Coastal Kenya Birding Tour

COASTAL KENYA BIRDING TOUR

Trip duration

12 days/ 11 nights

This tour can be combined with our Kenya Birding Tour to make our famous Kenya Mega Birding Tour.

 

DAY 1 AND 2: AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK

We shall start our Coastal Kenya Birding Tour in Amboseli, at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This scenic park is graced by the mighty Savannah Elephants, and hosts the longest and most famous elephant research program in the entire World. The mammals here are great indeed and we shall take time to enjoy them. The local birds are great and we shall be hoping to enjoy many species.

We shall leave Nairobi early and head straight for Amboseli. We shall arrive in time for lunch. We shall then spend the afternoon enjoying game drives in the park as we enjoy the local birds and mammals. We shall continue birding here the following day as we seek species we may have missed earlier.

Nights in Amboseli.

DAY 3, 4 AND 5: TSAVO WEST NATIONAL PARK AND TAITA HILLS

On day 3, we shall kick off from Amboseli early to have ample time on the way, because the road has some great birds to see. Our destination will be the vast Tsavo West National Park, where we shall bird for the rest of the day. This is a very expansive area and our Coastal Kenya Birding Tour allocates enough time to explore it comprehensively. We shall also visit the Mzima Springs, a superb wetland where birding can also be done on foot. There will also be great mammals to look forward to. We shall spend the night in Tsavo West.

On day 4 we shall enjoy more birding in Tsavo West. We shall then visit the Lake Jipe area where we shall scan the wetland for more localised species, both on the lake shores and also the nearby dryland. We shall then proceed to the nearby Sagala Ranch for the night.

Early on day 5, we shall make a short trip to Taita Hills, mainly searching for the local endemics, Taita White-eye, Taita Thrush and Taita Apalis. This indeed forms a great location on our Coastal Kenya Birding Tour and the endemics here are always a highlight. There will be many other special birds of this area that we shall enjoy here. We shall then head back to our lodge as we score more birds. Night in Sagala.

DAY 6 AND 7: SHIMBA HILLS

We shall head south to the Shimba Hills, a remnant of the southernmost mountainous forests of Kenya, where we shall arrive around midday. We shall spend the afternoon enjoying birding in the Shimba Hills National Reserve. This area is famous for hosting the Sable Antelope, one of the most beautiful ungulates in Kenya.

First night in Shimba Hills.

The following morning we shall enjoy more birds that we may have missed earlier. We shall then travel to Malindi in the afternoon, which will serve as the base for our next leg of the Coastal Kenya Birding Tour. Night in Malindi.

DAY 8: DAKATCHA WOODLAND

On this day we shall move north of Malindi to Dakatcha woodland. Home to the only known nesting site of the endemic Clarke’s Weavers worldwide, this vast woodland has a lot to offer. We shall plan a route that will sample the habitat well for a day experience of this area. The objective will be unlocking the potential of this little known region. We shall spend time in the local Brachystegia and Cynometra forests searching for local forest specialties. We shall also sample the scattered wetlands after the day is warmed up and then some semi-arid open habitats around the Galana ecosystem for more species. A few known productive grasslands will also be sampled. We shall arrive earliest possible in Dakatcha and leave late in the afternoon. We shall spend the night in Malindi.

DAY 9 AND 10: ARABUKO SOKOKE FOREST, SABAKI RIVER MOUTH AND MIDA CREEK

Birding at the coastal lowland is best during early morning hours, we shall maximise the mornings for forest birding. Forest birding will start very early and end at around 1100hrs on both days. We hope to see many birds species during these forest walks. The local endemic Sengis and monkey species will also be plenty. In the mid-day hours, we shall take a break to enjoy the local sunbathing opportunities or some other activity.

Later in the afternoons, we shall visit the marine wetlands for some water birds. On one afternoon, we shall visit Mida Creek, for the marine shorebirds, terns and gulls depending on the tides, among many other abundant birds. The next afternoon we shall visit the Sabaki River Mouth.

On one evening at Arabuko, we shall try a search for nocturnal species of owls and nightjars.

Nights in Malindi.

DAY 11: TSAVO EAST NATIONAL PARK

This area is very diverse and occupies a vast land mass across the drylands of Eastern Kenya. The park is bathed by the massive Athi-Galana-Sabaki River, which serves as the lifeline of this great park. Birding and other wildlife watching will be very interesting and you can expect lots of diversity.

We shall drive from Malindi enjoying many dryland birds on the way. We shall then spend the rest of the day in Tsavo East, scoring more birds from this magical destination.

We shall spend the night at Voi.

DAY 12: MOMBASA ROAD-NAIROBI AND DEPARTURE

On this day, we shall enjoy birding along the Nairobi-Mombasa Road. We shall enjoy lunch enroute at a restaurant where we shall also enjoy some more birding. Later in the afternoon, we shall proceed to Nairobi. We shall enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and then head to the airport for the flight home; marking the end to our lovely Coastal Kenya Birding Tour.

 

 

Highlight birds

Cardinal Quelea, White-headed Mousebird, Saddle-billed Stork, Jameson’s Firefinch, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Acacia Tit, Harlequin Quail, Two-banded Courser, Scaly Chatterer, Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Taita Thrush, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Four-coloured Bush-Shrike, White-bellied Canary, Taveta Golden Weaver, Golden Palm Weaver, Clarke’s Weaver, Taita White-eye, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Eastern Nicator, Tiny Greenbul, Fischer’s Greenbul, Zanzibar Greenbul, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Crested Guineafowl, East Coast Akalat, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Fischer’s Turaco, Trumpeter Hornbill, Blue-capped Cordon-Bleu, Somali Bunting, Taita Aplais, Tiny Cisticola, Pale Prinia, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Little Yellow Flycatcher, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Thick-billed Cuckoo, African Wood Owl, Green Barbet, White-eared Barbet, Green Tinkerbird, Bohm’s Spinetail, Forest Batis, Pygmy Batis, Pale Batis, Eastern Olive Sunbird, Plain-backed Sunbird, Violet-breasted Sunbird, Amani Sunbird, Tsavo Sunbird, Common Greenshank, Crab Plover, White-fronted Plover, Grey Plover, Sooty Gull, Greater Crested Tern, Sokoke Scops Owl, African Barred Owlet, Sombre Nightjar, Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar, Nubian Nightjar, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Striped Pipit, Malindi Pipit, Sokoke Pipit, Mangrove Kingfisher, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Brown-headed Parrot, Somali Sparrow, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Golden-breasted Starling, Shelley’s Starling, Magpie Starling, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Flappet Lark, Red-winged Lark, Friedman’s Lark, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark, African Cuckoo-Hawk, African Hawk-Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, White-headed Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Broad-billed Roller, Narina Trogon

 

Highlight mammals and others

Cheetah, Leopard, African Lion, Savannah Elephant, Black Rhino, Nile Crocodile, Nile Hippo, Fringe-eared Oryx, Lesser Kudu, Cape Buffalo, Golden-rumped Sengi

Habitats covered

Savannah, Wetlands, Semi-arid Scrubland, Eastern Arc Forest, Coastal Forest, Coastal Beach

Photographic opportunities

Excellent

Special moments

Star Gazing, the Indian Ocean, Mt. Kilimanjaro, African Big 5, Kenya’s Endemic Birds

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