This collection covers the fourth and final part of our Tanzanian odyssey. We travelled a long way south from Tarangire to Ruaha National Park, stopping in Iringa overnight. Four nights were spent at Ruaha in their “bandas”, circular huts providing basic but adequate accommodation. The birds at Ruaha were wonderful and we saw over 100 species daily on our drives around, getting a reasonable number of photos.
After Ruaha we headed to the Udzungwas and the Twiga Hotel or Rest House on the edge of the National Park. Our first full day in the area we took a drive out to the famous Kilombero swamp with its special birds. Two of the cisticolas present there have yet to be officially described, and I actually managed to get photos of one! The following day we explored the fields around the hotel and went into the national park, finding most of our targets, including the awesome Livingstone’s Turaco. This forest birding generated the typical dearth of photo opportunities! Unfortunately changes in the park’s administration resulted in us being denied access the following morning, however we made up for it with some great birds seen in the adjoining area.
After breakfast we drove the short distance to the Tan-Swiss cottages, our last accommodation for the trip. All settled in we headed over in the afternoon to the Miombo woodland adjoining Mikumi National Park. New birds came thick and fast in this unique habitat as they did the following day which we spent driving both the south and north sections of the national park. Two further trips to the Miombo woodland on our last day produced a lot of specialties plus an interesting sight of a flock of birds mobbing a mamba. Then it was the long drive back to Dar and saying goodbye to our wonderful guide Anthony and driver Geitan. We had dinner in Dar with Jim and family and then were off to the airport for our somewhat delayed flight to Zürich.
What a wonderful trip, with a total of 623 species for our six weeks in Tanzania. We certainly hope to get back for another trip with Tanzania Birding and Beyond!
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