Republic of Kenya

Crab Plover Dromas ardeola ©Joseph K Mwangi Website
Birding Kenya

Kenya is one of the most visited countries of Africa as it is renowned for its Safari opportunities. A country where you can see all the most famous Big Game animals in a relatively comfortable climate. It also has an extensive bird list and an increasing eco-tourism industry geared to birders… not least as it holds some remarkable birding sights… such as the rift valley lakes with millions of flamingoes. Kenya is a birdwatcher`s paradise, teeming with birdlife, with diverse habitats, spectacular scenery and a supporting cast of the big game for which it is famous. Over 1100 bird species have been recorded in the country, and it is possible to see well over a half of these without undue effort within three or four weeks.

In the west, there are remnants of the rainforest which used to stretch all the way to the west coast, as well as the shores of Lake Victoria, with their once-extensive papyrus beds. The Rift Valley cuts a swathe through the centre of the country, with sometimes towering cliffs, shrouded in forest, on either side. In the valley itself are the great safari plains, open in the south, and acacia-wooded in the north, with numerous lakes in between, of both fresh and soda water. The Central Highlands rise to the east of the Rift, with the Aberdares and Mount Kenya cloaked in forest, which gives way to afro-alpine moorland towards the peaks, which provide the sight of snow on the equator. The descent to the coast is mainly acacia woodland, and finally, the coast itself is a mosaic of estuary, palm and mangrove fringed beaches and creeks, and behind these, the remnanats of coastal rainforest, home to numerous endemic and near-endemic species.

The variety of birdlife is enhanced by its visibility. Vibrant Sunbirds flit from tree-to-tree, Weavers build their incredible variety of nests in the open, the Starlings shine, resplendent Widowbirds dance in the air, and bright Turacos are strangely camouflaged in the trees. Kingfishers, Rollers, Bee-eaters, Hornbills, Barbets and Woodpeckers are present in many varieties, and for a greater challenge, the Cisticolas and Greenbuls provide just that. Overhead, the sky is alive with a variety of Swifts and Swallows, and raptors are plentiful. Ground birds include several Bustards, Larks, Pipits and Gamebirds, and the cast is not complete without the wonderful sight of tens of thousands of Lesser Flamingos on the soda lakes, and the world’s largest bird, the Ostrich.This is just the beginning of the avian jewels in the country, and for those who have not visited, go there whilst the political climate is reasonably stable, and the big game is still there in reasonable numbers.

Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 1105

    (As at September 2018)
Endemics
  • Number of endemics: 8

    Jackson's Francolin Pternistis jacksoni , Williams's Lark Mirafra williamsi, Tana River Cisticola Cisticola restrictus, Aberdare Cisticola Cisticola aberdare, Hinde's Pied-Babbler Turdoides hindei, Sharpe's LongclawHemimacronyx sharpei, Clarke's Weaver Ploceus golandi
Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • 50 Top Birding Sites in Kenya

    By Catherine Ngarachu | Random House Struik | 2017 | Paperback | 168 pages, 180 colour photos, colour maps | ISBN: 9781775842484 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Bird Atlas of Kenya

    By Adrian Lewis & Derek Pomeroy | A A Balkema | 1989 | Hardback | 620 pages, b’w photos, figs, tabs, maps | ISBN: 9061917166 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania

    Dale Zimmerman, Donald A Turner, Doug Pratt, David J Pearson & Ian Willis | Christopher Helm | 2005 | Paperback | 576 pages, 124 colour plates, b/w line drawings, 800 distribution maps | ISBN: 0713675500 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Beautiful Birds of Kenya

    By John Karmali | Camerapix | 1989 | Paperback | 123 pages, Colour photos | ISBN: 1874041318 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania

    By Dale Zimmerman, Don Turner, David Pearson, Ian Willis and Douglas Pratt | Christopher Helm | 1996 | Hardback | 740 pages, 124 colour plates, line drawings, 1,000 maps | ISBN: 0713639687 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Kenya's Rift Valley

    By Adam Scott Kennedy | WILDGuides | 2014 | Paperback | 256 pages, 500 colour photos | ISBN: 9780691159072 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa

    (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi) | By Terry Stevenson, John Fanshawe, Brian E Small & John Gale | Christopher Helm | 2004 | Paperback | 604 pages, 287 colour plates, distribution maps | ISBN: 0713673478 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Important Bird Areas in Kenya

    By Leon Bennun a& Peter Njoroge | RSPB | 1999 | Paperback | 318 pages, line illustrations, distribution maps, tabs | ISBN: 9966992111 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Nairobi National Park Bird Check List

    By Brian W Finch | Nature Kenya | 2012 | Paperback | 48 pages, 1 b/w map | ISBN: 9789966761200 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The Bird Song of Kenya and Tanzania

    (An Introductory Aid to Identification) | by John Hammick | Mandarin Productions | 2002 | Audio CD | ISBN: #140136 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Museums & Universities
  • National Museums of Kenya

