Kenyan Birding Guide - Thousands Species To Discover

Kenyan birding guide - Flamingos

Why to go on a birding safari in Kenya? Read this brief birding guide!

Kenya is nothing short of a bird watcher's paradise. Perched on the equator, Kenya offers an ideal climate for thousands of migrating birds and provides a year round home to many others.

Not only does it have great weather conditions, but an immense and diverse variety of habitats from the open savannah to the tropical rainforest and more. It is without any doubt, a land full of promises for any bird or wildlife enthusiast.

If you were to plan the trip of a lifetime, consider Kenya as an extraordinary host to some of the world's most treasured wildlife.

Kenya's birding is highly regarded as being amongst the best in the world. As far as facts go, 11% of the world's bird species reside or migrate here… Imagine that!

This is an overwhelming number, some 1000 or more species of birds which you could come across whilst exploring the natural landscapes of Kenya.

Birding Guide - Ostriches And Flamingos

The world's largest bird, the ostrich can be found both in the south and northeastern regions of Kenya.

They are quite easy to spot in small numbers throughout the grasslands of National Parks such as the Samburu National Park, Tsavo National Parks and the Masai Mara Reserve.

If you find yourself in the proximity of any of the great lakes; Lake Nakuru, Bogoria or Oloidien, you will be in for a treat. These lakes are all within what is known as the Great Rift Valley, the home of millions of Lesser Flamingos.

Their plumage is a pinkish white, derived from the algae Spirulina, of which they most commonly feed on. Greater flamingos, although less in number, can also be found around the great lakes.

Birding guide - Hornbills

There are a number of Hornbills to be discovered:

  • Red-Billed
  • Eastern Yellow-Billed
  • Southern Ground
  • Crowned
  • African Grey
  • the Von Der Deken's Hornbill

They are truly absorbing to watch. The largest from them, the Southern Ground, wanders the floors of open habitats in search of insects and small reptiles/mammals to feed off. They are fearless in nature and dignified in manner. It is characterized by its black plumage and vivid red patches of bare skin on the face and throat.

This is just a handful of the birdlife that Kenya has to offer. You are also very likely to see Pelicans, Herons, Egrets, Storks, Spoonbills, Kites, Eagles, Vultures and so many more - the list is endless!

Birding Safaris

Kenyan birding guide - the Marabou Stork There is really no better way to get close to the birds than to take a birding safari. Most safaris are designed specifically to track mammals such as the lion and giraffe, but you will always come across birds, so plentiful that they are.

However, there are safaris that specialize in bird-watching and if it's birds that you are really after, then take a specialized trip.

The organizers will be a lot more knowledgeable towards birds and where to look for them. Many people opt for a two week safari, that way they can see as much of the different habitats that Kenya offers.

One word of advice - don't forget the camera!

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