Field Guides: Needed? Which Ones?

Nov 11th, 2007, 08:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 161
Field Guides: Needed? Which Ones?

Hello all! Finally a moment to catch up on forum posts from the past couple months. A pleasure i have missed.

Started finalizing my packing list - we leave January 15 for Kenya/Tanzania. I have searched the forum, with it's questionable search engine, trying to get more information on animal and bird field guide books. Is it important to bring one? I was leaning towards a good bird book for identification, but which one for East Africa? And I have a couple mammal books, but are they needed when you have a good guide to help identify?

Thank you for your help!
Local2542 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
All the guides we've used had a copy of a bird ID book (usually "Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania") and a copy of a general animal guide like the one by Richard Estes or similar. So bringing your own is optional.
Bill_H is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 02:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I bring only a bird book. The guide usually has one but it is nice to have your own to check and for midday birdwatching back in camp.
atravelynn is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 642
Hi Local2542,

I have spent a great deal of time searching out wildlife guides for East Africa this one looks good, and specifically for birds because I prefer photographs to illustrations of birds for easy identification.

I actually ordered the Audubon guide to African wildlife as it has wide coverage of mammals and birds and I will be visiting both East and Southern Africa. Other Fodorites recommended this title so I have high hopes that it will be useful.



Treepol is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 118
We took a copy of "Birds of East Africa", Stevenson and Fanshawe. Used it constantly on safari and after returning (to confirm identification of photos). Our driver/guide had a copy too - he and my wife had some great competitions nailing down exactly what we had come upon. Won't go back without it.
Otis72 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 161
Thank you - looking into all your recommended books. Seems like a bird book is the way to go. Appreciate your input!

Local2542 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 437
I really liked Wildlife of East Africa by Martin Withers and David Hosking. It doesn't have as many birds as a full-fledged bird book, of course, but it does an amazingly good job of including both the mammals and birds you are most likely to see (not to mention a few of the trees and insects too). And it is relatively small, which is a bonus, too.

We relied on the guide's bird book for researching real puzzles, but about 98% of what I looked for was in my book, and it was also easier to find because the book was specifically for East Africa.
ann_nyc is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 161
Just ordered Birds of East Africa on amazon. I have the Withers/Hosking's book, and it seems very usable also. Thank you for all your help.
Local2542 is offline  

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