Nairobi is an incredible birdy destination; most of the birding trips in Kenya start or end in Nairobi. The bigger Nairobi metropolitan has an array of hotspots that supports charming and fascinating bird species, birding hotspots where you just walk, drive, cycle, or sit on a bench, and birds start presenting themselves in rapid sequence.
Nairobi is undoubtedly known for its spectacular scenery, diverse habitats, an abundance of bird species, lots of very special and unique birds and wildlife
The best birding within Nairobi is often between dawn and 11 am when birds are most active. Birds sing in the early morning when the sun is not very hot, and by 11 am the activity starts to slow. We have a collection of itineraries full-day or half-day birding tours – you can choose from, our day birding tours run all year, and we cater for all birding levels. Whether you are new to birdwatching or a serious lister, we can provide a birding tour to suit your needs. We have the best, most invigorating, and most magnificent birding itineraries that cover nearly all the birdwatching hotspots in Kenya
Kenya is one of the best value birding destinations on the whole continent. The outstanding infrastructure, great accommodation, excellent food, wonderful hospitality, picturesque and motley scenery, and the presence of Africa’s big and small mammals makes it one of the most delightful countries in the world to bird in.
A guided birding tour will introduce you to the feathered fauna of Kenyan birds that are interesting and, beautiful. Kenya is a perfect destination for birdwatchers. The country’s endemic birds are something to behold while the migratory bird species give birdwatchers the chance to see them in their natural habitats. Kenya is certainly a birding location for everyone. Nearly 1100 bird species have been recorded in Kenya, about twice the total number of birds in Europe. This in itself is enough for any birdwatcher to visit Kenya for a birding holiday
A good number of endemic and near-endemic bird species can effortlessly be seen on two weeks birding safari. These birds are especially desired as they only occur within the country or marginally beyond. The European migrants are present from August to April every year
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park is the oldest Park in Kenya over 70 years old, the park list more than 500 bird species with half of these being residents or regular visitors. As in most National parks in Kenya, access by foot is restricted, being limited to designated areas; such as the Impala Observation Point, Mokoyeti Cliff, Hippo Pools Nature Trails, Ivory Burning site, Nairobi National Park lies only seven kilometers from the city center and thus provides a useful starting place for any birdwatcher. Visiting Nairobi National Park is not just a safari- it is a soul safari. An enchanting escapade that goes just observing birds and wildlife, but also discovering the allure and irresistible within. It is a chance to slow down and breathe in fresh air and embrace the arresting occasions. At the heart of the jagged landscapes, forest, extensive golden-colored plains, and winding rivers, there is a great sense of tranquillity and calmness that can be felt in every nanosecond
Nairobi National Park is really a birdwatching haven and you can see an amazing selection of birds throughout the year. Nairobi National Park has a wide variety of habitats that attracts an excellent selection of birds. These habitats can be divided into natural and man-made dams (ponds and lakes) open grassy plains, bush country, rock gorges riverine woodland, and upland forest
Nairobi National Park has four of the Big Five and has its own migration, Most of the herbivores move outside the park in search of pasture during the dry season, Roads are motorable throughout the year and they are well signposted
Best Birding Localities in Nairobi National Park
This route combined with Hippo pools and the Ox-bow Lake is a gratifying area, the best place to see bustards, raptors, waders, and larks. The Athi Dam has substantial muddy margins which attract a variety of waders and water birds, crocodiles basking on the shore, and hundreds of Marabou Storks that commonly visit the dam in the afternoon to quench their thirst
This area consists of lush scrub bordering the Mbagathi River, with adjacent Yellow-barked Acacias woodland. A well-maintained nature trail allows access along the river through much of the woodland. Birding hours are productive early morning and late afternoon, especially when mixed flocks and bird feeding parties are in evidence. Keep an eye out for the White-backed Night Heron along the river, a very secretive and shy bird that has found pools as its home
The viewpoint over the wooded Mbagathi river gorge offers views of some woodland birds. The best place to see the shy and clandestine African Finfoot, Snowy-headed Barbet, Rocky Hryaxes, Olive Baboon, Leopard, Bushbuck, Black Rhino, and Martial Eagle.
