Bird Watching

Birding or bird watching activity has become very popular on all safari itineraries in East African Region that is Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. East Africa is one of the best birding destinations in Africa with about 150 bird species that aren’t found anywhere in the region. Talk to an expert below to book your trip with us.

Home » African Safari Experiences » Birding in East Africa

Birding/ Bird Watching in East Africa

East Africa is home to everything we love about Africa – wild and untouched landscapes, golden savannahs, luscious forests, white-sand tropical beaches, and of course incredible wildlife. It’s also one of the best birding destinations in Africa as well as in the world.  Of course, places like the Serengeti National Park and Masai Mara Game Reserve are renowned for excellent bird watching. However, we thought we’d focus on the lesser known areas, from the green, tropical Rwanda to the tropical islands, here are our top spots for birding in East Africa.

Many birders travel to Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to observe the birds in this locality.


  • Fox’s Weaver
  • Neumann’s warbler
  • blue headed sunbird
  • Rwenzori Turaco
  • Forest Flycatchers
  • White Naped Pigeons
  • Ostrich
  • Abyssinian Roller
  • Abyssinian Scimitar Bill
  • D’ Arnaud’s Barbet
  • Golden Pipit
  • Pygmy Falcon
  • Norther Carmine Bee Eater
  • Karamoja Apalis
  • Kori Bustard
  • Dark Chanting Goshawk

Best time for Bird Watching or Birding in East Africa

The time of visit varies depending on the seasons that’s wet or dry, however, East Africa is open all year long for birding experiences. The best months to see volumes of birds is the dry seasons of December – February and June- September as well as migratory birds are seen in November to April.

Suggested Tours for Bird Watching

Looking for some trip inspiration? Designed by our specialists using their expertise and knowledge, our tailor-made itinerary suggestions below will give you a taste of the type of trips we can put together for you. Bear in mind, these are just a starting point as all holidays are customized to the specific requirements of our guests.

Bird Watching in Uganda

Uganda has got a number of birding watching destinations that have made it the number one birding destination in East Africa. Uganda has a record of 1010 bird species that range from forest, lake, riverine, mountain and swampy types of birds. Birding in Uganda is more concentrated in the national parks and a few areas around Entebbe and Jinja. This is because both areas are home to the 2nd fresh water lake in the world Lake Victoria and River Nile the longest river in the world. Below are the destinations for bird watching in Uganda

Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is popularly known as the home of 51% of the mountain gorillas in the world but also offer excellent bird watching. Bwindi Impenetrable forest has over 350 bird species all forest montane birds with 15 specie not recorded anywhere in Uganda. This park shouldn’t miss on any birder’s itinerary while on a safari in Uganda. It’s location in the Albertine rift offers Bwindi 23 other unique birds that are attracted to only that environment like Neumann’s warbler and blue headed sunbird. Please not that migratory birds are only present in November to April.

Birding in Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park is not only the primate capital of the world and renowned for the chimpanzee tracking but also a birders haven. Kibale forest National Park is a bird haven for forest birds and only 4 that are native to the Albertine Rift Valley like Nathan’s francolin, Cassin’s spine tail, blue-headed bee-eater, and Masked apalis. The park has 370 bird species that have been recorded and Bigodi wetland will offer a variety of the species and different monkeys. Please not that migratory birds are only present in November to April.

Birding in Murchison Falls

The park derives its name from the powerful Murchison falls that falls through a narrow gorge 7meters at a very high speed is the most amazing and memorable experiences you will always remember on your safari.

Murchison falls National Park is one of the places in Uganda to see the rare Shoebill stork on a boat ride towards Lake Albert. The park boosts of over 450 bird species both forested and water birds as well as the Migratory European birds during certain seasons. Please not that migratory birds are only present in November to April.

Examples of bird species: Marabou Stork, Woodland, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Francolin, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Hornbills, Grey heron, Hamerkop, Shrikes, Flycatchers, Cuckoos, Woodpeckers, Crombecs and Warblers, ducks, geese, stilts and plovers, Secretary Birds, Black-bellied Bustards, Open-billed Storks and Widow Bird.

