1 - 14 April 2024

by Nik Borrow

This incredible tour through the ‘lark plains’ at Engikaret, Tarangire National Park, the seemingly endless grasslands of the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater and finally Arusha National Park 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 very early and then gone on and on and on! This had produced lush vegetation and high grass everywhere as well as floods and waterlogged land so game viewing was sometimes not so easy. However, during just fourteen days in the field, we managed to record colourful endemics such as Grey-breasted Spurfowl, Fischer’s and Yellow-collared Lovebirds, Beesley’s Lark, 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 virtually 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 or take a hike around the lake itself where regional endemic Taveta Golden Weavers were nesting and Grey-olive Greenbuls were seen. A star find was a pair of Brown-breasted Barbets that were feeding in the fruiting trees. A Rüppell’s Robin-Chat kept to the shadows but entertained us with its beautiful song and we enjoyed first class views of a male Red-throated Twinspot.

A morning visit to the plains at Engikaret gave us the exceedingly rare, endemic Beesley’s Lark gaining some prolonged views of this seriously threatened bird and we also found Foxy, Sentinel, Short-tailed, Red-capped and Athi Short-toed Larks and even mammals such as Eastern White-bearded Wildebeest and Eastern Thomson’s Gazelles both present. Little Rock Thrush 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, near-endemic Rufous-tailed Weaver and coveted Dwarf Bitterns. A night drive produced bouncing East African Spring Hares, Northern Lesser Galago, Serval, Leopard and Lion and a fleeting Bronze-winged Courser.
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 and Eastern Crested Guineafowl en route. However, rising water levels meant that the hot springs and the once famous hippo pools there were completely submerged. At the end of the day, we climbed up the wall of the Great Rift Valley for an overnight stay before continuing into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where fortunately, the weather was clear for tremendous views of the crater and we managed to scope our first Black Rhino from the crater rim! In the forests that cloak the slopes we found Brown-headed Apalis and on the high grasslands we watched displaying Jackson’s Widowbirds and glittering Malachite and Golden-winged Sunbirds.

Our time in the Serengeti was divided between stays at Ndutu and the Seronera area in the heart the Serengeti where enormous numbers of Serengeti White-bearded Wildebeest and Plains Zebra were grazing. We did well for cats generally and had multiple encounters with plenty of Lions as well as Leopards and Cheetahs! We also scored well with the bird specialties and found Karamoja Apalis, a family of Grey-crested Helmetshrikes, Melodious and White-tailed Larks and endemic Grey-breasted Spurfowl, Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill and Fischer’s Lovebirds.
Returning via the fascinating museum at Oldupai Gorge where we saw Southern Grosbeak Canary and spent time in the Ngorongoro Crater which because of all the rain was mostly flooded thus providing a spectacular flamingo experience and enabled views of African Rail and Lesser Moorhen. The unassuming Lynes’s Cisticola was found as well as more Rhinos and Lions whilst on the crater rim we scored with near-endemic Mbulu White-eye, Brown-backed Woodpecker and pretty Abyssinian Crimsonwings.
Finally, we visited 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. 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, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, , Red-and-yellow, Emin’s (sometimes split from D’Arnaud’s) and ‘Usambiro’ Barbets, Moustached Tinkerbird, Spot-flanked Barbet, Pallid Honeyguide, Eastern Grey Woodpecker, Greater Kestrel, Amur Falcon, Red-bellied Parrot, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Long-tailed and Taita Fiscals, Red-throated Tit, Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark, Stripe-faced and Placid Greenbuls, Brown Woodland Warbler, Evergreen Forest Warbler (heard only), Highland Rush Warbler, Trilling and Hunter’s Cisticolas, Bar-throated Apalis, Black-headed Apalis, Grey-capped Warbler, Banded Parisoma, Pale White-eye, Rufous Chatterer, Black-lored and Northern Pied Babblers, Hildebrandt’s and Kenrick’s Starlings, Bare-eyed Thrush, Silverbird, ‘Schalow’s’ Abyssinian Wheatear, Tacazze, 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, Grey-headed Silverbill, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, Steel-blue and Straw-tailed Whydahs, Pangani Longclaw and Southern Citril.

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 and the lake itself where Brown-breasted Barbets, Black-throated Wattle-eyes, Grey-olive Greenbuls and an exquisite male Red-throated Twinspot were seen. At night both African Wood Owl and Small-eared Galago also frequented the garden.

After a welcome night’s sleep, we departed early the next day and set out straight after breakfast boarding our sturdy Landcruisers with their open top roof hatches. Travelling north out of Arusha, we gradually descending lower and lower until we reached our first 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.62 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 and others.
The plains were green with recent rain and Foxy Lark was present right by our car. Our Maasai guide was waiting for us out on the vast open plain and it was clear that he already had the Beesley’s Lark staked out for us. 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 but with some searching we also found Athi Short-toed, Short-tailed and Sentinel Larks (the latter recently split from Rufous-naped Lark but not yet formally accepted by IOC) 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 the regionally endemic Red-throated Tit as well as White-bellied Go-away-bird, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Red-fronted Prinia, Banded Parisoma, Bare-eyed Thrush, White-browed Scrub Robin, African Grey Flycatcher and Beautiful (sometimes split as Gorgeous) Sunbird.
It had been a highly successful morning but now we retraced our steps back towards Arusha stopping for numerous ‘Schalow’s’ Abyssinian Wheatears, colourful White-fronted Bee-eaters and a male Little Rock Thrush 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. As time was pressing, we drove directly to our superb lodge with its ‘awesome view’ overlooking the Tarangire River just 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 a Three-banded Courser at a picnic site! 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, Pangani Longclaw, Northern Pied Babbler and Straw-tailed Whydah. The endemic form of D’Arnaud’s Barbet which is sometimes considered a separate species ‘Emin’s or Black-capped Barbet’ was seen incredibly well whilst at Silale Swamp our first of two Dwarf Bitterns for the day was seen which made the journey down there more than worthwhile. A spectacular male African Golden Oriole was also a treat.
The park is a wonderful place for observing African Savanna Elephants and we enjoyed some 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. Other mammals included tail-twitching Impala, shaggy-coated Ellipsen Waterbuck, towering stately ‘Maasai’ Giraffes and tiny little ‘Thomas’s’ Kirk’s Dik-diks.
At night Tarangire Safari Lodge was offering game drives and all but one of the group opted to take part. It turned out to be an absolutely mega experience with close encounters with Serval, Leopard and Lion as well as Northern Lesser Galago, East African Spring Hare, Bat-eared Fox and Common Genet. Unfortunately, a lone Bronze-winged Courser was flushed and only seen in flight.

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 Golden-backed Weaver, Southern Red and Yellow-crowned Bishops and Fan-tailed and White-winged Widowbirds 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 another distant Dwarf Bittern. A displaying Highland Rush Warbler kept us entertained whilst further on we found our first breeding plumaged Black Bishops of the colourful race friederichseni.
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 after a lot of effort, ultimately enjoyed great 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 even sat out for us and Eastern Nicator, White-bellied Tit and our first Usambiro Barbets were seen.
The park itself stretches for 50 kilometres along the edge of the imposing Rift Valley escarpment. The lake was once a famous 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 once 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 there were hardly any waterbirds along the shores. However, Hildebrandt’s Spurfowl and a spectacular Crowned Eagle were seen as well as a flock of Eastern Crested Guineafowl. 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 somewhat marred by the dull grey weather conditions over the Rift Valley towards Lake Manyara. It was a slow birding start on a rather damp morning but Pale White-eye and a singing Bearded Scrub Robin were added to our lists although only one person was lucky enough to see the latter. After a hearty breakfast we continued onwards, ever onwards to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area entering by the Lodoare Gate where we managed to lure Brown Parisoma, Brown-headed Apalis and Moustached Tinkerbird 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 ate our picnic lunch in the company of an attentive Yellow-billed Kite that was 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. 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 stand of flowers was busy with numbers of the much-wanted Golden-winged Sunbird.
We then continued along the recently improved Endulen road through amazing, remote scenery and drove past huge lines of wildebeest. 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. We were doing pretty well until we hit Ndutu itself where the rains had turned the black cotton soils into a menacing morass and disaster hit as a particularly bad stretch claimed both vehicles in its sticky slough. Despite the efforts of both drivers, it became clear that we would not be able to extract ourselves without help and dusk was fast approaching. It was a dry, clear night and the milky way sprawled across the skies above us. A Slender-tailed Nightjar was seen and a Spotted Hyaena came to investigate us as darkness and temperatures fell. Fortunately, the area held a phone signal so it was just a matter of time until help arrived and it was something of a miracle that everyone managed to make it to Ndutu Safari Camp before midnight where a good meal and much needed alcohol was to be found. Both drivers managed to extract themselves by one o’clock and although it was a bit of a slow start the next morning both cars were clean and ready for business as usual straight after breakfast!

