Most of us go on safari in East Africa to see the big game. And that’s understandable – for on what other continent can one encounter such a variety of large mammals? It’s breathtaking to see a giraffe bend down to nibble on the top of an acacia tree.
But if you only pay attention to the big game, you’re missing half the fun! East Africa is also home to an incredible variety of birds. Songbirds dot the landscape like small, colorful jewels, and larger birds like ostriches, crested cranes and secretary birds are quite spectacular in their own right.
Ostriches in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. Photo taken on an Ujuzi safari.
I recommend the book The Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe to anyone who’s going on safari. Another great resource is the Wild Birds of East Africa group on Flickr. It is free and has thousands of colorful photos, as well as an interactive map that allows you to view birds by location. If you’re a member of Flickr, you can join the group to share your own bird photos from safari.
Eastern chanting goshawk. Photo taken by Mark and David Solberg on an Ujuzi safari.
Vulture. Photo taken by Mark and David Solberg on an Ujuzi safari.
Yellow throated sandgrouse. Photo taken by Mark and David Solberg on an Ujuzi safari.
Vitelline masked weaver. Photo taken by Mark and David Solberg on an Ujuzi safari.