Birding in Queen Elizabeth National park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the places in Uganda to see the rare Shoebill stork on a boat ride on the Kazinga Channel. The park boosts of over 450 bird species both forested and water birds as well as the Migratory European birds during certain seasons.  Please not that migratory birds are only present in November to April. It’s also home to the un common birds that is the Rwenzori Turaco, Forest Flycatchers and White Naped Pigeons. Examples of Bird Species: African Broadbill, Shoebill, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, African Skimmer Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Papyrus Gonolek, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Pink-backed Pelican, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed Lark, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Canary, Corncrake, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Bar-tailed Godwit.

Birding in Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is an amazing bird watching site with 450 recorded bird species and 60 species of those not recorded anywhere in Uganda. These include; Ostrich, Abyssinian Roller, Abyssinian Scimitar Bill, D’ Arnaud’s Barbet, Golden Pipit, Pygmy Falcon, Norther Carmine Bee Eater, Karamoja Apalis, Kori Bustard and Dark Chanting Goshawk

Other bird species include; Grey Crowned Crane, Black Billed Bustard, Brown Chested Lapwing, Ross Turaco, Red Faced Barbet, Bateleur, White Winged Tit and Fin foot

Birding in Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is an amazing bird watching site with 310 recorded bird species.

Examples of bird species like Grey Crowned Crane, Black Billed Bustard, Brown Chested Lapwing, Ross Turaco, Red Faced Barbet, Bateleur, White Winged Tit and Fin foot

Create Your Own

Birding Safari.

Birding in Kenya

Kenya is also a prime safari area for bird watchers thorough out the year with a birding record watch of bird 342 species in 12 hours in the world. Kenya’s assorted climatic ranges and landscapes make it a suitable habitant for different bird species ranging from ocean, lake, riverine, swampy and forest birds.

In addition, Kenya also receives migratory birds from Europe on its marine and inland shorelines during the months of October and February.

Endemic birds to Kenya alone are Clarke’s Weaver, Sharpe’s Pipit, Hinde’s pied babbler and William’s lark.

The National parks and game reserves in Kenya are the best places for bird watching in Kenya and make the best safari for birders. All parks have bird guides who will take you around on a walk, drive and boat ride to experience the birdlife of Kenya.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is famously known for the Rhinos and its birdlife ranging from the millions of lesser and greater Flamingoes. The park boasts of 450 recorded bird species that range from forest, water and swampy birdlife.

Examples: Madagascar Squacco Heron, as rare Martial Eagle, Great White Pelican, Lesser Kestrel, Black necked and Little Grebe.

Lake Bogoria Reserve

Bogoria will offer you thousands of flamingoes on your birding safari as well as the scenic beauty they offer which led to the name the flames of Bogoria. Lake Bogoria note only boasts of millions of flamingoes but also the 350 bird species found around the lakeshore, acacia forest and cliffs to see more birdlife. There are other bird species in the area like African fish eagle, black necked grebe, white necked vulture, African darter.

Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha is very close to the city of Nairobi and popular birding safari destination. Naivasha boasts of over 400 recorded bird species that are mainly water birdlife attracted by the lake and some forest birds. Naivasha is the area in Africa with the highest population of the famous Africa Fish Eagles, Jacanas and Goliath Heron. Other bird species: Pied kingfisher, rare Maccoa Duck, Malachite Kingfisher, Spoonbills, Red-knobbed coot, African Darters, Little Grebe, and Saddle Billed Stork.

Amboseli National Park

The land of the elephant watchers is also a birding haven with over 400 bird species recorded at this park. Example of birds: Lesser flamingo, martial eagles, African darter

Masai Mara Game Reserve

This is the home for specialist birding safari and the reserve boasts of over 500 recorded bird species. Example of birds: Corncrake, Secretary Bird, Grey crested Helmet Shrike, Yellow billed Ox pecker, Lesser Kestrel, Madagascar Squacco Heron, White headed Vulture, Saddle Billed Stork, Ostrich, Lilac Breasted Roller, and Martial and Crowned Eagles.

Lake Elementaita

This is a home to the only leaving white pelican bird in the East Africa with about 8000 breeding pairs. Lake Elementaita is a soda lake with crustacean and blue green algae that has attracted the greater and lesser flamingoes in this lake. The flamingo birds keep moving between these three lakes that is Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogoria and Elementaita. The lake boasts of 400 bird species and 13 endangered species globally which has made it a UNESCO site

Examples of birds; African Spoonbill, Black-Necked Grebe, Yellow Billed Stork, Gull Billed Tern, Pied Avocet, Black Winged Stilt, Jackson’s Widowbird, Grey crested helmet Shrike, Crowned Eagles and Grey-Headed Gull.


