From the world’s biggest bird, the Ostrich, to spectacular flamingos that congregate in their millions at the various Lakes of the Great Rift Valley (Lake Nakuru) and camouflage them in pink, Kenya safaris holds some remarkable birding sights that you have to witness by your own since Kenya’s birding is one of the best in the world.
It is not unusual for birding trips to record 300-600 different varieties on a short trip or to record more than 120 at a particular site on a single day! The variety of birds in Kenya is made possible by the favorable climate, diverse habitats and geographical features that make it a suitable migratory route for birds. Some of these birds are migratory while others are residents.
Even without venturing outside Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, more than 600 resident and migratory bird species are found.
Other destination in Kenya where you can spot these great birds is Nairobi National Park or the grounds of the National Museum is likely to turn up bright black and yellow weavers, tiny iridescent sun-birds resembling flying jewels, Secretary Bird, Bustards and Mouse birds with long tails, which are unique to Africa. The giant Marabou Storks, a frequent visitor to the city, now nests on the acacia trees along the streets.
With the rainy seasons of April and November coincide with migration of birds from and to Europe and Asia, and some of the top day’s totals have been recorded at that time.
Migrants make up only about ten percent of Kenya’s bird life, however, and the spectacular birds of the bush –guinea fowl, go-away birds, rollers and barbets, to mention but a few – are active all year.
Visits to a variety of habitats, such as the dry-country parks of Tsavo or Samburu, the western grasslands of the Maasai Mara, one of the Rift Valley lakes or one of the highland forests, will produce a long and varied bird list that makes your safari fabulous.
With other destination having unique birds and Kenya’s rarest bird, indigenous and unfortunately endangered birds, the bird enthusiast needs to seek out forests or highland grasslands tucked away amongst various farmlands in place like Arabuko-Sokoke Forest near Malindi, tops the list, with the six threatened bird species of the Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, Spotted Ground Thrush, East Coast Akalat, Amani Sunbird and Clarke’s Weaver. This raises alarm on the Kenya government to protect these important bird species.
Traveling in western Kenya, Kakamega Forest is a little patch of Guineo-Congolian rainforest in Kenya. Among the many rainforest species found are spectacular Turacos and Hornbills can be easily spotted with other bird species in your guide’s safaris.