Birds – Masai Mara NR

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

The Masai Mara isn’t one of Kenya’s birding hotspots. However, with more than 500 bird species recorded, this isn’t a bad place to mark off a lot of Kenya’s savannah species from your bird list. The park is particularly rich in raptors with 57 species present. Bateleurs can often be seen soaring above the grassy plains and predator kills are a good place to find six species of vultures scavenging. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Notable Birds in Masai Mara NR
Kori bustard
Rufous-bellied heron
Locally common
Secretary bird
Sooty chat
Usambiro barbet
Locally common, endemic to Mara-Serengeti

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

(E) endemic = only lives in Kenya
(NE) near-endemic = also lives in neighboring countries

Best Time for Bird Watching

The Masai Mara offers good bird-watching any month of the year, but the best time is from November to April when the migrants from Europe and north Africa arrive. This coincides with the Wet season when many species can be seen in breeding plumage. June to October is the Dry season, and tends to be best for general wildlife viewing.

Best Parks for Birding Includes Birding Rating

The best wildlife viewing parks, such as the Masai Mara and Amboseli, offer a solid introduction to East Africa’s common birds. The Rift Valley Lakes including Lake Nakuru and Bogoria are the places to go to mark off many waterbirds, while the arid north, such as Samburu, offers many dry-country specials. Arabuko-Sokoke and Kakamega Forest are birding hotspots as well.

Want to Visit Masai Mara NR?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Masai Mara NR
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr