In Kenya, it is very impossible to get away from birds! Wherever you travel in this country, there is a huge diversity of birds. Due to various habitats, there are also different species of birds you are likely to see in different habitats, this means that within a short space of time a birder ends up with a long list of birds. The total bird species list for a two to three week tour to Kenya is tremendous.
You will be met by our tour manager who will brief on your three weeks tour. You will then be transferred to your hotel have lunch and then visit the National Museums gallery, the museum garden and, if time permits, other sites around Nairobi, for a diversity of species in this unbelievably bird-rich city. Lunch at a city restaurant. Overnight at Nairobi Serena. Meals: (B, L & D)
Early breakfast, drive northwards passing the 3rd world largest pineapple plantations to the town of Mweiga for lunch at the Aberdare Country Club. After lunch you will be ferried by lodge’s 4wd vehicles up the forest to the Ark. Aberdares national park is inhabited mainly by forest dwelling bird species. At the Ark, you spend the evening viewing from the hotel balconies the large number of wildlife that comes to drink at the salt lick close to this eco-lodge. Dinner and overnight at the Ark.
NOTE: children under 8 years old are not allowed at the tree lodge (the ark). Only a small bag/ luggage is required the rest of the luggage is left under good care at the base hotel.
The Aberdares host a rich montane bird fauna. Most of Kenya’s highland species are found here. The reserves are also rich in big game such as elephant, buffalo and antelope – the bongo.
Drive northwards after breakfast Samburu Game Reserve. This reserve has a plethora of unique bird and game species. Despite its small size, the reserve contains lots of contrasting habitats: rocky cliff and scarps, pools, swamps and river line sandbanks; arid open woodland, bush and grasslands. All these contribute to an impressive biodiversity. Take a tour too to the neighboring reserves of Shaba and Buffalo springs which are separated by Ewaso Nyiro (the brown river).
Samburu National Reserve bird species are such as Palm-Nut Vulture and Egyptian Vultures, Bateleur, and Verreaux Eagles, Verreaux Eagle-owl and the small Pygmy Falcon. We shall also look for Somali Ostrich, Kori and Buff-crested Bustards, Somali Bee-eater, Vulturine Guinea fowl, Ethiopian Swallow, Bare-eyed Thrush, Grey-capped and Black-capped Social Weavers, Cut-throat Finch, Red-winged and Pink-breasted Larks, Golden Pipit, Magpie Starlings and Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-weaver, Northern and Pale Crombecs. While looking out for the endemic William’s and Masked larks, we will also see some big mammals which are confined to the northern part of Kenya and they include the Oryx, Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Girraffe and the Gerenuk or Girraffe antelope.
Dinner and overnight: Samburu Sopa lodge.
Drive southwards after an early breakfast to Lake Nakuru national park and arrive in good time for lunch. The park was opened in 1969 as a bird sanctuary because of the huge flocks of Lesser Flamingo. It also hosts big flocks of both Great White and Pink-backed Pelican, ducks and waders. The acacia is a refuge for other wildlife like the Rothschild Giraffe, both Black and White Rhino and cats like lion and leopard.
Lake Nakuru you will see the spectacular gathering of lesser Flamingoes in there hundreds of thousand together with an abundance of other water birds like the Western Reef Heron, Lesser Jacana, and black-headed Gull. We will also look for Acacia forest species, including Green-wood Hoopoe, Hildebrandt’s and Coqui Francolins, Rufous-naped and Fawn-colored Larks, scarce Grey-crowned Helmet-shrike, Arrow-marked Babbler, Bearded Woodpecker, Mottled swift and White-shouldered Cliff Chat. On the baboon cliff we shall be on the lookout for fox Kestrels and other species of falcons.
Dinner and overnight at Sarova Lion hill Game Lodge on full board basis.
After breakfast travel further south to Lake Baringo and arrive in good time for lunch.
In Lake Baringo Birding along the cliffs will give you golden chances to see some owls and raptors on the cliffs and adjacent acacia. Key species to look for are White-faced Scopes Owl, Hemprich’s Hornbill, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Bristle-crowned Starling ,Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Beautiful Sunbird, Bristle-crowned Starling, Jackson’s Golden-backed, Little and Northern Masked Weavers. In the evening we visit several sites looking for Verreaux’s and Spotted-Eagle Owls, as well as the White-faced Scops Owl.
You shall take an exciting drive to Lake Bogoria, looking for Silver bird on the way. This is another saline lake with spectacular hot springs. This is an important roosting site for huge flocks of the Eurasian Steppe Eagle. Dinner and overnight at Baringo Country Club.
Drive after breakfast to Kakamega forest having your lunch enroute.
Kakamega Tropical Rain Forest. This is the only tropical rain forest in the country. It is on the easternmost boundary of the West African tropical rain forest. This makes it a unique biome because it contains species found nowhere else in the country. Birds to look for are the Great Blue Turraco, White-spotted Fluff tail, the endemic Chapin’s Flycatcher, the threatened and incredibly localized Turner’s Eremomela, Stuhlman’s Starling among a long list of other West African species.
Dinner and overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre.
Drive to Kisumu, which is a city at the shores of Lake Victoria, after breakfast. Take a boat ride for your birding.
Along the Papyrus stands on the shores of Lake Victoria and Yala Swamps, we shall look for the three Papyrus endemics which are Papyrus Gonolek, Warbler and Canary. Other Lake region species to see are Open-billed Stork, White winged Warbler, Swamp Flycatcher, Red-headed Quelea, Yellow-backed Weaver, Greater-swamp Warbler, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Red-chested Sunbird, Slender-billed and Golden-backed Weavers among others.
Lunch, dinner and overnight at kiboko bay.
After breakfast drive to Lake Naivasha and arrive in good time for lunch. Have another boat ride for ducks, waders, warblers and kingfishers. The woodland around the lake is a good habitat for cuckoos and cisticolas. The lake supports large populations of Hippo, Wildebeest, Maasai Giraffe, Waterbuck and lots of others. The Acacia around the lake provide larger population of African Fish Eagle, Grey-crested and Helmet-shrike. Dinner and overnight at Lake Naivasha sopa/ simba
Drive to and bird the famed Maasai Mara after breakfast. You will have packed lunch.
The Mara Game Reserve has varied habits, including open rolling grasslands, river line forests, acacia woodlands, swamps, escarpments, etc. These contribute to its exceedingly diverse wildlife. It is know for its huge concentrations of herbivores and attendant predators. More than 500 bird species are known to occur here, including raptor 53 raptor species such as Southern Ground Hornbill, Long-toed Plover Lizard Buzzard, Secretary Bird, Shelley’s Francolin, Red-necked Spur fowl, Madagascar Squacco Heron, Rofous-bellied Heron Spotted Thicknee, Red-throated Spurfowl, Magpie Shrike, Black Coucal, Little Greenbul, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Athi Short-toed Lark, Karamoja Apalis, Zitting and Rock-loving Cisticola
Dinner and overnight at: Keekorok
Drive to Amboseli national park and lunch is enroute. Have three game viewing drives in the park.
Amboseli National Park ;This famous reserve is at the base of Africa’s highest mountain and the world’s highest standing volcano, Mt Kilimanjaro, which towers more than 19,000 feet above the plains. Birds that can be seen within the reserve include C, White-backed and Lappet-faced Vultures, Spur-winged and Egyptian Geese, Red-billed and Hottentot Teals, Long-tailed Cormorant, Red-knobbed Coot, Yellow-billed and Saddle-billed Storks, Great and Intermediate Egrets, Grey, Black-headed, Herons Black Crake, African Jacana, Grey Crowned-crane, African Spoonbill, African Fish-eagle, Water Thick-knee, Collared Pratincole, Two-banded Courser, Three-banded Plover Greater Painted-snipe, White-browed Coucal, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Lilac-breasted Roller, Grey-headed, Malachite kingfishers, African Hoopoe, Red-capped Lark, Fischer’s Sparrow-lark, Pangani long claw and the hard to find Taveta Golden-weaver.
Dinner and overnight at Amboseli Serena.
After an early breakfast drive back to Nairobi, check in your Nairobi hotel and have dinner at carnivore for your dinner and then be transferred to JKIA for your outbound flight.