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 (as if we hadn’t had enough the previous night!). 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 where and Kittlitz’s and Chestnut-banded Plovers were seen.
There were plenty of Lions in the Ndutu area and we found prides both around the marsh where young cubs were seen and also in Eden (or Hidden) Valley where we enjoyed them completely to ourselves without another single vehicle in sight. A fabulous Martial Eagle with its kill fascinated and on our second day we were entertained by two wonderful Cheetahs which were clearly interested in hunting but the line of game was just that little bit too far away and also had the attentions of a pack of hyaenas and so they were biding their time until more suitable opportunities arose.
Numbers of endemic Fischer’s Lovebirds were perhaps a little on the low side but we found some nesting trees and enjoyed great views and the endemic Grey-breasted Spurfowl was common and also offered numerous viewing opportunities. Pretty little Harlequin Quails were flushed from the exceedingly wet short grass plains and one was actually seen at rest.
Approaching the lonely entrance to the Serengeti the short grass plains beyond were mostly empty apart from Kori Bustards and small numbers of Eland, 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. The wildebeest migration was fairly sparse in the area although some impressive lines were watched moving to someplace where the grass was presumably greener.
Naabi Hills was closed as a female lion had taken up residence to birth its cubs 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.

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 pair of Verreaux’s Eagle-Owls was found and also some Spotted Thick-knees. The plains here were unfortunately pretty much devoid of game but 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 many appear to be Melodious Lark, a species previously only known from central Zimbabwe and South Africa! We found White-tailed Lark fairly quickly but then the threatening dark clouds decided it was time to deposit their load upon us and the black cotton soils became more and more waterlogged and it was amazing that our talented drivers managed to keep the vehicles rolling along the churned-up roads. Through rain and mud splattered windows we watched some soggy Hartlaub’s Bustards but we had to keep moving as a thunderstorm cracked down around us. A male Serval by the roadside pulled our cars to a halt and fantastic views were obtained as it hunted for prey in the sodden grasses. 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. We were a little late but fortunately, we made it safely.

The next day we headed straight out in the saturated morning air and fortuitously quickly found the endemic Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill and as the rain clouds disappeared and the sun came out to play it seemed fitting to continue to an area of Whistling Thorn (Vachellia drepanolobium) where we discovered a pair of 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. Just as we were about to leave an African Crake ran into the verge in front of the first car, so we parked up and tried to see if the bird would respond to playback. It certainly called back but it was clear that it didn’t want to leave cover. Luckily one of our group looked behind the vehicle and fortuitously spotted another walking down the middle of the road directly towards the sound of the recording so that everyone managed to get a view.
So far this morning our attempts to locate one of the very special birds of the Serengeti, the localised Grey-crested Helmetshrike had failed. 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 decided to embark on a lengthy drive to another area that has in the past been very reliable. Of course, as soon as we reached the place the rain started again but we found the birds without too much trouble so all was well and we could watch them at leisure. On the journey back some of us had brief views of a vocal Melodious Lark but it seemed like most of the larks were silent, presumably having already bred, and the grasslands very empty.

The next day we resumed our lark-quest pausing to watch some more Grey-crested Helmetshrikes near our lodge (!) and a testosterone fuelled male Lion with a female before setting off in search of Leopard. There had been a sighting already that morning but first we had to cross some more treacherous black cotton soils which were home to our special larks. By lunchtime we reached the rocks where the Leopard had been sighted lark-less and sadly neither was there any cat to be seen until an unexpected rumble of a roar met our ears. We reached one of the rocky kopjes just in time to see one of a mating pair standing proud on the top but then it was a long wait for the animal to show itself again. It was now getting late in the day and we returned through more lark plains but it was only White-tailed that could be found. On the way back we spent some time by Hippo pools where there were plenty of Hippopotamuses wallowing in the pungent, fetid waters.
It was time to leave the Serengeti and our route took us back through areas where we hoped to find the errant Melodious Lark. All areas drew a blank and it wasn’t until literally the eleventh hour that we succeeded in finding some Melodious Larks although once again the birds were silent but we had ample chances for views as they were flycatching from the grasses in the company of shrikes and cisticolas. We proceeded back to Naabi triumphant, exiting the gate on time!
An afternoon visit to Oldupai Gorge (named after the wild sisal Sansevieria ehrenbergii that grows there), site of many important hominid discoveries by the Leakey family, once again clashed with heavy rain but this time we had a fascinating museum to shelter in and learn a number of things about the “cradle of mankind”. Outside we found Southern Grosbeak Canary easily and then continued to our home for the next two nights, the marvellous Ngorongoro Serena perched on the rim overlooking the crater. We settled into our rooms and as dusk fell, we enjoyed great views of Montane Nightjars.

The next morning, we were up early but were met with low cloud and of course rain! It wasn’t a very auspicious start to the day but we still managed to find a very soggy 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. Despite the appalling weather we headed straight for the ‘Descent Road’ and embarked on the steep and narrow road down into the crater which was a breath-taking experience despite the conditions. In fact, we managed to drive below the rain clouds to find the sun poking shafts of light through from the other side of the crater! 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 a network of tracks that criss-crossed the caldera floor we were accompanied by good numbers of Pectoral-patch Cisticolas making their little buzzing calls in display flight and we also discovered stunning Rosy-throated Longclaws and dowdy Anteater Chats. The shallow lake in the crater is called Lake Magadi which held an abundance of water this year was deeply bordered with numerous wing-flapping, grunting Lesser Flamingos, many Greater Flamingos and a small variety of waterfowl included Blue-billed Teal and the pretty pink-billed Cape Teal.
Big birds were a feature of the day with 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 succeeded in finding a Black Rhino that was relatively close to one of the tracks. As most of the crater bottom appeared to be a marsh it was perhaps no surprise that Little Rush and Lesser Swamp Warblers were found. African Rails positively flaunted themselves and at the end of the day Lesser Moorhens were found.
Some very large bull African Elephants were feeding around the plains as well as family groups 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 more Lions which included exceedingly close individuals chomping on the remains of their wildebeest meal.

The next morning, we woke perhaps unsurprisingly by this time to more rain! The plan had been to go birding in the lodge grounds but we ended up watching from the various balconies and sheltered spots but miraculously built up quite a bird list! Our search produced the near-endemic Mbulu White-eye, colourful Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Bar-throated Apalis, Tacazze and Eastern Double-collared Sunbirds, Thick-billed Seedeater and a super pair of Abyssinian Crimsonwing. The one species that eluded us was the splendid Schalow’s Turaco but the rain persisted and we fared no better higher on the crater rim although one was heard in the mist. It was by now time to leave the park and as luck would have it the turaco was literally the last bird that we were to see at Ngorongoro with a pair right over our cars just before we reached the exit gates!

Our final day was spent in Arusha National Park that encompasses the volcanic slopes of Mount Meru, an impressive peak reaching some 4566m (14,979ft). It was another damp morning after overnight rain and we initially stopped nearby to admire a small colony of near-endemic Taveta Golden Weavers and a Trumpeter Hornbill here was a bonus. Entering the park, we passed an area known as Serengeti Ndogo or ‘Small’ Serengeti where some large mammals were grazing and included Plains Zebra, Common Warthog, Ellipsen Waterbuck, Bushbuck and many Olive Baboons. We headed inwards and upwards to the forest where we spent most of the day. Initially all was quiet but we teased out a fine male African Goshawk before climbing higher to the Ngurdoto Crater rim, where shaggy-coated Guereza Colobus gathered leaves in the treetops. As was to be expected, the dark, dripping forest did not reveal its secrets easily but some superb Hartlaub’s Turacos popped into view and the near-endemic Broad-ringed White-eye was seen well. The early morning rain had also brought some Scarce and Nyanza Swifts down low and other successes included several Kenrick’s Starlings, many White-eared Barbets, Pallid Honeyguide, Stripe-faced and Placid Greenbuls, Black-headed Apalis and a pair of brightly-coloured Black-fronted Bushshrike. Another huge Crowned Eagle posed well for us before we headed back down to the surprisingly empty Momela lakes where White-backed Duck, Brown-hooded Kingfisher and Moustached Grass Warbler were found.
The day was over 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.



Species marked with the diamond symbol (◊) are either endemic to the country or local region or considered ‘special’ birds for some other reason (e.g., it is only seen on one or two Birdquest tours; it is difficult to see across all or most of its range; the local form is endemic or restricted-range and may in future be treated as a full species).

The species names and taxonomy used in the bird list follows Gill, F., Donsker, D., & Rasmussen, P.(Eds). 2024. IOC World Bird List (v14.1).

Where the subspecies seen is/are known, these are often given in parentheses at the end of the species comment.



Common Ostrich Struthio camelus

White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata

Fulvous Whistling Duck Dendrocygna bicolor

White-backed Duck Thalassornis leuconotus

Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis

Knob-billed Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos

Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca

Blue-billed Teal Spatula hottentota

Yellow-billed Duck Anas undulata

Cape Teal Anas capensis

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

Southern Pochard Netta erythrophthalma

Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris

Eastern Crested Guineafowl ◊ Guttera pucherani

Crested Francolin Ortygornis sephaena

Coqui Francolin Campocolinus coqui

Common Quail Coturnix coturnix

Harlequin Quail Coturnix delegorguei

Hildebrandt’s Spurfowl ◊ Pternistis hildebrandti

Scaly Spurfowl Pternistis squamatus

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

Little Swift Apus affinis

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

Green Malkoha (G Yellowbill) Ceuthmochares australis

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  heard only

Namaqua Dove Oena capensis

African Green Pigeon Treron calvus

African Rail (A Water R) Rallus caerulescens

African Crake Crecopsis egregia

Lesser Moorhen Paragallinula angulata

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus

Red-knobbed Coot (Crested C) Fulica cristata

Black Crake Zapornia flavirostra

Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis

Black-necked Grebe (Eared G) Podiceps nigricollis

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus

Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor

Common Buttonquail (Small B) Turnix sylvaticus

Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis

Water Thick-knee Burhinus vermiculatus

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta

Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula

Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris

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

Blacksmith Lapwing (B Plover) Vanellus armatus

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

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

Crowned Lapwing (C Plover) Vanellus coronatus

Kittlitz’s Plover Anarhynchus pecuarius

Chestnut-banded Plover ◊ Anarhynchus pallidus

Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis

African Jacana Actophilornis africanus

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola

Common Redshank Tringa totanus

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia

Ruff Calidris pugnax

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea

Little Stint Calidris minuta

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

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

Three-banded Courser Rhinoptilus cinctus

Temminck’s Courser Cursorius temminckii

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida

Grey-headed Gull Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus

African Openbill (A O-billed Stork) Anastomus lamelligerus

Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumenifer

Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis

Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis

Abdim’s Stork Ciconia abdimii

White Stork Ciconia ciconia

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

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Striated Heron (Green-backed H) Butorides striata

Squacco Heron (Common S H) Ardeola ralloides

Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Great Egret (Western G E) Ardea [alba] alba

Yellow-billed Egret Ardea brachyrhyncha

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala

Hamerkop Scopus umbretta

Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus

Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius

Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus

African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene) Polyboroides typus

