Birding Safari Destinations Not to Miss in East Africa in 2021

East Africa is not only a famous general wildlife but also a special birding safari destination. The region is home to countless bird species many of which are endemics to the region.

Birding safari enthusiasts have been flocking East Africa to be part of exclusive birding trips in the different birding destinations. When you look at the safari destinations map of East Africa its hard to outline few birding safari destinations as many of them are outstanding.

Birding in East Africa can be done anytime of the year but the best time is usually from September to April when migratory birds especially from Europe come in. Lets explore some of the must visit Birding safari destinations in the region for exclusive birding experiences.

Lake Nakuru is one of the rift valley lakes in East Africa and its among Kenya’s ultimate birding safari destination. The lake is most famous for flamingos often seen in millions along the lake shores feeding.

Over the years, the flamingo population along lake Nakuru has declined due to some unfavorable conditions. The lake however has over 500 recorded bird species so you get to enjoy a variety of these.

Notable birds here include great white pelicans, long crested eagles, grey crowned cranes, great snipes, maccao ducks and others. Birding here can be best done from November to April a breeding season and a time when birds are in full plumage.

White Pelicans. Birding Safari
White Pelicans in Lake Nakuru. Photo by Yash Mahadik

This swamp is located at the edge of Lake Victoria in Entebbe Uganda. The swamp is a prime birding safari destination with over 300 bird species including the rare shoe-bill stork. Mabamba swamp covers several hectares of wetland vegetation with water lilies and papyrus that act as homes of the many birds here.

Other notable birds here include papyrus webblers, blue swallow, papyrus gonolek , brown snake-eagle, grosbeak weavers and many others. Birding at Mabamba is very classic and its done in motorized wooden boat through the different trails in the swamp.

Shoebill Stork, Mabamba Swamp Uganda. Birding Safari
Shoe-bill stork at Mabamba Swamp. Photo by Daniel Rosengren
Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe forest is located in southwestern Rwanda and its one of Africa’s old rain-forests. Its a home to various wildlife species including birds some of which are endemic to the Albertine rift valley.

The forest was gazetted a national park to protect the major wildlife it has and many tourists visit the area for wildlife safaris. For those interested in birding, Nyungwe forest national park is a place to be as you will encounter countless bird species here.

There are over 300 bird species recorded here and notable birds include blue-headed sunbirds, Kivu ground thrush, and regal sunbirds. Birds endemic to the Rwenzori area often seen here include the Ruwenzori Apalis, Ruwenzori Turaco, Ruwenzori night jar and others.

Great Blue Turaco Nyungwe National Park. Rwanda Birding safaris
Great Blue Turaco Nyungwe NP Rwanda. Photo by Eric Manzi

This crater is located in northern Tanzania and one pf Africa’s natural wonders. The crater is worlds largest unfilled crater and a haven for different wildlife species including birds.

There are over 500 recorded bird species here and birds often seen include black Kite, lesser flamingos, black winged lapwings and others. Some birds live in the grassland on the crater floor like ostriches, crowned cranes, secretary birds among others.

Birding in Ngorongoro can be done anytime of the year but for best experiences visit from June to October. November to May is also a unique time for birding where you get to see migratory birds from Europe.

Lilac Breasted Roller. Birding Safari
Lilac Breasted Roller in Ngorongoro Crater. Photo by Murali Nature

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