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Tanzania: Udzungwa & Rubeho

This extraordinary tour visits both the Udzungwa and the Rubeho Mountains in search of Udzungwa and Rubeho Forest Partridges, two mythical beasts only recently discovered. Other range-restricted specialties include Dapple-throat, Iringa and Rubeho Akalats, Rufous-winged and Skye Double-collared Sunbirds, plus a new Sunbird discovered in 2021, Kipengere Seedeater, and many more.

Next Dates

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Price: $

TBD

Leaders:

Add a Title

Single Room Supplement: $

TBD

Group Size Limit:

6

Deposit: $

TBD

Add a Title

Price: $

TBD

Leaders:

Add a Title

Single Room Supplement: $

TBD

Group Size Limit:

Deposit: $

TBD

Accommodation:

Mostly camping at the remote and fairly basic Udzungwa & Rubeho camps, with nights in a good hotel before and in between.

Walking difficulty:

A few hours of easy to moderate trekking is required to reach the Udzungwa & Rubeho camps. 

Tour cost includes:

All accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, travel permits, entrance fees, and guide fees.

Tour cost excludes:

Flights before and after the tour start/end, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks, and other items of a personal nature.

Can be taken back-to-back with Tanzania: Eastern Arc.


Day 1: The tour starts this morning at Dar-es-salaam (DAR), from where we will make our way towards Iringa, stopping on the way to look for some localised specialties. In particular, the endemic Yellow-collared Lovebird, Ashy Starling, and Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill will be targeted, plus more open-country specialties. Night at a lodge near Iringa.


Day 2: This morning, we make our way to our first camp in the southern Udzungwas, where we will spend two nights. We will make some stops on the way for Brown-headed and White-winged Apalises, Black-lored and Churring Cisticolas, Forest Double-collared Sunbird, and Yellow-browed Seedeater. We will then hike up to our camp, birding the whole way up. There are a few steep bits, but overall, it is an enjoyable hike! We will have our first chances for specialties like the stunning and most-wanted Rufous-winged Sunbird, Tanzanian Illadopsis, Swynnerton’s Robin, the weird Dapple-throat, and Iringa Akalat. Night camping in southern Udzungwa Mountains.


Day 3: We’ll have a full day to find all targets, plus more widespread birds like Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Livingstone’s Turaco, Mountain Buzzard, Bar-tailed Trogon, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Shelley’s and Stripe-cheeked Greenbuls, Yellow-throated Mountain Greenbul, Waller’s Starling, Oriole Finch, and maybe Spot-throat or Usambara Weaver. Night camping.


Day 4: After some final birding, we will make our way back to Iringa for an overnight at our lodge. In the afternoon, we will visit a swamp not far away to look for the scarce Locustfinch.


Day 5: Today, we will make our way to our second campsite, this time in the northern Udzungwas. We will camp here for three nights to give us ample time to find all endemics. Night camping in northern Udzungwa Mountains.


Day 6-7: Two full days of birding in the northern Udzungwas will allow us enough time to look for the recently discovered and mythical Udzungwa Forest Partridge, actually closely related to the Asian Arborophila partridges! They are shy and hard to see, but we will do our best to get satisfying views. Other good birds here include African Grass Owl, Montane Nightjar, the seldom-seen Kipengere Seedeater (whose song was not recorded before 2022!), White-chested Alethe, Spot-throat, Moreau’s Sunbird, Lesser Seedcracker, Yellow-throated Mountain Greenbul, Olive-flanked Ground Robin, Usambara Weaver, and more widespread species like Green Barbet, African Broadbill, Brown Parisoma, Dark Batis, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Kenrick’s Starling, Red-faced Crimsonwing, and more. Nights camping.


Day 8: After some final birding around our camp, we will make our way to Mikumi for an overnight stay.


Day 9: We will drive early in the morning from Mikumi to the Rubeho Mountains for a two-night stay, camping in the forest.


Day 10: We will have one full day of birding on the forested slopes of the Rubeho Mountains, mainly to look for the recently discovered Rubeho Forest Partridge (only photographed for the first time in the field a few years ago!), Rubeho Akalat, Skye Double-collared Sunbird, and a new sunbird discovered here by Ross Gallardy in 2021. Many other more widespread species occur here, like Bar-tailed Trogon, Green Tinkerbird, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Red-capped and Evergreen Forest Warblers, Black-lored Cisticola, African Hill Babbler, Olive-flanked and Cape Robin-Chats, White-starred Robin, White-chested Alethe, Betram’s Weaver, and many more. Night camping.


Day 11: After some final birding in the Rubehos, we will slowly backtrack to Morogoro for an overnight stay.


Day 12: We will make our way to Dar-es-salaam for the tour end, with some stops on the way for Böhm’s Bee-eater, Coastal Cisticola, or Ruvu Weaver. End of the tour with drop-offs at the airport in the late afternoon.

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