SAMBURU & LIST, BUFFALO SPRINGS & SHABA NATIONAL RESERVES 

KENYA

region (near), (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W 16,500ha (Samburu), 13,100ha (Buffalo Springs) & 23,910ha (Shaba), 1,000-2,000m, arid savannah

 
Protected/registered status


Best Time for visit (time visited), entry fees are similar to other reserves, and are charged separately

Birding Site Guide

 

This trio lie around 100km n of Mt. Kenya NP and 4 wheel-drive is not essential. Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves lie together on opposite banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River, the former is on the n bank and the latter the s. Shaba is a few km along the river to the east on the n bank. All have lodges and camping at which to stay often several of each, though valuables should not be left in tents. 


samburu nature reserve (Shailesh Kumar Patel)



























 
 
 

The area here is quite arid and therefore the river and drinking holes are major attractions for wildlife, which ensures good concentrations for viewing. We visited the former and birded around the lodge and trails above the river, as well as doing our own wildlife drive. It is possible in all to hire vehicles and guides and many lodges include them in the price of the stay. 

Planning to visit Kenya for an economical birding, wildlife or family holiday and need more information on booking? Then contact; Kenya Bird Watching

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My name is Shailesh Kumar Patel, I was born and brought up in Kenya and started birdwatching in 1996. I have 12 years experience and because of this experience, as a guide, I can locate difficult species such as Sharpe’s Longclaw, a Kenyan endemic. To learn more about species present try African Bird Club .

If you would like to know more about me and my fees go to Our Explorer testimonials and view clients comments. I guided Bram Piot (Switzerland) twice, and in Nairobi National Park on one day we recorded 107 species. Another client Andrew (South Africa) has also placed comments about my guiding at Kenya Bird Watching .

Try Kenya Bird Watching for the personal touch!

Species seen (Samburu only). For full bird and mammal species list with scientific names go to KENYA FULL TRIP LIST 

 

  • Ostrich Struthio camelus S
  • Black Stork Ciconia nigra Mt, S
  • Palm-nut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis S
  • Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus S
  • Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus S
  • Rueppell's Griffon Gyps rueppellii S, LN
  • Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus S, LN
  • White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis Mt, S, LN
  • Brown Snake-Eagle Circaetus cinereus MM, S, LN
  • Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus S, LN, T
  • Little Sparrowhawk Accipiter minullus S, SF, LNa
  • Wahlberg's Eagle Aquila wahlbergi S, LN
  • Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus S
  • Pygmy Falcon Polihierax semitorquatus S
  • Crested Francolin Francolinus sephaena S, T
  • Vulturine Guineafowl Acryllium vulturinum S
  • Double-banded Courser Smutsornis africanus S
  • Ring-necked Dove Streptopelia capicola S, LNa
  • Namaqua Dove Oena capensis S, LN
  • Red-bellied Parrot Poicephalus rufiventris S
  • White-headed Mousebird Colius leucocephalus S


white-headed mousebird (Shailesh Kumar Patel)































  • Blue-naped Mousebird Urocolius macrourus S, LB
  • Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus S
  • Somali Bee-eater Merops revoilii S
  • Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops S, LB
  • Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus S, T
  • Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus flavirostris S, LB, T
  • Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala S, LB
  • Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor S, LNa
  • Nubian Woodpecker Campethera nubica S
  • Pink-breasted Lark Calendulauda poecilosterna S, T, A
  • Fawn-colored Lark Calendulauda africanoides S, LN
  • Fischer's Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix leucopareia S, T, A
  • Ashy Cisticola Cisticola cinereolus S, T
  • Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava S, LN
  • Red-fronted Warbler Urorhipis rufifrons S, T
  • Lesser Swamp-Warbler Acrocephalus gracilirostris S
  • Yellow-vented Eremomela Eremomela flavicrissalis S
  • African Gray Flycatcher Bradornis microrhynchus S, MM, T
  • Southern Black-Flycatcher Melaenornis pammelaina Mt, S
  • White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata Mt, S, LNa
  • Spotted Morning-Thrush Cichladusa guttata S, LB
  • Pygmy Batis Batis perkeo S, LB
  • Rufous Chatterer Turdoides rubiginosa S, LN, LB
  • Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes orientalis S, LN, LB
  • Black-bellied Sunbird Cinnyris nectarinioides S
  • Taita Fiscal Lanius dorsalis S
  • Brubru Nilaus afer S, LN
  • Northern Puffback Dryoscopus gambensis S, LN
  • Three-streaked Tchagra Tchagra jamesi S
  • Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus S, LN, LB
  • Rosy-patched Bushshrike Rhodophoneus cruentus S, K
  • Fan-tailed Raven Corvus rhipidurus S, LB
  • Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus S, LN, SF
  • Somali Sparrow Passer castanopterus S
  • Gray-headed Sparrow Passer griseus S, LN, LB
  • Speckle-fronted Weaver Sporopipes frontalis S
  • Donaldson-Smith's Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser donaldsoni S
  • Black-capped Social-Weaver Pseudonigrita cabanisi S, T

