Where to go
East Africa is one of the richest bird areas in the world. With a wealth of different habitats, often close to each other, it's quite easy to spot over 100 species in one day. Although many of the birds are brightly colored and exotic looking, they are generally quite easily recognized; within a day or two you will be identifying the various species with ease! Their main habitats include water, open plains, woodlands and farmlands.
On or near water, you will find bright pink flamingos, hammerkops, iridescent kingfishers, plovers, herons, storks, geese, cranes, jacanas and of course the magnificent African fish eagle. In certain places along the Kenyan coast, there are breeding pairs of osprey as well.The open savanna plains, where the majority of the big safaris take place, offer excellent bird watching opportunities for some unusual ground dwellers. The ground hornbill, at nearly 110 cm. tall, is one of the largest and most visible; the tall secretary bird is also seen often. Eagles, vultures, and ostrich, the largest birds on earth, are spotted frequently.
The smaller plains birds, such as the ox-peckers, snowy white egrets, brilliant sunbirds and bustards are also found in abundance; you can't miss seeing birds on any game drive!Near the woodlands, you'll find yet more species with starlings of every color, bee-eaters, drongos, hornbills, shrikes, the beautiful lilac-breasted roller, barbets and guinea fowl.
Arriving into the big city airports, frequently the first birds spotted are the urban and farmland dwellers, such as the wagtails and weaverbirds, with their huge nest colonies.
Even a short two or three day safari will provide an excellent species count for the ardent bird watcher; a longer trip will ensure a superb introduction to the over 1,000 species found in East Africa.