When? All year round
A 40-ha expanse of attractive open parkland and woodland within 2 km of the City Centre, the Nairobi Arboretum (founded in 1907) offers a tranquil setting in which to appreciate a surprising variety of local garden birds.
As one of few remaining Nairobi’s Urban Green Spaces, it owes its existence to the construction of the Kenya-Uganda Railway. Founded by Mr. Batiscombe as a trial plot for new fast growing forestry trees that would supply the high demand of fuel wood for the Kenya-Uganda railway line, most of its trees are exotic and not native to Kenya.
It was gazetted as a national reserve in 1932 and is now under the management of the Kenya Forest Service with the help of Friends of Nairobi Arboretum
The Nairobi Arboretum is home to over 350 tree species and over 100 resident and migrant birds among other animal species.
Its various walkways and trails provide great sites for your morning or evening walk. The calmness within the Arboretum give you that feeling of peace and oneness with nature.
You could also also choose to have a picnic as you watch the numerous Vervet and Sykes monkeys.
The Arboretum’s impressive assortment of native trees and shrubs means wild fruit is available over much of the year, not only sustaining resident birds but also attracting wandering species such as Lemon Dove, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill and various Starlings.
Resident birds include many of the species typically found in suburban Nairobi’s larger private gardens. In the open parkland of the Arboretum’s upper reaches, expect to see White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Olive Thrush, Common Paradise Flycatcher, Black-headed Oriole, Red-chested Cuckoo, White-bellied Tit, various Sunbirds (Variable, Collared, Scarlet-chested, Amethyst, Bronze) and Mannikins (Bronze, Black-and-White), and – in season – migrants such as Eurasian Bee-eater or Willow Warbler. Raptors on view will include Augur Buzzard and ubiquitous Yellow-billed Kite.
From pathways amid dappled woodland between the upper lawns and the Kirichwa (Kubwa) River, look for Little Sparrowhawk, African Goshawk, Eastern Honeybird, Black-backed Puffback, Tropical Boubou, Rüppell’s Robin-Chat, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Montane White-eye. Greenbuls (Yellow-whiskered, Cabanis’) are conspicuous in the understorey, where the rare Grey-olive Greenbul is occasionally also seen. On the river itself, look for Mountain Wagtail and Malachite Kingfisher – and a resident pair of African Black Duck.
For serious birders, look out for African Goshawk, Black-headed Oriole, Tropical Boubou, Montane White-eye, Grey-olive Greenbul (at times)…
Why you'll enjoy this....
Don't forget to carry...
- Field Guide
- Comfortable shoes and a hat
- Notebook and pen
- Camera and accessories
Book your Nairobi Arboretum bird-watching...
- Professional photography & guiding services
- Transport in private tour vehicle with open roof
- Pick up from and drop off to your area of residence or hotel within Mombasa
- Personalized service
- Tips and gratuities to driver/guides
- Alcoholic drinks
- Entrance fee to activities labelled as “extra”