Tanzania itself is considered one of the top five birding destinations in the world with over 1000 species of birds. Eight of the 10 families endemic to mainland Africa are present and Raptors, Plovers, Parrots, Turacos, Bee-eaters, Barbets, Starlings, Weavers, Pipits and Sunbirds are all well represented. Amani Beach is located south of Dar es Salaam in the coastal area where there are tidal mudflats, river inlets, saltpans, mangroves, thickets and offshore islands. This creates a diverse habitat with over 450 species of birds is of key significance for migratory waders including Grey Plover, Pluvialis Squatarola, Little Stint, Calidris Minuta, Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris Ferruginea).
Aware of its special status, the hotel approached a local birding expert, Andrew Majembe, to visit the site and provide advice on which species they had of international relevance and how to ensure their continued survival.
“This is one of the most important birding sites in Tanzania and an Eden for birds. In just one visit we saw so many birds and I believe we have many endangered and rare species living here. You might have the chance of seeing endangered species like the Spotted Ground Thrush when in their migration routes to south Tanzania (Londo forest Plateau) and stopping over in the forest of Amani Beach from Sokoke F/R Kenya/ Zaraninge forest Saadani National Park. Other super-species include the Sokoke Pipit, which is endemic to East Africa and the Pale-breasted Illadopsis, which is endemic to Dar es Salaam. Other rare species include the Lesser Grey Back Shrike, Bohm's Spinetail, Burchell's Coucal and the Brown Noddy.
It’s great for us to have the chance to visit these places and document the bird life as well as to be given the opportunity to work with tourist sites and influence the actions they take in safeguarding our environment.”
The hotel is now working hard to safeguard this rich habitat. Native flora has been retained to ensure the natural eco-system can continue and a wide variety of different species of vegetation have been planted to encourage birds and butterflies to visit and live in the grounds. It is also producing a bird checklist for guests and organising informative bird walks with Andrew to help raise awareness.
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mani Beach Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel situated in a hidden corner of paradise just 33 km south of Dar es Salaam via the Kigamboni Ferry. Its 10 luxury beach bungalows nestle in 80 acres of tropical gardens and indigenous forest, each overlooking the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
In keeping with its ethos of working with natural and cultural traditions, the beach bungalows use local building techniques and natural materials to bring traditional beauty without sacrificing modern comforts. The design is heavily influenced by the distinctive Afro-Arabian style unique to the Swahili Coast, combining rustic charm with exotic opulence.
The Main Restaurant and Beach Bar use fresh local ingredients in the a la carte menus, including those from the Amani Beach Eco Farm. Amenities include swimming pool, tennis court, petanque, table tennis, cliff walks, turtle hatching (in season), horse riding, snorkelling and trips can also be organised to a typical Swahili village.