Ngorongoro crater birds
Ngorongoro crater birds: Ngorongoro crater is home to numerous bird species and is located in the northern part of Tanzania. There are over 500 bird species that can be spotted around the Ngorongoro conservation area during a safari. These bird species include both migrant and native bird species that can be seen around the crater area and in the highlands.
The types of birds which can be seen around the Ngorongoro crater area during a safari include water birds, birds of prey, tree nestling birds, grassland birds among others.
Bird species of Ngorongoro conservation area include ostriches, guinea fowls, flamingos, grey crowned cranes, kori bustards, yellow billed storks, saddle bills, herons, white pelicans, black winged lapwing, plovers, secretary birds, martial eagles, bee eaters, kingfishers, woodpeckers, falcons, shrikes, paradise flycatchers, fishers sparrow lark, cisticolas, reed warblers, starlings, rufuos tailed weavers, waxbills, yellow throated longclaw, thick bellied seed eaters among others.
Flamingos can be spotted around Lake Magadi or Lake Makat which is a soda lake found in the Ngorongoro crater. This lake is also a breeding ground for the flamingos and other bird species can also be seen around this area such as ducks, waders and herons.
Bird watching or birding is among the activities which are carried out during a safari around the Ngorongoro crater as tourists enjoy exploring the destination and looking out for various bird species.
Migratory bird species from northern Africa and Europe around the Ngorongoro crater can be spotted while on safari during the months of November to April. Locations around Ngorongoro conservation area for birding include the highlands, the forests and the crater.
The migrant birds are those bird species which travel usually over long distances from one place to another and around Ngorongoro conservation area they include the lesser krestel, the European swallow, European bee eater, pallid harrier, caspiar lapwing as well as European storks which can be seen the wet season.
Endemic bird species are those bird species which can be found only within a specific location and these endemic bird species of Tanzania include the rufous chatterer, Hildebrandt’s spurfowl, black kite, black winged lapwing, rufous tailed weavers, rufous sparrow, red and yellow barbet, rufous winged sunbird, ashy starling, Usambara weaver, kori bustard and the lesser flamingos which can also be seen in Kenya.
Near endemic birds of Tanzania are defined as those birds which are resident in Tanzania as well as in the neighboring countries. Near endemic bird species of Tanzania include the Egyptian vulture, Hartlaub’s turaco, fan tailed widowbird, red faced barbets, long billed tailor birds, Pangani longclaw, sterling’s woodpecker, Hunter’s cisticola, white winged apalis, little yellow flycatcher, long tailed fiscal, grey chested helmet shrike, northern pied babbler, African tailorbird among others.
Endangered bird species include Madagascar pond heron, Udzungwa forest partridge, Sokoke scops owl, Sokoke pipit, spotted ground thrush, Usambara akalat, Basra reed warbler, Amani sunbird, Usambara weaver among others.
Birds which breed in Tanzania include the blue swallow, Abott’s starling, Amani sunbird, grey chested helmet shrike, Karamoja apalis, Iringa akalat, Kilombero weaver, Taita falcon, papyrus yellow warbler, Udzungwa forest partridge, wattled crane, lesser krestel, rufous winged sunbird among others.
Other months of the year are also good for bird watching although the months of November to April are recommended as the best time for bird watching and for wildlife viewing which also takes place around the Ngorongoro conservation area, the months of June to October are recommended as the best time to engage in the activity.
Among the equipment to carry during a bird watching experience around the Ngorongoro conservation area include binoculars, a safari journal, fitting hiking shoes, a camera and extra batteries among other items.
The Ngorongoro conservation area is famous for not only bird watching but also wildlife viewing and is home to wildlife species such as the big 5 like elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos and rhinos.
Other wildlife species of the Ngorongoro conservation area include wildebeests, zebras, hippos, cheetahs, waterbucks, hyenas, warthogs, elands, impalas, gazelles, kudu, hartebeests and many others.
Activities which are carried out around the Ngorongoro conservation area include game drives, guided nature walks as well as community visits to the Maasai villages.
How to get to Ngorongoro conservation area
The Ngorongoro conservation area is about 2 hours’ drive from Arusha and can also be accessed by flights from Arusha airport or Kilimanjaro international airport.