Looking for a unique birding experience on the African continent but haven’t made up your mind on where to go? The magical republic of Kenya has got you covered with almost 10 birding destinations. The country has one of the richest avifauna in Africa recording over 1090 bird species with at least eight of the national endemics. Bird watching experience in Kenya is done in the open savannah plains and around different lake shores of the country.
Top places to visit in Kenya for birding experiences
Masai Mara national reserve
Masai Mara national reserve is the largest national reserve in Kenya located in the region of Narok, contiguous with Serengeti national park of Tanzania. With an area of approximately 1,510 square kilometers, the reserve records the highest population of bird species in the country ranging in over 500 in number. Many of the birds in the reserve are migrants and among these include; marabou stock, hornbills, crowned cranes, long-crested eagles, lilac breasted roller the national bird of the country, African pygmy falcons, secretary birds, vultures and many others.
Amboseli national park
Formerly known as Maasai Amboseli game reserve, Amboseli national park is a national park in Kajiado south constituency, Kajiado county in the Republic of Kenya. Stretching over 392 square kilometers, is known for its beautiful ecosystem which hosts over 400 species of birds including the water birds like pelican, crakes, hamerkop, kingfishers, and 47 raptor species. Other bird species in the park include; Goliath heron, Grey crowned crane, Rufous chatterer, Hartlaub’s bustard, and many others.
Lake Nakuru national park
Known as a bird lover’s hub, lake Nakuru national park is one of the best birders’ destinations given that it protects one of the Rift valley soda lakes – Lake Nakuru. The park is a home to over 400 bird species including the flamingos that live on the lake which makes it look pink. Other bird species include; African fish eagle, long-tailed widowbird, Rufous throated wryneck, northern puffback, montane white eye, Red capped lark, shinning sunbird, and many more.
Aberdares national park
Aberdares national park is a protected area in the Aberdare mountain range in central Kenya situated east of the East African rift valley. With an area of approximately 767 square kilometers, the park is among the best birding destinations in the Republic of Kenya. It hosts over 250 bird species including the endangered cisticola, Jackson’s spurfowl, African goshawk, African fish eagle, plovers, sunbirds, sparrowhawk, and many others.
Nairobi national park
Despites its size and location, Nairobi national park is one of the best birder’s havens in Kenya hosting to more than 500 bird species including both the permanent and migratory species. Among these birds include; black-headed heron, blacksmith lapwing, common moorhen, ostrich, secretary birds, pallid harrier, long tailed fiscal, martial eagle, and many others.
Best time to visit Kenya for birding safari
You can go on a safari in Kenya anytime throughout the year for birding but the best season is in the months of April, May and early June. In the months of October and November, you will witness a number of migratory bird species in the birding destinations.