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Birdwatching in Kenya
Birdwatching in Kenya
Birdwatching in Kenya
Birdwatching in Kenya
Birdwatching in Kenya

Kenya birdwatching

The best places to birdwatch in Kenya

Kenya is a prime destination for a birdwatching holiday at any time of year. Tremendous geographical range gives Kenya a variety of climates and landscapes, hence the second highest number of species in Africa. Kenya holds the world-record 'bird watch' - with 342 species seen in 24 hours!

Between October and February many palearctic migrants come to Kenya's marine and inland shorelines. Many swallows, terns and waders will be found during this time; whilst between June and July weavers and bishops are in breeding plumage and many Southern African migrants visit.

Kenya's national parks make excellent centres for bird watching in Kenya - the Maasai Mara for the rosy-throated longclaw and magpie shrike; the Samburu for the rare shining sunbird and pink breasted lark; and Nairobi for the northern pied-babbler and Pangani longclaw. Kenya' handful of endemics include the Tara River cisticola, the Aberdare cisticola; Hinde's pied-babbler; William's lark; Sharpe's pipit; and Clarke's weaver.

This diverse range of habitats supports a great diversity of bird species - and makes a birdwatching holiday in Kenya very rewarding!

The Emakoko

The Emakoko stands out on any Kenya bird trip, firstly for its great viewpoint, from which more than 50 birds can be seen, overlooking Nairobi National Park. Then the park itself offers excellent birding with more than 500 recorded species.

Elsa's Kopje

Meru National Park will appeal to those on a Kenya birdwatching holiday for its more than 300 recorded bird species, including Pel’s fishing owl. Low visitor numbers and leisurely safari drives mean you can take your time to seek out the birdlife.

Tortilis Camp

Situated just outside Amboseli National Park, Tortilis offers quick access into Kitirua Conservancy with 400-plus bird species. The Amboseli ecosytem’s marshes provide ideal habitats, while the terraces around the camp offer great spots to watch birds.


Kicheche Valley

Your Kenyan birdwatching holiday can begin in the camp itself, with unusual and rare species (bush pipit, northern white-crowned shrike, white-headed buffalo weaver, pygmy falcon and eagles) seen in the trees and nearby spring.

Kicheche Fly Camp

This two-day walking experience traverses the Naboisho and Olare Motorogi conservancies, and includes the Seketa Valley. Diverse birdlife can be seen across this landscape and, being on foot, you’ll enjoy intimate observations of the bush.


Rekero

Kenya birdwatching is good here for the variety of habitats in the vicinity. Birders will enjoy the privacy of the tent veranda areas with uninterrupted views across the rocky valley of the Talek River.


Elsa's Kopje

Meru National Park will appeal to those on a Kenya birdwatching holiday for its more than 300 recorded bird species, including Pel’s fishing owl. Low visitor numbers and leisurely safari drives mean you can take your time to seek out the birdlife.


Kicheche Valley

Your Kenyan birdwatching holiday can begin in the camp itself, with unusual and rare species (bush pipit, northern white-crowned shrike, white-headed buffalo weaver, pygmy falcon and eagles) seen in the trees and nearby spring.


Lewa Safari Camp

With its lush lawns and verandas overlooking a busy birdbath, Lewa Safari Camp offers great birdwatching from the camp itself. The hide overlooks a waterhole, where mammals and birds regularly drink, and bush walks give birding a new perspective.


The Emakoko

The Emakoko stands out on any Kenya bird trip, firstly for its great viewpoint, from which more than 50 birds can be seen, overlooking Nairobi National Park. Then the park itself offers excellent birding with more than 500 recorded species.


Rekero

Kenya birdwatching is good here for the variety of habitats in the vicinity. Birders will enjoy the privacy of the tent veranda areas with uninterrupted views across the rocky valley of the Talek River.


Rekero

Kenya birdwatching is good here for the variety of habitats in the vicinity. Birders will enjoy the privacy of the tent veranda areas with uninterrupted views across the rocky valley of the Talek River.


Kwara Camp

The environment at Kwara Camp is incredibly diverse resulting in superb birdwatching. Seasonal floodplains and wooded islands surround camp while papyrus-lined waterways, lagoons, mopane woodland and scrub savannah are all easily accessible.

Birdwatching elsewhere in Africa

Our top ideas and inspiration for Birdwatching in other countries.


Birdwatching in Botswana

Botswana

Much of northern Botswana consists of vast tracts of untouched wilderness with plenty of wildlife...

Birdwatching in Malawi

Malawi

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Birdwatching in Mozambique

Mozambique

Mozambique stretches over 2000km from north to south. It is a lush and varied country, and birding ...

Birdwatching in Namibia

Namibia

The best time for bird watching in Namibia is during the rains - typically between around November ...

Birdwatching in Rwanda

Rwanda

Birdwatching in Rwanda is somewhat overlooked in favour of gorilla-trekking trips. However, birdlife ...

Birdwatching in Seychelles

Seychelles

The Seychelles is a disparate group of islands - some granitic; some coralline - scattered around ...

Birdwatching in South Africa

South Africa

South Africa has the highest number of endemic bird species in mainland Africa. Birding in the ...

Birdwatching in Tanzania

Tanzania

With a range of endemic bird species, Tanzania is a great location for a birdwatching holiday. ...

Birdwatching in Zambia

Zambia

Birdwatching in Zambia will reveal a mix of south, east and even central African birds. Birdlife ...

Birdwatching in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

Whilst Zimbabwe doesn't have any endemics, it's still great for bird watching. A Zimbabwe holiday ...

Where to see wildlife species in Africa

Maximise the chances of seeing your favourite African animals based on traveller sightings reports from the field.