    In Kenya, there are about 1080 species of birds. These range from the Ostrich - the world`s biggest bird - to tiny sunbirds with brilliantly coloured feathers. Kenya has a varied landscape and diverse habitats, and different birds may be seen in each different habitat.
Organisations
  • A Rocha Kenya

    Facebook Page
    Our mission is to conserve and restore threatened habitats and biodiversity through research, environmental action, advocacy and empowerment of communities. Also see Facebook Page
  • African Bird Club

    Website
    With over 1,000 species recorded, several endemics and many near endemics, and birding which starts in the capital Nairobi, Kenya can justifiably be described as a mecca for birders. Whether you are a new or regular visitor to East Africa, an ornithologist or a traveller with a passing interest in birds, Kenya should be high in your list of priorities to visit
  • Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest

    Facebook Page
    Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest (FoASF) was started in October 1999 by concerned individuals and institutions to link people interested in the conservation of the Forest with the present Forest Managers…
  • Lake Baringo Biodiversity Conservation Group

    Website
    Lake Baringo is a real birding hotspot that never fails to impress birders for its easily seen birds. Around the compounds of the Lake Baringo Club and Robert’s Camp one can easily pocket around 200 species within a period of 3 hours. Lake Baringo has approximately 480 species on its list. Lake Baringo Biodiversity Conservation Group (LBBCG) provides high quality bird guiding services around the area and you can contact them by calling +254 727 856048. The Club president Moses Kandie is a big birder, Joseph Aengwo, Wilson Tiren, Francis Cherutich and Cliff William Kiror are exceptional guides
  • Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

    Website
    Lewa was once a cattle ranch; it then became a heavily guarded black rhino sanctuary, and it is now the headquarters for a non-profit wildlife conservancy, which has gained a world-wide reputation for extending the benefits of conservation beyond its borders
  • Nature Kenya

    Website
    Nature Kenya - the East Africa Natural History Society (EANHS) - is Africa’s oldest environmental Society. We were established in 1909 to promote the study and conservation of nature in eastern Africa.Our mission is to connect people with nature and take action for biodiversity conservation.
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • IBAs

    WebsiteSatellite View
    There are 9 restricted range species of the Kenya mountains Endemic Bird Area (EBA) and 7 of the East African coastal forests EBA. Kenya also has small portions of other EBAs: Tanzanian Malawi mountains; Serengeti plains; Jubba and Shabeelle valleys
  • Kenya National Parks

    InformationSatellite View
    Annotated list of links to individual wikipedia pages
  • NNR Kakamega Forest

    InformationSatellite View
    The Kakamega National Reserve is a 36 km2 reserve, situated at the north end of the Kakamega Forest, in Western Province, Kenya, at an elevation of about 1560m, along the northeastern edge of the Lake Victoria basin. Along its eastern edge rises the partially forested Nandi Escarpment which runs along the western edge of the Rift Valley. The Kakamega Forest is generally considered the eastern-most remnant of the lowland Congolean rainforest of Central Africa. Faunally and florally, Kakamega is dominated by central African lowland species, but due to its elevation (predominantly between 1500m and 1600m) and proximity to the formerly contiguous Nandi Forests it also contains highland elements and is thus unique. The forest boundary (including the reserves) encloses about 238km2, of which less than half is still indigenous forest.
  • NP Aberdare

    InformationSatellite View
    The Aberdare National Park covers the higher areas of the Aberdare Mountain Range of central Kenya and the Aberdare Salient to their east. There are over 250 species of birds in the park, including the endangered endemic Aberdare cisticola & Jackson's francolin.
  • NP Amboseli

    InformationSatellite View
    Amboseli National Park offers some of the best opportunities to see African wildlife because the vegetation is sparse due to the long, dry months. The protected area is home to African bush elephant, Cape buffalo, impala, lion, cheetah, spotted hyena, Masai giraffe, Grant's zebra, and blue wildebeest. A host of large and small birds occur too
  • NP Arabuko-Sokoke

    InformationSatellite View
    There are over 270 species of birds recorded in the forest including several rare and endemic species. The Arabuko-Sokoke Forest protects many endemic and near endemic species. Clarke's weaver is completely endemic to the forest, while the eponymous Sokoke scops owl, Sokoke pipit, and the Amani sunbird and spotted ground thrush are found only here and in a forest fragment in Tanzania. The park adjoins Mida Creek, a mangrove forest that is an important shorebird wintering ground, protecting species such as the Terek sandpiper and the crab plover.
  • NP Chyulu Hills

    InformationSatellite View
    The Chyulu Hills is a mountain range in Makeuni County, South Eastern Kenya. It forms a 100 kilometre long volcanic field in elongated NW-SE direction. Its highest peak is 2188 metres high.
  • NP Hell's Gate

    InformationSatellite View
    Hell's Gate National Park lies south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, north west of Nairobi. Hell's Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. It was established in 1984. A small national park, it is known for its wide variety of wildlife and for its scenery. The park has historically been an important home for the rare lammergeyer vultures There are over 103 species of birds in the park, including vultures, Verreaux's eagles, augur buzzard, etc.
  • NP Lake Nakuru

