1 - 14 April 2023

by 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 planned to be in the wet season but this year the rains had come early and then stopped so that the tour was mainly dry throughout. This had produced lush vegetation and high grass everywhere so game viewing was sometimes not so easy. 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 specialties 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 me-you-ing gnus and hee-hawing zebras 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 Maasai warrior or cowherd draped in vivid red and striding purposefully across the apparently infinite landscape.

Our adventure began near Arusha at a lodge overlooking Lake Duluti. Those of us that arrived early were able to participate in some relaxed birding in the beautiful gardens that surround the lodge. A star find was a pair of Brown-breasted Barbets that were feeding in the fruiting trees and on occasions visiting a freshly excavated nest hole. A pair of Grey-olive Greenbuls put on a good show and there were regional endemic Taveta Golden Weavers nesting by the lake in the company of Golden-backed and Village Weavers. A Rüppell’s Robin-Chat kept to the shadows but entertained us with its beautiful song and as we were heading back from our evening meal an African Wood Owl was spotted.

It was also a great base for visiting Arusha National Park where we found the near-endemic Broad-ringed White-eye as well as mouth-watering species such as Hartlaub’s Turaco and Crowned Eagle. The Momella lakes held good numbers of Lesser and some Greater Flamingos and a selection of wildfowl.

A morning visit to the plains at Engikaret gave us the exceedingly rare Beesley’s Lark gaining some prolonged views of this seriously threatened bird and we also found some Short-tailed Larks and even mammals such as Eastern White-bearded Wildebeest and Eastern Thomson’s Gazelles both present. The unassuming Lynes’s Cisticola was seen en route to Tarangire, a National Park dominated by its enormous Baobabs, impressive gatherings of African Elephants and endemic Ashy Starlings and Yellow-collared Lovebirds where a night drive produced bouncing Spring Hares, Northern Lesser Galago and Bronze-winged Coursers.

Once again, this year we were able to drive right through Lake Manyara National Park and found colourful Southern Red, Black and Yellow-crowned Bishops all in breeding dress as well as spectacular Purple-crested Turacos en route. In the park we saw our first Hippos but high-water levels meant that the hot springs and the actual hippo pools were completely submerged. At the end of the day, we climbed up the wall of the Great Rift Valley for an overnight stay and continued on to Ngorongoro where fortunately, the weather was clear for tremendous views of the crater and we managed to scope our first Black Rhinos from the crater rim! In the forests that cloak the slopes we found Brown-headed Apalis and on the high grasslands watched displaying Jackson’s Widowbirds and glittering Malachite, Golden-winged and Tacazze Sunbirds. Down below we got closer to the rhinos and witnessed the mass of herbivores and attendant Lions which did not fail to impress and got extremely close views of near-endemic Rufous-tailed Weavers.

Descending from the crater rim the road led us down through stunted Whistling Thorn (Vachellia drepanolobium) and spiky wild Sisal (Sansevieria ehrenbergii) with amazing vistas towards the Serengeti itself where enormous numbers of Serengeti White-bearded Wildebeest and Plains Zebra were grazing. Our stay was split with three nights in the Seronera region in the heart the Serengeti and three nights at Ndutu on the borders with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We did well for cats generally and had multiple encounters with plenty of Lions, 2 Leopards and 4 Cheetahs! We also scored well with the bird specialties and found Karamoja Apalis, a family of Grey-crested Helmetshrikes, Melodious Lark and endemic Grey-breasted Spurfowl, Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill and Fischer’s Lovebirds. Other noteworthy species seen during the tour included Hildebrandt’s Spurfowl, Montane Nightjar, Nyanza Swift, Hartlaub’s Bustard, Yellow-throated and Black-faced Sandgrouse, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon (heard only), Chestnut-banded Plover, Dwarf Bittern, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Moustached Tinkerbird, Spot-flanked, Red-and-yellow, Emin’s (sometimes split from D’Arnaud’s) and ‘Usambiro’ Barbets, Eastern Grey Woodpecker, Greater Kestrel, Red-bellied Parrot, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Long-tailed and Taita Fiscals, Red-throated Tit, Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark, Foxy Lark, Athi Short-toed Lark, Mountain, Stripe-faced and Grey-olive Greenbuls, Trilling and Hunter’s Cisticolas, Bar-throated Apalis, Black-headed Apalis, Grey-capped Warbler, Banded Parisoma, Pale, Mbulu and Broad-ringed White-eyes, Rufous Chatterer, Black-lored and Northern Pied Babblers, Hildebrandt’s and Kenrick’s Starlings, Bare-eyed Thrush, Silverbird, Rüppell’s Robin-Chat, ‘Schalow’s’ Abyssinian Wheatear, Eastern Double-collared and ‘Gorgeous’ Beautiful Sunbirds, Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow, Chestnut, Kenya and Swahili Sparrows, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Speke’s and Golden-backed Weavers, ‘Layard’s’ Village Weaver, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, Steel-blue and Straw-tailed Whydahs, Southern Citril and Southern Grosbeak-Canary.

The tour started at an extremely comfortable lodge overlooking the picturesque Lake Duluti, a small crater lake that nestles between the cultivation, busy towns and the peak of Mount Meru. Early arrivals were able to explore the garden where Brown-breasted Barbets at a nest hole and a pair of Grey-olive Greenbuls were seen. At night both African Wood Owl and Small-eared Galago could also be seen in the garden. On our first full day, we set out straight after breakfast boarding our sturdy Landcruisers with open top roof hatches that took us to the nearby Arusha National Park encompassing the volcanic slopes of Mount Meru, an impressive peak reaching some 4566m (14,979ft). It was a somewhat damp morning after overnight rain and we initially stopped nearby to admire a small colony of near-endemic Taveta Golden Weavers, a rather damp Rüppell’s Robin-Chat, Trumpeter Hornbill and a Brown-hooded Kingfisher. We then spent some time at the entrance gate area familiarising ourselves with some of the birds. Here was Singing Cisticola, the first representative of a much-maligned group of birds, although we wondered at the species name, as this is certainly no diva of the bird world! During our visit we also added Trilling, Rattling, Winding and Short-winged Cisticolas to the list. Early morning rain had also brought some Scarce Swifts down low. Entering the park, we passed an area known as Serengeti Ndogo or ‘Small’ Serengeti where our first large mammals were grazing and included Plains Zebra, Common Warthog, Ellipsen Waterbuck, Bushbuck and many Olive Baboons.

Entering the forest zone all was initially quiet but we teased out a Moustached Tinkerbird and higher still at the Ngurdoto Crater rim, shaggy-coated Guereza Colobus gathered leaves in the treetops where enormous Silvery-cheeked Hornbills sailed overhead leaving us in no doubt that we were really in Africa! As was to be expected, the dark, damp forest did not reveal its secrets easily but we did manage to coax some superb Hartlaub’s Turacos into view whilst looking for the near-endemic Broad-ringed White-eye which initially played hard to get but ultimately, we all saw well. Other successes included a busy feeding flock of Kenrick’s Starlings and White-eared Barbets, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Stripe-faced Greenbul, Black-headed Apalis and a brightly-coloured Black-fronted Bushshrike. A huge Crowned Eagle glided just overhead and later a pair were watched displaying above us whilst a pair of African Marsh Harriers and a heard only Buff-spotted Flufftail were surprises!

The rest of the day was spent exploring the Momella lakes and their surrounds. Here we found a good group of Southern Pochard on the waters alongside numbers of Little Grebe with smaller numbers of Cape Teal. Most impressive however was the large gathering of pink Lesser Flamingos with smaller numbers of the larger, whiter Greater Flamingo and we spent some time marvelling at the tightly packed groups as they went about their business of siphoning algae and diatoms from the alkaline waters. Also on the lakes were a selection of Palearctic migrant waders including a handsome Marsh Sandpiper in breeding plumage whilst other waterbirds spotted included Blacksmith and Spur-winged Lapwings and the majestic African Fish Eagle. Colourful White-fronted Bee-eaters had gathered by the lake shore and two Green-backed Honeybirds was a good find.

After a welcome night’s sleep, we departed early the next day and travelled north out of Arusha, gradually descending lower and lower until we reached our destination near the small settlement of Engikaret on the Lariboro Plains that is home to the incredibly rare endemic Beesley’s Lark. One wonders how long this taxon will survive as perhaps only c.63 of these birds are thought to survive and sadly, despite evidence that supports the validity of the species (IOC have split it) this taxon is not currently recognised as such by BirdLife International.

The plains were green with recent rain and some Short-tailed Larks were present right by our car. At first the Maasai guide was nowhere to be seen until a distant figure bedecked with binoculars was seen striding towards us from the other side of the vast open plain. We walked towards and greeted him and he suggested a place to look which was fortuitously just a few yards away and sure enough there were a trio of the ultra-rare Beesley’s Lark! Once found the birds were easy to follow and everyone had great views of this endangered bird. Following this great success, we were free to look for a series of other larks the most common of which appeared to be the Red-capped Larks that seemed to be absolutely everywhere. Another group of Beesley’s Larks was spotted and eventually some Foxy Larks were also located and to complete this ‘lark-fest’ for the day we also scored with Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark.

During our meanderings across the plains there were also other things to see; Small numbers of Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse were seen flying over and perky Capped Wheatears were common and some distant game dotted around proved to be Eastern White-bearded Wildebeest and Eastern Thomson’s Gazelles.

The morning was advancing rapidly and we decided to spend some time birding the thorn scrub bordering the plains and this decision turned up a wealth of species. Typical acacia scrub species were seen such as White-bellied Go-away-bird, Buff-bellied Warbler, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Red-fronted Prinia, Banded Parisoma, Bare-eyed Thrush, White-browed Scrub Robin, African Grey Flycatcher, Beautiful (sometimes split as Gorgeous) Sunbird and Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow.

It had been a highly successful morning but now we retraced our steps back towards Arusha stopping for numerous ‘Schalow’s’ Abyssinian Wheatears, nesting Golden-backed Weaver and the unassuming Lynes’s Cisticola which is named after the respected Rear-Admiral Hubert Lynes who was responsible for sorting out the taxonomy of this confusing group of warblers in a supplement to The Ibis way back in 1930 before continuing towards our next destination, Tarangire National Park.

At the entrance gate we easily found endemic Yellow-collared Lovebirds but there was much disturbance at this normally birdy spot due to recent construction work so we didn’t linger for long. The park is particularly well-known for its healthy population of African Elephants and we soon saw our first feeding amongst the enormous Baobabs that are also a feature of this beautiful park. Other mammals included tail-twitching Impala, shaggy-coated Ellipsen Waterbuck, towering stately ‘Maasai’ Giraffes and tiny little ‘Thomas’s’ Kirk’s Dik-diks.

As time was pressing, we drove directly to our superb lodge with its ‘awesome view’ overlooking the Tarangire River in time for some relaxed birding with sundowners, surrounded by endemic Ashy Starlings before settling into our ‘tents’ which were more like huts made out of canvas for a two nights stay.

The Tarangire ecosystem covers an area of approximately 20,000 square kilometres and comprises Baobab and Acacia woodland, Commiphora bushland and open grassland dotted with Real Fan Palms (Hyphaene petersiana) with swamps dominating the southern section. We opted for a full day drive that took us through open savanna and then followed the Tarangire River southwards to Silale Swamp where we enjoyed a pleasant picnic lunch overlooking the vast swamp.

The day started with a tiny African Scops Owl that had chosen a convenient tree by the rooms as its roost site then as we set out for the day our first Common Ostrich were seen letting us know that we were truly in ‘Safari Land’ Africa! Black-faced Sandgrouse and Double-banded Coursers were observed on the dirt tracks but a greater surprise was no less than five Bronze-winged Coursers posing for us in broad daylight! Both Red-necked and Yellow-necked Spurfowl were easy to see by the roadsides, showy ‘Black-faced’ Bare-faced Go-away-birds were seen and other goodies included Saddle-billed Stork, Secretarybird, African Hawk-Eagle, Eastern Chanting Goshawk, numerous Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, Red-necked Falcon, Northern Pied Babbler and Straw-tailed Whydah.

The park is a wonderful place for observing African Savanna Elephants and we enjoyed a number of great encounters although after recent heavy rains the vegetation was high and the Tarangire River which runs through the park wasn’t quite the magnetic draw that it often is in the dry season.

At Silale Swamp some handsome Whiskered Terns in breeding plumage were seen and a White-winged Tern was also present quartering over the southern section which has now become an open water lake due to rising water levels in various places in East Africa and there were many breeding plumaged Fan-tailed and White-winged Widowbirds.

The endemic form of D’Arnaud’s Barbet which is sometimes considered a separate species ‘Emin’s or Black-capped Barbet’ was seen well along with the spectacular multicoloured Red-and-yellow Barbet.

At night Tarangire Safari Lodge was offering game drives for the somewhat extortionate sum of about $100 per person (most of which is park fee!) but most of the group opted to take part. Fortunately, it was unanimously deemed well worth it as we had excellent views of at least 12 more Bronze-winged Coursers, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl and many Slender-tailed Nightjars as well as Northern Lesser Galago, African Savanna Hare, East African Spring Hare, Bat-eared Fox, Common Genet and an amazing Striped Hyaena!

The following morning it was time to continue our journey which took us out of Tarangire and towards Lake Manyara National Park. The road conditions were such that we were able to drive right through the park but we stopped first at some extensive rice fields where fantastic breeding plumaged Southern Red and Yellow-crowned Bishops were busy in the rice fields all fluffed up and buzzing around in great excitement whilst angry rice growers yelled at them trying to keep the numerous birds out of the crops. Also, at the rice fields we were pleased to see a distant Dwarf Bittern and a Rufous-bellied Heron was glimpsed whilst further on we found our first breeding plumaged Black Bishops of the colourful race friederichseni and a pair of Steel-blue Whydah.

