Below are a few of our most frequently asked questions, so you get the Very Best Birding Tour!
From what to bring with you on tour through to what birds to expect, we’ve got you covered! If you have a question that isn’t covered on this page, then please do send us a quick message and we’ll get back to you quickly!
Q: How much do your Birding Tours cost in Kenya or Uganda?
A: We offer the highest competitive rate to each of our clients, but as all of our birding tours are tailor-made, we simply can’t give you a fixed figure here. This is because of the many factors that come in to play when making a perfect tailor-made Birding Tour. For example, the cost will vary depending on whether you stay in budget accommodation or luxury accommodation. This is also true when deciding on the quality of safari vehicle you’d like. And there are other factors at play too. We believe that each client should be able to choose the very best Birding Tour in Kenya or Uganda that suits them best!
Q: What makes our Birding Tours so special?
A: To say that we are extremely proud of our bird guides in both Kenya and Uganda would be an understatement! We have the very best English-speaking local guides in each country. If you have a wish-list of species you would like to see, then our guides will know exactly where to find them. We also have the very best office staff to help you through the start of your enquiry, all the way to making sure you get safely back on your flight home. It’s a winning combination that we know will leave you feeling happy!
Q: I'm not a birder, really. Do you provide quality Safaris instead?
A: Yes, we also provide High Quality Safaris. All of our professional guides are trained to the highest standard in identifying all East Africa’s Fauna and Flora. What gives our professional guides the edge, is that they are not only trained to find the ‘Big 5’ but also other wildlife – from wild flowers to insects to ungulates, our guides have the knowledge. Our office staff are also very knowledgeable on where the best lodges are located so you get the very best experience whilst out on safari!
Q: Will I see African Big Mammals on a Birding Tour?
A: Yes! One of the best parts of birding in East Africa is that you are guaranteed to see African Big Mammals whilst out on a birding tour in the main National Parks. Birding in Africa goes hand-in-hand with big mammal viewing. What we are constantly telling our clients is that while you are searching for big mammals in your safari vehicle or searching for birds you will come across either big mammals or vice versa – it’s a win-win situation! To travel all the way to East Africa, and not see the iconic Lion, or Elephant would be a crime! You have our word you will see both.
Q: What should I bring with me on a Birding/Safari Tour?
A: East Africa is generally a warm place, so you should bring appropriate clothing for the weather. Light coloured shorts, trousers and shirts are always good. You should also bring clothing for colder weather, such as a jacket, as in parts of the Rift Valley where at night you can experience colder temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius. You should also bring mosquito repellent to avoid bites and be on a course of anti-malarial tablets. If on a birding tour, binoculars are definitely needed while if you’re looking for mammals only, safari binoculars would be a bonus but not essential.
To get a more detailed list, you can download our SBC Tour Kit List here
Q: Can I combine a Safari with a Birding Tour?
A: Yes. Many of our clients have combined a safari and a birding tour. As our tours are tailor-made to the client, we listen to your needs and deliver! For example, if you would like to focus only on African Big Mammals in the Masai Mara National Reserve and then focus solely on birds at Kakamega Forest then we will arrange that for you. Our professional guides are trained in all areas of East Africa’s fauna, so you will be in very good hands. As mentioned previously birding in East Africa goes hand-in-hand with big mammal viewing, where you should see both. However, one of the main reasons why we get asked about this is to please each member of the group joining you on a birding tour or safari. Which bring us to our next answer below…
Q: My partner/family/friends are not birders and want to see African Big Mammals - can you do a mixed tour to keep everyone happy?
A: Yes, as mentioned above we can cater to each client or group going on tour. The main reason behind us being asked this so often is because sometimes you may have a conflict of interest on what each member of the group wants to see whilst out on tour. For example, one of our recent groups had 4 members wanting to see birds and the remaining 3 were only interested in African Big Mammals. The way we tackled this was simple – on some days, say in Amboseli National Park, the guide focused solely on mammals and then on other days, say in Arabuko Sokoke the focus was on birds. Another way, and usually the best way, is to mix the tour. As we are always reiterating, you will always come across birds or mammals whilst out on safari – they go hand-in-hand (as pictured on the right). And with this in mind the guide will cater to all of your individual needs. It’s a win-win situation!
