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Tanzania, a country situated just below the equator on Africa’s east coast, is world-famous for its abundance and staggering diversity of wildlife.  Join us for a special evening at the Ventura County Bird Club, where we will explore the vast array of birdlife as well as several game species that inhabit the unique ecosystems of this fascinating country.

Tanzania in the rainy season

Tanzania, a country of 364,898 square miles, and larger than the state of Texas, is often regarded as the jewel of Africa’s wildlife countries.  A much sought-after safari destination, Tanzania boasts 15 national parks and over 40 protected areas in total.  The Serengeti, Tanzania’s largest park, is regarded as one of the natural wonders of the world.  This sprawling grassland ecosystem encompasses over 5,700 square miles, and harbors one of the largest populations of large game in the world.   The name “Serengeti” is derived from the Maa word “Serengit”, meaning “endless plain.”

Maa is the language spoken by the Maasai, the local inhabitants of the area.

The “Big Five” – Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo, Rhinoceros, and African Elephant -can be easily spotted in the Serengeti.  The Serengeti is also home to massive herds of wildebeests, who undergo the world-famous “Great Migration” each year into the Maasai Mara Reserve in southern Kenya.

Another popular wildlife-viewing site is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, home to the stunning Ngorongoro Crater.  This crater is the world’s largest intact caldera – a depression formed from the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption.  The crater is about 2,000 feet deep, and 12 miles across.  Because of the crater’s depth, the majority of its wildlife, with the exception of bird species, are non-migratory.

Lionesses socializing

The Ngorongoro Crater has one of the densest lion populations in Africa.

Tanzania is a hotspot for birdlife.  1,112 bird species were recorded in the country as of March 2004 (via Bird Life International).  Of these species, 23 are endemic, or occurring nowhere else, and 35 are globally-threatened.  Tanzania has a variety of habitat types, which supports this wide array of birdlife.  Habitat types include




Montane Forests

Tropical Rainforest


The majority of the national parks encompass savanna, scrubland, and woodland ecosystems, as this is where the highest concentrations of game can be found.  These ecosystems are abound with birds of all shapes, sizes, and habits, and present a paradise for birdwatchers.

A Red-billed Hornbill, a common inhabitant of savanna and woodland ecosystems in Tanzania

A Speckled Mousebird, exhibiting its characteristic behavior of hanging from branches

If you are curious about the birdlife of Tanzania, please join us for a special evening with the Ventura County Bird Club on Thursday, June 27th 2013 at 7:00pm at the Ventura Moose Lodge.  We will be taking you on a visual journey through several of Tanzania’s top national parks and exploring a multitude of the nation’s bird species, as well as some of the other resident wildlife.  Attendance is free!  We hope to see you there.

Event info

A Speckled Mousebird, exhibiting its characteristic behavior of hanging from branches

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