    InformationSatellite View
    Lake Nakuru National Park (188 km2, 73 mi2), was created in 1961 around Lake Nakuru, near Nakuru Town. It is best known for its thousands, sometimes millions of flamingos nesting along the shores. The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognisable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. As well as flamingos, there are myriad other bird species that inhabit the lake and the area surrounding it, such as African fish eagle, Goliath heron, hamerkop, pied kingfisher and Verreaux's eagle among others.
  • NP Maasai Mara

    InformationSatellite View
    The park is smaller than and contiguous with Serengeti in Tanzania. More than 470 species of birds have been identified in the park, many of which are migrants, with almost 60 species being raptors.Birds that call this area home for at least part of the year include: vultures, marabou storks, secretary birds, hornbills, crowned cranes, ostriches, long-crested eagles, African pygmy-falcons and the lilac-breasted roller, which is the national bird of Kenya.
  • NP Meru

    InformationSatellite View
    Meru was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free. Aside from the beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife, Tourist attractions include the once home of George and Joy Adamson, Adamson's Falls, views of Mount Kenya, and the Tana River.
  • NP Mount Elgon

    InformationSatellite View
    Mount Elgon National Park is a national park 140 kilometres (87 mi) northeast of Lake Victoria. The park covers an area of 1,279 square kilometres (494 sq mi) and is bisected by the border of Kenya and Uganda. Mount Elgon is home to at least 144 bird species. Of particular interest are Jackson's francolin, the eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Hartlaub's turaco, the Tacazze sunbird and the endangered lammergeier, due to their restricted range.
  • NP Mount Kenya

    InformationSatellite View
    Mount Kenya National Park was established in 1949 to protect Mount Kenya, the wildlife and surrounding environment, which forms a habitat for wild animals, as well as acting as an area for the catchment of water, to supply Kenya's water.
  • NP Nairobi

    InformationSatellite View
    Still, despite its proximity to civilisation and relative small size for an African national park, Nairobi National Park boasts a large and varied wildlife population. Migrating herbivores gather in the park during the dry season, and it is one of Kenya's most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries. The park has a high diversity of bird species, with up to 500 permanent and migratory species in the park. Dams have created a man-made habitat for birds and aquatic species.
  • NP Ruma

    InformationSatellite View
    Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in the park, making it an Important Bird Area. The rare intra-African migrant, the blue swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea) is one such avian species.
  • NP Tsavo East

    InformationSatellite View
    Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya at 13,747 square kilometres. Situated in a semi-arid area previously known as the Taru Desert. Over 500 bird species have been recorded in the area, including ostriches, kestrels, buzzards, starlings, weaver birds, kingfishers, hornbills, secretary birds and herons.
  • NP Tsavo West

    InformationSatellite View
    Tsavo West National Park is located in the Coast Province of Kenya. The park covers an area of 9,065 square kilometres. The A109 road Nairobi-Mombasa and a railway divides it from the adjoining Tsavo East National Park. Together with adjoining ranches and protected areas, they comprise the Tsavo Conservation Area.
  • NR Samburu

    InformationSatellite View
    There are over 350 species of bird. These include grey-headed kingfisher, sunbirds, bee-eaters, Marabou stork, tawny eagle, Verreaux's eagle, bateleur, vulturine guineafowl, yellow-necked spurfowl, lilac-breasted roller, secretary bird, superb starling, northern red-billed hornbill, yellow-billed hornbill, and various vultures including the palm-nut vulture.
Guides & Tour Operators


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  • Africa Unlocked

    Tour Operator
    Join our Frontier Birding Safari and experience the remarkable variety of birdlife within the northern reaches of Kenya. In addition to the wide representation of East African birds you are also afforded the chance to view north African species at the southern limit of their distribution. See thousands of flamingos along the shores of stunningly beautiful Lake Bogoria, and visit remarkable Mount Elgon and Kakamega forest with its array of tropical species normally only found within the equatorial forests of Central Africa
  • African Jacana Birding Safari

    Tour Operator
  • Avian Safaris

    Tour Operator
    We set out to do something different; to offer quality guided birding expeditions which are far from the ordinary, customised, unique, relaxed, energetic, bonding and indulgent for individuals, families and groups.
  • Beads Safaris Collection

    Tour Operator
    Beads Safaris Collection is a Destination Management Company operating tours and travel services all over Eastern Africa destinations including: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Zanzibar. We specialize in offering the best and most unique properties and locations for our guests’ safety, enjoyment and tailor-made to their needs.
  • Ben's Ecological Safaris

    Tour Operator
    Ben's Ecological Safaris is a small concern specializing in East African natural history within the context of the history, ancient civilizations and culture of the region. The tours emphasize birds, wildlife, ecology and conservation from the unique perspective of someone who has lived all their life surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of Kenya. However you won`t simply focus on bird watching or wildlife viewing, with BES you get the chance to learn about the plants, reptiles, amphibians, local customs, history, geography and geology of the areas you visit
  • Biodiversity Expedition Safaris

