Discovering Kenya’s Species on Bird Watching Holidays
Bird watching holidays in Kenya are perfect for the avid bird watcher. Find out here about the incredible range of species you can see.
Most people know Kenya as a wildlife haven, famous for its big cats, the incredible annual migration and its spectacular national parks. While seeing the ‘Big 5’ is a once in a lifetime opportunity, many people are not aware this wonderful country has much more to offer the wildlife enthusiast, and that bird watching holidays are on the increase in popularity. Offering a habitat to more than 1000 species of bird, Kenya is a bird lover’s paradise. Its most famous national park, the Maasai Mara, hosts over 450 of the avian species in the country, and it is, in fact, due to the large amount of big game that six out of the seven species of Kenyan vulture make their home here. (The only one missing is the Lammergeier Vulture.)
The Birds of The Maasai Mara
The Maasai Mara is the go-to place in Kenya for bird watching holidays, and the species that can be sighted range from the large and rather easy to spot Common Ostrich to the much smaller, but still very common spotted Cardinal Quelea. Go-away Birds, Eastern Grey Plantain-eaters and woodpeckers (which include the rare Little Spotted and Golden-tailed) are all birds to look out for in the Maasai Mara.
The famous river that runs through the national park, the Mara River, provides excellent sighting opportunities for the African Finfoot and the Blue Quail, which can both prove elusive but are definitely worth waiting for if you are finally rewarded. More common sightings include the Martial Eagle, Kori Bustard, Crowned Crane, Rosy-breasted Longclaw and Caramine Bee-eater. While avid bird lovers will have their eyes trained on the sky, it is also worth remembering the park is also teeming with mammals, such as the Lion, Cheetah, Thompson’s Gazelle and the Maasai Giraffe.
Many bird watching holidays include a trip to Lake Naivasha, the stunning wildlife rich area that sits inside the dramatic Rift Valley. Elsamere, once the home of Joy and George Adamson, is the best place to begin an exploration of the area and here you may see African Fish Eagles, Superb Starlings and the stunning Golden-winged Sunbirds. Right on the edge of the lake, this spectacular location is one that will never be forgotten.
If you book with a travel company that specialises in organising bird watching holidays, you will have the best opportunity for sightings. A Kenyan expert naturalist guide will accompany you, to help you appreciate the abundant bird life and offer you the best chances of sighting rare species. Every day in Kenya brings new opportunities to see some of the world’s most incredible mammals and birds and travellers invariably leave with spectacular photographs and fantastic memories.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer. If you’re looking for bird watching holidays, Naturetrek specialises in expert-led natural history and wildlife tours worldwide. Naturetrek brings over 25 years of experience to polar expeditions and tours to other spectacular regions on Earth.