Kenya Herpetology Safari Tour
11 days/ 10 nights
This tour is meant to help every passionate herpetologist enjoy the vast diversity of reptiles and amphibians of Kenya, a gateway to African herpetology. The country hosts over 100 species of amphibians, 4 species of tortoises, 5 species of terrapins, 1 soft-shelled freshwater turtle species, 5 species of marine turtles, 1 species of crocodile, 140 species of snakes and 130 species of lizards. This diversity is highly attributed to the vast ecosystems available in the country. On this Kenya Herpetology Safari Tour, we shall explore some of these ecosystems with a team of herpetology experts who have worked in the country for decades and who understand the species of amphibians and reptiles in amazing detail. A huge list is guaranteed, but the most exciting part is that this tour is likely to open new knowledge on the taxonomy, distribution and physiology of some of the taxa we shall encounter. This is because Kenya’s Herpetology is at its peak in this decade; with new species being discovered and described each year.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL AND NAIROBI AREA HERPING
On arrival you will be met by our guide at the airport. You will then proceed to your hotel, crossing the city.
If time allows, this afternoon, we shall visit a local forest for some herping.
Night in Nairobi.
DAY 2 AND 3: MT. KENYA
We shall depart early and head North to Mt. Kenya; where our Kenya Herpetology Safari Tour starts. We shall enjoy some roadside stops around local bushes and wetlands. Soon we shall arrive in Mt. Kenya where we shall scout several rivers and forest trails seeking local species.
Species to expect include Lonnberg’s Dwarf Toad, Mahnert’s Rocket Frog, Silver-bladdered Reed Frog, Bocage’s Tree Frog, Mt. Kenya Bush Viper, Dickerson’s Forest Gecko, Kibonoto Forest Lizard, Jackson’s Chameleon, Common Purple-glossed Snake, Mt. Kenya Side-striped Chameleon, Kenya Montane Viper, Alpine Meadow Skink, Bayon’s Skink, Alpine Meadow Lizard and Mt. Kenya/ Meru Tree Snake.
Nights in Mt. Kenya.
DAY 4: ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK AND KINANGOP PLATEAU GRASSLANDS
Our morning will be spent exploring the high altitude habitat of the iconic Aberdare Ranges. Aberdare National Park is one of the few places where one can drive into the moorland zone. This forms a great experience on all our Kenya Herpetology Safari Tours. We shall also visit some of the iconic waterfalls and their associate rivers. Designated walking areas will also be visited to search for more species.
We shall then make our way to the highland grasslands of the Kinangop Plateau. Here, we shall also scan local dams and rivers for highland species. In the evening, we shall enjoy frogging.
Here we shall be seeking species such as Kinangop Puddle Frog, De Witte’s River Frog, Kinangop Dainty Frog/Kinangop Caco, Mountain Reed Frog /Kenya Montane Reed Frog, Kerinyaga Toad, East African Highland Grass Lizard, Kenya Striped Skaapsteker and Von hohnnel’s Chameleon.
Night in Kinangop.
DAY 5: KINANGOP PLATEAU GRASSLANDS AND LAKE NAIVASHA
Our morning will start with some further exploration of the Kinangop Plateau Grasslands. We shall visit sites that we may have missed the previous day.
We shall then drive to Lake Naivasha, a fresh water lake located in the Central Rift Valley. This is a high lake where low temperatures make it difficult for Nile Crocodiles to live here. However, other reptiles and amphibians enjoy the place.
We shall be looking for Elmenteita Rock Agama, Yellow-throated Plated Lizard, Flap-necked Chameleon, Brown House Snake, Jackson’s Centipede-eater, Puff Adder, Rhombic Night Adder, Kenya Horned Viper, African Rock Python, Senegal Kassina, Cryptic Sand Frog, Nutt’s River Frog, Anchieta’s Rocket Frog, Snoring Puddle Frog, Natal Puddle Frog, Kenya Puddle Frog/Upland Puddle Frog, Nile Rocket Frog, Common Reed Frog and Garman’s Toad.
Night in Naivasha.
DAY 6 AND 7: KAKAMEGA FOREST
We shall then continue to the Kakamega Forest; a key site on our Kenya Herpetology Safari Tour. Adequate 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 Herpetology Safari Tour list. We shall spend time walking in the forest in search of local specialties, with short breaks in between. In the evenings, we shall enjoy frogging.
Expected species include Kisolo Toad, Kakamega Puddle Frog, Osorio’s Leaf-folding Frog/Congo Spiny Reed Frog, Cinnamon-bellied Reed Frog, Lake Victoria Clawed Frog, Small Rocket Frog, Grassland/Striped Rocket Frog, Mackay’s Forest Tree Frog, Forest White-lipped Frog, Galam White-lipped Frog, Variable Burrowing Asp, Kakamega Agama, Gaboon Viper, Rough-scaled Bush Viper/Prickly Bush Viper, Gold’s Tree Cobra, Blanding’s Tree Snake, Powdered Tree Snake, Forest Cobra, Multi-scaled Forest Lizard, Jameson’s Mamba, Bell’s Hinged Tortoise, Rhinoceros Viper, Lichtenstein’s Forest Night Adder and Boulenger’s Pygmy Chameleon.
Nights in Kakamega.
DAY 8 AND 9: LAKE BARINGO
This is a very interesting dryland habitat located at the edge of a fresh water lake. Many locally significant species occupy this area and we shall spend the time enjoying these and more. In the evenings, we shall enjoy frogging.
We shall be seeking species such as North-East African Carpet Viper/ Saw-scaled Viper, Rufous Beaked Snake, Ruppell’s Agama, Speckled Sand Snake, Kenya Dwarf Gecko, Great Plated Lizard, Nile Monitor Lizard, African Five-lined Skink, Tropical House Gecko, Flat-backed Toad, Common or Square-marked Toad or Egyptian Toad, Schilluk Rocket Frog, Gallmann’s Sand Frog, Red-banded Rubber Frog, Steindachner’s Toad and Eastern Groove-crowned Bullfrog.
Nights in Baringo.
DAY 10: LAKE BARINGO TO NAIROBI
We shall have a whole morning to explore more of Lake Baringo. We shall try some new sites seeking any species we may have missed earlier on our Kenya Herpetology Safari Tour.
We shall then depart with several roadside stops to try for some new species on the way. In the evening we shall arrive in Nairobi.
Night in Nairobi.
DAY 11: NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK; AND DEPARTURE HOME
We shall spend all day exploring this urban national park. This park has amazing habitat diversity ranging from forests, grasslands, cliffs and wetlands.
We shall be looking for species such as Variable Skink, Striped Skink, Nile Monitor Lizard, White-lipped Snake, Black-necked Spitting Cobra, East African Garter Snake, Egyptian Cobra, Battersby’s Green Snake, Yellow-throated Plated Lizard, Olive Sand Snake, Nile Crocodile, Helmeted/ Marsh Terrapin, Serrated Hinged Terrapin, Blue-headed Tree Agama, Kenya Red-headed Rock Agama, Leopard Tortoise, Marbled Snout-burrower, Northern Clawed Frog, Scheffler’s Puddle Frog, Common Ornate Frog, Guttural Toad and Athi Reed Frog.
In the evening, we shall take an airport transfer for our flights home; marking the end to our lovely Kenya Herpetology Safari Tour.
Black-necked Spitting Cobra, Battersby’s Green Snake, North-East African Carpet Viper/ Saw-scaled Viper, Mt. Kenya/ Meru Tree Snake, Puff Adder, Rhombic Night Adder, Gaboon Viper, Rough-scaled Bush Viper/Prickly Bush Viper, Kenya Horned Viper, African Rock Python, Mt. Kenya Bush Viper, Dickerson’s Forest Gecko, Kenya Dwarf Gecko, Kibonoto Forest Lizard, Jackson’s Chameleon, Boulenger’s Pygmy Chameleon, Von hohnnel’s Chameleon, Nile Monitor Lizard, African Five-lined Skink, Alpine Meadow Skink, Kenya Red-headed Rock Agama, Elmenteita Rock Agama, Kakamega Agama, Yellow-throated Plated Lizard, Nile Crocodile, Helmeted/ Marsh Terrapin, Bell’s Hinged Tortoise
Northern Clawed Frog, Common Ornate Frog, Athi Reed Frog, Kerinyaga Toad, Kisolo Toad, Osorio’s Leaf-folding Frog/Congo Spiny Reed Frog, Silver-bladdered Reed Frog, Mountain Reed Frog /Kenya Montane Reed Frog, Kinangop Puddle Frog, Scheffler’s Puddle Frog, Kakamega Puddle Frog, De Witte’s River Frog, Kinangop Dainty Frog/Kinangop Caco, Senegal Kassina, Cryptic Sand Frog, Nutt’s River Frog, Anchieta’s Rocket Frog, Bocage’s Tree Frog, Eastern Groove-crowned Bullfrog
Savannah, Wetlands, Highland Forest, Dry Upland Forest, Alpine Moorland, Montane Grasslands, Equatorial Forest
Mt. Kenya, the Great Rift Valley, Equatorial Forest walk, African Big Game mammals, Kenya’s Endemic species