Birding in Africa, now that is something not many people would have given a thought to. Apart from the rustic brilliance of Africa, the yearning to see the Big 5 (the Elephant, Cape buffalo, Lion, Rhino and the Leopard ) is what pulls most people to the wildlife parks and reserves of the continent. Very rightly so, these animals hold a charm and attraction of their own. However Africa is an amazingly diverse continent and rich in its bird life too. Africa is home to around 2300 species of birds among which around 1500 are endemic to the continent.

In this and hopefully the next post I want to focus on East Africa, as that is where my trips, thus far, have taken me, mainly Kenya and Tanzania. East Africa is constituted of these countries – “Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi”. Close to 1800 species of birds can be found in this region. I have just begun to scratch the surface here.

In East Africa, the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem is the most well known. Spanning over 30,000 sq.km, it is a wonder in itself, extending from Tanzania in the south to Kenya in the north. Over 500 bird species can be found there. Apart from this, Tanzania is home to many other national parks like the Lake Manyara National Park, the Tarangire National Park and also the amazingly beautiful and unique Ngorongoro Conservation Reserve. All these boast of a very healthy population of birds too. The highly diverse habitats of these parks, ranging from riverine forests, swamps, woodlands to grasslands enable wide variety of bird life to thrive. On my trip to Tanzania last year, I clocked 104 species of birds, sighted, most of them photographed too.

In no particular order, here we go…

Superb-starling

Superb starling – Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

White-browed-coucal

White-browed coucal – Ndutu, Southern Serengeti, Tanzania

Spotted-morning-thrush

Spotted morning thrush – Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Narina-Trogon

Narina trogon – Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Grey-headed-kingfisher

Grey-headed kingfisher – Ndutu, Southern Serengeti, Tanzania

African-Jacana

African Jacana – Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Lark-display-Serengeti-Africa

Rufous-naped lark, displaying – Central Serengeti, Tanzania

Yellow-throated-longclaw

Yellow-throated longclaw – Central Serengeti, Tanzania

Fischers-lovebird

Fischer’s lovebird – Ndutu, Southern Serengeti, Tanzania

Red-necked-francolin-Serengeti-Tanzania

Red-necked spurfowl – Central Serengeti, Tanzania

Yellow-throated-sandgrouse-females-Ndutu-Africa

Yellow-throated sandgrouse – Ndutu, Southern Serengeti, Tanzania

Chestnut-bellied-sandgrouse-serengeti

Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse – Ndutu, Southern Serengeti, Tanzania

White-bellied-bustard-male

White-bellied bustard – Ndutu, Southern Serengeti, Tanzania

Pearl-spotted-owlet-Ndutu-Serengeti

Pearl-spotted owlet – Ndutu, Southern Serengeti, Tanzania

Verreaux-Eagle-Owl

Verreaux-Eagle-Owl – Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

I must say that there is this immense satisfaction when you bird in the land of the big mammals, What do you say ? ;-) Hope you enjoyed reading through. Until the next instalment….