    Facebook Page
    Biodiversity Expedition Safaris (BES) is a tour company which organizes tailor-made safaris into Kenya and East Africa specializing in birds watching, mammal tours, cultural and photographic safaris and student’s ecological expeditions…
  • Birding & Beyond Safaris

    Tour Operator
    We invite you to read through our web-pages in order to be able to come up with the actual desired Holiday of your lifetime. We always have one more lifer for you…
  • Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    A Birdwatcher’s Paradise… Kenya boasts a wide variety of habitats, from snow-capped peaks to grass plains, arid deserts and palm-fringed ocean. Over 1100 bird species have been recorded, of which we should see well over half, as well as a bewildering array of large mammals.
  • Chalkoko Birding & Wildlife Safaris

    Tour Operator
    Chalkoko Birding and Wildlife Safaris offers perfectly organized and well thought-out Safaris in Kenya that are destined to serve all safari interests of all age groups and all budgets. These include wildlife safaris, bird watching safaris, wildebeest migration safaris, Masai Mara tours, Balloon safaris and Beach tours
  • Cheesemans Safaris

    Tour Operator
    We are a high quality wildlife tour company for small groups. We offer tours to our favorite places in the world, places unique for their abundant and photogenic mammals and birdlife. All our trips have knowledgeable, enthusiastic leadership, custom high quality itineraries, and more time in the field. Our safaris are for nonsmokers who love nature
  • Cisticola Tours

    Tour Operator
    We are a dedicated safari company based in Kenya, leading top Birding and Nature Tours in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. Our tours have become a top choice for many first time visitors and even returning clients to this magical destination. We also offer a wide variety of tailor-made tours, where the clients help to select the destinations and species they would love to see on their safari in East Africa.
  • East Africa Shuttles

    Tour Operator
    Local operators which include guiding from ornithologically trained guides - although its not yet obvious from their website.
  • Go4Fun

    Tour Operator
    20 Day bird wilderness safari…
  • Kenya Birding

    Tour Operator
  • Kenya Travels

    Tour Operator
    On the shores of Lake Baringo, 285kms northwest of Nairobi, Lake Baringo Club nestles among palm trees, green lawns and the clashing red and pink bougainvillea obviously thriving in the hot steamy days that characteristics so many of the Great Rift Valley`s lakes. Mirroring the surrounding Tugen Hills and the Laikipia Escarpment, the lakes owes its chocolate colour to the rivers that feed it all carrying plenty of top soil.
  • Mission Africa Safaris

    Tour Operator
    Mission Africa Safaris is a leading tour company registered in Uganda. We help put together exciting safaris in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Our expereinced and knowledgeable guides/office personnel will ensure you have a memorable time while on your tour. Our packages include bird watching, game drives, nature walks, mountain hiking, gorilla tracking. cultural visits among many other. We give affordable rates to our clients and incorporate a personal touch and quality while dealing with our clients - You can be one of them.
  • Muthaiga Travel Ltd

    Tour Operator
    We handle a great variety of safaris and pride ourselves on exclusive, customised and personalized itineraries. Our clients are looked after throughout their stay by our experienced and dedicated team, and we go out of our way to ensure that every holiday is a memorable one.
  • Nature's Wonderland Safaris

    Tour Operator
    We proudly present a selection of exciting Birding safaris, Wildlife safaris, Adventure tours and Camping safaris through the Eastern part of Africa ranging from 4 - 37 days, many of which can be combined with a relaxing interlude on the coast
  • Oasis Camping Tours

    Tour Operator
    We at OASIS CAMPING TOURS are committed and qualified to meet your needs. We arrange safaris in Kenya and across all of East Africa. We organize air ticketing and car hire. Simply contact our qualified staff who will make every effort to provide you with efficient, enjoyable and economical travel services
  • Ontdek Kenya Ltd

    Tour Operator
    Ontdek Kenya Ltd, a leading organizer of walking and bird watching tours, presents Kenya as a destination for the active traveler. Our tours allow you to enjoy the country at a slow pace, to interact with the Kenyan people and visit places that are not visited by mass tourism
  • Rockjumper Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    Kenya, with a bird list in excess of a thousand species, epitomizes Africa’s reputation as ‘the birding continent’, and over our many years of operation in this region we have tailored an exciting portfolio of tours to satisfy every visitor.
  • Sarus Bird Tours

    Tour Operator
    The Birdwatcher`s Paradise
  • Speedway Safaris

    Tour Operator
    Speedway Safaris is a tour and travel company based in Uganda specialising in organising trips to National Parks, gorilla tracking, hotel bookings, chimpanzee trekking, mountaineering excursions, birding trips, adventure travels, sightseeing expeditions, car hire, community tours, guided nature walks plus vacation and customized tours in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania
  • The Sustainable Birding Company

    Tour Operator
    Birding tours that make a difference! The Sustainable Birding Company offers high quality birding and photography tours across a variety of habitats in Kenya that directly contribute to the conservation of indigenous birds and wildlife.
Trip Reports


