Welcome to Birdquest

NORTHERN TANZANIA

Monday 16th April - Sunday 29th April 2018

Nik Borrow

Grey-crested Helmetshrike (Nik Borrow)

Grey-crested Helmetshrike (Nik Borrow)

This incredible tour through Arusha and Tarangire National Parks, the Ngorongoro Crater and finally over the seemingly endless plains of the Serengeti surely has to be the ultimate wildlife travel experience out of anywhere in Africa if not indeed the whole world! The journey is simply one of those ‘must-do’ pilgrimages that all ecotourists should make at least once in their lifetimes. Our visit was firmly in the wet season and it was truly wet with at least some rain most days but this did not dampen our enthusiasm or indeed cost us too much time and during just fourteen days in the field we managed to record colourful endemics such as Grey-breasted Spurfowl, Fischer’s and Yellow-collared Lovebirds, Ashy Starling, Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill and regional specialities such as Taveta and Rufous-tailed Weavers, the little-known Karamoja Apalis and the elusive Grey-crested Helmetshrike. To add to the bonanza of birds there was a wealth of mammals with cats featuring prominently during our game drives and we also gained a remarkable insight into the workings of this huge and almost untouched ecosystem. Under the panoramic skies and across the expansive plains of the Ngorongoro and Serengeti, we were able to witness one of the greatest concentrations of large mammals on earth. After all the wildlife documentaries that have been made on the area the first-time visitor feels a sort of familiarity with the place but no widescreen television or Imax cinema can ever recreate or replace the amazing jaw-dropping and absolutely astonishing experience of actually being there! The sheer spectacle of being surrounded by grunting gnus and hee-hawing zebra combined with the obvious pleasures of a rich and vibrant avifauna, makes this tour a marvellous and deeply moving experience. Despite the huge number of tourists passing through the region it is still possible in this enormous space to escape the gaggles of vehicles that gather around sleepy lions, stealthy cheetahs or secretive leopards and set out in order to discover one’s own wonders. It is indeed exhilarating to head off into the wide blue yonder in search of the next wildlife encounter travelling over huge tracts of country where one never sees another car or human being apart from perhaps the occasional Masai warrior or cowherd draped in vivid red and striding purposefully across the apparently infinite landscape.

Leopards (Nik Borrow)

Leopards (Nik Borrow)