Buffalo

Buffalo

Syncerus caffer

One of the ‘Big Five’, buffalo earned a fearsome reputation in hunters’ tales. By contrast, big herds of these sociable bovids are placid, but mount formidable defences against predators.

83% SUCCESS

1,112 sightings from 1,335 observations

Where to see buffalo in Africa

Cheetah

Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus

The cheetah is the fastest land animal and the only cat that hunts by pure speed. Found largely in open grasslands, its slim, elegant form is today an increasingly rare sight.

29% SUCCESS

418 sightings from 1,453 observations

Where to see cheetah in Africa

Elephant

Elephant

Loxodonta africana

By far the biggest of the so-called Big Five – indeed, the largest land animal on the planet – the elephant shapes the very landscape it inhabits and is a defining presence on any safari.

91% SUCCESS

1,590 sightings from 1,750 observations

Where to see elephant in Africa

Oryx

Oryx

Oryx sp.

Oryx are impressive antelopes, with a powerful physique and elegant markings set off by rapier-like horns. They cut a distinctive dash in some of Africa’s harshest landscapes.

70% SUCCESS

644 sightings from 924 observations

Where to see oryx in Africa

Gerenuk

Gerenuk

Litocranius walleri

With its slender frame and extraordinarily long neck, this unmistakable East African antelope resembles an attenuated impala and often stands on its back legs browse high shrubs.

76% SUCCESS

37 sightings from 49 observations

Where to see gerenuk in Africa

Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis

The world’s tallest land mammal, giraffes are herbivores which have evolved many unique adaptations. Their iconic outlines tower above the bush in many of Africa’s wildlife areas.

83% SUCCESS

1,523 sightings from 1,833 observations

Where to see giraffe in Africa

Hippo

Hippo

Hippopotamus amphibius

The territorial calls of the hippo create a signature soundtrack to Africa’s rivers & wetlands. Despite an endearing smile, this aquatic herbivore has a notoriously aggressive disposition.

89% SUCCESS

1,168 sightings from 1,310 observations

Where to see hippo in Africa

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

The spotted hyena may be thought of as ‘ugly’ and ‘cowardly’. In fact, this versatile and intelligent carnivore is one of Africa’s most fascinating and warrants attention on any safari.

50% SUCCESS

903 sightings from 1,799 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Africa

Striped Hyena

Striped Hyena

Hyaena hyaena

The striped hyena is the most widespread of the world’s hyenas, but absent from southern Africa. A rarely-seen nocturnal scavenger, it is shyer and more solitary than its spotted cousin.

16% SUCCESS

55 sightings from 346 observations

Where to see striped hyena in Africa

Leopard

Leopard

Panthera pardus

The most numerous of Africa’s big cats, leopard occur across many habitats, from wild tracts to populated areas. Their grace and their elusive nature make them a unique safari drawcard.

45% SUCCESS

840 sightings from 1,873 observations

Where to see leopard in Africa

Lion

Lion

Panthera leo

Lions are at the top of the food chain and also most safari wish-lists, but with their numbers falling fast, any encounter with these majestic apex predators always feels like a privilege.

80% SUCCESS

1,314 sightings from 1,646 observations

Where to see lion in Africa

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

The black rhino is the smaller and rarer of Africa’s two rhino species but has the more fearsome reputation. Shy and heavily persecuted, it tends to stick to cover.

29% SUCCESS

261 sightings from 899 observations

Where to see black rhino in Africa

White Rhino

White Rhino

Ceratotherium simum

The white rhino is the largest and most numerous of the world’s five rhinoceros species. They are larger, easier to see and generally more approachable than the black rhino.

43% SUCCESS

218 sightings from 508 observations

Where to see white rhino in Africa

Wild dog

Wild dog

Lycaon pictus

African wild dogs are among the continent’s most compelling animals. Much misunderstood, these rare, tie-dyed canids are amazingly efficient hunters with a fascinating social life.

31% SUCCESS

375 sightings from 1,214 observations

Where to see wild dog in Africa

Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Connochaetes sp.

Superficially bovine in appearance, wildebeests are known for their spectacular migrations sometimes in huge numbers. These resilient animals are some of Africa’s most successful herbivores.

63% SUCCESS

1,058 sightings from 1,668 observations

Where to see wildebeest in Africa

Pangolin

Pangolin

Smutsia sp.

Pangolins appear to be more pine cone than animal in their unique armoury of scales. These nocturnal, ant-eating oddities are not only highly elusive but also increasingly rare.

2% SUCCESS

27 sightings from 1,487 observations

Where to see pangolin in Africa

Aardvark

Aardvark

Orycteropus afer

The aardvark is one of Africa’s most bizarre and enigmatic animals. A shy, nocturnal termite-eater, signs of its presence may be scattered about the bush whilst sightings remain elusive.

3% SUCCESS

43 sightings from 1,572 observations

Where to see aardvark in Africa

Eland

Eland

Taurotragus oryx

Africa’s largest antelope, eland are culturally important from prehistoric rock art to modern game farms. Though widespread, they are also shy so sightings are uncommon and often fleeting.

45% SUCCESS

613 sightings from 1,362 observations

Where to see eland in Africa

Zebra

Zebra

Equus sp.

The zebra is a quintessential African animal: the horse in stripy pyjamas at the end of every child’s A–Z. There are three species, of which the plains zebra is much the most common.

84% SUCCESS

1,724 sightings from 2,057 observations

Where to see zebra in Africa

Sable antelope

Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger

Perhaps Africa’s most beautiful antelope, sable are renowned for their combative nature, even holding off lions. Shy and restricted in range, sightings of sable are always special.

21% SUCCESS

198 sightings from 954 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Africa

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