Q: Birding in Kenya - what should I expect?
A: Kenya has some of the very best, if not the best, African Big Mammal viewing in the world. What fewer people know is that Kenya is one of the most bird populous countries in the world – in fact, it has 1,103 bird species in total, of which nine are endemic. Kenya also has a wide variety of exceptional safari lodges at affordable rates. To top it all off, we have Kenya’s finest professional bird guides whose expertise will leave you speechless. Knowing all 1,103 bird species, as well as all their calls, and where to find them is no small feat!
Q: When is the best time to go birding in Kenya?
A: Kenya is truly blessed with exceptional birding conditions all year round, but if we’re nitpicking, the best months for a birding tour are April/May. This period of the year is when the rainy season is near over and many species such as beautiful Whydahs and Bishops are in full plumage colours, which not only looks visually stunning but also makes for much better photos! November/December are also fantastic months to go birding because you get the added bonus of the Pale-arctic migrant species arriving from the Northern Hemisphere. This makes for an even larger bird count, plus sunny weather for those of you seeking an escape from wintry climes!
Q: Birding Tours in Uganda - what should I expect?
A: To put it mildly, you can expect some of the very best birding this planet has to offer! Uganda has not only exceptional Big African Mammals and Great Apes but also has exceptional birdlife. 23 Albertine Endemic Species and 1,100 species in total! Not only will you enjoy the incredible wildlife and birdlife of Uganda, you will also get the very best professional bird guides. We proudly have the biggest team of professional bird guides in the whole country who are trained to an incredible standard. You will also benefit from our office staff who will help you from start to finish to make sure you have the most enjoyable time in the ‘Pearl of Africa’.
Q: When is the best time to go birding in Uganda?
A: Uganda, much like Kenya is truly blessed with having astonishing birding all year round. However, the absolute best time (and we’re nitpicking) would be during April/May, which like Kenya is during or just after the heavy rain season when many species are in their full breeding plumages. Another great period to visit is between the months of May-August. This is the best time to witness the elusive African Pitta and the Green-breasted Pitta, which are difficult to see at the best of times, but these months are when you stand the best chance!
Q: Do you offer Birding/Safari Photography Tours?
A: Yes, we have catered to many clients wanting a Birding/Safari Photography Tour. The majority of birders or safari goers are usually photographers of some kind – if they’re taking photos of species to identify them on a later date, or just as proof that they’ve seen them! Or perhaps you are an expert photographer, and happy to wait patiently for the perfect shot. Either way we have you covered. All our tours are tailor-made to the individual, so if you’re wanting a tour where you’re not so bothered about seeing as many species as possible, but would rather wait for a target species for long periods of time to get the perfect photo, then will make a tour itinerary with that in mind.
Q: I would like a budget Birding Tour/ Safari but I'm worried it will jeopardise the experience - will it still be good?
A: Being on a budget doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have a worse tour than someone going for luxury – it all depends on personal preference and what someone is willing to spend. Many affordable camps offer that ‘sleeping amongst nature’ feel, which we believe can add to the overall experience of visiting Africa. Again, this does come down to personal preference, but we would never book any of our clients into a lodge or hotel that we personally haven’t used or wouldn’t use ourselves. For budget tours, we tend to use the cheaper but still excellent 4×4 open-roofed safari van – they are robust, hardy, yet comfortable safari vehicles, with easy bird/mammal viewing! In fact, they are the most popular safari vehicle used in Kenya!
Q: I'm worried about Malaria whilst out on a Birding Tour/Safari - will it be safe?
A: East Africa does have malaria-prevalent regions but that shouldn’t stop you coming to visit and having a once in a lifetime birding or safari experience! There are many ways to prevent malaria. The best thing to do before you come on a birding tour/safari with us, is to visit your local doctor and get advice and if appropriate anti-malaria tablets. Another rule to abide by is to apply mosquito repellent especially during dusk and dawn (when mosquitoes are most active). All the lodges/hotels we use have good mosquito nets to prevent you from getting bitten in the night.
Book with us today and contribute to conservation!
By booking with The Sustainable Birding Company you are not only going to be actively helping the fight towards ethical and sustainable tourism, but also having the best possible birding experience imaginable! It's a win win! Book today and have the time of your life!