Fly to Malindi from Nairobi. Check into a Malindi beach hotel and then drive to Arabuko Sokoke Forest. Ranked by Birdlife International as the second most important reserve for bird conservation in mainland Africa.
Arabuko Sokoke Forest as six globally-threatened species, for example, the Clark’s Weaver and Sokoke Pipit are known only from Arabuko Sokoke. Sokoke Scope Owl is known from this forest and from only one other side in north-eastern Tanzania. More than 230 bird species are recorded here. look for White-fronted Plover, Greater and Lesser Sand plovers, Terek Sandpiper, Sooty Gull, Lesser-crested and Caspian Terns, Mombasa Green-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied and Fisher’s Greenbuls, Red-tailed Ant-thrush, Forest Batis, East-coast Akalat, Yellow and Blue-mantled Crested Monarch, Retz’s and Chestnut-fronted Helmet-shrike
Picnic lunch. Dinner and overnight at a Malindi Hotel.
After breakfast drive to Sabaki River Mouth and Mida Creek.
Mida Creek and Sabaki River is important sites for Crab Plover and is an important passage and wintering area for Eurasian migrant waders. The coastline hosts significant feeding and nesting populations of terns. The Mida Creek is internationally important, and many species use the site, up to 6000 individual waders may be present at any one time.
Picnic lunch. Dinner and overnight at Malindi hotel.
Drive to Tsavo National Park (west) having your lunch enroute.
Tsavo National Park has a huge range of natural habitats that support both local and Palaearctic species. It is a key stop over and wintering ground for Palaearctic migrants. It holds good populations of both globally and regionally threatened species. More than 300 bird species can be reported. Of the 92 Kenya species in the Somali-Maasai biome, 60 can be found here. Key species we will target are Black Eagle, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Shikra, Yellow-billed Hornbill, Meyers Parrot, White-headed Mousebirds, Tiny Cisiticola, Golden-breasted Starling, and the Golden Pipit. More species we will encounter on the second day includes, Tawny Eagle, African Black Swift, Spot-flanked Barbet, Cardinal Woodpecker, Scaly Chatterer, Somali Tit, Black-bellied, Hunter’s, and Kenya Violet-backed Sunbirds, Pygmy Batis, Brubru, Three-streaked and Black-crowned Tchagras, African Black-headed Oriole, White-naped Raven, Red-billed and Yellow-billed Oxpeckers, Black-necked, and Red-headed Weaver and the magnificent Somali Bunting. On the third day will be spent further exploring the vast Tsavo West National Park while transferring to another lodge closer to the coast. Woolly-necked Stork, African Grey Hornbill, Greater Honeyguide, Rufous-crowned Roller, Red-winged Lark, Desert Cisticola, Red-fronted Warbler, African Paradise-flycatcher, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Purple Grenadier, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting and the extremely local Pringle’s Puffback are all species we may be able to add during the course of the day.
Dinner and overnight at Ngulia Safari Lodge.
After breakfast drive to TaIta Hills Reserve.
From the heat and openness of the Lowlands of Tsavo you rise into the mist forests of the Taita hills which form the northernmost extent of the Eastern Arc Mountains regarded as global biodiversity hotspots. You shall visit one of the largest fragments called Ngangao and here we shall find some endemics mainly, Taita Thrush, Taita White-eye, and Taita Apalis. Other interesting species are you shall see includes, African Dusky Flycatcher African Crowned Eagle, African Hawk-eagle, Walberg’s Eagle, African Hobby, Emerald Cuckoo, Striped Pipit, Stripe-cheeked and Placid Greenbuls, Sharpe’s Starling, White-starred Forest Robin, Orange-ground Thrush, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler and Bicolored Manikin.
Check in at Sarova Salt Lick Lodge for dinner and overnight
Travel back to Nairobi, birding along the way. Check in at a Nairobi hotel for overnight.
After breakfast drive to Nairobi National Park. This is a very important site for roosting of flocks of Lesser Kestrel from Europe and Asia. Other birds include Jackson’s Widow, Africa’s largest bird of prey, Martial Eagle, and a rich diversity of other species.