Kenya Birding Tour

KENYA BIRDING TOUR

Trip duration

15 days/ 14 nights

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

 

DAY 1: THIKA, OL DONYO SABUK AND MT. KENYA

Leaving from Nairobi, on this day we shall have an early start on our Kenya Birding Tour. We shall head slowly towards Mt. Kenya through Thika, where we shall make a stop for local birds and also visit the Ol Donyo Sabuk Mountain area; targeting local special species. We shall likely see local monkey and antelope species, among other mammals.

Night at Mt. Kenya.

DAY 2: MT. KENYA

From the hotel we shall bird near the local bush and forest edge and then head up the mountain in our vehicle. We shall scan the forest and grasslands for the montane specials all day. Montane mammals are likely, including monkeys, antelopes, mongooses, genets, pigs, hogs, elephants and buffalo.

Night at Mt. Kenya.   

DAY 3 AND 4: BUFFALO SPRINGS AND SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVES

We shall leave early for Samburu and Buffalo Springs, a very interesting destination on our Kenya Birding Tour. We shall spend time scouting for extra birds as we enjoy the local mammals, such as Leopard, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Lion and Elephants. More birds will be expected here to add to our list. This is an amazing part of Kenya, and allows for excellent dry country birding. Many of the typical North-East African dryland birds are present here and the habitat will provide a huge species list.

Nights in Samburu.

DAY 5: LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK

Leaving early, on this day we shall drive to Lake Nakuru National Park; with a possible quick stop for a site where Cape Eagle-Owls roost. We shall arrive in Nakuru, around mid-day where we shall spend the entire afternoon birding in the park.

This park is famed as the birdwatchers’ paradise, and indeed was the first national park in Africa to be set up with an avian conservation objective. This is indeed one of the highlight locations on our Kenya Birding Tour. Up to a million flamingos have been recorded in this park depending on their regional migration. Most of these are Lesser Flamingos with Greater Flamingos making a smaller population. Other birds will be seen including some special species for this area and Palearctic water migrants being abundant in the right season. The park is also a great sanctuary for rhinos; without forgetting other three members of the Big Five, and these may be encountered as we move around the park. Other mammals will be seen, especially herds of grazing herbivores; and the Rothschild’s Giraffe.

We shall spend the night in Nakuru.

DAY 6: LAKE NAKURU TO LAKE BARINGO

On this day, we shall start with more birding in Nakuru. We shall spend the better part of the morning adding any species we may have missed the previous day. In the later afternoon, we shall head for Lake Baringo, as we bird along the way. If time allows, we shall stop briefly at a roadside dam near the lake, to check for some waterfowl.

Night in Baringo.

DAY 7: LAKE BARINGO

On this day, we shall enjoy birding in the Baringo area. We shall drive and walk around the scrubland and the cliffs surrounding the lake, in search of birds in this unique area. A boat ride experience will also help you enjoy the beauty of the lake and see the local African Fish Eagles advertising their territories.

Night in Baringo.

DAY 8: KERIO VALLEY, KITALE AND SAIWA SWAMP NATIONAL PARK

We shall continue westwards, on our Kenya Birding Tour and explore an area rarely birded by many groups. Driving to Kitale will see us cross the scenic Kerio circuit. We shall do our birding on the way; and also in Kitale and Saiwa Swamp that afternoon. Here we may also see the very rare Sitatunga Antelope and De Brazza’s Monkey.

Night in Kitale.

DAY 9: KONGELAI ESCARPMENT

We shall start with a short bird walk around our hotel compound. Then we head out to Kongelai Escarpment. This is one of Kenya’s best hidden spots and one of the least visited; and it will likely produce some great surprise species for our Kenya Birding Tour. We shall traverse this rich ecosystem hoping to find special birds, in the main escarpment, Kanyarkwat area and Suam. In the afternoon, we shall try our luck at a local nesting site for the rare Heuglin’s Masked Weaver; a highly sort after species on our Kenya Birding Tour. We shall also visit a local swamp to search for Red-chested Flufftail, Chubb’s Cisticola and Hartlaub’s Marsh Widowbird.

Night in Kitale.

DAY 10: LAKE VICTORIA

We shall leave early targeting Lake Victoria. On our way out, we shall scan several local spots that often produce nice birds around Busia and Mumias. We shall look for the very local Rock Pratincole. We shall then travel to the lakeside city of Kisumu, at the shores of Lake Victoria. The water here is fresh with lots of life and the local riparian zone will be our major target. We expect many wetland and marsh species. We shall have a boat ride to access more of the lake either that afternoon or early the next morning.

We shall spend the night in Kisumu.

