Birding in Kiunga Marine National Reserve

Birding in Kiunga Marine National Reserve

December 31, 2021
Safari Tips

Are you looking for a birding tour in Kiunga Marine National Reserve? Yes, Kiunga Marine National Reserve is located along the coast of Indian ocean, covering a larger coastal area of lamu and over 45 islands. Visitors to this reserve enjoy great views of teeming sea life in the coral reefs, as well as extensive mangrove forests which act as shelter for sea turtles and dugongs. Besides bird watching, Kiunga marine national reserve offers remarkable tourism activities like Wind Surfing, Snorkeling, Water skiing, Diving, Fishing, Sunbathing, Dhow cruise safaris among others.

The following are some of the key attractions at Kiunga Marine national reserve;

  • Reptiles/fish such as Sea Turtles, Reef fish, Olive Ridley, Turtles, Leatherback,
  • Insects/arthropods like Lobsters, Seastar, Crabs, Sea urchins, Mosquito
  • Carol reefs
  • Kiwayu Island
  • Sea birds that attracts birding tours
  • Sand dunes
  • Beautiful sand beaches

If you are a key birdwatcher, look out for the following bird species at Kiunga Marine National Reserve; mangrove kingfisher, Crab-plover, Roseate Tern, curlew sandpiper, little stint and Caspian tern. The park is also habitat for Nile crocodiles, hippopotamus, Sykes monkey and otter.

Best time to visit Kiunga Marine National Reserve for birding safari

The reserve can be visited all year round however, the best time to visit Kiunga Marine National Reserve for birdwatching tour is from November to April when the breeding season is on and many birds are in full plumage. This is also a good time to spot migrant bird species from Europe and north Africa. Please note that most interesting species are present all year around hence birding is good any time. For any other activities, you are advised to visit the reserve from June to early September and December to February. The coast is humid with a mean annual temperature ranging from 22°C to 34°C

Where to stay during your birding trip in Kiunga Marine National Reserve

There are a number of accommodation facilities around Kiunga Marine National Reserve, giving you great options depending on your travel budget. For boutique lodgings, we always book in our guests at Majlis Resort and Manda Bay while Kizingoni Beach Houses, Kipungani and Kizingo Lodges are excellent mid-range properties. More still, we use Kijani Hotel for price sensitive travelers looking for a life time coastal trip in Kenya.

How to access Kiunga Marine National Reserve

If you are looking for a birding safari, you can only access Kiunga Marine National Reserve by road, water and air transport.

By Roads: Kiunga Marine national reserve is a remote, unspoiled area on the mainland about 150 km east of Lamu

By air: You can fly into Dodori airstrip and later drive to the reserve

By water:  You can get to kiwayu Island by dhow or Speedboat from Lamu

What to carry for a tour to Kiunga Marine National Reserve

  • Tourists intending to do birding and other activities are recommended to carry the following;
  • Footwear such as sandals or flip flops to protect you from reefs
  • T-shirts
  • Snorkel, mask, fins, however; these are available for hire onsite
  • Camera
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellant
  • Guide books
  • Enough drinking water.
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