Entering by the west gate of Lake Manyara National Park, we birded the attractive acacia woodlands that cover the base of the cliffs of the wall of the Great Rift Valley and enjoyed views of the intensely coloured Purple-crested Turaco. These forests are the haunt of ‘tree-climbing’ Lions although we did not manage to find them this time round. Instead, noisy Eastern Nicators sang from the thickets and although they also remained frustratingly invisible, we did see our first Usambiro Barbets, which is often treated as a separate species from D’Arnaud’s and has somewhat different vocalisations.

The park itself stretches for 50 kilometres along the edge of the imposing Rift Valley escarpment and the lake was once the haunt of large numbers of flamingos and other waterbirds. However, for the past several years in common with other lakes in the East African Rift Valley water levels have been rising and this has now covered and killed much of the low-lying woodland that surrounded the lake. The famous ‘hot springs’ and ‘hippo pools’ were both underwater and it was also clear that the quality of the water wasn’t favourable to birdlife for hardly any waterbirds except for a few Gull-billed Terns along the shores. Hildebrandt’s Spurfowl and colourful Orange-breasted Bushshrikes were also seen.

At the end of the day, we exited the park at closing time and drove the short distance up the wall of the Great Rift Valley to our comfortable lodge perched on the edge of the escarpment itself which at night produced noisy Thick-tailed Greater Galagos in the garden.

We woke the following morning to fantastic views over the Rift Valley towards Lake Manyara. It was a slow birding start on a rather dull morning but Pale White-eye and Reichenow’s Seedeater were added to our lists. After a hearty breakfast we continued onwards, ever onwards to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area entering by the Lodoare Gate. Once inside the park we managed to lure a pair of excitable Brown-headed Apalis into view and continued up along the winding road through montane forest eventually reaching a viewpoint on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater where the first word on everyone’s lips was a synchronised “WOW!” because for all of the media familiarity that one might feel for the crater, actually seeing it for the first time is simply awe inspiring! Stretching out down below us was the vast caldera itself, over 16 kilometres across, and even at that great distance we could make out Black (or Browse) Rhinoceros, elephants, buffalos and numerous Serengeti White-bearded Wildebeest wandering across the grasslands! We were lucky that our stop coincided with a visiting Mountain Greenbul.

We ate our picnic lunch in the company of some attentive Yellow-billed Kites that were waiting for an opportune moment to grab an unguarded picnic! Afterwards we went on to explore the open grasslands that surround the crater and although they seemed to be a little overgrazed these days, we soon found Hunter’s Cisticola, striking Red-cowled Widowbirds and the desirable Jackson’s Widowbird in breeding plumage which we watched performing their bizarre bouncing display rituals. Driving further we were on the lookout for stands of flowering Leonotis (or ‘Lion’s Paw’) normally favoured by sunbirds. The lovely Malachite Sunbird was holding territory and eventually one isolated stand of flowers was busy with numbers of the much-wanted Golden-winged Sunbird. We also hunted out a pair of Brown Parisoma in their favoured flat-top Acacia trees.

Our two nights stay was at the Serena lodge perched upon the very rim of the crater with rooms that had a view to die for! With a little daylight left to our day a search in the garden produced colourful Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Bar-throated Apalis, Tacazze and Eastern Double-collared Sunbirds and a super Abyssinian Crimsonwing.

The next morning, we were up early as the rising sun began to illuminate the expansive vista over the crater and after watching the near-endemic Mbulu White-eye as we left the lodge, we headed straight for the ‘Descent Road’. Embarking on the steep and narrow road down into the crater was a breath-taking experience and having reached the wide expanse of flat open grassland that spread over the floor of the crater we were even more aware of the space involved, as recognisable animals gradually diminished in size to dots that were scattered as far as the eye could see. Driving over the expansive grasslands where good numbers of Pectoral-patch Cisticolas made their little buzzing calls in display flight we discovered a stunning Rosy-throated Longclaws and dowdy Anteater Chats.

The shallow lake in the crater is called Lake Magadi which held a lot of water this year and this large expanse of open water was sprinkled with numerous Lesser Flamingos, some Greater Flamingos and a small variety of waterfowl included Blue-billed Teal and the pretty pink-billed Cape Teal and Kittlitz’s and Chestnut-banded Plovers were also seen.

Big birds were a feature of the day with plenty of Common Ostrich, glorious Grey Crowned Cranes and stately Kori Bustards all puffed up in display mode, striding across the plains but of course, our day was also about the mammals and we found a Black Rhino that was relatively close to one of the tracks that criss-cross the crater floor at a time of day when heat haze was not a problem.

Some very large bull African Elephants were feeding around the plains but mainly kept their distance and there were large numbers of game and in particular Serengeti White-bearded Wildebeest, Serengeti Thomson’s Gazelles, smaller numbers of Grant’s Gazelles and Common Eland. Somewhat dishevelled African (or Cape) Buffalos were common and often infested with Yellow-billed and Red-billed Oxpeckers. There were also somewhat menacing Spotted Hyaenas and we saw our first Lions which included a very close young male chomping on the remains of its meal.

At the main picnic site, we were joined for lunch by the usual marauding Yellow-billed Kites and Rufous-tailed and Speke’s Weavers, sneaking in for accidentally dropped scraps or even grabbing food from the hands of unsuspecting tourists unaware that being fed is strictly against the park rules! The day had passed only too quickly and it was sad to have to leave this magical place but at dusk a Montane Nightjar put in an appearance from our lodge.

The next morning, we woke to fine weather so we had another look at the lodge grounds before leaving and managed to see a splendid Schalow’s Turaco that initially played hard to get but finally flaunted itself in front of us! It was then time to set forth towards the Serengeti and descending from the crater rim of Ngorongoro we watched the spectacular expanse of the plains unfolding before us until we reached the edge of the national park itself on a beautiful sunny day. We were really in luck as the migration had reached Oldupai and Ndutu and we drove past huge lines of wildebeest on our way to the park entrance. There are perhaps over 1.5 million wildebeest in the Serengeti and almost all of them flood into the southeast corner of the ecosystem between January and April when the heavy long rains arrive. In fact, it felt strange to have to leave this spectacle behind us but the rainy weather conditions seemed settled for the remainder of our stay and the promise of big cats and the migration seemed certain for the final stage of our adventure.

Approaching the lonely entrance to the Serengeti the short grass plains beyond were mostly empty apart from Kori Bustards and small numbers of Serengeti Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelles. The name is derived from the word “Serengit” in the Maa language, which means “Endless Plains” and we certainly experienced this incredible feeling of space as we journeyed on.

Naabi Hills was closed as a pride of lions had taken up residence and it was unsafe to walk but we still managed to watch pink-headed Mwanza Flat-headed Agamas and tame Black-lored Babblers and Red-headed Weavers and found the restricted range Red-throated Tit.

