The amazing grace of Lupita Island

March 2, 2018


Wildlife on Lupita Island in Lake Tanganyika -
South Western Tanzania, Ufipa region, Rukwa


Scarlet-chested sunbird on Lupita Island, Lake Tanganyika


This area of Tanzania is relatively little known - Lake Tanganyika borders several other African countries, including Zambia and the Congo.




Lupita private island is a very special haven for those seeking privacy. Owned and run by very special people, accomplished hosts, experienced in running tailored safaris in Tanzania.



 There are just 10 luxurious cottages overlooking the lake, each with its own plunge pool and with a bathtub on the terrace, because privacy is so great you can be part of nature. Cordon bleu cuisine and loads of fun activities on the lake make this a perfect getaway to enjoy after a wilderness safari in the north or south of this wildlife rich country.


 Lake Tanganyika is a mile deep, with crystal clear waters which are host to some of the rarest fish in the world.



The geography of Tanzania is diverse, with many different climates.  It straddles the equator and there are two main seasons - wet and dry. The avifauna of Tanzania include a total of 1049 species, of which 26 are endemic, 30 are accidental and two have been introduced by humans. The species of birds vary in each region because of the country’s geographic diversity. From mountain forest to tropical coast there is every conceivable range of terrain: desert, open savannah grassland, lowland forest, bush and scrub, mountain, lakes and mudflats.


Rukwa ecosystem is a biologically rich area of western Tanzania including Lake Tanganyika and the islands, Lupita included, off the mainland near Kipili village. It has been recorded that there are upward of 500 species of birds occurring in this ecosystem.


This does not consider the vast array of migratory birds that are flying over Lake Tanganyika to their destinations, often stopping to rest on the islands en route.


At Lupita some interesting birds abound - from waterbirds to falcons and harriers, and of course colourful sunbirds and bee-eaters.

Here are just a few of those you might see:

 The European bee-eater is a beautiful green bird with a light orange head that can be seen at certain times of the year. Normally in flocks, it flies through swarms of insects catching them in its beak as it flies.


Lupita island has a variety of Sunbirds, who are most prolific when the rain has settled in and the buds and new flowers start to grow on the bushes and the trees around our main the areas. Below are some that we see often.



The Marico sunbird with its distinctive red and purple slash across the chest, can often be seen hanging from the flowers in our Lupita garden.



The Variable sunbird is also a welcome guest to be watched from the verandahs. Small and quick, it darts between the various plants seeking the best nectar.



The Scarlet-chested sunbird is found over most of Tanzania and is often seen on Lupita. Normally travelling in pairs, the female is brown with very little colour.



The Collared sunbird. Usually found in pairs, these sunbirds are common all over Tanzania. They enjoy lush bush, gardens and lowlands. They are often seen drinking at the water bath on Lupita.


For a full description of the birds, please check out:


Check out this little post on a safari website



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Flo Montgomery and David Liebst  |  I  for Safari check out