Birds – Tsavo West 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 West’s prolific birdlife features over 400-recorded species. Ngulia Hills, one of the landmarks in the park, is situated along one of the world’s busiest avian migration routes. Bird ringers make an annual pilgrimage to the park between October and January. Ngulia is the site of Africa’s foremost bird-ringing (tagging to enable individual bird identification) project. More than 100 migrant and resident species have been ringed here – the most prolific being marsh warbler, river warbler, red-backed shrike, thrush nigtingale and common whitethroat.

Notable Birds in Tsavo West
Eastern black-headed oriole
Golden palm weaver
Pied kingfisher
Verreaux's eagle owl
Vulturine guineafowl
Locally common

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

  • African finfoot
  • Basra reed warbler
  • Black-faced sandgrouse
  • Common whitethroat
  • Corncrake
  • Fischer’s starling
  • Golden pipit
  • Golden-breasted starling
  • Lesser kestrel
  • Marsh warbler
  • Martial eagle
  • Narina trogon
  • Northern brownbul
  • Pangani longclaw
  • Red-backed shrike
  • Red-bellied parrot
  • River warbler
  • Rufous chatterer
  • Shelley’s starling
  • Slender-tailed nightjar
  • Somali bee-eater
  • Somali bunting
  • Somali ostrich
  • Taita falcon
  • Taita fiscal
  • Thrush nightingale

Best Time for Bird Watching

Tsavo West offers great bird watching in all seasons. Many of the more unusual specials are resident and can be spotted any time. Migratory birds, a real feature of the birding in the park, fill the trees, waterways and skies from November to April. Peak migration months are October and November. November and April are peak months for rainfall – good to keep in mind if birding is your primary interest here.

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 West NP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

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