Usambara Endemics Birding Tour Itinerary Guide, Map + Tips!

Usambara Endemics Birding Tour Itinerary Guide, Map + Tips!; The Usambaras are known for several endemic birds: The Usambara Weaver, Usambara Eagle-Owl, Usambara Greenbul, Usambara Akalat, Usambara Thrush, and Usambara Hyliota (as well as a few endemic subspecies which may soon be split), and we spent the morning looking for some of these special birds.

Birds of Tanzania

What to expect

Tour Targets a short visit with limited time to North-Eastern Tanzania areas with Endemics or special Birds. Sites to be visited include the Lark Plains North of Arusha for the Beasley’s, Short-Tailed and Short Toed Larks, The Usambaras for the Usamabara Mountain Endemics, and specials such as the Usambara Weaver, Usambara Akalat, Usambara Double-collared Sunbird, Usambara Thrush, African Tailorbird, Spot Throat and an array of special Greenbuls. The Usambara Endemics Birding Tour itinerary also circles around the dry country Masai Steppes for dry country birds such as the Taveta Golden Weaver, Tsavo, and Hunters sunbirds, Pringles Puffbuck, Scaly Charterer, South Grossbeak Canary, African Bare eyed Thrus, and a number of Finces and Seedeaters.


Usambara/Eastern Double-collared Sunbird, Banded Green Sunbird, Amani Sunbird, Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird, Taita Fiscal, Black-fronted Bush-Shrike, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, Spotted Thick-knee, Half-collared Kingfisher, Usambara Nightjar, Red-tailed Ant Thrush, Sharpe’s Akalat, White-chested Alethe, Kurrichane Thrush, Usambara/Olive Thrush, Usambara Akalat, Spot-Throat, Dappled Mountain Robin, Pale-breasted Illadopsis,

Scaly Chatterer, Usambara Eagle-Owl, Pink-breasted Lark, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Northern Grey Tit, Moustached Tinkerbird, Long-billed Tailorbird/Forest Warbler, Kretschmer’s Longbill, Southern/Usambara Hyliota, Coastal Cisticola, Southern Grosbeak Canary, Southern Citril, Taveta Weaver, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Fire-fronted Bishop, African Broadbill, Mombasa Woodpecker, Banded Parisoma, Superb Starling, Golden-breasted Starling, Hildebrandt’s Starling, Forest Batis, Pygmy Batis, Red-throated Twinspot, Oriole Finch, White-headed Mousebird

Highlight Mammals and others: Lushoto Mountain Squirrel, Angolan Colobus Monkey, Zanzibar Sykes’ Monkey

Habitats covered: Savannah, Highland Forest, Wetlands, Semi-arid Scrubland, Eastern Arc Mountains

Photographic opportunities: Excellent

Usambara Akalat
Usambara Double collared Sunbird

A Detailed Usambara Endemics Birding Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Tanzania

From Arusha, Tanzania’s tourist hub, we will go off on our Usambara Endemics Birding Tour.

If we are able to arrive early, we might spend this day seeing the sights around Arusha. On the other hand, we can unwind in the lodge while listening to the beautiful Arusha birds.

Night in Arusha.

Day 2, 3 and 4: East Usambaras – Amani

The unique East Usambaras will serve as the starting point for our Usambara Endemics Birding Tour. We will stop and collect any interesting birds we see along the route so that we may add them to our bird list for the Usambara Endemics Birding Tour.

Amani Forest, a northern Tanzanian secret treasure, will be our destination. Over the next few days, we will scout this region in search of its abundant birdlife. Over the course of the night, we will look for the uncommon Usambara Eagle-Owl.

Nights in Amani.

Day 5 and 6: West Usambaras – Lushoto

Leaving the East Usambaras behind, we will go to the majestic West Usambaras highlands, widely recognized as one of Africa’s premier birdwatching locations. The Usambara Endemics Birding Tour includes this location among its best stops for birdwatching.

We will make multiple stops to enjoy birdwatching and may even locate more interesting species along the route. Our arrival at the West Usambara Forest is imminent. The birds here are going to be our entertainment for the next few days.

Nights in Lushoto.

Day 7: West Usambaras to South Pares

Our next stop will be the South Pare region, north of the Usambaras. Upon arrival, our Usambara Endemics Birding Tour checklist will be significantly augmented by the abundance of dryland and open habitat species native to Kenya’s Tsavo region.

Then, we’ll head into the highlands of the South Pare Mountains in search of the rare South Pare White-eye. We should be entertained for a long time by the abundance of birds in this area.

Nights in Lushoto.

Day 8: South Pares to Arusha

This day, we’ll get to see more birds in the South Pares area first thing in the morning. It is likely that we will discover additional birds that were previously overlooked.

We plan to go back to Arusha later on so we can see more birds. We will soon be back in Arusha for our nighttime flights home, capping off our wonderful Usambara Endemics Birding Tour.

The Usambara Endemics Birding Tour can be combined with our Southern Tanzania Birding Tour.

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