Our director will be attending the Year of the Bird Event at National Geographic this February. Join Washington Wachira as he gives two great talks on birds during the week-long event. We are so proud of you Washington Wachira. Follow this link to read more about this event and how you can be part of it: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/dc/events/national-geographic-nights-bird-nerds/
We are once again very proud of our Director, Washington Wachira, for yet another amazing achievement. Washington will be giving yet another huge talk on birds; this time at TEDxGateway in Mumbai, India. We all look forward to watching the talk and hope to keep learning from him. Indeed, he has created a birding passion in many young and older birders in Kenya and the rest of Africa. Here at Cisticola Tours, we hope to see you all soon on some great birding tours or nature tours in Kenya and the rest of East Africa. Contact us today to inquire about a tour with us on: [email protected] or +254711706450.
For more information on this event follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/TEDxGateway/videos/1499027936817449/
At the Northern end lies the mighty Mt. Elgon, famous for having one of the widest bases among all free-standing mountains. This mountain also marks a border between Kenya and Uganda, and is an important water tower. Mt. Elgon National Park is a place you need to visit while in the region. The mountain hosts one of the best highland forests, with Giant Podo trees. The wildlife in the park is also amazing and notably calm, with the elusive Bushbuck coming to within feet from your vehicle. There currently still remains one lone Rothschild’s Giraffe, after all its colleagues died. This subspecies of giraffe is endangered on the IUCN RedList and if you are lucky to see this lone-ranging individual, you will like his “white socks”. Many bird species also occur here, such as the Scaly Francolin, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Thick-billed Seedeater, Pale Flycatcher, African Olive Pigeon, Ross’s Turaco, Black-and-white-Casqued Hornbill and Grey Wagtail. To the East of Mt. Elgon lies the gorgeous Saiwa Swamp, home to the rare Sitatunga antelope. This conservation area can be explored on foot, making the experience even more fulfilling. To its North lies the mighty Kongelai Escarpment, that reveals a whole new world of landscapes’ beauty. From here you can see mountains in Uganda. This later paves way for the famous Cherangani Escarpment farther North, another important water tower in Kenya.
Just under a kilometre from Kikuyu town, in central Kenya, you meet this amazing wetland called Ondiri. Ondiri is a majestic swamp that is often famed for being the most structural quaking bog in Kenya. The swamp is believed to be connected to Lake Naivasha in the Kenya’s Rift Valley and the locals tell of a big water body that occupied the entire area around the swamp. As you walk across the grassy portions of the swamp, you feel the shaking ground and this is believed to “swallow” anyone who dares to venture too deep. The swamp is also famed for being the second deepest wetland in Africa, after Doula in Cameroon.
This swamp forms the catchment supply for the famous Nairobi River. The river runs across the major Kiambu and Nairobi Counties to join the Athi River basin down south on its way to the Indian Ocean, as Sabaki.
On any visit, you are guaranteed to enjoy the amazing biodiversity of the area. The swamp hosts a wide variety of plants and animals. Among the easily spotted plants include tall cat-tails and beautiful water lilies that cover many parts of the swamp. The bird life here is amazing with over 100 species occupying the area. Highlight bird species in the area include: Stout Cisticola, Jackson’s Widowbird, Little Bittern, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Garden Warbler, Augur Buzzard, Malachite Sunbird, and many more aquatic and terrestrial birds (representing babblers, ibises, storks, weavers, white-eyes, ducks, crows, cranes, kingfishers, plovers etc). Many invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles species also thrive in the swamp. The swamp is also known to host carnivores like mongoose, that take advantage of the abundant prey.