This area boosts over 300 bird species that have been recorded and they are found around the riverine and swampy areas. This area will offer you the northern Kenya specials like Saddle Billed Stork, Pel’s Fishing Owl and African Fin foots.

Samburu Game Reserve

The Samburu reserve has 380 recorded bird species and an excellent birding destination

Examples of birds: Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow Weaver, Shining Sunbird and the Bristle Crowned Starling, many Vulturine Guinea fowl, Somali Ostrich and rare species such as the Taita Falcon, migratory Kestrels and William’s Lark

Tsavo National Park

The biggest park in Kenya which is divided into Tsavo East and West with a recorded bird specie of 500 in Tsavo East and 400 in Tsavo West. The birds are concentrated in the Ngulia Hills which is a corridor for the migratory birds in Europe and far east. Examples of birds: rare Basra Reed Warbler, Friedmann’s Lark, Somali Ostrich, Blue Quail, Violet Wood hoopoe, Martial and Crowned Eagle, Rufous Chatterer, Somali Bunting, Lesser Kestrel, Golden Pipit, Pangani Longclaw, Martial Eagle, Red bellied parrot, Slender Tailed Nightjar

Birding in Lake Manyara National Park

Tana River Delta

The Tana delta home to the endangered Malindi Pipit and Basra reed warbler. This is also a breeding and feeding site for thousands of birds with the endangered

Examples of birds: Pelicans, Egrets, Storks, Flamingo, rare Southern Banded Snake Eagle, East Coast Akalat, Malindi Pipit, Basra Reed Warbler, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Violet Wood Hoopoe, Scaly babbler, and of course, the Tana River Cisticola.

South Coast

This is the popular destination for coastal birds with about 29 recorded bird species.The best spots to find birds in south coast is Dani forest, Dzombo hills, Kisite Mpunguti Marine park

Examples of birds: Fischer’s Turaco, Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Little Yellow Flycatcher and the Uluguru Violet Backed Sunbird Digo Kaya,rare Sokoke Pipit, the African Crowned eagle, rare Roseate Terns, among other pelagic birds.

Taita and Chyulu Hills

These two areas are a bird haven for bird watchers, located in Voi town with 81 recorded bird species (34 in Chyulu and 47 in Taita).

Chyulu hiils birds: Abbots Starlings en-route from Mt Kenya to Kilimanjaro, Shelley’s Francolin, Orange Ground Thrush and several rare raptors- Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Crowned Eagle and Martial

Taita hills birds: Taita Falcon, Taita Thrush, Taita White Eye and the Taita Apalis.

Mount Elgon

Mount Elgon has 296 recorded bird species which are concentrated around the peaks of the mountain.

Examples of birds: slender billed Starling, Sharpe’s Long claw, and Crowned Eagle; Ring necked Francolin, Striped Rufftail, Red chested Owlet, Thick billed Honeyguide, Toro Olive Greenbul and Purple throated Cuckoo Shrike.

Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya has 76 recorded bird species which are concentrated around the peaks of the mountain.

Examples: Lesser Kestrel, Jackson’s Widowbird, Abbots Starling, Jackson’s Francolin, Hunter’s Cisticola, the Crowned Eagle, African Grass Owl and Cape Eagle Owl.

Aberdare Mountain National Park

The Aberdare boosts of 200 bird species recorded with four spots to view a diversity of bird species.

These areas are; Mukurweini valleys, Tussock Moorland, Kikuyu Escarpment and the privately owned Wajee Camp bird sanctuary. Examples: African Green Ibis, African Cuckoo Hawk, Cape Eagle Owl, Mountain Buzzard, Hartlaub’s Turaco.

