One of Africa’s best birding destinations is Tanzania. It boasts one of the largest species lists of any African country: a total of 1049, of which 26 are endemic and 30 are accidental. Between November and April, when migratory birds are present, safari guests can find the best viewing experience with many birds nesting and in breeding plumage. While all of the safari parks offer great birding opportunities, Arusha National Park is often overlooked but has an amazing diversity of habitats and over 400 species in a small area. Lake Manyara also offers a great variety of waterbirds.
The Grumeti Woodlands play host to the most amazing wildlife spectacle in Africa. Every year, thousands of wildebeest take the cold plunge to cross the glittering waters of the Grumeti River, the centerpiece of the Grumeti Woodlands. The river itself is renowned for its population of gigantic Nile crocodiles. Some of these pre-historic monsters measure up to 17-feet long and are 70-years old!
Hippos are one of the most treasured creatures spotted while on safari. While these magnificent mammals were once found all throughout Africa, hunting and habitat loss has sadly made their population decline. Today they are primarily found in protected East African countries – like Tanzania.
Some are surprised to find out that it’s generally lionesses, rather than male lions, that do most of the hunting. Male lions’ main responsibility is defending the pride’s territory. At night, lionesses will often stalk their prey in groups of two or three for better chances of a kill.
Some mistaken wildebeests as a relative of the bovine family due to their disproportional body and strongly built front end. They’re actually one of the largest antelopes, reaching up to 8 ft in length and 600 pounds. During The Great Migration, these awe-inspiring animals travel between 500 and 1000 miles.
Did you know that elephants are one of the most social creatures we know of? They sometimes wrap their trunks together in a ‘hug’ to greet each other and show affection. Elephants also use their trunks to help guide, rescue and comfort their young. Baby calves often suck their trunks just as human babies do their thumbs.