European Honey Buzzard (Eurasian H B) Pernis apivorus

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

African Hawk-Eagle Aquila spilogaster

Gabar Goshawk Micronisus gabar

Dark Chanting Goshawk Melierax metabates

Eastern Chanting Goshawk (E Pale C G) Melierax poliopterus

African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro

Western Marsh Harrier (Eurasian M H) Circus aeruginosus

Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius

African Fish Eagle Icthyophaga vocifer

Mountain Buzzard Buteo oreophilus

Augur Buzzard Buteo augur

Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum

African Scops Owl Otus senegalensis

Marsh Owl Asio capensis

Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl Ketupa lactea

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

Malachite Kingfisher Corythornis cristatus Non-leader

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

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus

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

Red-and-yellow Barbet ◊ Trachyphonus erythrocephalus

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

Usambiro Barbet ◊ Trachyphonus usambiro

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 ◊ Tricholaema lacrymosa

Brown-breasted Barbet ◊ Pogonornis melanopterus

Pallid Honeyguide ◊ (Eastern H) Indicator meliphilus

Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor

Greater Honeyguide (Black-throated H) Indicator indicator

Nubian Woodpecker Campethera nubica

Bearded Woodpecker Chloropicus namaquus

Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens

Eastern Grey Woodpecker ◊ Dendropicos spodocephalus

Brown-backed Woodpecker Dendropicos obsoletus

Pygmy Falcon Polihierax semitorquatus

Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

Greater Kestrel ◊ (White-eyed K) Falco rupicoloides

Grey Kestrel Falco ardosiaceus

Amur Falcon ◊ (Eastern Red-footed F) Falco amurensis

Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo

Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus

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

Pygmy Batis Batis perkeo

Black-throated Wattle-eye Platysteira peltata  Non-leader

Grey-headed Bushshrike Malaconotus blanchoti

Black-fronted Bushshrike ◊ Chlorophoneus nigrifrons

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

Rosy-patched Bushshrike Telophorus cruentus

Brown-crowned Tchagra Tchagra australis

Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegalus heard only

Black-backed Puffback Dryoscopus cubla

Slate-colored Boubou Laniarius funebris

Tropical Boubou Laniarius major

Brubru Nilaus afer

White-crested Helmetshrike Prionops plumatus

Grey-crested Helmetshrike ◊ Prionops poliolophus

Black Cuckooshrike Campephaga flava

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

African Golden Oriole Oriolus auratus

Eurasian Golden Oriole (European G O) Oriolus oriolus

Fork-tailed Drongo (Common D) Dicrurus adsimilis

African Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis

Northern White-crowned Shrike Eurocephalus ruppelli

Magpie Shrike Lanius melanoleucus

Long-tailed Fiscal ◊ Lanius cabanisi

Grey-backed Fiscal Lanius excubitoroides

Taita Fiscal ◊ Lanius dorsalis

Northern Fiscal Lanius humeralis

Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio

House Crow (introduced) Corvus splendens

Cape Crow (C Rook, Black C) Corvus capensis

Pied Crow Corvus albus

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

White-bellied Tit Melaniparus albiventris

Red-throated Tit ◊ Melaniparus fringillinus

Eastern Nicator Nicator gularis

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

Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark ◊ Eremopterix leucopareia

Foxy Lark ◊ Calendulauda alopex

Rufous-naped Lark Mirafra [a.] africana

Rufous-naped Lark [Sentinel Lark] Mirafra [africana] athis

Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea

Melodious Lark ◊ Mirafra cheniana

White-tailed Lark ◊ Mirafra albicauda

Short-tailed Lark ◊ Spizocorys fremantlii

Red-capped Lark Calandrella cinerea

Athi Short-toed Lark ◊ Alaudala athensis

Yellow-bellied Greenbul Chlorocichla flaviventris

Stripe-faced Greenbul ◊ Arizelocichla striifacies

Little Greenbul Eurillas virens  Non-leader

Grey-olive Greenbul ◊ Phyllastrephus cerviniventris Non-leader

Placid Greenbul ◊ Phyllastrephus placidus

Dark-capped Bulbul Pycnonotus tricolor

Black Saw-wing (Blue S) Psalidoprocne [pristoptera] holomelas

Banded Martin Neophedina cincta

Brown-throated Martin (Plain M) Riparia paludicola

Sand Martin*** (Common S M, Bank Swallow) Riparia riparia

Rock Martin Ptyonoprogne fuligula

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii

Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica

Lesser Striped Swallow Cecropis abyssinica

Mosque Swallow Cecropis senegalensis

Moustached Grass Warbler (African M W) Melocichla mentalis

Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytii

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus

Brown Woodland Warbler ◊ Phylloscopus umbrovirens

Lesser Swamp Warbler Acrocephalus gracilirostris

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus heard only

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida

Evergreen Forest Warbler ◊ Bradypterus lopezi heard only

Cinnamon Bracken Warbler Bradypterus cinnamomeus

Little Rush Warbler Bradypterus baboecala

Highland Rush Warbler ◊ Bradypterus centralis

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

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

Grey Wren-Warbler ◊ Calamonastes simplex

Yellow-bellied Eremomela Eremomela icteropygialis

Garden Warbler Sylvia borin

African Hill Babbler (Abyssinian H B) Sylvia abyssinica

Banded Parisoma ◊ Curruca boehmi

Brown Parisoma Curruca lugens

Common Whitethroat Curruca communis

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 Endemic

Violet-backed Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster

Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio

Waller’s Starling Onychognathus walleri

Kenrick’s Starling ◊ Poeoptera kenricki

Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus

Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorynchus

Abyssinian Thrush (Mountain, Northern Olive T) Turdus abyssinicus

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

Bearded Scrub Robin Cercotrichas quadrivirgata

White-browed Scrub Robin Cercotrichas leucophrys

Ashy Flycatcher Fraseria caerulescens

White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher Melaenornis fischeri