Entering into the Serengeti we drove for a short distance along the main road before heading out towards Gol Kopjes. Some Yellow-throated Sandgrouse flushed up along the way and as we reached the first rocky outcrops a Spotted Eagle-Owl was found and also some Spotted Thick-knees. We continued to add to our Lion experience and also found a female Cheetah with her cub during the course of the afternoon.

Heading across the grasslands on the black cotton soil, we were paying special attention to larks because in the past few years it had been discovered and now finally proven that not all of the White-tailed Larks are indeed that species and indeed most appear to be Melodious Lark, a species previously only known from central Zimbabwe and South Africa! First, we found several Athi Short-toed Larks which initially caused some confusion but eventually, at an apparently suitable area of habitat we heard some larks singing which sounded clearly like Melodious and we managed to see several birds, song flighting above us. Sadly, time was pressing and we were still far from the lodge so we had to move more directly but had to pause for a splendid male Hartlaub’s Bustard and even scored a large Leopard sitting by the roadside. It was a very rushed journey but it was essential that we had to get to our lovely accommodation for the start of a three nights stay in the heart of the Serengeti by closing time at seven o’clock – fortunately we just about made it!

The next day we headed straight out in the fresh morning air and found fortuitously quickly a flock of one of the very special birds of the Serengeti, the localised Grey-crested Helmetshrike. This scarce species is restricted to a small area stretching from northern Tanzania up into southern Kenya where it is particularly localised and also appears to hybridise there with White Helmetshrike thus perhaps making the future of this characterful bird doubtful. We watched these characterful creatures for as long as we wished, which was basically until the tsetse flies started waking up and prompted us to go on a bit further where another target, the Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill was located. We continued to an area of Whistling Thorn where we found after an agonisingly long search, the highly localised Karamoja Apalis. This species is strictly linked with stands of this particular thorn tree and didn’t give itself up too easily at first but ultimately allowed decent views. With this hat-trick of specialties complete we were free to look for other things. Singing Bush Larks were watched displaying and we then paid a visit to the Hippo pools where there were plenty of Hippopotamuses wallowing in the waters.

A picnic lunch at the visitor centre produced excellent views of White-headed Barbet, a glittering male Klaas’s Cuckoo and tame Grey-capped Social Weavers. Driving out towards Maasai Kopjes we encountered a dapper Pangani Longclaw and a cluster of vehicles around a lone acacia meant only one thing – Leopard! A large male was comfortably wedged into the boughs alongside his meal of a male Bohor Reedbuck and after waiting impatiently for vehicles already in situ to move our turn eventually came and we were treated to some wonderful views of this handsome cat. Amongst more widespread species, the endemic Grey-breasted Spurfowl was also seen and we finished the day with a breeding plumaged Black Coucal.

Our remaining time in the Serengeti was mostly spent searching for White-tailed Lark without success but we did find a magnificent adult Martial Eagle, a dapper Red-necked Falcon and enjoyed a number of excellent close encounters with African Elephants.

The journey from the Serengeti to Ndutu where we were to spend our remaining three nights took us back across the Serengeti and as we neared Ndutu the empty plains began to fill with numbers of wildebeest and zebra. Long lines of Serengeti White-bearded Wildebeest were encountered and these animals would either turn to eye us quizzically or else suddenly break into a run for no apparent reason. We spent some quality time following the lines or breaking through their ranks before arriving at the lovely Ndutu Lodge in good time to settle in, explore the grounds and enjoy a sundowner. Ndutu itself is a delightful spot and we all came to love this simple lodge in the middle of nowhere, complete with its lithe and beautiful Common Genets that arrived silently along the roof beams of the lodge each evening to rendezvous with their nightly snacks!

As in the Serengeti, we had two full days to explore the Ndutu area and here we could partake in some exciting off-road driving excursions during our stay in search of cats and more for here one isn’t limited to simply driving along the tracks but can also take off into the wide blue yonder creating a great sense of adventure. Our explorations took us out over the endless plains, through acacia woodlands and around the two lakes Ndutu and Masek that lie on the border of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

There were plenty of Lions in the Ndutu area and sightings of the testosterone fuelled males were noteworthy as we watched a mating pair but perhaps most marvellous was our encounter with a pride in Hidden Valley where a female was watched moving her newly born cubs one by one from one bush to another near another female who was suckling her recently born youngsters both watched over by a handsome, hulking male.

The wildebeest were still present in ever-growing numbers and on our second day we were entertained by yet another Cheetah and a family of young elephants that had found a pool to bathe in and apparently were spending a little too long playing in the waters and upsetting the somewhat impatient matriarch. Their antics provoked a number of laugh out loud moments.

Numbers of endemic Fischer’s Lovebirds had seemingly been a little on the low side but we found some nesting trees and enjoyed great views. Pretty little Harlequin Quails were flushed from the exceedingly wet short grass plains and some were actually seen at rest. The sighting of an enormous Verreaux’s Eagle Owl was a wonderful bird to finish our stay with.

It was time to begin the long journey home and as we left Ndutu many of the animals that had become familiar to us were by the roadside to bid us farewell. However, we had one more stop to squeeze in and that was the famous Oldupai Gorge (named after the wild sisal that grows there), site of many important hominid discoveries by the Leakey family. At this historic place most of the group explored the interesting little museum now in a grand new building while birders were satisfied with views of the hulking Southern Grosbeak Canary. The journey back to Arusha now began and there was nothing else to do but baton down the hatches and head back carrying home with us a myriad of marvellous experiences both on numerous memory cards but better still in our own internal memories!

There are over 1.5 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras in the Serengeti and almost all of them flood into the southeast corner of the ecosystem between January and April when the heavy long rains arrive and their calves and foals are born and numbers swell considerably and it felt that we must have seen a fair number of them! It had been a stunning fortnight packed full of amazing wildlife encounters and the amount of time spent at each location had actually helped us feel a part of the Ngorongoro and Serengeti rather than just visitors. Our talented driver/guides had manoeuvred the car over all manner of difficult terrain and without their driving skills we might never have had the marvellous views of the wildlife that we had enjoyed on this tour. The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater is home to one of the greatest wildlife scenarios on this planet and we were privileged to have witnessed it for ourselves.




Common Ostrich  Struthio camelus

White-faced Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna viduata

Fulvous Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna bicolor

Spur-winged Goose  Plectropterus gambensis

Knob-billed Duck  Sarkidiornis melanotos

Egyptian Goose  Alopochen aegyptiaca

Blue-billed Teal  Spatula hottentota

Cape Teal (C Wigeon)  Anas capensis

Red-billed Teal (R-b Duck)  Anas erythrorhyncha

Southern Pochard  Netta erythrophthalma

Helmeted Guineafowl  Numida meleagris

Crested Francolin  Ortygornis sephaena

Coqui Francolin  Campocolinus coqui

Common Quail  Coturnix coturnix  Heard-only

Harlequin Quail  Coturnix delegorguei

Hildebrandt’s Spurfowl ◊  Pternistis hildebrandti

Yellow-necked Spurfowl  Pternistis leucoscepus

Grey-breasted Spurfowl ◊  Pternistis rufopictus  Endemic

Red-necked Spurfowl  Pternistis afer

Montane Nightjar ◊  Caprimulgus poliocephalus

Slender-tailed Nightjar  Caprimulgus clarus

Scarce Swift  Schoutedenapus myoptilus

Mottled Spinetail (Mottled-throated S)  Telacanthura ussheri

African Palm Swift  Cypsiurus parvus

Mottled Swift  Tachymarptis aequatorialis

Nyanza Swift ◊  Apus niansae

African Black Swift  Apus barbatus

Little Swift  Apus affinis

Horus Swift  Apus horus

White-rumped Swift  Apus caffer

Bare-faced Go-away-bird (Black-f G-a-b)  Crinifer [personatus] leopoldi

White-bellied Go-away-bird  Crinifer leucogaster

Purple-crested Turaco (Violet-crested T)  Gallirex porphyreolophus

Schalow’s Turaco  Tauraco schalowi

Hartlaub’s Turaco ◊  Tauraco hartlaubi

Kori Bustard  Ardeotis kori

White-bellied Bustard (Northern W-b B)  Eupodotis senegalensis

Black-bellied Bustard  Lissotis melanogaster

Hartlaub’s Bustard ◊  Lissotis hartlaubii

White-browed Coucal  Centropus superciliosus

Black Coucal  Centropus grillii

Great Spotted Cuckoo  Clamator glandarius

Levaillant’s Cuckoo  Clamator levaillantii

Jacobin Cuckoo (Black-and-white C)  Clamator jacobinus

Diederik Cuckoo (Didric C)  Chrysococcyx caprius

Klaas’s Cuckoo  Chrysococcyx klaas

African Emerald Cuckoo  Chrysococcyx cupreus. Heard-only

Black Cuckoo  Cuculus clamosus

Red-chested Cuckoo  Cuculus solitarius

African Cuckoo  Cuculus gularis

Common Cuckoo (Eurasian C)  Cuculus canorus

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse  Pterocles exustus

Yellow-throated Sandgrouse ◊  Pterocles gutturalis

Black-faced Sandgrouse ◊  Pterocles decoratus

Rock Dove (introduced)  Columba livia

Speckled Pigeon  Columba guinea

African Olive Pigeon (Rameron P)  Columba arquatrix

Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon ◊  Columba delegorguei. Heard-only

Dusky Turtle Dove  Streptopelia lugens

Mourning Collared Dove (African M D)  Streptopelia decipiens

Red-eyed Dove  Streptopelia semitorquata

Ring-necked Dove  Streptopelia capicola

Laughing Dove  Spilopelia senegalensis

Emerald-spotted Wood Dove  Turtur chalcospilos

Tambourine Dove  Turtur tympanistria

Namaqua Dove  Oena capensis

African Green Pigeon  Treron calvus

Buff-spotted Flufftail ◊  Sarothrura elegans  Heard-only

Common Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

Red-knobbed Coot (Crested C)  Fulica cristata

African Swamphen  Porphyrio madagascariensis

Black Crake  Zapornia flavirostra

Grey Crowned Crane  Balearica regulorum

Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis

Greater Flamingo  Phoenicopterus roseus

Lesser Flamingo  Phoeniconaias minor

Common Buttonquail (Small B)  Turnix sylvaticus

Water Thick-knee  Burhinus vermiculatus

Spotted Thick-knee  Burhinus capensis

Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus

Pied Avocet  Recurvirostra avosetta

Long-toed Lapwing (L-t Plover)  Vanellus crassirostris

Blacksmith Lapwing (B Plover)  Vanellus armatus

Spur-winged Lapwing (S-w Plover)  Vanellus spinosus

Senegal Lapwing (S Plover)  Vanellus lugubris

Black-winged Lapwing (B-w Plover)  Vanellus melanopterus

Crowned Lapwing (C Plover)  Vanellus coronatus

Common Ringed Plover  Charadrius hiaticula

Kittlitz’s Plover  Charadrius pecuarius

Three-banded Plover  Charadrius tricollaris

Chestnut-banded Plover ◊  Charadrius pallidus

African Jacana  Actophilornis africanus

Ruff  Calidris pugnax

Curlew Sandpiper  Calidris ferruginea

Little Stint  Calidris minuta

Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos

Green Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus

Marsh Sandpiper  Tringa stagnatilis

Wood Sandpiper  Tringa glareola

Common Greenshank  Tringa nebularia

Temminck’s Courser  Cursorius temminckii

Double-banded Courser (Two-b C)  Rhinoptilus africanus

Bronze-winged Courser ◊ (Violet-tipped C)  Rhinoptilus chalcopterus

Collared Pratincole  Glareola pratincola

Grey-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus

Gull-billed Tern  Gelochelidon nilotica

Whiskered Tern  Chlidonias hybrida

White-winged Tern (W-w Black T)  Chlidonias leucopterus

Yellow-billed Stork  Mycteria ibis

African Openbill (O-billed Stork)  Anastomus lamelligerus

Abdim’s Stork  Ciconia abdimii

White Stork  Ciconia ciconia

Saddle-billed Stork  Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis

Marabou Stork  Leptoptilos crumenifer

Reed Cormorant (Long-tailed C)  Microcarbo africanus

White-breasted Cormorant  Phalacrocorax lucidus

African Sacred Ibis  Threskiornis aethiopicus

Hadada Ibis  Bostrychia hagedash

Glossy Ibis  Plegadis falcinellus

African Spoonbill  Platalea alba

Dwarf Bittern ◊  Ixobrychus sturmii

Black-crowned Night Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax

Striated Heron (Green-backed H)  Butorides striata

Squacco Heron (Common S H)  Ardeola ralloides

Rufous-bellied Heron  Ardeola rufiventris

Western Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

Black-headed Heron  Ardea melanocephala

Great Egret  Ardea alba

Intermediate Egret (Yellow-billed E)  Ardea [intermedia] brachyrhyncha

Little Egret  Egretta garzetta

Hamerkop  Scopus umbretta

Secretarybird  Sagittarius serpentarius

Black-winged Kite  Elanus caeruleus

African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene)  Polyboroides typus

Palm-nut Vulture  Gypohierax angolensis

Hooded Vulture  Necrosyrtes monachus

White-backed Vulture (African W-b V)  Gyps africanus

Rüppell’s Vulture (R’s Griffon V)  Gyps rueppelli

White-headed Vulture  Trigonoceps occipitalis

Lappet-faced Vulture  Torgos tracheliotos

Black-chested Snake Eagle  Circaetus pectoralis

Brown Snake Eagle  Circaetus cinereus

Bateleur  Terathopius ecaudatus

Crowned Eagle (African C E)  Stephanoaetus coronatus

Martial Eagle  Polemaetus bellicosus

Long-crested Eagle  Lophaetus occipitalis

Wahlberg’s Eagle  Hieraaetus wahlbergi

Tawny Eagle  Aquila rapax

Steppe Eagle  Aquila nipalensis

African Hawk-Eagle  Aquila spilogaster

Lizard Buzzard  Kaupifalco monogrammicus

Gabar Goshawk  Micronisus gabar

Dark Chanting Goshawk  Melierax metabates

Eastern Chanting Goshawk (E Pale C G)  Melierax poliopterus

African Goshawk  Accipiter tachiro

Little Sparrowhawk  Accipiter minullus  Non-leader

Western Marsh Harrier (Eurasian M H)  Circus aeruginosus

African Marsh Harrier  Circus ranivorus

Pallid Harrier  Circus macrourus

Montagu’s Harrier  Circus pygargus

Yellow-billed Kite  Milvus aegyptius

African Fish Eagle  Haliaeetus vocifer

Common Buzzard (Steppe Buzzard)  Buteo [buteo] vulpinus

Augur Buzzard  Buteo augur

Pearl-spotted Owlet  Glaucidium perlatum

African Scops Owl  Otus senegalensis

Spotted Eagle-Owl  Bubo africanus

Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl  Bubo lacteus

African Wood Owl  Strix woodfordii

Speckled Mousebird  Colius striatus

Blue-naped Mousebird  Urocolius macrourus

African Hoopoe  Upupa africana

Green Wood Hoopoe  Phoeniculus purpureus

Common Scimitarbill  Rhinopomastus cyanomelas

Abyssinian Scimitarbill ◊  Rhinopomastus minor

Southern Ground Hornbill  Bucorvus leadbeateri

Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill ◊ (Ruaha R-b H)  Tockus ruahae  Endemic

Northern Red-billed Hornbill  Tockus erythrorhynchus

Von Der Decken’s Hornbill ◊  Tockus deckeni

Crowned Hornbill  Lophoceros alboterminatus

African Grey Hornbill  Lophoceros nasutus

Trumpeter Hornbill  Bycanistes bucinator

Silvery-cheeked Hornbill  Bycanistes brevis

Lilac-breasted Roller  Coracias caudatus

European Roller (Eurasian R)  Coracias garrulus

Grey-headed Kingfisher (Chestnut-bellied K)  Halcyon leucocephala

Brown-hooded Kingfisher  Halcyon albiventris

Striped Kingfisher  Halcyon chelicuti

Woodland Kingfisher  Halcyon senegalensis

African Pygmy Kingfisher  Ispidina picta

Giant Kingfisher  Megaceryle maxima

Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis

Little Bee-eater  Merops pusillus

Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater ◊  Merops oreobates

White-fronted Bee-eater  Merops bullockoides

White-throated Bee-eater  Merops albicollis

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater  Merops persicus

European Bee-eater (Eurasian B-e)  Merops apiaster

White-eared Barbet  Stactolaema leucotis

Moustached Tinkerbird ◊ (M Green T)  Pogoniulus leucomystax

Red-fronted Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus pusillus

Red-fronted Barbet  Tricholaema diademata

Spot-flanked Barbet ◊ (Spotted-flanked B)  Tricholaema lacrymosa

White-headed Barbet  Lybius leucocephalus

Brown-breasted Barbet ◊  Lybius melanopterus

Red-and-yellow Barbet ◊  Trachyphonus erythrocephalus

D’arnaud’s Barbet ◊ (Emin’s B)  Trachyphonus [darnaudii] emini  Endemic

Usambiro Barbet ◊  Trachyphonus usambiro

Green-backed Honeybird  Prodotiscus zambesiae

Lesser Honeyguide  Indicator minor

Greater Honeyguide (Black-throated H)  Indicator indicator

Nubian Woodpecker  Campethera nubica

Golden-tailed Woodpecker  Campethera abingoni

Bearded Woodpecker  Chloropicus namaquus

Cardinal Woodpecker  Dendropicos fuscescens

Eastern Grey Woodpecker ◊  Dendropicos spodocephalus

Pygmy Falcon  Polihierax semitorquatus

Lesser Kestrel  Falco naumanni

Common Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus

Greater Kestrel ◊ (White-eyed K)  Falco rupicoloides

Grey Kestrel  Falco ardosiaceus

Red-necked Falcon  Falco chicquera

Eurasian Hobby  Falco subbuteo

Meyer’s Parrot (Brown P)  Poicephalus meyeri

Red-bellied Parrot ◊ (African Orange-bellied P)  Poicephalus rufiventris

Fischer’s Lovebird ◊  Agapornis fischeri  Endemic

Yellow-collared Lovebird ◊  Agapornis personatus  Endemic

Chinspot Batis  Batis molitor

Black-throated Wattle-eye*  Platysteira peltata

Black-fronted Bushshrike ◊  Chlorophoneus nigrifrons

Orange-breasted Bushshrike (Sulphur-b B)  Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus

Rosy-patched Bushshrike  Telophorus cruentus

Brown-crowned Tchagra  Tchagra australis

Black-backed Puffback  Dryoscopus cubla

Slate-colored Boubou  Laniarius funebris

Tropical Boubou  Laniarius major

Brubru  Nilaus afer

Grey-crested Helmetshrike ◊  Prionops poliolophus

Magpie Shrike  Urolestes melanoleucus

Northern White-crowned Shrike  Eurocephalus ruppelli

Red-backed Shrike  Lanius collurio

Red-tailed Shrike (Rufous-tailed, Turkestan S)  Lanius phoenicuroides

Lesser Grey Shrike  Lanius minor

Grey-backed Fiscal  Lanius excubitoroides

Long-tailed Fiscal ◊  Lanius cabanisi

Taita Fiscal ◊  Lanius dorsalis

Northern Fiscal  Lanius humeralis

Black-headed Oriole (African, Eastern B-h O)  Oriolus larvatus

Eurasian Golden Oriole (European G O)  Oriolus oriolus

Fork-tailed Drongo (Common D)  Dicrurus adsimilis

African Paradise Flycatcher  Terpsiphone viridis

House Crow  Corvus splendens

Cape Crow (C Rook, Black C)  Corvus capensis

Pied Crow  Corvus albus

White-necked Raven (W-naped R)  Corvus albicollis

Red-throated Tit ◊  Melaniparus fringillinus

Eastern Nicator  Nicator gularis  Heard-only

Beesley’s Lark ◊ (Pygmy Spike-heeled L)  Chersomanes beesleyi. Endemic

Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark ◊  Eremopterix leucopareia

