Fischer's Turaco is endemic at Kenya's and Tanzania's coast

Turacos, Go-away-birds and Plaintain-eaters

Order Musophagiformes – Turacos and Plaintain Eaters, suborder Musophagae, family Musophagidae. These are medium-seized to large arboreal birds, living in noisy groups or pairs. They have quite long tails and some are very colourful. They are loved by photographers. Their flight is quite weak so often they more glide from tree to tree.

Turacos, Go-away-birds and Plaintain-eaters are endemic to Africa South of the Sahara.

Most species have a prominent erectile crest. Females and males look alike so very little sexual dimorphism. The bill is short and curved. Most are forest species and only a few mainly Plaintain Eaters and Go-away birds inhabit savannas even semi arid areas. They are territorial and some have a loud call heard through the forest even you won’t see the bird.

They are fruit eaters and therefore important for the dispersal of seeds.

Some species look quite alike but in general their distribution areas don’t overlap. So for each species you have to travel to a different destination. From the coast to highland forests, Kakamega Rainforest, Masai Mara, Serengeti a.o.

To give you as actual information as possible we use Avibase, the books “Birds of South of the Sahara”, “Birds of East Africa”, “Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania”. Then we put the most characteristic information to the photo.

You can also follow us on Facebook “Bird photography Safaris Kenya” and see the numerous species as well as the beautiful photos from Lorenzo Barelli.

Depending on the species you are keen to see the time of the year plays a big role. 

We tailor-made our safaris according to your wishes and visit those areas offering the highest chance to find your dream bird species. Sometime travelling over long distances is required, but it is also possible to fly from one corner to the other to safe time and some long journeys on the roads. Turaco species distribution areas don’t overlap. 

Click on the photo for larger view. The names of the photographers are on the photo and in the text. Without the generosity of several amazing bird photographers it had not been possible to create the pages with so many bird species. Those photos without name are from Elvira Wolfer.

On our Central to Western Kenya Safari you have the chance to find different Turaco species

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) is found from Western Kenya to the Ivory Coast. They are found in groups from 5 – 8 individuals in Kakamega Forest, Uganda and Rwanda. Photo Jacques Pitteloud

Ruwenzori Turaco (Ruwenzorornis johnstoni kivuensis) is one of the endemic species in the Albertine Rift. There are 3 subspecies. Photo Adam Scott Kennedy, Nyengwe Forest, Rwanda

East African Purple-crested Turaco (Tauraco porphyreolophus chlorochlamys). This subspecies is endemic to East Africa to Northern Mozambique. Rarer in Kenya than in Tanzania. Photo Per Holmen

White-crested Turaco (Tauraco leucolophus) is endemic in NE Africa, South Sudan, NE DRC, N Uganda, central to Western Kenya. Photo Jacques Pitteloud

Hartlaub’s Turaco (Tauraco hartlaubi) is endemic to highland forests in Kenya and adjacent Uganda and Northern Tanzania. Flight photo by Jacques Pitteloud

Schalow’s Turaco (Tauraco schalowi) is found in the Masai Mara / Serengeti area and SW Tanzania. 

Fischer’s Turaco (Tauraco f. fischeri) occurs in coastal forests in Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania. Arabuko Sokoke Forest. Status: Near threatened. The subspecies zanzibaricus is found on Zanzibar.

Ross’s Turaco (Musophaga rossae) is a species of Central African Forests. In Kenya it is found in Kakamega Forest and Western Masai Mara. Photo Marina Meger, Uganda, Lorenzo Barelli, Kakamega

White-bellied Go-Away-Bird (Corythaixoides leucogaster) is endemic in NE Africa in Acacia-Commiphora bush land. They are in noisy groups. Females have a greenish bill. The fruits of the desert date (Balanites sp) are very much liked. 

Bare-faced Go-away-Bird (Corythaixoides personatus leopoldi) occurs in SW Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda in savanna and grassland. They like the fruits of Desert Dates (Balanites sp). Photo from Serengeti

Eastern grey Plaintain-Eater (Crinifer zonorus) occurs in Western Kenya, NW Tanzania, Uganda a.o. in lightly wooded savanna mostly below 1.500 m. Photo by Jacques Pitteloud