red-billed Firefinch, Speckled Mousebird and Silvery Cheeked and Crowned Hornbills to name a few.
Accommodation: River Trees Lodge. Meals included: D.

Day 2. Saturday 13 April 2019. Arusha National Park
This morning will be spent in the habitat-rich Arusha National Park, but before we get there we will check some nearby marsh habitat for the near-endemic Taveta Golden Weaver. As we travel to the highland forest and the crater rim we will bird  some open areas of scrub and marsh where we’ll look for Pangani Longclaw, Singing Cisticola, African Stonechat, Cape Robin-Chat and numerous weavers and sunbirds, including Golden-winged Sunbird. We’ll then hit the high forest for a variety of species including the mighty Crowned Eagle, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Bar-tailed and Narina Trogon, African Black Swift, African Dusky Flycatcher and Stripe-cheeked Geenbul, plus a good chance to see Syke’s and  and Guereza Colobus Monkeys. We’ll eventually find our way to the Momella Lakes where we should encounter large numbers of Lesser Flamingo and smaller numbers of Greaters, plus Little Grebe, Southern Pochard, Black-crowned Night Heron, and maybe the scarce Maccoa Duck along with Cape Teal, Knob-billed Coot. In the the lake woods and grassland we hope to see Scaly Francolin, White-fronted Bee-eater, Moustached Grass Warbler, Long-tailed Fiscal. Bushbuck and Common Waterbuck should be visible along the water’s edge. After lunch by the lakes, we’ll ascend the forested slopes of Mount Meru where we’ll try our luck with a “holy” trinity of forest starlings (Abbot’s, Kenrick’s and Sharpe’s), Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Malachite Sunbird, and Abyssinian Crimsonwing. In the evening we we will retire to the nearby Hatari Lodge for the evening.
Accommodation: Hatari Lodge. Meals included: B, L, D.