Foxy Lark ◊  Calendulauda alopex

Rufous-naped Lark  Mirafra africana

Flappet Lark  Mirafra rufocinnamomea

Melodious Lark ◊  Mirafra cheniana

Singing Bush Lark  Mirafra cantillans

Short-tailed Lark ◊  Spizocorys fremantlii

Red-capped Lark  Calandrella cinerea

Athi Short-toed Lark ◊  Alaudala athensis

Yellow-bellied Greenbul  Chlorocichla flaviventris. Heard-only

Mountain Greenbul ◊ (Black-headed M G)  Arizelocichla nigriceps

Stripe-faced Greenbul ◊  Arizelocichla striifacies

Little Greenbul  Eurillas virens

Grey-olive Greenbul ◊  Phyllastrephus cerviniventris

Dark-capped Bulbul  Pycnonotus tricolor

Black Saw-wing  Psalidoprocne [pristoptera] holomelas

Banded Martin  Neophedina cincta

Brown-throated Martin (Plain M)  Riparia paludicola

Rock Martin  Ptyonoprogne fuligula

Wire-tailed Swallow  Hirundo smithii

Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica

Common House Martin  Delichon urbicum

Mosque Swallow  Cecropis senegalensis

Lesser Striped Swallow  Cecropis abyssinica

Red-rumped Swallow  Cecropis daurica

Moustached Grass Warbler (African M W)  Melocichla mentalis

Red-faced Crombec  Sylvietta whytii

Willow Warbler  Phylloscopus trochilus

Lesser Swamp Warbler  Acrocephalus gracilirostris

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler  Iduna pallida

Cinnamon Bracken Warbler  Bradypterus cinnamomeus  Heard-only

Little Rush Warbler  Bradypterus baboecala

Highland Rush Warbler  Bradypterus centralis  Heard-only

Red-faced Cisticola  Cisticola erythrops

Singing Cisticola  Cisticola cantans

Trilling Cisticola ◊  Cisticola woosnami

Hunter’s Cisticola ◊  Cisticola hunteri

Rattling Cisticola  Cisticola chiniana

Lynes’s Cisticola ◊  Cisticola distinctus

Winding Cisticola  Cisticola marginatus

Croaking Cisticola  Cisticola natalensis

Short-winged Cisticola (Siffling C)  Cisticola brachypterus. Heard-only

Zitting Cisticola  Cisticola juncidis

Desert Cisticola  Cisticola aridulus

Pectoral-patch Cisticola  Cisticola brunnescens

Tawny-flanked Prinia  Prinia subflava

Red-fronted Prinia  Prinia rufifrons

Buff-bellied Warbler  Phyllolais pulchella

Bar-throated Apalis ◊  Apalis thoracica

Yellow-breasted Apalis  Apalis flavida

Black-headed Apalis ◊  Apalis melanocephala

Karamoja Apalis ◊  Apalis karamojae

Brown-headed Apalis ◊  Apalis alticola

Grey-capped Warbler ◊  Eminia lepida

Grey-backed Camaroptera  Camaroptera brevicaudata

Yellow-bellied Eremomela  Eremomela icteropygialis

Garden Warbler  Sylvia borin

Banded Parisoma ◊  Curruca boehmi

Brown Parisoma  Curruca lugens

Pale White-eye (P Scrub W-e)  Zosterops flavilateralis

Mbulu White-eye ◊  Zosterops mbuluensis

Broad-ringed White-eye ◊  Zosterops eurycricotus

Rufous Chatterer ◊  Argya rubiginosa

Arrow-marked Babbler  Turdoides jardineii

Black-lored Babbler ◊  Turdoides sharpei

Northern Pied Babbler ◊  Turdoides hypoleuca

Wattled Starling  Creatophora cinerea

Rüppell’s Starling  Lamprotornis purpuroptera

Superb Starling  Lamprotornis superbus

Hildebrandt’s Starling ◊  Lamprotornis hildebrandti

Ashy Starling ◊  Lamprotornis unicolor

Violet-backed Starling  Cinnyricinclus leucogaster

Red-winged Starling  Onychognathus morio

Kenrick’s Starling ◊  Poeoptera kenricki

Yellow-billed Oxpecker  Buphagus africanus

Red-billed Oxpecker  Buphagus erythrorynchus

Bare-eyed Thrush ◊ (African B-e T)  Turdus tephronotus

White-browed Scrub Robin  Cercotrichas leucophrys

White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher  Melaenornis fischeri

Southern Black Flycatcher  Melaenornis pammelaina

African Grey Flycatcher  Melaenornis microrhynchus

Silverbird ◊  Empidornis semipartitus

Spotted Flycatcher  Muscicapa striata

Ashy Flycatcher  Muscicapa caerulescens

African Dusky Flycatcher  Muscicapa adusta

Cape Robin-Chat  Cossypha caffra

Rüppell’s Robin-Chat ◊  Cossypha semirufa

White-browed Robin-Chat  Cossypha heuglini

White-starred Robin (W-s Forest R)  Pogonocichla stellata

Spotted Palm Thrush (S Morning T)  Cichladusa guttata

Common Rock Thrush (Rufous-tailed R T)  Monticola saxatilis  Non-leader.

African Stonechat  Saxicola torquatus

Mocking Cliff Chat (Cliff C)  Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris

Anteater Chat (Northern A C)  Myrmecocichla aethiops

Capped Wheatear  Oenanthe pileata

Isabelline Wheatear  Oenanthe isabellina

Abyssinian Wheatear ◊ (Schalow’s W)  Oenanthe [lugubris] schalowi

Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird (Kenya V-b S)  Anthreptes orientalis

Collared Sunbird  Hedydipna collaris

Olive Sunbird  Cyanomitra olivacea

Amethyst Sunbird  Chalcomitra amethystina

Scarlet-chested Sunbird  Chalcomitra senegalensis

Tacazze Sunbird ◊  Nectarinia tacazze

Bronzy Sunbird (Bronze S)  Nectarinia kilimensis

Malachite Sunbird  Nectarinia famosa

Golden-winged Sunbird ◊  Drepanorhynchus reichenowi

Eastern Double-collared Sunbird ◊  Cinnyris mediocris

Beautiful Sunbird ◊ (Gorgeous S)  Cinnyris [pulchellus] melanogastrus

Marico Sunbird (Mariqua S)  Cinnyris mariquensis

Variable Sunbird  Cinnyris venustus

Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow ◊ (Y-s Petronia)  Gymnoris pyrgita

