Introduction to Magnificent Birding at Lake Naivasha

If you are a keen birder, then Lake Naivasha in Kenya is one place to add to your bucket list. This article tells of the birds we have seen there and the activities available that enable you to see different species – boating for water birds, cycling for ground birds, and walking for woodland species.

Birds on the Lake
Given it’s a large lake, the most obvious activity to do when visiting Naivasha is to get out on a boat. The hippos are usually the draw card, but the myriad water bird species impress even those who think they aren’t interested in birds. Here’s what we have seen while out on the lake:

  • Great White Pelican
  • Great Cormorant
  • Long-tailed Cormorant
  • Cattle Egret
  • Common Squacco Heron
  • Little Egret
  • Grey Heron
  • Purple Heron
  • Black-headed Heron
  • Hamerkop
  • Marabou Stork
  • Yellow-billed Stork
  • Sacred Ibis
  • African Spoonbill
  • Greater Flamingo
  • Lesser Flamingo
  • Egyptian Goose
  • Yellow-billed Duck
  • African Fish Eagle
  • Black Crake
  • Red-knobbed Coot
  • African Jacana
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Blacksmith plover
  • Sandpiper
  • Gull
  • Swift
  • Pied Kingfisher

Birds while Walking
There are several Conservancies around Lake Naivasha where you can enjoy a walking safari and see woodland bird species. These include Wileli Conservancy, Green Crater Lake and Hells Gate National Park. In Hells Gate you can also hire bicycles to explore more of the park, and there are also places where you can ride horses. Whether you are on foot, bike or horse, spotting birds is easier than from a vehicle. Here’s what we saw on one walk in Wileli Conservancy:

  • Hadada Ibis
  • Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture
  • Auger Buzzard
  • Long-crested Eagle
  • Crowned Plover
  • Ring-necked Dove
  • Grey Woodpecker
  • Plain-backed Pipit
  • Common Bulbul
  • Cinnamon Bracken Warbler
  • Rattling Cisticola
  • Cuckoo-shrike
  • Common Drongo
  • Black-headed Oriole
  • Rüppell’s Long-tailed Starling
  • Superb Starling
  • Wattled Starling
  • Red-billed Oxpecker
  • Rufous Sparrow
  • Baglafecht (Reichenow’s) Weaver
  • Red-headed Weaver

OTA offers birding trips with an expert bird guide visiting Kenya’s birding hotspots including Lake Naivasha.


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