Kisembe forest covers the highland section of the park and is readily accessible, birds that may be seen here includes Emerald Cuckoo, Hartlaub’s Turaco, African Crowned Eagle nesting, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Narina Trogon, Olive Pigeon, Green Pigeon, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Grey-olive Greenbul, and Violet-backed Starling A day birding tour in Nairobi National may yield more than 150 bird species, but it is advisable to start early and have a bird guide who knows the park’s birds well
Magadi Road Birding
There are numerous stopovers along this road with the first one at Corner Baridi (cold bend), The fun part of it, is you do birding while walking as opposed to many areas where you are confined to a vehicle. Magadi Road birding is known for its beautiful landscapes, which also showcase a number of sought-after birds species ranging from the rare Ngong Puffback, Tiny Cisticola, Red-throated Tit, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Foxy Lark, Northern Crombec, Yellow-bellied Erememola, Grey Wren Warbler, Red-fronted Prinia, Wailing Cisticola, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Black-necked Weaver, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Swahili Sparrow, and Three-banded Courser. Magadi road birding in a day can record more than 100 bird species
Gatamaiyu Forest Birding
Gatamaiyu is part of the larger Kereita forest, which is an extension of the southernmost end of the indigenous forest of the Aberdare Ranges, an ideal destination for urban birding and hiking, Gatamaiyu forest is good for many afro tropical highland species, it’s a one-hour drive from Nairobi. Gatamaiyu Forest is located 55 kilometers from the capital Nairobi, 45 minutes drive from the city. This delightful forest is a large expansive undisturbed indigenous patch that is home to interesting and spectacular bird and mammal species. The weather is usually pleasant and the air quality is ideal for outdoor activity
Manguo Swamp Birding
Manguo Wetland is 30 minutes drive from Nairobi, a nice area for a variety of Waterfowl, and a localized Maccoa Duck
Manguo Swamp freshwater is a lodestone for the water birds and other highland species such as the Malachite Sunbird, Hunters Cisticola, Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle, Migrant species, Spotted Crake, Ferruginous Duck, Southern Pochard, Northern Shoveler & Pintail, Garganey have all been seen and recorded in the swamp
Karura Forest Birding
Situated in the northern part of Nairobi city, Karura Forest is 1,041 hectares, making it one of the largest urban gazetted forests in the world. Karura forest holds nearly all the 605 species of wildlife found in Nairobi, including three types of antelope.
Karura forest is home to a number of different mammals including the Harvey`s Duiker, Bush Bucks, Suni Sykes’s & Vervet monkeys, Three horned Chameleon, Bird species include; Singing Cisticola African Goshawk, African Crowned Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Grey Cuckoo, Brown-chested Alethe, Narina Trogon, Long Crested Eagle, Yellow-billed Duck, Little Grebe, White-backed Duck, Malachite Kingfisher, Hartlaub’s Turaco, White-headed Barbet, Slender-billed Greenbul, African Black Duck, African Emerald Cuckoo, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Paradise FlycatcherKindly note; Plastic water bottles are not allowed in the forest, carry your water with reusable bottles. Kindly note; Plastic water bottles are not allowed in the forest, carry your water with reusable bottles.
Ngong Road Forest Birding
Ngong Forest Sanctuary is one of the only very few forests in the world that exists within a city. Only 6 kilometers from Nairobi’s central business district, the forest is a precious resource for Kenya’s capital city.
The birds of Ngong Forest Sanctuary include bird characteristics of the indigenous dry evergreen forest of Nairobi, birds of the surrounding grasslands and gardens, and water birds. African, Grey, Mountain & Yellow Wagtails, Grassland & Tree Pipits, Yellow-throated Longclaws Slender-billed Greenbul, Cabanis’s & Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Common Bulbul, White-starred Robin, Cape & Ruppell’s Robin-Chats, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, Common Stonechat, Northern &Pied Wheatear, Olive Thrush, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Crimson rumped Waxbill, African Fish Eagle, White-headed Barbet, Grosbeak Weaver, Singing Cisticola, Augur Buzzard, African Citril
Oloolua Nature Trail Birding
Oloolua nature trail is tucked in Karen suburbs, which is 250 hectares in size of dry upland indigenous forest with few patches that have the exotic plantations of the Eucalyptus. Oloolua Nature trail is known to have exciting bird species such as the African Crowned Eagle, a pair have successfully bred in the forest for many years now, Lemon Dove, Hartlaub’s Turaco can’t be missed, the high-pitched squawk and loud, guttural series of barking calls “kwa, kak, kwak-kwak, Kwak”, will be heard in high up in the tree canopies, Narina Trogon- an eye-catching, mostly iridescent-metallic-green bird, with a scarlet belly, broad yellow bill, and white under the tail. The face and throat of the male are green; while the females’ are dirty gray-brown which is very good at camouflaging on the green leaves may also be seen or heard a soft “whoo” in the canopies
We offer pre-arranged birding tours, guided by Kenya’s best bird guides and naturalists. We invite fanatic birders, and naturalists to travel with us. Our safari itineraries are designed with birding as the focus, but what we really go for is the overall experience of birding and big animals, photography, landscapes, and cultures. We aim to make every trip your favorite tour. We put a lot of thought into every itinerary, from the exact birding hotspot to the accommodation, transport, and food.
Are you ready to join a birding tour in Kenya? Kindly contact us with your preferred trip. We can customize birding tours to meet your needs. Are you interested in specific species, rare, or endemic?