Chestnut Sparrow ◊  Passer eminibey

Kenya Sparrow ◊ (Rufous S)  Passer rufocinctus

Northern Grey-headed Sparrow  Passer griseus

Swahili Sparrow ◊  Passer suahelicus

House Sparrow (introduced)  Passer domesticus

Red-billed Buffalo Weaver  Bubalornis niger

White-headed Buffalo Weaver  Dinemellia dinemelli

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver  Plocepasser mahali

Rufous-tailed Weaver ◊  Histurgops ruficauda

Grey-capped Social Weaver ◊ (Grey-headed S W)  Pseudonigrita arnaudi

Speckle-fronted Weaver  Sporopipes frontalis

Thick-billed Weaver (Grosbeak-W)  Amblyospiza albifrons

Baglafecht Weaver  Ploceus baglafecht

Spectacled Weaver  Ploceus ocularis

Taveta Weaver ◊ (T Golden W)  Ploceus castaneiceps

Lesser Masked Weaver  Ploceus intermedius

Vitelline Masked Weaver  Ploceus vitellinus

Speke’s Weaver ◊  Ploceus spekei

Village Weaver ◊ (Layard’s W)  Ploceus cucullatus

Golden-backed Weaver ◊  Ploceus jacksoni

Chestnut Weaver  Ploceus rubiginosus

Red-headed Weaver  Anaplectes rubriceps

Cardinal Quelea  Quelea cardinalis

Red-billed Quelea  Quelea quelea

Yellow-crowned Bishop  Euplectes afer

Black Bishop  Euplectes gierowii

Black-winged Red Bishop  Euplectes hordeaceus

Southern Red Bishop  Euplectes orix

Yellow Bishop  Euplectes capensis

Fan-tailed Widowbird (Red-shouldered W)  Euplectes axillaris

Yellow-mantled Widowbird  Euplectes macroura

White-winged Widowbird  Euplectes albonotatus

Red-cowled Widowbird (R-naped W)  Euplectes laticauda

Jackson’s Widowbird ◊  Euplectes jacksoni

Bronze Mannikin  Spermestes cucullata

Red-backed Mannikin (Rufous-backed M)  Spermestes nigriceps

Abyssinian Crimsonwing ◊  Cryptospiza salvadorii

Black-faced Waxbill  Brunhilda erythronotos

Crimson-rumped Waxbill  Estrilda rhodopyga

Quailfinch  Ortygospiza atricollis

Cut-throat Finch  Amadina fasciata

Orange-breasted Waxbill  Amandava subflava

Purple Grenadier  Granatina ianthinogaster

Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu  Uraeginthus bengalus

Blue-capped Cordon-bleu ◊  Uraeginthus cyanocephalus

Green-winged Pytilia  Pytilia melba

Red-billed Firefinch  Lagonosticta senegala

Village Indigobird (Red-billed Firefinch I)  Vidua chalybeata

Pin-tailed Whydah  Vidua macroura

Steel-blue Whydah ◊  Vidua hypocherina

Straw-tailed Whydah ◊  Vidua fischeri

Long-tailed Paradise Whydah (Eastern P W)  Vidua paradisaea

Cuckoo-finch (Parasitic Weaver)  Anomalospiza imberbis

Western Yellow Wagtail (Yellow-headed W)  Motacilla [flava] lutea

Western Yellow Wagtail (Blue-headed W)  Motacilla [flava] flava

Western Yellow Wagtail (Black-headed W)  Motacilla [flava] feldegg

Western Yellow Wagtail (Grey-headed W)  Motacilla [flava] thunbergi

Mountain Wagtail  Motacilla clara

African Pied Wagtail  Motacilla aguimp

Yellow-throated Longclaw  Macronyx croceus

Pangani Longclaw ◊  Macronyx aurantiigula

Rosy-throated Longclaw (R- breasted L)  Macronyx ameliae

African Pipit (Grassland P)  Anthus cinnamomeus

Plain-backed Pipit  Anthus leucophrys

Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis

Southern Citril ◊ (East African C)  Crithagra hyposticta

Reichenow’s Seedeater ◊ (Kenya Yellow-rumped S)  Crithagra reichenowi

Yellow-fronted Canary  Crithagra mozambica

White-bellied Canary  Crithagra dorsostriata

Southern Grosbeak-Canary ◊  Crithagra buchanani

Thick-billed Seedeater  Crithagra burtoni

Streaky Seedeater  Crithagra striolata

Yellow-crowned Canary  Serinus flavivertex

Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (C-b Rock B)  Emberiza tahapisi

Golden-breasted Bunting (African G-b B)  Emberiza flaviventris



Yellow-spotted Hyrax (Bush H)  Heterohyrax brucei

African Elephant  Loxodonta africana

Cheetah  Acinonyx jubatus

Lion  Panthera leo

Leopard  Panthera pardus

Common Genet (Small-spotted G)  Genetta genetta

Spotted Hyaena  Crocuta crocuta

Striped Hyaena  Hyaena hyaena

Common Dwarf Mongoose  Helogale parvula

Egyptian Mongoose (Ichneumon)  Herpestes ichneumon

Slender Mongoose  Herpestes sanguineus

Banded Mongoose  Mungos mungo

African Golden Wolf  Canis lupaster

Black-backed Jackal  Lupulella mesomelas

Bat-eared Fox  Otocyon megalotis

Plains Zebra (Common Z)  Equus quagga

Black Rhinoceros (Browse R)  Diceros bicornis

Common Warthog  Phacochoerus africanus

Masai Giraffe  Giraffa tippelskirchi

Impala (Common I)  Aepyceros melampus

Hartebeest (Coke’s H, Kongoni)  Alcelaphus [buselaphus] cokii

Harvey’s Duiker  Cephalophus harveyi

Common Wildebeest (Serengeti White-bearded W)  Connochaetes taurinus

Eastern White-bearded Wildebeest  Connochaetes [taurinus] albojubatus

Topi (Serengeti T)  Damaliscus [lunatus] jimela

Thomson’s Gazelle (Serengeti T G)  Eudorcas thomsonii

Eastern Thomson’s Gazelle  Eudorcas [thomsonii] thomsonii

Waterbuck (Defassa W)  Kobus [ellipsiprymnus] defassa

Waterbuck (Ellipsen W)  Kobus [ellipsiprymnus] ellipsiprymnus

Kirk’s Dik-dik (Thomas’s D-d)  Madoqua [kirkii] thomasi

Kirk’s Dik-dik (Cavendish’s D-d)  Madoqua [kirkii] cavendishi

Grant’s Gazelle  Nanger granti

Steenbok (Steinbuck)  Raphicerus campestris

Bohor Reedbuck  Redunca redunca

African Buffalo (Cape B)  Syncerus caffer

Common Eland  Tragelaphus oryx

Bushbuck  Tragelaphus scriptus

Hippopotamus  Hippopotamus amphibius

Yellow-winged Bat  Lavia frons

Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bat  Epomophorus wahlbergi

Mauritian Tomb Bat  Taphozous mauritianus

Northern Lesser Galago (Senegal G)  Galago senegalensis

Thick-tailed Greater Galago (G G)  Otolemur crassicaudatus

Small-eared Greater Galago  Otolemur garnettii

Blue Monkey (Sykes’s M)  Cercopithecus [mitis] albogularis

Vervet (Savanna Monkey)  Chlorocebus pygerythrus

Guereza (Eastern Black-and-white Colobus)  Colobus guereza

Olive Baboon  Papio anubis

Cape Hare  Lepus capensis

African Savanna Hare  Lepus victoriae

Cape Porcupine  Hystrix africaeaustralis  Non-leader.

Huet’s Bush Squirrel (Ochre B S)  Paraxerus ochraceus

East African Spring-hare  Pedetes surdaster

African Grass Rat  Arvicanthis niloticus