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  • 2001 [05 May] - Bo Beolens - BFA

    Report
    A report on the first ever birding for all trip - with access details for hotels etc. as well as checklist, diary etc.
  • 2008 [05 May] - Benji Schwartz

    Report
    Birding in a new place is always a thrill, but when that place is on a different continent, and in an amazing country like Kenya, the excitement is almost unbearable. After having picked up species such as Superb Starling and Marabou Stork on the brief drive to our hotel the previous evening, our first new bird on our first full day was the gorgeous Bronze Sunbird…
  • 2008 [11 November] - Benji Schwartz

    Report
    …With huge tracts of unspoiled acacia-dotted savannah, Kenya is justly famous as one of Africa’s premier mammal viewing destinations. However, with habitat ranging from lowland rainforest to moorlands above the tree-line, Kenya is also a birders paradise. A trip here in November provides not only all the resident species, but also a whole slew of Palearctic migrants that winter in the warmth of the African sun…
  • 2009 [08 August] Martin & Gill Parr

    Report
    "We wanted to mix birding, game watching and general sightseeing and to do as much on Safari as possible and then have a more relaxed week on the coast. We did try to make up our own Safari package, but as visiting the reserves and getting permits independently would have taken so much time to organise – and looked more expensive, we ended up booking via Thomas Cook Signature Holidays, taking their Big Cat Safari with an added week at the Turtle Bay Beach Resort in Malindi."
  • 2009 [12 December] - Oscar Campbell - Watamu, coastal Kenya

    Report
    …This was fine being handy for the village and getting a taxi to the forest or Gede. They helpfully keep some very noisy parrots to assist you in getting out of bed early if you are going to the forest. It was right next to a small, seaweed-strewn beach liberally peppered with very tame waders, Sooty Gulls and gangs of terns, all impervious to the snorkellers, trinket sellers and beach bums that hang out along most of the Kenyan coast…
  • 2010 [08 August] - Jeff Perkins

    Report
    Wow! Trip of a lifetime. Everything we thought it would be, and much, much more! With a 4 week sabbatical from work, and a 12 year old son delighting in his wonder years, we plotted a family vacation to “experience Africa”, see the big game animals, and of course look for birds. We chose Tanzania for its accessibility, stability, tourism friendly, variety of habitats, excellent wildlife, and great bird list. We couldn’t have been more pleased with how it all worked out….
  • 2010 [08 August] - Keith Barnes

    PDF Report
    …We also saw the famous Big-5 mammals and had incredible encounters with Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees amongst 12 species of primates. For the extremely successful Uganda and Rwanda portion of the tour, see our trip report for that tour…
  • 2011 [02 February] - Bob Biggs

    Report
    This trip gave me an opportunity to see birds in a region of Kenya that I had not visited on my previous three trips. Although I was only there for a relatively short time, I really enjoyed the birding and saw over 270 species….
  • 2011 [07 July] - Mike & Martina Comber

    Report
    The next two days were spent walking through the forest searching for birds and trying to lure the White-spotted Flufftail out of hiding. Despite Joseph’s best efforts, it was only when Wilfred joined the search that the bird made its entry and paraded around the pond! The other birds spotted were African Goshawk, Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, Great Blue Turaco, African Emerald Cuckoo, Grey-throated Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Yellow-billed Barbet, White-headed and Black Saw-wing, Purple-throated Cuckoo-Shrike, Shelley’s Greenbul, Joyful Greenbul, Chubbs Cisticola…
  • 2011 [10 October] - Alan Pomroy & Nikki Piper - Kenya Coast & Tsavo

    Report
    This was always intended to be a relaxing holiday with a bit of bird and mammal watching thrown in. My partner Nikki and I have done high-intensity, dawn to dusk bird-watching tours and wanted something less strenuous this time….
  • 2011 [10 October] - Bob Biggs - Kenya Coast & Tsavo

    Report
    …There were several Pink Breasted Larks in the bushy areas alongside the road and a few Golden Breasted Starlings and White Browed Sparrow Weavers. Once parked, we walked to the Lodge and had lunch, watching a pair of stunning African Paradise Flycatchers [white morph] chase each other around, while Vitelline Masked, Black Necked and Village Weavers got on with their nest making skills…
  • 2013 [08 August] - Scott Watson

    PDF Report
    …Then, being in the middle of the commotion while the huge African Crowned-Eagle attacked a troop of Blue Monkeys in Kakamega Forest, and finding the rare Sokoke Scops-Owl and weird Golden-rumped Elelphant-Shrew in the coastal Sokoke forest. These are just a few of many great memories…
  • 2013 [09 September] - Terry Stevenson