Black-capped Social Weaver (Shailesh Kumar Patel)































 

 

 

 

  • Speke's Weaver Ploceus spekei S, LN, MM
  • Chestnut Weaver Ploceus rubiginosus S
  • Purple Grenadier Granatina ianthinogaster S
  • Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba S, LB
  • Jameson's Firefinch Lagonosticta rhodopareia S
  • Eastern Paradise-Whydah Vidua paradisaea S
  • Straw-tailed Whydah Vidua fischeri S
  • Yellow-crowned Canary Serinus flavivertex S
  • White-bellied Canary Serinus dorsostriatus S
  • Somali Bunting Emberiza poliopleura S


  • Common Kenyan species some of which were seen here and the rest generally
  • Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
  • Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
  • Long-tailed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus
  • Gray Heron Ardea cinerea
  • Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala
  • Goliath Heron Ardea goliath
  • Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Little Egret Egretta garzetta
  • Western Reef-Heron Egretta gularis
  • Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
  • Striated Heron Butorides striata
  • Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
  • Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis
  • Abdim's Stork Ciconia abdimii
  • Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis
  • Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus
  • Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
  • Hadada Ibis Bostrychia hagedash
  • Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
  • Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus
  • Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca
  • Yellow-billed Duck Anas undulata
  • Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  • Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
  • Scissor-tailed Kite Chelictinia riocourii
  • Black Kite Milvus migrans
  • African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer
  • White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus
  • Black-breasted Snake-Eagle Circaetus pectoralis
  • Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus
  • African Marsh-Harrier Circus ranivorus
  • Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
  • African Harrier-Hawk Polyboroides typus
  • Lizard Buzzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus
  • Gabar Goshawk Micronisus gabar
  • Eurasian Buzzard Buteo buteo
  • Augur Buzzard Buteo augur
  • Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax
  • Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis
  • Secretary-bird Sagittarius serpentarius
  • Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
  • Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus
  • Hildebrandt's Francolin Francolinus hildebrandti
  • Yellow-necked Francolin Francolinus leucoscepus
  • Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris
  • Black Crake Amaurornis flavirostra
  • Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  • African Jacana Actophilornis africanus
  • Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis
  • Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
  • Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
  • Blacksmith Plover Vanellus armatus
  • Crowned Lapwing Vanellus coronatus
  • Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
  • Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris
  • Greater Sandplover Charadrius leschenaultii
  • Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
  • Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
  • Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
  • Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
  • Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
  • Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
  • Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
  • Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
  • Common Redshank Tringa totanus
  • Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
  • Sanderling Calidris alba
  • Little Stint Calidris minuta
  • Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
  • Dunlin Calidris alpina
  • Ruff Philomachus pugnax
  • European Herring Gull Larus argentatus
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
  • Gray-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus
  • Saunders' Tern Sternula saundersi
  • Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
  • Common Tern Sterna hirundo
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia
  • African Mourning Dove Streptopelia decipiens
  • Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
  • Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur chalcospilos
  • Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria
  • Hartlaub's Turaco Tauraco hartlaubi
  • Eastern Plantain-eater Crinifer zonurus
  • Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius
  • Klaas' Cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas
  • Yellowbill Ceuthmochares aereus
  • White-browed Coucal Centropus superciliosus
  • African Palm-Swift Cypsiurus parvus
  • Common Swift Apus apus
  • Little Swift Apus affinis
  • Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus
  • Narina Trogon Apaloderma narina
  • Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata
  • Gray-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala
  • Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
  • Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oreobates
  • White-throated Bee-eater Merops albicollis
  • Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus
  • European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
  • Northern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicus
  • Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudatus
  • Common Scimitar-bill Rhinopomastus cyanomelas
  • Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus bilineatus
  • Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator
  • Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens
  • Gray Woodpecker Dendropicos goertae
  • Singing Bushlark Mirafra cantillans
  • Rufous-naped Lark Mirafra africana
  • Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix signatus
  • Black Sawwing Psalidoprocne pristoptera
  • Plain Martin Riparia paludicola
  • Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  • Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
  • House Martin Delichon urbicum
  • Lesser Striped-Swallow Cecropis abyssinica
  • Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
  • African Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus
  • Rosy-throated Longclaw Macronyx ameliae
  • African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp
  • Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
  • Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga quiscalina
  • Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus
  • Yellow-whiskered Greenbul Andropadus latirostris
  • Eastern Mountain-Greenbul Andropadus nigriceps
  • Honeyguide Greenbul Baeopogon indicator
  • Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush Monticola saxatilis
  • African Thrush Turdus pelios
  • Singing Cisticola Cisticola cantans
  • Winding Cisticola Cisticola galactotes
  • Carruthers' Cisticola Cisticola carruthersi
  • Yellow-breasted Apalis Apalis flavida
  • Green-backed Camaroptera Camaroptera brachyura
  • African Bush-Warbler Bradypterus baboecala
  • Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytii
  • Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
  • Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
  • Southern Hyliota Hyliota australis
  • Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
  • Pale Flycatcher Bradornis pallidus
  • White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher Melaenornis fischeri
  • Gray Tit-Flycatcher Myioparus plumbeus
  • Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis
  • Equatorial Akalat Sheppardia aequatorialis
  • Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas galactotes
  • African Stonechat Saxicola torquatus
  • Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
  • Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye Platysteira concreta
  • African Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis
  • Scaly-breasted Illadopsis Illadopsis albipectus
  • Pale-breasted Illadopsis Illadopsis rufipennis
  • Gray Tit Melaniparus afer
  • Green-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra verticalis
  • Green-throated Sunbird Chalcomitra rubescens
  • Amethyst Sunbird Chalcomitra amethystina
  • Hunter's Sunbird Chalcomitra hunteri
  • African Black-headed Oriole Oriolus larvatus
  • Gray-backed Fiscal Lanius excubitoroides
  • Long-tailed Fiscal Lanius cabanisi
  • Common Fiscal Lanius collaris
  • White-crowned Shrike Eurocephalus anguitimens
  • Marsh Tchagra Tchagra minutus
  • Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegalus
  • Brown-crowned Tchagra Tchagra australis
  • Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis
  • House Crow Corvus splendens intro
  • Pied Crow Corvus albus
  • Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea
  • Superb Starling Lamprotornis superbus
  • Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio
  • Stuhlmann's Starling Poeoptera stuhlmanni
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus
  • Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver Bubalornis niger
  • White-headed Buffalo-Weaver Dinemellia dinemelli
  • White-browed Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser mahali
  • Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser superciliosus
  • Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht
  • Holub's Golden-Weaver Ploceus xanthops
  • Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops
  • Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
  • Jackson's Widowbird Euplectes jacksoni NT
  • White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita fusconotus
  • Green-backed Twinspot Mandingoa nitidula
  • Red-cheeked Cordonbleu Uraeginthus bengalus
  • Bar-breasted Firefinch Lagonosticta rufopicta
  • Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura
  • Streaky Seedeater Serinus striolatus


  • KEY
  • CR = Critical
  • E = Endangered
  • V = Vulnerable
  • NT = Near-threatened
  • e = endemic
  • intro = introduced


  • no sites given for common species or species more readily found in Europe
  • A = Athi Plains
  • L = Liota Plains
  • LB = Lake Baringo
  • LN = Lake Nakuru
  • LNa = Lake Naivasha
  • MM = Masia Mara NP
  • Mt = Mount Kenya NP
  • N = Niarobi NP
  • N to M = Niarobi to Mombasa
  • R = Red Brick Dam, Lake Victoria
  • S = Samburu GR
  • SF = Sokoke Forest & coast
  • SS = Saiwa Swamp
  • T = Tsavo
  • h = heard only


Authors: BSG & Shailesh Kumar Patel

www.birdingsiteguide.com