Rare species include: Scarlet tufted Sunbird, long tailed Widowbird, African grass owl and the Aberdare Cisticola on the moorlands.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest

This is home to the rarest owl in the world the Sokoke Scops Owl. The forest has 210 bird species recorded in the area found in the Usambara mountains. Examples: rare Clarke’s Weaver, Fischer’s Turaco, Southern Banded Snake Eagle and the Amani and Plain backed Sunbirds

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the 2nd biggest fresh water lake in the world and its geographic nature attracts different water bird species. The lake boasts of 200 water bird species found around the areas of three swamps that is Koguta, Kusa, and Dunga within Ruma National Park. Endangered bird species: Papyrus Gonolek and Papyrus Yellow Warbler, migratory Blue Swallow.

Lake Turkana

Turkana is a birders haven and frequently visited out of all birding spots in Kenya. The lake boasts of 118 species and with the highest population of the pink backed Pelican, Sur winged Plover, the Little Stint and Greater Flamingo

Endemic species: Saddle billed Stork, Banded Snake Eagle and the African Skimmer

Bird Watching in Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the popular destinations for bird watching with over 1,100 bird species recorded making it the number one in Africa. Tanzania has got 65 species that are only found in the country and nearly endemic to the country.

These include: Tanzania Seedeater, Loveridge’s Sunbird, Mrs. Moreau’s Warbler, Iringa Akalat, Ashy Starling, Usambara Akalat, Tanzanian Red-Billed Hornbill, Pemba White Eye, Rufous Tailed Weaver, Pemba Green Pigeon, Branded Green Sunbird, Udzungwa Forest, Fishcher’s Lovebird And Usambara Eagle Owl

Tanzania’s excellent birding destinations is the coast and the national parks like lake Manyara, and Arusha National park. These destinations are included in most of our itineraries which are tail made to suit your taste.

Places where you can see or find birds in Tanzania

Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park is endowed with 400 bird species and will offer you an introduction to Tanzania’s bird species. In a day you will be able to view over 100 birds in one go from forest to water birds.

Examples of bird species: Pink Hued Flamingoes, African Grey Hornbill, Baglafecht Weaver, Great White Pelican, Comb Duck, African Spoonbill, Grey Crowned Crane, Lesser Flamingo, Pied Avocet, Sacred Ibis, Pied Kingfisher, Yellow billed Stork and Hottentot Teal.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is an amazing bird watching site with 500 recorded bird species. Lake Makatare waters are home to thousands of migratory flamingoes and the swamps are the spots to look for hippos wallowing in the cool mud.

Examples of bird species: Tawny Eagle, Red & Yellow Barbet, Red Bellied Parrot, Ashy Starling, African Grey Flycatcher, Ostrich, Pink Breasted Lark, Northern White Crowned Shrike, Great White Pelican and Donaldson Smith’s Nightjar

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park is endowed with 500 bird species and for all bird lovers this is the place to be. Examples of bird species: Ostriches, Flamingoes, Silverbird, Yellow Throated Sandgrouse, Grey Breasted Spurfowl, Ruppell’s Vulture, Schalow’s Turaco, Usambiro Barbet, Hilderbrandt’s Starling, Verreaux’s Eagle and Southern Ground Hornbill.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is an amazing bird watching site with 500 recorded bird species. The park also boosts of the several types of dryer country birds like the Vulturine guinea fowl and northern pied babbler. Other unique birds to this area are the yellow collared love bird and dabber rufous tailed weaver.

Examples of bird species: Tawny Eagle, Red & Yellow Barbet, Red Bellied Parrot, Ashy Starling, African Grey Flycatcher, Ostrich, Pink Breasted Lark, Northern White Crowned Shrike, Great White Pelican and Donaldson Smith’s Nightjar

Suggested East African Safari Ideas

The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what’s possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.


For Expect Help - Fill the form below

    Your Names

    Your Email

    Your Nationality

    Phone Number

    No. Of Persons

    No. Of Days

    Destination (Select all that apply)
    UgandaKenyaRwandaTanzaniaZanzibar Island


    Budget Estimate (Per Person)

    Travel Date

    Interests (Select all that apply)
    Wildlife Game DrivesBird WatchingGorilla TrekkingChimpanzee TrackingCultural ExperiencesMountain HikingHoneymoon HolidayNature WalksBeach HolidaysWhitewater raftingBoat SafarisVisit Source of the Nile

    Additional Information (optional)

    Important By submitting your data in this form you accept our data collection privacy policy. Make sure you read and understood the contents

    Get in touch