Birding in Africa

108Bridwatching Tanzania 3 (2)

If you watched the last Attenborough Africa program last week, (and the finale is tonight) amongst many other great scenes was the swallows crossing the vast Sahara, dependent on finding the one oasis to stock up on flies to continue their journey.

It’s truly astounding how many birds make just this passage each year, some crossing the vast expanse of sand to the west, others following the rockier, but just as dry, path down the Great Rift Valley to the east, but either way, they join the already amazing array of colourful and extravagantly wonderful birds that make up Africa’s birding list.                                                           .

At any time of the year birding in Africa is one of its real pleasures, I don’t think there’s anywhere in the world where so many different species of wonderfully varied and numerous species can be so easliy seen.  I once sat by a river in a national park in a rainforest in Borneo, after two hours of watching I’d seen one species, admittedly a very interesting gull-billed kingfisher, but sitting by a similar river in East Africa would have produced 10 or 20 times that number!

Even the most avowed ‘non-twitchers’ when sat in front of a marsh full of egrets, African spoonbills, storks, ducks, huge spurwing geese, with African fish eagles overhead, start ticking them off with the best of them!  It is truly one of the pleasures of being on safari.

And if you come when those migrants are down from the north, the cuckoos and the waders, the harriers and the storks, when the red-chested cuckoo calls all day and the soft prrrp of the scops owl calls all night, there is nowhere quite like it!


Cormorants and pelicans in huge numbers!

Bridwatching Tanzania 3

Abdim’s storks – an intra-Africa migrant, usually found with European white storks.

If you missed the show you can catch it on BBC iPlayer:
If you’re dreaming of your own African adventure, make sure you visit my website
Or give me a call on 01743 850043

About ajourneyintoafrica

I’ve both lived and worked in Africa in the safari industry and now have over 32 years of safari experience. I first visited Africa as an 18 year old, when I developed a huge interest and love for the continent. I led my first safari in 1986, after gaining an environmental science degree from London University, and have always been captivated by Africa’s animal and bird-life, by its huge horizons and wide open spaces, and by its people and cultures.

2 responses to “Birding in Africa

  1. Hi Andrew

    I’m loving your new blog! Keep up the good work.

    After spending some time with you in Africa last year, I now blame you for turning me into a beginning ‘twitcher’. I was, and still are, amazed at your skills of identifying the birds that you saw and also knowing a lot about the back story. You are a definite inspiration.

    Simon Hunt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: