Kenya Top Birding Tour
15 days/ 14 nights
This tour has been set to help you enjoy the best birding experience in Kenya. It will unlock the special species, ecosystems and habitats. The landscapes, mammals and other wildlife are also very well catered for in this tour. Indeed, this will be a tour to remember for everyone.
DAY 1: THIKA, OL DONYO SABUK AND MT. KENYA
Leaving from Nairobi, on this day we shall have an early start and 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- NARO MORU
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: SHABA AND SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVES
We shall leave early for Shaba. In the afternoon, we shall spend time in Samburu 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. First night in Samburu.
NYAHURURU AND THOMSON’S FALLS CONNECTION
On the second afternoon, we shall head to Nyahururu with a possible quick stop for a site where Cape Eagle-Owls roost, if time allows. On arrival in Nyahururu, we shall spend time at the Marmanet forest edge and the Thomson’s Falls scouting for local birds. Night in Nyahururu.
DAY 5: LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL 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. 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 have an early start from the hotel and spend the entire day in the park. We shall spend the night in Nakuru.
DAY 6 AND 7: LAKE BARINGO
We shall leave the hotel early and 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. Birding will also be active along the way. We shall arrive in Baringo before mid-day, where we shall take a short break. For the next 2 days we shall enjoy birding in this 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 as they hunt too. Nights in Baringo.
DAY 8: KERIO VALLEY, KITALE AND SAIWA SWAMP NATIONAL PARK
Driving to Kitale will see us cross the scenic Kerio circuit. We shall do our birding 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. 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. 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 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. Night in Naivasha.
DAY 14: KINANGOP GRASSLANDS, ABERDARE FOREST EDGE AND NAIROBI
A boat ride on Lake Naivasha, to be done early in the morning, will ensure you can reach more species in the middle of the lake, as you enjoy the aquatic beauty. We then head to Kinangop. Home to some of the best Kenya’s endemic birds, Kinangop area promises to be rewarding on each trip. We shall start from the lower grasslands and gain elevation up to the edge of the Aberdare forest. Local wetlands will also be sampled for the highland water birds. We shall have our picnic lunch in Kinangop. 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. 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.
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, Friedmann’s Lark, William’s Lark, 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.
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
Savannah, Wetlands, Semi-arid Scrubland, Desert Lava, Highland Forest, Montane Grasslands, Equatorial Forest
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