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“Birding the Udzungwas on a Bin-strap”

A few years ago the Arusha Birdman (JW) was asked to assist several Canadian birders planning their birding trips through Tanzania. One individual’s mission was simply outstanding, both in scope and budget, he has come the closest to cleaning-up, so much so that he might, or might not, wish to remain anonymous! Nevertheless here’s an […]

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Bird List Assist : the Forty-Something Endemic Birds of Tanzania

Endemic Birds of Tanzania   Grey-breasted Spurfowl           Pternistis rufopictus  savannas of Serengeti ecosystem Udzungwa Forest Partridge     Xenoperdix udzungwensis   forests of Udzungwa mountains Rubeho Forest Partridge          Xenoperdix obscurata   forests of Rubeho mountains Pemba Green Pigeon               Treron pembaensis Pemba (northernmost) Yellow-collared Lovebird        Agapornis personatus   dry central savannas     Fischer’s Lovebird                Agapornis lilianae northern savannas and highland forest edge Pemba Scops Owl               Otus pembaensis Pemba forests [ – […]

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Safari South: Nature astride the Tan-Zam highway in central Tanzania

When travel agents with Tanzania in mind speak of “The South” they usually mean to invoke the wildlife attractions of what is known as the Southern Circuit. Nature reserves that lie alongside a one thousand mile artery that delves deep from the ocean, far into the darkness at the heart of Central Africa. This aorta has been named the Tan-Zam highway, more accurately it’s a […]

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The Eastern Arc – Forested Mountain Jewels of Tanzania

“As one brown patch on a blue globe Africa is a rather dry island where white vapours off the surrounding seas shed their rain rather sparingly.” So wrote that incomparable African naturalist Jonathan Kingdon in Island Africa in 1990. Climatic stability in Africa has always been a great rarity; preserved chiefly in broken necklaces of ancient mountain gems scattered […]

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Arusha National Park – a safari in itself

A day in Arusha National Park will cost you, and your best friend, one hundred dollars. At least that’s the entrance fee for two “non-citizens”, i.e. for a couple of foreign non-resident adults plus car and driver, assuming that’s what you are. Yet assuming that you’re traveling in a local hire car with a local driver. And it’s for […]

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Birding Around Arusha

“Anyone with the slightest interest in bird life whether they be living here or just visiting Tanzania is indeed fortunate. For in Tanzania there are birds literally everywhere.” From the icy barrens around Kilimanjaro’s snowy summit to the sun-baked soda flats of Lake Natron. From coral reefs and islets in the incredibly blue Indian Ocean, to […]

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After a night of Rain, it’s Streaming Birds!

  At nightfall on December 12, 2006 our blue Land Rover 90 with her five human occupants might have been seen by satellites of Google Earth scurrying west toward the little town of Same (pronounced Saamay) which is midway on the main road that joins Dar es Salaam, at the Indian Ocean, with Nairobi high on Africa’s […]

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“Small and Brown Is Beautiful” said Admiral Hubert Lynes

Looking back from today, at the ripe old age of 58, clearly I see that two interwoven themes have dominated and directed my birding life. Firstly a loathing of being indoors during daylight hours and secondly the overwhelming desire to live as free as a bird. In particular fulfilling the wish to travel south and […]

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Amur Falcons above East Africa during their migration: November 2006

  This essay was originally a “Birdman” post entitled “Mes Amis Amur”  A thunderous tropical rain storm arriving, most unusually out of the north, broke against the great black massifs of Meru and Manjaro in the early hours of November 23, 2006. Shortly after daybreak Dismus and I once again escaped Arusha via the northbound Nairobi […]

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Come Bird with us, among the Beasts!

It could be said some Eco-tourists come to ‘Tanganyika’ as pilgrims in the hope of finding answers when they bird among the beasts. Others come to snap-up memories, smuggled home in boxes, to rerun across these flickering screens until that last of days. Whichever, we bear witness to what is arguably the greatest wildlife experience […]