    Report
    …As always, we began in Nairobi and headed north to Mt. Kenya and Samburu. Although only a few hours apart, these areas have totally different habitats and of course birds; the mountain forests and grasslands hold Hartlaub's Turaco, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Tropical Boubou, Mountain Yellow-Warbler, Ruppell's Robin-Chat, Golden-winged Sunbird, and Abyssinian Crimsonwing. While the arid lower country at Samburu is home to Vulturine Guineafowl, Bateleur, Black-faced Sandgrouse, White-headed Mousebird, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Pygmy Batis, Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Yellow-vented Eremomela, and Golden-breasted Starling. The mammals vary too, with Sykes Monkey, Tree Hyrax, and Bushbuck being typical of the highlands, while Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Greater Kudu, Gerenuk, and Beisa Oryx are more suited to the drier low countr…
  • 2013 [11 November] - Nik Borrow

    PDF Report
    …For beauty we admired the colours of glittering Golden-winged and Eastern Double-collared Sunbirds and an assortment of kingfishers, bee-eaters and rollers. We also enjoyed the displays of tail wiggling Usambiro Barbets and the flapping antics of Long-tailed Widowbirds whilst the sight of a family of White-spotted Flufftails wandering around in the open totally amazed us all…
  • 2013 [12 December] - Regina McNulty - Tanzania (and Nairobi)

    Report
    My husband and I did an 11 day Birding Safari in Tanzania with Nature’s Wonderland Safaris out of Nairobi. We flew into Nairobi and spent two nights with one day devoted to sightseeing and some birding before taking a shuttle bus to Arusha, Tanzania. We had an amazing time and the whole trip went flawlessly. We would recommend Nature’s Wonderland Safaris and Joseph Mwangi without reservation. We ended up with a list of 316 birds and saw an amazing amount of wildlife….
  • 2013 [12 December] - Terry Stevenson - East Africa Highlights: Kenya & Tanzania

    Report
    Beginning with an afternoon in Nairobi National Park we saw our first Olive Baboons, Black-backed Jackals, Burchell's Zebra, Common Giraffe, African Buffalo, and a variety of antelopes and gazelles. Birds varied from Ostrich and White-bellied Bustard on the plains, to Egyptian Goose and Blacksmith Plover around the pools, secretive Shelley's Francolins, noisy Hadada Ibis, and a whole array of small passerines in the bush and acacia woodland. Perhaps most surprising, though, was a fabulous female Greater Painted-snipe standing amongst the reedy fringes of the hippo pool…
  • 2014 [02 February] - Terry Stevenson - East Africa Highlights: Kenya & Tanzania

    Report
    Our 2014 East Africa Highlights tour followed our well-tried route visiting many of the best areas of Kenya and Tanzania in just 21 days. In total contrast to our other departure just two months previously, Tanzania was now lush and green, Kenya dry, but with the Rift Valley lakes still at record highs…
  • 2014 [05 May] - Sharad Sridhar

    Report
    Total 357 species, including 2 heard only (Red-faced Cisticola & African Rail). 330 species photographed. 260 lifers to add to my bird list including Turner’s Eremomela, Great Sparrowhawk, pair of mating martial eagles at close range, 6 hornbill species, 7 Greenbul species, 8 Cisticola Species, 14 Sunbird species, Red-faced Tit, Grey-crested and White-crested Helmet-shrikes and a whopping 23 species of weavers!
  • 2014 [11 November] - David E Wolf

    PDF Report
    ...along the Great RiftValley escarpment. Then it was off to the famed Kakamega rainforest in western Kenya, whereupon arrival at our lodging we found a Crowned Eagle sitting on its nest in a lone tree right overthe main building...
  • 2015 [06 June] - Ken Behrens - Kenya & Tanzania

    PDF Report
    This was a custom trip for a group of friends, one of the things that Tropical Birding does best. The Kenya portion of the itinerary was very similar to our set-departure tour. At the end of the trip, we visited the Usambara Mountains of northern Tanzania.
  • 2015 [07 July] - Terry Stevenson - Kenya & Tanzania

    Report
    Our July 2015 Kenya Highlights tour began, as always, at the Ole Sereni Hotel overlooking Nairobi National Park. We then went south to Lake Magadi (near the Tanzania border), north to Mount Kenya and the arid lowlands of Samburu, west to Lake Baringo in the Great Rift Valley, and further west to Kakamega Forest and Lake Victoria, before returning to the Rift Valley at Nakuru and back to Nairobi. The final leg involved flights to and from the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve -- the jewel of Kenya's wildlife parks.
  • 2016 [01 January] - Nate Dias

    Report
    This trip report covers a safari I took to Kenya with my friend Tommy Graham. Tommy is a good naturalist who also knows his birds, though he is not a lister or twitcher by any means. Mammals are his primary natural history interest. Tommy went to school with my father and has been a friend of the family since before I was born. This was the first trip to Africa for both of us.
  • 2016 [02 February] - Ella Maria & leif Bisschop-Larsen

    PDF Report
    We chose Kenya because of the rich wildlife and birdlife of East Africa. It was also of importance to us that Kenya isfree of hunting tourism. We planned for a classic safari in Kenya’s highland with focus on the big mammals in MasaiMara and more focus on birds at the lakes. We also visited a Masai village. The last days were spent at the coastsouth of Mombasa.
  • 2016 [02 February] - Kenya & Tanzania

