Simply put, Djibouti is one of Africa’s least visited birding tours destinations. This trip is aimed at finding Djibouti’s only endemic, Djibouti Francolin, along with a number of other species that can be difficult to locate elsewhere. These include Somali Starling, beautiful Arabian Golden Sparrow, Sombre Rock Chat, White-eyed Gull, Crab-plover and Somali Sparrow.
This tour takes us to places where very few birders have ever been; which, along with some superb birding, witnessing spectacular scenery and diverse and interesting cultures, makes this Djibouti extension a must for the intrepid birder.
Djibouti Francolin, Somali Starling, White-eyed and Sooty Gull, Crab-plover, Arabian Golden and Somali Sparrow, Graceful Prinia, Somali Bulbul
arid savanna, larva plains, dry mixed woodland, coastline, rocky hillsides, coastal scrub
warm to hot
interesting scenery and cultural attractions
Day 1: Arrival in Djibouti
On arrival in Djibouti, you will be met and transferred to a comfortable hotel in the city. From our convenient base, we’ll then explore the nearby Djibouti Bay, where we’ll search for the Red Sea endemic White-eyed Gull as well as Sooty and Slender-billed Gulls, Gull-billed and Saunders’s Terns, and Crab-plover. Other species we may see on our Djibouti birding tour in this vicinity include Eurasian Spoonbill (of the resident race archeri), European Oystercatcher and Kentish Plover amongst a host of waders, and Clamorous Reed Warbler. The coastal scrub supports an interesting array of species and key birds we’ll look for include the beautiful Arabian Golden Sparrow that is very localised in Africa, tricky Somali Sparrow, Graceful Prinia and Somali Bulbul. The area also hosts Nile Valley Sunbird and the beautifully marked Rosy-patched Bushshrike.
Day 2: Djibouti to Foret du Day
We depart this morning for Foret du Day, a very scenic drive since we will be crossing the Rift Valley with its huge, black lava flows. En route we may see Bonelli’s and Verreaux’s Eagles, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, White-crowned, Red-tailed and Hooded Wheatears, and we’ll keep a careful watch for Arabian and Menetries’s Warblers and also Cretzschmar’s Bunting. We then overnight at Campiment du Touristique, Foret du Day. At Foret du Day itself we’ll make a concerted effort to find the endangered endemic, Djibouti Francolin, as well as Somali Starling. Other species we may see in the vicinity are Gambaga Flycatcher, Abyssinian White-eye, Sombre Rock Chat and, if we are lucky, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl.
Day 3: Foret du Day to Dittilou
We have an entire morning of our Djibouti birding tour to explore the area around Foret du Day. Our key target is the localised, afore-mentioned Djibouti Francolin, which we will put in as much effort as necessary to hopefully track down and acquire decent views of. Thereafter we will drive to Dittilou, where we have chances for Green-winged Pytilia (a probable split called Yellow-tailed Pytilia), White-throated Seedeater and an almost mythical species called Toha Sunbird, which has only been seen by the discoverer.
Day 4: Dittilou to Djibouti
After a final morning’s birding around Dittilou we will return to Djibouti, where we will overnight and celebrate our brief, yet rewarding journey over a good meal and no doubt a well-deserved couple of cold ones!
Day 5: Djibouti and departure
Depending on our time of departure we may have the opportunity to do some further birding near our hotel, after which we will make our way to the airport to catch our international flights home.