Bird watching in the Maasai Mara is an experience not to be missed by any nature or bird enthusiast. This region is home to over 470 species of birds, making it a bird watcher’s paradise.

What is Bird Watching?

Bird watching, or birding, is the observation and study of birds in their natural habitats. It’s a recreational activity enjoyed by people of all ages and requires patience and a keen eye. In the Maasai Mara, birding can be done while on a game drive, on a walking safari, or even around your camp or lodge.

Bird Species

The Maasai Mara boasts a diverse array of bird species, including both resident and migratory birds. You can see everything from tiny sunbirds and vibrant bee-eaters to large birds of prey such as eagles and vultures.

Some of the iconic bird species to look out for include the lilac-breasted roller, known for its stunning colors; the secretary bird, easily identified by its long legs and distinctive crest; the martial eagle, one of Africa’s largest birds of prey; the crowned crane, recognized by its crown of stiff golden feathers; and the superb starling, with its iridescent plumage.

During the rainy season, the Mara’s rivers, marshes, and lakes attract numerous water birds, including various herons, storks, and egrets. This time also sees the arrival of migrant species from Europe and North Asia.

Bird Watching Safaris

While bird watching can be done independently, guided birding safaris offer the advantage of experienced guides who are skilled in identifying species by both sight and sound. They can help locate specific species and provide information about their habits and habitats.

Guided birding safaris can be done as a part of a regular game drive or as a specialized outing focusing specifically on birdlife. Walking safaris also offer excellent birding opportunities, as the slower pace and quieter approach can often lead to sightings of shyer species.


If you’re interested in bird watching, it’s a good idea to bring along a pair of binoculars and a field guide to East African birds. A camera with a good zoom lens can also be useful for capturing images of the birds for later identification. Wear muted colors to blend into the environment and not scare off the birds.

Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a casual observer, the Maasai Mara offers a wealth of birdlife to explore and enjoy. The variety and sheer number of birds present make it an exceptional place for bird watching, and you’re sure to leave with a deeper appreciation of these beautiful creatures.