DAY 11 AND 12: KAKAMEGA FOREST

This time will be spent exploring Kakamega forest, a remnant of the Guineo-Congolian Equatorial forest. Species diversity here is plenty and we shall hope to have a huge addition to our Kenya Birding Tour list. We shall spend time walking in the forest in search of local specialties, with short breaks in between. The forest is also great with different unique monkeys, antelopes and squirrel species.

Nights in Kakamega.

DAY 13: LAKE NAIVASHA

We shall leave early and drive straight to Naivasha. In Naivasha, we shall sample local birding spots. We shall keep an eye for more savannah and bushland birds. We shall also get to the lake shore, at our best-selected beach points, where many shorebirds will be seen. A boat ride on Lake Naivasha, will ensure you can reach more species in the middle of the lake, as you enjoy the aquatic beauty. 

Night in Naivasha.

DAY 14: KINANGOP GRASSLANDS, ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK AND NAIROBI

Home to some of the best Kenya’s endemic birds, Kinangop-Aberdare area promises to be rewarding on each trip. Indeed our Kenya Birding Tour scores very well on national and regional endemics and this day trip will be very helpful in adding these to our already big list. We shall start from the lower grasslands and gain elevation up to the Aberdare National Park; a pristine alpine moorland habitat. Local wetlands will also be sampled for the highland water birds. We shall have our picnic lunch here.

Later that afternoon, we proceed to Nairobi for the night, with a possible stop at a local swamp for some water birds.

DAY 15: NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK

We shall spend the entire day in this park, which has always proven very successful on our tours. This is Kenya’s oldest National Park, located just 7 kilometres from the edge of the Nairobi city centre, Kenya’s capital city. Indeed, this is Kenya’s capital birding location with over 500 species recorded in the park. The park also hosts four of the African Big Five and many other interesting animals that you’ll enjoy during the visit.

Evening flight from Nairobi marking the end to our lovely Kenya Birding Tour.

 

Highlight birds

Hartlaub’s Turaco, Jackson’s Francolin, Moorland Francolin, Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Greyish Eagle-Owl, Red-chested Owlet, Northern White-faced Scops Owl, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Montane Nightjar, Somali Bee-eater, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, Equatorial Akalat, Moorland Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Little Rock-Thrush, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Mocking Cliff Chat, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Spot-flanked Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, White-spotted Flufftail, Dusky Tit, African Emerald Cuckoo, Pink-backed Pelican, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Somali Courser, Spotted Thick-Knee, Black-headed Lapwing, Secretarybird, African Water Rail, Sharpe’s Longclaw, Pangani Longclaw, Rock Pratincole, Hartlaub’s Marsh Widowbird, Jackson’s Widowbird, Kori Bustard, Saddle-billed Stork, Hinde’s Babbler, Northern Pied Babbler, Stone Partridge, African Orange-bellied Parrot, Yellow-vented Eremomela, Green-backed Eremomela, Turner’s Eremomela, Green Hylia, Northern Crombec, Northern Grey Tit, Black-capped Social Weaver, Little Weaver, Jackson’s Golden-backed Weaver, Northern Masked Weaver, Heuglin’s Masked Weaver, White-billed Buffalo-Weaver, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Martial Eagle, Zebra Waxbill, Lappet-faced Vulture, Somali Ostrich, Olive Ibis, Abbott’s Starling, Purple Starling, Lesser Blue-eared Starling, Golden-breasted Starling, Stuhlmann’s Starling, Violet Wood-hoopoe, Nairobi Pipit, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Hunter’s Cisticola, Aberdare Cisticola, Boran Cisticola, Somali Sparrow, Three-streaked Tchagra, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Grey Olive Greenbul, Yellow-throated Leaf-Love, Eastern Paradise Whydah, Jackson’s Hornbill, Black-and-white-Casqued Hornbill, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Golden-winged Sunbird, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Oriole Finch, Narina Trogon, Bar-tailed Trogon

Highlight mammals and others

Leopard, African Lion, Cheetah, Savannah Elephant, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Nile Crocodile, Nile Hippo, Grevy’s Zebra, Beisa Oryx, Cape Buffalo

Habitats covered

Savannah, Wetlands, Semi-arid Scrubland, Desert Lava, Highland Forest, Montane Grasslands, Equatorial Forest

Photographic opportunities

Excellent

Special moments

Visit to the ivory burning site, Star Gazing, Mt. Kenya, Thomson’s Falls, the Great Rift Valley, Equatorial Forest walk, African Big 5, Kenya’s Endemic Birds, Boat Ride

Let’s plan your next adventure in East Africa.