Southern Black Flycatcher Melaenornis pammelaina

Silverbird ◊ Empidornis semipartitus

African Grey Flycatcher Bradornis microrhynchus

African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata

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

White-browed Robin-Chat Cossypha heuglini

Rüppell’s Robin-Chat ◊ Cossypha semirufa

Spotted Palm Thrush (S Morning T) Cichladusa guttata

Cape Robin-Chat Dessonornis caffer

Little Rock Thrush Monticola rufocinereus

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

African Stonechat Saxicola torquatus

Mocking Cliff Chat Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris

Anteater Chat (Northern A C) Myrmecocichla aethiops

Capped Wheatear Oenanthe pileata

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

Black-necked Weaver Ploceus nigricollis

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

Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps

Cardinal Quelea Quelea cardinalis

Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea

Yellow-crowned Bishop Euplectes afer

Black Bishop Euplectes gierowii

Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix

Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis

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

White-winged Widowbird Euplectes albonotatus

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

Jackson’s Widowbird ◊ Euplectes jacksoni

Grey-headed Silverbill ◊ Spermestes griseicapilla

Bronze Mannikin Spermestes cucullata

Black-and-white Mannikin (Red-backed M) Spermestes [bicolor] nigriceps

Yellow-bellied Waxbill Coccopygia quartinia

Abyssinian Crimsonwing ◊ Cryptospiza salvadorii

Grey-headed Nigrita (G-h Negrofinch) Nigrita canicapillus

Black-faced Waxbill Brunhilda erythronotos

Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild

Crimson-rumped Waxbill Estrilda rhodopyga

Quailfinch Ortygospiza atricollis

Cut-throat Finch Amadina fasciata

Purple Grenadier Granatina ianthinogaster

Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu Uraeginthus bengalus

Blue-capped Cordon-bleu ◊ Uraeginthus cyanocephalus

Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba

Red-throated Twinspot ◊ Hypargos niveoguttatus

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

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

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

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

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



Bush Hyrax (Bush H) Heterohyrax brucei

Rock Hyrax (Black-necked R H) Procavia capensis

African Savanna Elephant Loxodonta africana

Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus

Serval Leptailurus serval

Lion Panthera leo

Leopard Panthera pardus

Common Genet (Small-spotted G) Genetta genetta

Spotted Hyena Crocuta crocuta

Common Dwarf Mongoose Helogale parvula

Common Slender Mongoose Herpestes sanguineus

White-tailed Mongoose Ichneumia albicauda

Banded Mongoose Mungos mungo

African Golden Wolf Canis lupaster

Black-backed Jackal Lupulella mesomelas

Bat-eared Fox Otocyon megalotis

Honey Badger (Ratel) Mellivora capensis

Plains Zebra (Common Z) Equus quagga

Black Rhinoceros (Browse R) Diceros bicornis

Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus

Maasai Giraffe Giraffa tippelskirchi

Impala (Common I) Aepyceros melampus

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

Harvey’s Duiker Cephalophus harveyi

Blue Wildebeest (Serengeti White-bearded W) Connochaetes taurinus

Eastern White-bearded Wildebeest Connochaetes [taurinus] albojubatus

Tsessebe (Serengeti Topi) Damaliscus [lunatus] jimela

Thomson’s Gazelle (Serengeti T G) Eudorcas [thomsonii] nasalis

Thomson’s Gazelle (Eastern T G)Eudorcas [thomsonii] thomsonii

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

Cape Buffalo (African B) Syncerus caffer

Common Eland Tragelaphus oryx

Northern Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus

Common Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius

Yellow-winged False-vampire (Y-w Bat) Lavia frons

Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bat Epomophorus wahlbergi

Northern Lesser Galago (Senegal G) Galago senegalensis

Thick-tailed Greater Galago (G G) Otolemur crassicaudatus

Garnett’s Greater Galago (Small-eared G G) Otolemur garnettii

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

Vervet Monkey (Savanna M) Chlorocebus pygerythrus

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

Olive Baboon Papio anubis

Cape Hare Lepus capensis

African Savanna Hare Lepus victoriae

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

Unstriped Ground Squirrel Xerus rutilus

East African Springhare Pedetes surdaster

African Grass Rat Arvicanthis niloticus

Loring’s Thallomys (L’s Acacia Rat) Thallomys loringi