    Report
    Our January-February 2016 East Africa Highlights tour benefitted from exceptional rains across most of the region from early December onwards. This unexpected, prolonged period of rain meant that many birds were still breeding, and one of the tour highlights was seeing a displaying African Broadbill at Kakamega. Additionally, a good variety of sunbirds, weavers, widowbirds, and bishops were in full breeding plumage -- with Northern Red Bishop at Bogoria being simply stunning!
  • 2016 [05 May] - Marcus Lilje - Kenya & Tanzania

    PDF Report
    There can hardly be a wildlife destination on the planet that can compete with the sheer number and diversity of large mammals in combination with attractive and easy-to-see birds. During the course of this brief exploration of Tanzania and Kenya, we managed to cover a wide diversity of habitats as we amassed well over 500 different bird species and many wonderful mammals, providing great viewing and photographing opportunities...
  • 2016 [05May] - Adam Scott Kennedy

    PDF Report
    Kenya is a mind-blowing birding destination at any time of year but it would seem that our May departurewas especially well-timed. Not only did we enjoy the best weather imaginable but we arrived in time to seea majority of resident birds in full breeding plumage, intra-African migrants just arriving and we evencaught the tail-end of the Palearctic migration...
  • 2017 [01 January] - Nate Dias

    PDF Report
    After reading @@michael-ibk's recent Kenya trip report, I suspect places like Kakamega Forest (that seemed OK when he visited) had dried out by the time we came through a few weeks later. Our guide Ben Mugambi said it was the driest he had ever seen Kakamega Forest - and also Aranbuko-Sokoke Forest on the coast. The forest trails and forest floor in Kakamega and Arabuko-Sokoke were carpeted with crispy dry leaves - which made moving quietly or stealthily pretty difficult.
  • 2017 [04 April] - Dani Lopez-Velasco

    PDF Report
    Kenya lived up to its reputation of being one of the most diverse birding destinations on our planet. Once again, our Ultimate Kenya recorded a mind-boggling total of more than 750 species. This was despite the fact that we were prioritising Kenyan specialities (a task in which we were extremely successful) rather than going all out for a huge list!
  • 2017 [04 April] - Wayne Jones - Kenya & Tanzania

    PDF Report
    East Africa is one of the world’s iconic wildlife destinations, in particular, places like AmboseliNational Park, the vast Serengeti Plains and marvellous Ngorongoro Crater. The mammals arespectacular, the birding easy yet rewarding and the scenery is breathtaking. Throw in addedattractions like Africa’s two highest mountains, world-renowned geological site Oldupai Gorge anda glimpse into the fascinating Maasai culture and this could easily qualify as the trip of a lifetime!
  • 2017 [05 May] - Gareth Robbins - Kenya & Tanzania

    PDF Report
    Our tour started at the stunning Ngarasero Lodge, on the outskirts of the bustling city of Arusha. The first bird we saw for the trip was a vocal Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, which was calling from a comfortable perch in a large tree in the centre of the garden. ..
  • 2017 [05 May] - Heinz Ortmann - Kenya & Tanzania

    PDF Report
    The East African countries of Tanzania and Kenya never disappoint with the amazing overall wildlife experience that they offer, and this particular tour was no different. The guests were spoilt with incredible bird and big mammal sightings, with over 470 bird species and a staggering 54 mammal species seen during our 18-day journey through the northern parts of Tanzania and various parts of southern and central Kenya. Added to the many special birds and mammals were, of course, the experiences of Mt Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater, vast open plains of the Serengeti, iconic Amboseli landscapes and a visit to a Maasai village – to name but a few of the wonderful parts of this incredible safari.
  • 2017 [07 July] - Terry Stevenson - Kenya & Tanzania

    Report
    Our July 2017 East Africa Highlights: Kenya & Tanzania tour took place in one of the driest seasons on record in northern Tanzania, but shortly after unusual July rains in Kenya. With global climate change, just which are the best months to visit these days comes largely down to luck, but luck, together with many years of experience in running tours in this area certainly helped this time. Just a few of our highlights were Lion, Leopard and Cheetah two days running in the Serengeti, Black Rhino - our very first day in Nairobi National Park, and of course a whole bunch of other mammals ranging from monkeys to ground-squirrels, Spotted Hyaena, elephant, zebra, giraffe, hippo, and a fabulous variety of antelopes and gazelles.
  • 2018 [02 February] - Terry Stevenson - Kenya & Tanzania

    Report
    Our January 2018 East Africa Highlights tour was a tour of great contrasts - Tanzania was receiving good rains, with lush grass and flowering trees throughout much of the region. The Wildebeest had arrived in the Serengeti in huge numbers, which together with other plains game attracted the big cat predators - lion, leopard and cheetah were all seen. Due to the presence of dangerous mammals much of the Tanzania portion of our tour was done from a specially adapted Safari Landcruiser. Kenya by contrast was dry as a bone, with lakes and small water bodies attracting both waterbirds and passerines.
  • 2018 [05 May] - André Bernon - Kenya & Tanzania

