This week I am excited to be exchanging guest posts with  fellow travel blogger Dave Cole of Cook Sip Go. Based in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Dave has traveled extensively in Eastern Africa and in this post he writes of the colorful array of birds seen while on a visit to the Amboseli National Park in Kenya.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_Yellow necked Francolin


Kenya’s Amboseli National Park is located near the border with Tanzania and is an easy 3-4 hour drive south from Nairobi.  Amboseli is of one of the top places in Africa to view large herds of elephants and its views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are equally renowned.  Just as impressive, though, is the colorful array of birds at the park, which draws birders from all parts of the world.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_Ostrich with Heron


The low-level swamps and seasonal waters of Amboseli are a big attraction for the birds.  As many of these areas are close to the roads, a game drive will allow some excellent spotting from several meters away.  The long-legged flyers love the shallow pools and the park is filled with egrets, Yellow-billed Storks and the visually stunning Black-headed Heron.  They are joined by the unmistakable markings of the Saddlebill.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_White Egret


Birds of Amboseli National Park_Yellow billed stork


Birds of Amboseli National Park_Black headed heron


Birds of Amboseli National Park_Saddlebill


The Kori Bustard is the largest bird that can achieve flight.  When one takes off in the distance, the bird’s wingspan might cause you to confuse it for a small plane.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_Kori bustard


Even walking around the grounds of a lodge in Amboseli can yield some beautiful birds.  The Superb Starling is an attractive mix of bright feathers, while the Hoopoe has a very distinct head and beak.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_Superb Starling


Birds of Amboseli National Park_Hoopoe


As someone used to the pigeons and sparrows of New York, I was especially struck by the interesting appearance of certain birds.  I loved the secretary bird’s fancy plumage and the unique shape of the Hamerkop’s head.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_Secretary Bird


Birds of Amboseli National Park_Hamerkop


One of the most easily spotted birds in the park is the Marabou Stork.  Often referred to as the “undertaker bird” for its appearance from behind, the marabou and its rather strikingly unattractive face are omnipresent.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_Maribou stork


Of all of the birds I saw, I enjoyed the Grey Crowned Crane the most.  Its graceful movement and palate of colors merited stopping the safari car and observing for a few minutes whenever we encountered a flock.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_Grey Crowned Crane Solo


Birds of Amboseli National Park_Grey Crowned Crane Two


While I did not see many birds of prey in Amboseli, Lanner Falcons were visible overhead several times, scanning the grasses for their next meal.  One stopped for a rest long enough for me to snap a photo and the concentration and determination are evident in its eyes.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_Lanner Falcon


A few days in the park will yield countless lapwings.  The Black and White Lapwings dot the grasses and the Crowned Lapwing is a vocal addition to a quiet savannah.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_Crowned Lapwing


No East African bird photo essay would be complete without a shot of the Egyptian goose.  I have seen flocks of them throughout the rift valley and they will always be a warm reminder of my travels in Africa.

Birds of Amboseli National Park_Egyptian Goose


Thanks to Dave Cole for taking part in this collaboration. Check him out on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Many thanks to Rachael from Safari254 for taking part in this collaboration! – See more at:
Many thanks to Rachael from Safari254 for taking part in this collaboration! Be sure to stop by Safari254′s Facebook page and follow Safari254 on Twitter. – See more at:
Many thanks to Rachael from Safari254 for taking part in this collaboration! Be sure to stop by Safari254′s Facebook page and follow Safari254 on Twitter. – See more at:
Many thanks to Rachael from Safari254 for taking part in this collaboration! Be sure to stop by Safari254′s Facebook page and follow Safari254 on Twitter. – See more at:

This week we are linking up with;

1. Reflections enroute #wkendtravelinspiration

2. Adelina’s Pack Me To in  #SundayTraveler

3. Noel Morata’s Travel Photo Mondays


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Masai Lodge & Rolf's Place
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3 Unmissable experiences in Nairobi


  1. August 3, 2014 at 8:54 pm — Reply

    Cool photos!! Some of these birds look familiar, some of them I’ve never seen anything like before I my life. I’m seeing a lot about Kenya these days, and Africa in general. It sounds like a paradise for all things natural and wild.

  2. Huzeifa Hakimi
    August 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm — Reply

    Check this series out. I took them when i was down in the rift a while ago.

  3. August 4, 2014 at 2:41 am — Reply

    Great job, Dave, and thank you for sharing him with us, Rachel! These birds are absolutely beautiful and I agree with you that I liked the Grey Crowned Crane as well! I wish there was picture of Mr Kilimanjaro! 🙂

  4. Keniamoja
    August 4, 2014 at 5:36 am — Reply

    Amazing shots, you must be a very good photographer to take such shots (shooting birds is not easy – requires a lot of time,patience and concentration). You should also note the secretary bird is also a bird of prey.
    Marabou storks must be the ugliest birds in the universe!

  5. August 4, 2014 at 6:24 am — Reply

    These are AMAZING photos! Dave is awesome! Some of these birds don’t even look real, like nothing I’ve ever seen.

  6. August 4, 2014 at 8:25 am — Reply

    Great photos 🙂

  7. August 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm — Reply

    Dave, Your photos are stunning as always. What lens are you using to get up so close to these beauties? Rachel fantastic post and thanks for linking it up with Weekend Travel Inspiration!

  8. August 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm — Reply

    What beautiful birds! Great shots Dave 😀

  9. August 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm — Reply

    Really spectacular, you really captured these magnificent birds in their natural environments, beautiful!

  10. August 5, 2014 at 8:34 am — Reply

    Dave is talented. What amazing photos!

  11. August 5, 2014 at 9:08 am — Reply

    I’ve never been into birding, but this post has convinced me that it would definitely be worthwhile during a trip to Kenya. Such a great variety of birds with such beautiful plumage!

  12. Manesha
    August 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm — Reply

    Wow!! Dave , you actually make bird watching look worthwhile. I have always thought of it as boring, but if the end result are these shots, I am all for it!!

  13. August 5, 2014 at 7:46 pm — Reply

    Great collaboration between the two of you! Enjoyed reading Dave’s post. Wildlife in Kenya doesn’t stop to impress me. Not surprised that Dave enjoyed the most Grey Crowned Crane. It’s gorgeous!

  14. August 5, 2014 at 9:29 pm — Reply

    Very nice photos, such vibrant colours. This is probably somewhere I will never visit so it’s nice to read about others’ adventures. Thanks for sharing.

  15. August 5, 2014 at 10:41 pm — Reply

    Hey, on behalf of Christa, Host of The Sunday Traveler, I was stopping by to check out your article. Great pics! I’m fairly certain I’ve seen a Yellow Billed Stork or two here in Florida. That Secretary bird gave me a chuckle. 🙂

  16. August 6, 2014 at 9:57 pm — Reply

    Awesome photos! Love that you and Dave exchanged posts. 🙂

  17. August 6, 2014 at 11:15 pm — Reply

    Wow..really beautiful photography! I agree that the grey crowned crane is the best. It’s the most colorful! 🙂

  18. August 7, 2014 at 6:01 pm — Reply

    Wow, I’ve never seen so much beautiful birds in one post and the shots are really stunning. II have not heard about many of these birds and it great to learn about them. I’d definitely would love to visit Amboseli someday to see these spectacular creatures.

  19. August 9, 2014 at 12:07 am — Reply

    I love the post, the pictures are amazing, and so are yours, I read your post on Dave’s blog.

    [Stopping over via the #SundayTraveler linkup]

  20. August 13, 2014 at 9:07 pm — Reply

    What a magnificent collection of birds! I love all the colorful ones and can’t get over how diverse they all are. Sights like these make me want to visit these parks so badly. Great job, Dave!

  21. August 29, 2014 at 8:32 am — Reply

    I love that first shot! Beautiful pictures and great variety of birds showcased.

  22. November 4, 2014 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    This is lovely.
    I like the images and how they are arranged

  23. March 21, 2015 at 8:28 pm — Reply

    […] of times. My friend Ratia wrote about her trip there and later Dave of CookSipGo  showed us the birds of Amboseli.  Second in popularity after the legendary Masai Mara, Amboseli National Park offers great game […]

  24. […] out to Dave Cole whose post on the birds of Amboseli  made me a keener observer of birdlife in my […]

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