Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus
African birdlife has an enormous appeal for birdwatchers, avian photographers, ornithologists and even for tourists with only a passing interest in wildlife. Almost 2,500 species of 111 families have been seen in the mainland of Africa, its associated islands and around its coasts. Of these, perhaps 1,800 species and a remarkable 20 bird families are found only in this geographic area.
Whether your main interest is raptors, ducks, waders, owls, parrots, woodpeckers or songbirds, you will find something to hold your attention. On the other hand, you may wish to see some of the families which are unique to Africa such as mousebirds, turacos, bush-shrikes and sugarbirds. Perhaps you want to see thousands of flamingos, vultures at a carcass or huge numbers of seabirds. Whatever your interest, there should be something for you to see in Africa.
The islands off the coast of Africa hold a special fascination for birders both because of their huge seabird colonies and the range of endemic species which they hold. The Seychelles, São Tomé and Príncipe, Comoros and Mauritius for example all contain much of interest and the 5 endemic bird familes and over 120 endemic species in Madagascar make this a must-visit destination for birders.
Sadly, many countries in Africa have ongoing civil strife and hence, at any point in time, there are some areas which are not safe to visit. Visitors should therefore take advice from their local travel companies and from their governments before planning a trip. Situations do change however and countries which a few years ago would have been off limits can now be visited.
The purpose of this website is to provide a range of resources about Africa, its countries and its birds. These pages provide a general introduction to the ornithology of the African continent and its associated islands. Other sections cover each individual country in much greater detail. You should also visit our sister site at The African Bird Image Database to see some superb photographs of the spectacular birdlife.
This information has been put together from a number of sources and it is intended to add new information as it becomes available. As such, readers are welcome to submit contributions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You should note that the names of birds used in this document are those of the African Bird Club checklist.