    PDF Report
    Our tour started off in the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi. We visited iconic destinations such as MountKenya, Shaba and Buffalo Springs Game Reserves, Lake Nakuru and Amboseli with MountKilimanjaro as a backdrop! Our adventure then took us into the wilderness of Tanzania. TarangireNational Park, with its beautiful scenery and hundreds of African Elephants between the myriad ofBaobab Trees; Ngorongoro Crater, with one of the highest densities of predators in the world; andlastly the Serengeti, where we witnessed the great migration – hundreds of thousands of wildebeest andzebra marching over the open plains. We managed to find the iconic “Big 5” on our Safari and evenwitnessed a Cheetah kill on our last day in the Serengeti! The birding did not take a back seat at all,and we had superb sightings and tallied a total of 477 species on our Safari!
Places to Stay


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • Eco-resorts East Africa

    Accommodation
    Welcome to eco-resorts, your online resource for East African eco-tours and safaris! We would like to personally welcome you to the fascinating world of eco-safaris and eco adventures in Kenya and Tanzania. Take your time - visit some of the delightful camps, hotels and lodges available for your safari.
  • Kichwa Tembo

    Accommodation
    The Masai Mara is Kenya's premier wildlife habitat. Kichwa Tembo is the ideal location for intimate encounters with an overwhelming assortment of animals. The camp overlooks endless, game-filled plains and is shaded by a dense forest canopy.
  • Lake Naivasha Country Club

    Accommodation
    Just over an hour`s drive from Nairobi, one of the Great Rift Valley`s jewels, reflecting the tranquil beauty of an African sky and the surrounding mountains, is temporarily distorted as flocks of graceful flamingoes and pink-backed pelicans settle of the water. This fresh water lake, some 13 kms accross is a haven for bird watchers, nature lovers, artists and for those seeking a peaceful scenic retreat.
  • Lake Nakuru Lodge

    Accommodation
    Threat to Wetland of International Importance. Concern for the Ecological Character (maintenance of the Natural Integrity to Flora and Fauna. Education and public awareness. Community conservation - soil erosion and tree planting. Pollution and Ecotourism - Nature friendly. Promotion of Coexistence between Mankind and Wildlife.
  • Naro Moru River Lodge

    Accommodation
    Situated on the Equator between Nyeri and Nanyuki at an altitude of 1,982 meters (6,505 ft) in the foothills of Mt. Kenya. The lodge is set in beautiful tropical gardens through which the snow fed Naro Moru River flows. Naro Moru River Lodge is the natural choice as the base for climbing Mt. Kenya. Time from Nairobi is between 2-3 hours of scenic drive. The Lodge is 180 km from Jomo Kenyatta Airport and 160 km from Nairobi.
  • Rondo Retreat

    Accommodation
    The tranquil Retreat Centre in the Kakamega Rain Forest welcomes you to make it your home for a few memorable days, pursuing your hobbies as a butterfly collector, beetle specialist, frog fancier, spider hunter, tourist or bird watcher. Among the vast array of birds the Kakamega Rain Forest is home to the flamboyant Great Blue Turaco, gemlike Emerald Cuckoo and the cacophonous Black-and-white casqued Hornbill
Other Links
  • Environmental Action Kenya

    Website
    In Kenya and Tanzania, wildlife is crucially important to the economy and culture. Yet these values are often overlooked because they aren`t realized as immediately as cattle, crops or development. But the people who can change this don`t often have the tools to make the change. Protected areas suffer from a shortage of committed locals who have the education to hold positions of responsibility. The education required is not expensive
  • Hinde’s Babblers Breeding in Kabete, Nairobi

    Article
    Following the initial sightings of Hinde’s Babblers at the University of Nairobi’s Upper Kabete Field Station on 26th February (Simon Carter and David Guarnieri) and 8th March 2017 (Nature Kenya Wednesday Morning Bird Walk), marking the first official records of the species in Nairobi, I have been monitoring the birds as I am a student at UoN Upper Kabete Campus. On one occasion while observing the birds with Allan Kipruto (a schoolmate), we got a brief glimpse of what seemed to be a very orange-looking individual in the bushes where the rest of the Babblers (4 adults) were noisily moving around. We suspected it was a juvenile but couldn’t confirm since it quickly went deep into the bush and did not re-emerge.
Blogs
  • Kenya Birdwatchers Paradise

    BLOG
    A pictorial blog of African birds in their natural habitat… Last updated July 2012
Photographers & Artists
  • Photographer - Ron Eggert, David Peterson & Trude Peterson

    Gallery
    A website for bird and animal lovers with photos and photo stories from Kenya and Tanzania.
  • Photographers - John & Nigel Kendall

    Gallery
    Bird-crazy brothers, John and Nigel Kendall, spent nine days bird watching in Kenya in early March 1999. John was a resident of Kenya at the time. Here are some of the photographs from the trip plus shots taken by John during 10 years of missionary work…

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