Western Kenya Birding Tour
WESTERN KENYA BIRDING TOUR
12 days/ 11 nights
The Western Kenya Birding Tour can be combined with our Coastal Kenya Birding Tour.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN NAIROBI
We shall arrive on our Western Kenya Birding Tour via Nairobi; the tourism capital of Kenya.
Depending on your arrival time and how tired you may be from the flights, you can choose to add an extra birding session this afternoon. Otherwise, you can relax and enjoy the local city birds from your hotel.
Night in Nairobi.
DAY 2: LAKE ELMENTEITA TO LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Kick-starting our Western Kenya Birding Tour, we shall depart Nairobi early in the morning and head west to Lake Elmenteita. We shall enjoy birding here along the lake shore and the nearby woodland. We shall also keep an eye for local mammals such as Common Eland, Common Zebra and Cape Buffalo.
In the afternoon, we shall continue our birding in the nearby Lake Nakuru National Park. This is a great birding site and is rightly named “the birdwatchers paradise”. The park also hosts many mammals such as African Lion, Black Rhino, White Rhino, Leopard and Rothschild’s Giraffe.
Night in Lake Nakuru.
DAY 3: LAKE NAKURU TO LAKE VICTORIA
We shall start the day with more birding at Lake Nakuru, targeting any species we may have missed earlier.
We shall then drive to 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 4 AND 5: KAKAMEGA FOREST
We shall then proceed to Kakamega Forest, where we hope to score many forest species. The 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 breaks in between.
The forest is also great with different unique monkeys, antelopes and squirrel species.
Nights in Kakamega.
DAY 6: KAKAMEGA FOREST TO BUSIA GRASSLANDS
We shall enjoy our final birding session in Kakamega Forest this morning and then depart for a less-explored part of Western Kenya.
Today we shall explore Busia area, a habitat of pristine grasslands that have now been converted to farmland. Some small patches of habitat here still hold many special birds. This area often produces the best surprise species on our Western Kenya Birding Tour.
Night in Busia.
DAY 7: KITALE AND SAIWA SWAMP NATIONAL PARK
We shall continue on our Western Kenya Birding Tour and explore an area rarely birded by many groups. This unique area hosts a good number of birds that are not found elsewhere in Kenya.
We shall do our birding in Kitale and Saiwa Swamp this afternoon. Here we may also see the very rare Sitatunga Antelope and De Brazza’s Monkey.
Night in Kitale.
DAY 8: MT. ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Our Western Kenya Birding Tour will explore this amazing park, hosting the second-highest free-standing mountain in Kenya- Mt. Elgon. The park is often nick-named “untamed wilderness, secluded splendor” and is one of the least-visited parks in Kenya. This makes the bird sightings here very special and every tour produces a surprise species or more.
Mt. Elgon National Park is also famed for its beautiful caves, and we shall explore these during our birding safari. Mammals in Mt. Elgon National Park include Bushbuck, Olive Baboon, Defassa Waterbuck, Common Zebra and Savannah Elephants.
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 additional species to our Western 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 Western Kenya Birding Tour. We shall also visit a local swamp to search for the rare Hartlaub’s Marsh Widowbird.
Night in Kitale.
DAY 10: KERIO VALLEY TO LAKE BARINGO
On this day we shall head for Lake Baringo, as we bird along the way. Birding will be active on this route and we shall make strategic stop-overs to enjoy the birds. We shall arrive in Baringo in the afternoon. In the afternoon, and also the next day, we shall enjoy birding in this vast area. We shall drive and walk around the scrubland and the cliffs surrounding the lake, in search of the special birds in this unique area.
Night in Baringo.
DAY 11: LAKE BARINGO
A boat ride experience early in the morning will help us enjoy one of the iconic moments of our Western Kenya Birding Tour. This will help you enjoy the beauty of the lake and see the local African Fish Eagles advertising their territories, as they hunt too.
Later, we continue enjoying the terrestrial birds of Baringo. Our target will be to add species we may have missed the previous day.
Night in Baringo.
DAY 12: LAKE BARINGO TO NAIROBI
On the last day of our Western Kenya Birding Tour, we shall drive back to Nairobi, enjoying birding on the way.
We shall arrive in Nairobi later in the afternoon, in time for our evening flights home.
Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye, Three-banded Courser, Spotted Thick-knee, Mosque Swallow, Lyne’s Cisticola, Chestnut Sparrow, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Nyanza Swift, Mottled Swift, White-fronted Bee-eater, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Plain-backed Pipit, Red-headed Malimbe, White-billed Buffalo Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Northern Masked Weaver, Vieillot’s Black Weaver, Green Sunbird, Beautiful Sunbird, Green-throated Sunbird, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Grey-backed Fiscal, Grey-crested Helmet-Shrike, Silverbird, Brimstone Canary, Shelley’s Greenbul, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Cape Teal, Red-headed Bluebill, Oriole Finch, Lesser Flamingo, Great White Pelican, Hilderbrandt’s Francolin, Arrow-marked Babbler, Brown Babbler, Brown-tailed Rock-Chat, Crowned Eagle, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Verreaux’s Eagle, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Pale Prinia, White-chinned Prinia, Turner’s Eremomela, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Tawny Eagle, Hybrid Lovebird, Hoopoe, Yellow-shouldered (-mantled) Widowbird, Great Blue Turaco, Square-tailed Drongo, African Broadbill, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, White-spotted Flufftail, Dusky Tit, Acacia/Northern Grey Tit, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Bocage’s Bush-Shrike, Luhder’s Bush-Shrike, Narina Trogon, Bar-tailed Trogon, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, White-headed Wood-Hoopoe, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Jackson’s Hornbill, Hemprich’s Hornbill, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Equatorial Akalat, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Grey-headed Silverbill, Greyish Eagle-Owl, African Scops-Owl, Northern White-faced Scops-Owl
Highlight mammals and others
Red-tailed Monkey, Common Zebra, Common Impala, Nile Crocodile, Nile Hippo, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Rothschild’s Giraffe, Leopard, African Lion
Equatorial forest, Wetlands, Savannah, Semi-arid Scrubland
Forest walk, the Great Rift Valley, Boat Ride