Bird Watching

Wildlife photography

Wildlife photography: Tips and Tricks

Whether you’re trying to capture a photo of a cheetah hunting or a flying pigeon in your city, the most important thing is to be prepared and be ready for anything. You have no control over what happens in the wild. You can’t ask a bird to fly a little slower so you capture the shot you want or a lion to roar in front of your camera again because you were not ready the first time.

You have to use what’s around you and have your camera set and ready. You can spend hours without seeing or capturing anything, but once you do… you will witness something incredible!
Wildlife doesn’t ever disappoint us!

Character and Environment

Another thing to remember when photographing wildlife is the old “push/pull.” Animals have personalities, and you want to show that. But you don’t want to be working really tight with long lenses all the time. You need to show their environment too—habitat says a lot. Back off and use wide-angle lenses to give viewers a sense of where the animals live.

One More Thing

When you’re out photographing wildlife, don’t just pay attention to what are called the charismatic mega fauna—the big animals that get most of our attention. Of course we all want good photos of the big guys, but there are many other forms of life around. Some of them are really beautiful, and all of them are interesting. Whenever you’re out there, whether hiking or sitting in your car waiting for something to happen, look around. You’ll be amazed at what you might discover. Photograph that too!

Practice, Practice & Practice

While everyone would like to be clicking Wildebeests on the Serengeti, you really don’t need much to start practicing wildlife photography. Before you go to a safari, make sure you know how to use your camera. Go to the park and practice until you feel confident. Know your settings.


Make sure you pay attention to what’s surrounding your main subject in the frame. Try to have clear and simple background so the viewer can really focus on the bird itself.

When you focus your lens, focus on the eyes of the bird.

Wildlife photography shooting, try to tell a story. Some birds fly. An elephant dig in the mud. Some birds eat fish, some eat seeds and wild dog during their  social hunting (co-operative imperative). You can share all that information with the viewer through your photographs.


Good luck, and Happy Shooting!


Bird Watching Safari

Bird Watching Safari

With some of the world’s most diverse environments, Tanzania is a mecca for birders

With a resident population in excess of 1,388 different bird species, and many more that come down and up here from Europe and Southern Africa, Tanzania is probably one of the greatest places on the planet for birders. From the gigantic Marshall eagle to the delicate Sunbird, the elusive Shoebill to the omnipresent Marabou, there is certainly something to please any keen twitcher!

Part of the reason that Tanzania has such vast numbers and varying species is down to the wide array of differing topographies and micro climates that exist in the country. Below we have run through a few of these in the main tourism locations…but….for the adventurous, it is also possible to head further afield to really try and find a few rarities (the shoebill in the central western wetland complex of the Moyowosi-Kigozi, for example)

The Eastern Arc Mountains and the Tanzania Endemic Bird Area

The ancient range of mountains, that dissect Tanzania from its north eastern edge to its south western edge, and that take in the Mountain ranges of Pare and Usumbara in the north, Uluguru north and south, Udzungwa and Mahenge in the south, are the oldest in East Africa and home so some of the greatest endemic biodiversity in the world.

Due to their isolation approximately 10 million years ago, the Eastern Arc Mountains became a haven for all types of flora and fauna and, today, this is one of the last places on the planet where it is possible to encounter truly endemic species and, for the truly intrepid birder, some totally new species.

Probably the most important of the reserves within the EBA is the Udzungwa Range National Park which is located to the north of the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania. This park is home to many of the countries main endemic species. The nearby, Amani Nature Reserve is, however, a more accessible haven for those wanting to try and see these rarities.

Birding In the North of Tanzania

The national parks to the north of Tanzania have been formed through the moving together of two tectonic plates and, as such, this is an area that is both barren and fertile in equal amounts. The main National Parks of the Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Tarangire are very good for large raptors and scavengers, but, if you are looking to get away from the “flock” then please see a few additional areas below:

The Momella Lakes – located in the north of Arusha National Park, these lakes are fed by underground streams and are a mecca for water birds in particular. Species commonly seen here include flamingo, pelican, little grebe and a variety of herons, ducks and waders are also common.

Lake Natron – fed by underground springs and the Ewaso Ngiro River, Lake Natron is one of the famous Rift Valley Lakes and sits to the north of the Ngorongoro Crater, on the border with Kenya. This inhospitable region or caustic waters and parched earth is the main breeding ground for East Africa’s 2.5 million or so lesser flamingo who rally here in the summer months of August and September. As a sheer spectacle on its own, it is something worth seeing.

Rubondo Island – situated in the southern reaches of Lake Victoria, Rubondo Island is an often forgotten corner of Tanzania and, only now, is it becoming more developed and connected once more. This island has many great features but one of these is that, with its forested and freshwater habitats, it is very popular for bird species of all kinds.

Birding In the South of Tanzania

Bird Watching Safari to the northern parks of Tanzania, the main parks of the Selous Game Reserve Kilombero plains Mikumi  and Ruaha National Parks are superb birding destinations in their own right. More over little information on the Selous and a couple of other destinations that are less well known:

The Selous Game Reserve with most of the main camps in the park being located along the winding Rufiji River, the Selous is a superb park for seeing all number of bird species ranging from the fish eagle to the malachite kingfisher and the secretary bird.

Uluguru Nature Reserve a part of  the Eastern Arc Mountains.Probably one of the most exciting and accessible areas for birding in southern Tanzania and, for those looking to see any of Tanzania’s endemic species, it is a must visit.