Days 3 & 4. Sunday 14 & Monday 15 April 2019.  Lark Plains & Tarangire National Park
This morning we will start out on the Lark Plains in search of Beesley’s Lark a range restricted species recently split from the Spike-heeled Lark. This lark is one of a handful of larks we hope to see on the plains. Here we also hope to see Athi Short-toed Lark and Short-tailed Lark. In the nearby woodland we will try for Tiny Cisticola, Red-fronted Warbler and Southern Grosbeak Canary and others.  This habitat is surrounded by habitat of the Somali Biome and here we also hope to see White-faced Mousebird, Northern Crombec, Tiny Cisticola, Red-fronted Warbler and Southern Grosbeak Canary and other dryland species. As the heat rises we will continue on our travels and head to Tarangire National Park. Upon arrival, we’ll be greeted with substantial flocks of weavers including Rufous-tailed Weaver, Red-billed and White-headed Buffalo-Weavers, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Chestnut Weaver, Red-billed and Cardinal Queleas and delightful Black Bishop, plus Speckled Pigeon, Lilac-breasted Roller, Chestnut Sparrow, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu. As we drive we can expect a variety of game and the good birds continue to flow; Helmeted Guineafowl, Red-necked and Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Crested Francolin and Diederik Cuckoos, Speckle-fronted Weaver, a variety of waxbills including Green-winged Pytilia.Tarangire is also full of dry-country specialties including African Pygmy Falcon, Eastern Chanting Goshawk, Buff-crested and Hartlaub’s Bustard, Orange-bellied Parrot, Yellow-collared Lovebird, White-bellied Go-away-bird, the peculiar Mottled Spinetail that should be found close to large Baobab trees, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Grey, Red-billed and Von der Decken’s Hornbills, Banded Parisoma, Northern Pied Babbler, Black-crowned Tchagra, Ashy Starling, Jameson’s Firefinch, Cut-throat and a good selection of resident and migrant raptors will include several vulture species, harriers and eagles. Game should be encountered throughout the drives here including good numbers of African Elephant, and there is a good chance of finding predators here such as Lion and Leopard.
Accommodation: Osupuko Lodge. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 5. Tuesday 16 April 2019. Manyara National Park
Today we will pack our bags and travel to Manyara National Park where we will spend the day birding. Local specialties include Crested Guineafowl and Silvery-cheeked Hornbill in the groundwater forest, not to mention both Greater and Lesser Flamingo in numbers, and then spectacular numbers of waders, the umbrella-making Black Heron and elegant Saddle-billed Stork on Lake Manyara. Raptors should include Palm-nut Vulture and Black Eagle along the rocky ridges, while Augur Buzzard and African Harrier-Hawk could turn up anywhere. Interesting mammals here include Elephant, Buffalo, Klipspringer and impressive troops of Olive Baboon. We continue onto the Ngorongoro Highlands, if time permits we will bird the roadside highland forest before arriving at our camp.
Accommodation: Rhino Lodge. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 6. Wednesday 17 April 2019. Ngorongoro Crater
We will leave early and descend to the floor of the heritage listed Ngorongoro Crater. While inside the spectacular crater we will be in search for Secretary Bird, Martial Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Ostrich, Kori and Black-bellied Bustards, stunning Grey Crowned Cranes, Anteater Chat, African Quailfinch and many more. On the wetlands we’ll strive to locate a good selection of waterfowl including Spur-winged Goose, Knob-billed Duck and Red-billed Teal, plus waders such as Three-banded Plover, African Snipe and Collared Pratincole. Nearby, the attractive Kittlitz’s Plover should be easy to find. The large variety of mammals is a major highlight of this excursion and with luck we’ll find the big cats plus our best hope of finding a Serval during the tour. Black Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo will be the stars of the big game here but the variety of antelope is also impressive including large numbers of Wildebeest in particular. In the forest patches we’ll search for Olive Pigeon, Bearded Woodpecker, Black Saw-wing and African Firefinch and we should encounter several primates and Bushbuck here also. Birding the highland road again could produce smaller residents such as Striped Pipit, the noisy Hunter’s Cisticola, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Montane White-eye, Bronze Sunbird, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Streaky Seedeater and the huge White-naped Raven.
Accommodation: Rhino Lodge. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 7. Thursday 18 April 2019. Ngorongoro Conservation Area
We’ll start early in order to search the forested slopes of the crater for Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Tambourine, Lemon and Dusky Turtle Dove, Hartlaub’s and Schalow’s Turaco, Green-backed Woodpecker, Cabanis’s Greenbul, Mountain Yellow Warbler, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Collared and Green-headed Sunbirds. After breakfast, we descend from the crater rim onto the classic short grass Maasai plains passing through stunning habitat that should hold Greater Kestrel, Capped and Silverbird and the smart Taita Fiscal.
Accommodation: Ndutu Lodge. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 8. Friday 19 April 2019. Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Today we will spend the day searching the plains and among the acacias for a variety of birds such as Grey Kestrel, Double-banded and Temminck’s Coursers, Pearl-spotted Owlet, African Scops Owl, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Fischer’s Lovebird, Blue-naped Mousebird, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Buffy Pipit (formerly considered “goodsoni” race of Plain-backed, here), , Black-lored Babbler, Red-throated Tit, Buff-bellied Penduline-Tit (recently split from African), Eastern Violet-backed, Marico and Beautiful Sunbirds, Brubru, Eastern Paradise Whydah and White-bellied Canary.
Accommodation: Ndutu Lodge. Meals included: B, L, D.

Days 9 & 10. Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 April 2019. Serengeti National Park
We will spend two full days exploring the Seronera sector of the Serengeti for the endemic Grey-breasted Spurfowl plus some other smart birds such as Magpie Shrike, Hottentot Teal, Coqui and Crested Francolin, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Green Wood-Hoopoe, African Grey-headed Woodpecker (a recent split from Grey, here), Foxy Lark (split from Fawn-coloured), a selection of swallows including Red-rumped, Mosque, Lesser Striped also Yellow-throated and Rosy-breasted Longclaws, Stout, Winding and Pectoral-patch Cisticolas (among others), Common and Grey-backed Fiscals, both Red-billed and Yellow-billed Oxpeckers, Wattled, Superb, Hildebrandt’s and Ruppell’s Long-tailed Starlings and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting.
Accommodation: Osupuko Tented Camp. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 11. Monday 22 April 2019. Serengeti National Park to Speke Bay Lodge
Today we’ll travel through the Serengeti and the western sector of the park, traversing a variety of habitats. The Grumeti River forest is an extension of vegetation more characteristic of the north and western shores of Lake Victoria as such we also will find some birds that don’t occur any further east in Tanzania, with an outside chance of seeing some other crackers such as Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Bush Pipit and Steel-blue Whydah. We’ll leave the park by mid-afternoon before checking into the wonderful Speke Bay Lodge that overlooks Lake Victoria. This place is home to some very special birds found at few other sites in Tanzania, such as Slender-billed, Northern Brown-throated and Yellow-backed Weavers, Red-chested Sunbird, the stunning Black-headed Gonolek and Swamp Flycatcher and we’ll get great photographic opportunities for the above plus Square-tailed (Gabon) Nightjar, Heuglin’s Courser and Angola Swallow. At dusk, the lodge is placed perfectly to view the huge roost of herons, egrets and ibis in the trees offshore and there’s a good chance that we’ll see African Fish Eagles raiding this roost for herons and egrets.
Accommodation: Speke Bay Lodge. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 12. Tuesday 23 April 2019. Speke Bay Lodge
We will spend the day walking the surroundings of the lodge, searching for goodies like Spotted Thick-knee, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Horus Swift, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Usambiro Barbet, White-browed Robin-Chat, Grey-capped Warbler, Arrow-marked Babbler and Jackson’s Golden-backed Weaver. We’ll head to the lake edge where we aim to locate the scarce White-fronted Plover plus Striated Heron, African Open-billed Stork, Heuglin’s Gull, White-winged Tern, Blue-headed Coucal and possibly a Lesser Moorhen.
Accommodation: Speke Bay Lodge. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 13. Wednesday 24 April 2019. Speke Bay to Kilimanjaro Airport
We will leave the lodge in time to make our flight from Mwanza to Kilimanjaro Airport. Depending on international flights out, we will book day rooms at the nearby KIA lodge (not costed in the itinerary). The grounds of the lodge are a great place to mop up any of the dry-land species we may not have seen on the trip to this point. Bird, finalise lists, sit by the pool or shower and get ready for your flights home. Today is the last day of the Tanzania tour.
Accommodation: none. Meals included: B.

Pemba Island extension: 24th - 27th April 2019 (Not included in price of main tour, see prices below)

Days 1, 2 & 3. Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 and Friday 26 April 2019. Pemba Island.
Is there any better way to end a safari than on a tropical island. Today we will travel by road and then by air to Pemba Island a tropical island just off the coast of the mainland. Pemba is fringed by white sandy beaches and spectacular reefs and is also home to four endemic species. Pemba Scops Owl, Pemba White-eye, Pemba Sunbird and Pemba Green Pigeon. Once we arrive on Pemba we travel to our lodge situated on the North - west of the island, on our drive to the lodge we will make a quick stop to try and pick up Java Finch an naturalised introduced species, while Dickinson’s Kestrel we hope to see perched on road side power lines. The white eye and Pemba Sunbird can be seen regularly in the grounds of the lodge, while the Scops Owl and Green Pigeon can be seen in the Ngezi Forest located very close to the lodge. From the lodge there are great waders to be seen on the beaches such as the Crab Plover and Terek Sandpiper, while in the nearby mangroves we hope to see the Mangrove Kingfisher.
We will stay at the wonderful Manta Resort, where we can bird these nearby locations, relax and unwind.
Accommodation: Manta Resort, Pemba island. Meals included: B, L, D each day.  

Day 4. Saturday 27 April 2019. Depart Pemba Island and homeward bound.
Today is the final day in Tanzania, we will drive to the airport and catch our flights to Dar es Salaam before catching our international flights home.
Accommodation: none. Meals included: B.

Costs:

Main Tour: AU$11,300 per person twin share and $650ss.
 

Pemba extension: AU$4,900 per person twin share and $650ss.
 

Prices include: Accommodation, meals, entry, wildlife management, conservation and park fees, specialist guiding and transport (including airport transfers). Price also includes flights from Mwanza to Pemba Island for those taking both the main tour and extension.

Prices exclude: International or domestic flights (except for Pemba extension for those taking both trips), gratuities, alcoholic drinks or personal expenses.

Talk to us about further possible extensions like:

Easter Arc Mountain Endemics and Near Endemics - 5 nights

Kilimanjaro Climb - 5 - 9 days

Mahale Chimpanzee Experience - 3 nights

Gorillas - Rwanda or Uganda - 3 - 5 night

Usambara – 6 nights