Birds – Tsavo East NP

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.

Tsavo East has an impressive checklist of over 500 bird species. It has many dry-country specials which are easy to spot, including the magnificent golden-breasted starling, golden pipit and vulturine guineafowl. The park is also the southernmost stronghold for the Somali ostrich. The park’s huge area is a significant wintering ground for migrant species from Europe. Migrant birds are present from November to April.

Notable Birds in Tsavo East
Black-headed lapwing
Eastern chanting goshawk
Red-winged lark
Locally common
Rosy-patched bush shrike
Locally common
Vulturine guineafowl
Locally common

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

  • African finfoot
  • Black-faced sandgrouse
  • Fischer’s starling
  • Golden pipit
  • Golden-breasted starling
  • Lesser kestrel
  • Martial eagle
  • Northern brownbul
  • Pangani longclaw
  • Red-bellied parrot
  • Rufous chatterer
  • Shelley’s starling
  • Slender-tailed nightjar
  • Somali bee-eater
  • Somali bunting
  • Somali ostrich
  • Taita falcon
  • Taita fiscal

Best Time for Bird Watching

Tsavo East offers great bird watching that can be taken advantage of at any time of year. A lot of unusual specials are resident, making it easier to spot them with regularity, year-round. Migratory birds call the park home from November to April. The peak months in the short and long rains are November and April with heavy rain a possibility, leading to bird-watching activities being disrupted.

Best Parks for Birding Including 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 Tsavo East NP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Tsavo East NP
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr