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Experience & Explore Kenya

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Introduction to Birding in Africa

Red_Billed_FirefinchAfrica is an amazing continent for birdwatching. The mainland has recorded around 2250 species, of which about 1500 are found nowhere else. On top of this, Madagascar adds about another 100 endemic species, with a further 40 if you include the Indian Ocean islands.

Bird Watching in Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda

Indeed, Eastern Africa offers the top birding destinations in Africa according to reviews and various writings by key international birders and birding associations. Still is argued that the top birding destination in Africa is Uganda.

There can be few destinations on Earth where one can expect to find almost 550 avian species in one park alone - Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park is one. 350 species have been recorded in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest. These two parks alone are among the richest protected areas to be found anywhere on Earth. Arguably the total concentration of 1008 species over a small area makes Uganda, the nest of Africa. In addition, Uganda is a natural habit for innumerable plants, from the luxuriant growths of the rain forest to tiny alpine flowers on the mountains.

Kenya, though possesses a higher bird count at close to 1100, but these are spread over a wider area than Uganda and therefore, according to us, ranks second highest in bird richness. It also has high levels of species endemism, or species that live nowhere else on earth. Of Kenya's bird list, some 230 are migrants (170 Palaearctic, 60 intra-African) and between 10 and 70 endemics and near-endemics.

 

 

Exceptionally Gifted Bird Guide & Bird Watching Tours in Kenya

Although most safaris offered by most African operators are classic wildlife safaris concentrating on the big five, there are truly great birding companies with great birding guides. Tropical Breeze Safaris takes pride in having Sammy, a interesting 'know-every-bird-feather-Red & Yellow Barbetand-beak' guide who wont just whizz past an interesting little feathery perched on top an Acacia to run after a bunch of elephants sighted ahead. In other words, a birding tour with Sammy is a birding tour. His major interest is to move with birders and to discuss with them and let them decide on what would be the most interesting itinerary before and on safari. Sammy is never at pain to promise 600+ sightings over a 2 week bird watching tour.

How we do Bird Watching with enthusiasts

Our birding tours are purely birding tours. However, it is a fact that  you will spot different types of wild animals in the bush that are also interesting. It may be difficult to ignore the hippo on whose back the Oxpecker is perched on, but we believe that birding is a special interest tour and we just categorize it that way. Meaning, your birding tour is concentrated on searching and exploring designated and non-designated areas from what you think about most, birds! Hence we endeavour to:-

  • Group birding clients with their like
  • Encourage birders to think of longer birding tours, at least a minimum of 5-7 days.
  • We offer special budget concessions for birders owing to longer stays at camps, lodges or hotels
  • Provide knowledgeable guides driven by an inherent passion for birding
  • Assist with checklists and recording forms
  • Provide detailed information on the richest birding havens and allow you to work together with your guide long before you meet; drawing and customizing itineraries
  • Pursuit of special endemic bird species in their threatened or natural habitats for study or otherwise & actively contribute revenue to conservation efforts

Important Bird Areas / Habitats in Kenya, Summary

Kenya has over 60 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) with over 1070 species of birds recorded and concentrated over different habitats like water bodies, farmlands, woodlands, savannahs, rain forests etc. A two week tour is likely to record over 500+ different bird species. Some of the information courtesy of http://www.africanbirdclub.org

Aberdare Mountains and Mount Kenya hold many species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome including Hartlaub’s Turaco Tauraco hartlaubi, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oreobates, Sharpe’s Longclaw Macronyx sharpei, Abbott’s Starling Pholia femoralis and a range of montane sunbird species.

The Arabuko-Sokoke forest in Kilifi lies some 110 km north of Mombasa and a few km inland from the coast. It is the largest remaining fragment of forest which once covered much of the East African coast. It holds the bulk of the world’s population of Sokoke Scops Owl Otus ireneae and probably East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningiand is a world stronghold for Sokoke Pipit Anthus sokokensis.

Taita Hills forests rise abruptly from the semi-arid plains of the Tsavo National Parks. The forests hold several threatened subspecies which have at times been considered separate species such as Taita (Olive) Thrush Turdus (olivaceus) helleri, Taita (Bar-throated) Apalis Apalis (thoracica) fuscigularis and Taita (Montane) White-eye Zosterops (poliogaster) silvanus.

Although Nairobi National Park is only 7 km from the centre of Nairobi, a remarkable 500+ species have been recorded.  The Park includes upland and riverine forests, acacia woodland, open grasslands, rocky slopes, dams, rivers and swamps. With all of these habitats it is no surprise that it has such an amazing assemblage of birds.The large areas of undisturbed grassland are important for species such as Jackson’s Widowbird Euplectes jacksoni and the park is an important roost for large flocks of Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni on passage.

Lake Naivasha lies in the Rift Valley, some 80 km north of Nairobi and consists of a shallow freshwater lake and its fringing acacia woodland. It is a prime site for waterbirds with 80 species recorded during counts with significant numbers of Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata, African Spoonbill Platalea alba and Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis. It is one of several IBAs in the Rift Valley.

Masai Mara is probably the most visited Game Reserve in Kenya because of the high concentration and the spectacular migration of mammals. It adjoins the Serengeti National Park along the border with Tanzania and is a part of the same ecosystem. The extensive grasslands hold important populations of Corncrake Crex crex and Jackson’s Widowbird Euplectes jacksoni. More than 500 species have been recorded including 12 species of Cisticola and 53 birds of prey.

Other Areas of Birding Interest

Kakamega forest (over 300 species), Lake Baringo and Bogoria, Tana River Forests (Mbia forests & Lower Tana River Forests), Kwale (Chuna Gallery Forest, Kaya Waa Forest, Marenji Forest, Mrima Hill & Shimba Hills Nationa Reserve), Samburu National Reserve, Lake Victoria

 

Important Bird Areas, Details

 

 

Central Kenya
1 A berdare Mountains
Montane forest, bamboo,
montane grassland and
moorland PA
2 Kianyaga Valleys
Steep river valleys, now
mainly cultivated OPA
3 Kikuyu Escarpment Forests
Montane Forest PA
4 Kinangop Grasslands
Montane Grassland, farmland
OPA
5 Mt Kenya
Montane forest, bamboo,
montane grassland and
moorland PA
6 Mukurweini Valleys
Steep river valleys, now
mainly cultivated OPA

33 Samburu/Buffalo Springs
National Reserves
Open bush and grassland.
Acacia tortilis woodland,
riverine woodland, rocky cliffs and scarps PA
34 Shaba National Reserve
Riverine woodland
and thicket, woodland,
Commiphora bushland,
open lava desert, alkaline
grasslands and swamps PA

Nairobi
35 Dandora Ponds
Oxygenation ponds OPA
36 Nairobi National Park
Grassland, riverine woodland,
bush and thicket, man-made
dams and ponds, upland dry
forest PA

Coast
7 Arabuko-Sokoke Forest
Coastal evergreen forest and
woodland PA
8 Dakatcha Woodland
Coastal woodland OPA
9 Diani Forest Coastal
woodland OPA
10 Dzombo Hill Forest
Coastal mixed forest PA
11 Gede Ruins
Coastal semi-deciduous
forest PA
12 Kaya Gandini
Coastal deciduous
Cynometra- Terminalia forest
PA
13 Kaya Waa
Low coastal Cynometra-
Drypetes forest on coral rag
PA

14 Kisite Island
Barren coral rock, low scrub
PA
15 Kiunga Marine National
Reserve
Mangroves, coral islets and
platforms, sandy beaches PA
16 Mida Creek, Whale Island & Malindi/Watamu Coast
Intertidal rock, sand and
mud, coral reefs, beds of
sea-grass, coral platforms
and islets, sandy beaches,
mangrove forests PA
17 Marenji Forest
Coastal mixed forest PA
18 Mrima Hill Forest
Coastal mixed forest PA
19 Sabaki River Mouth
Estuarine sandbanks,
mudbanks, dunes, freshwater
pools OPA

20 Shimba Hills
Coastal forest, grassland and
scrub PA
21 Taita Hills Forest
Moist montane forest PA
22 Tana River Delta
Fresh and brackish lakes
and streams, freshwater
and saline grassland and
wetlands, beaches and
mudflats, successional stages of forest and woodland and dune ridges OPA
23 Tana River Forests
Riparian evergreen forest,
grassland, wooded grassland,
bushland and deciduous
woodland PA
24 Tsavo East National Park
Bushland, bushed grassland,
Acacia- Commiphora
woodland, riverine scrub PA

25 Tsavo West National Park
Acacia-Commiphora
bushland, open grassy plains,
riverine scrub PA

Eastern
26 Chyulu Hills Forest
Montane forest, rough
grassland and thicket PA
27 Dida Galgalu Desert
Open black-lava desert OPA
28 Lake Turkana
Chloro-carbonate alkaline
lake surrounded by open
sandy and rocky habitats
OPA & PA
29 Machakos Valleys
Riverine bush and thicket,
Acacia xanthophloea
woodland OPA
30 Masinga Reservoir
Freshwater reservoir
surrounded by open Acacia-
Commiphora bushland OPA
31 Meru National Park
Wooded grassland, Acacia-
Commiphora woodland PA
32 Mwea National Reserve
Bushland and woodland with
open glades PA

Nyanza
37 Dunga Swamp
Papyrus swamp OPA
38 Koguta Swamp
Papyrus swamp OPA
39 Kusa Swamp
Papyrus swamp OPA
40 Ruma National Park
Grassland, open woodland
and thickets PA
41 Yala Swamp
Papyrus swamp and
associated habitats OPA

Rift Valley
42 Amboseli National Park
Acacia woodland, open
grassland, bushland and
swamps PA
43 Cherangani Hills
Montane forest, bamboo,
scrub, grassland and
moorland PA
44 Lake Baringo
Rocky cliffs. Acacia woodland
and bushland, surrounding
shallow freshwater lake with
swampy margins OPA
45 Lake Bogoria National
Reserve
Alkaline lake, with fringing
woodland and bushland PA
46 Lake Elementeita
Alkaline lake, fringing Acacia
woodland, Tarchonanthus
bushland and grassland OPA
47 Lake Magadi
Alkaline trona-covered lake,
with fringing open bushland
OPA
48 Lake Naivasha
Freshwater lake and fringing
papyrus swamp and Acacia
xanthophloea woodland OPA
49 Lake Nakuru National Park
Alkaline lake with fringing
Acacia xanthophloea
woodland and grassland PA
50 Masai Mara
Open rolling grassland,
riverine forest, Acacia
woodland, swamps, thickets.
Acacia, Croton, and
Tarchonanthus scrub, rocky
escarpments PA
51 Mau Forest Complex
Montane forest, bamboo
thickets and grassland PA/
OPA
52 Mau Narok/ Molo
Grasslands
Montane grassland, farmland
OPA
53 North Nandi Forest
Mid-altitude tropical forest,
transitional to montane forest
PA
54 Ol Donyo Sabache
Basalt cliffs, dry Juniperus-
Podocarpus forest OPA
55 South Nandi Forest
Mid-altitude tropical forest,
transitional to montane forest
PA
56 South Nguruman
Open Acacia tortilis
woodland, dense Acacia-
Commiphora bush,
Tarchonanthus thicket,
grassland and sub-montane
forest OPA

Western
57 Busia Grasslands
Seasonally flooded
grassland and riverine scrub,
surrounded by intensive
agriculture OPA
58 Kakamega Forest
Mid-altitude tropical rain
forest, grassy and bushed
glades PA
59 Mt Elgon
Montane forest, bamboo,
moorland and wooded
grassland PA
60 Sio Port Swamp
Papyrus swamp OPA

 

 

Endemic Species

There are about 50 species native to Kenya though widespread over East Africa region including Ethiopia. Find sampled list at http://www.kenyabirds.org.uk/endemics.htm

Best Kenya Birding SeasonsBaglafecht Weaver

The best birding season is between October and April to have an inclusive experience of more than 120 species of Palearctic birds that migrate from the Northern Hemisphere. These are usually concentrated along the great rift valley lakes and the Amboseli.During the other period, most bird species are breeding following the rains.

Certain migrants from the Southern hemisphere and Madagascar can be spotted, though just less than 15 species. During the Great Annual Wildebeest Migration across Serengeti and Masai Mara, countless vultures and maribou feed on fallen carcasses of the animals that fall prey to different canines.                                                   

 

Bird Watching in Kenya, Sample Itineraries

Kindly note that this itinerary ideas sample the leading birding areas, most of which remain largely unexploited and undisturbed. You can expect a rich birding tour with our own guide in conjuction with local naturalist / guides who are inclined with great familiarization, their natural surroundings.

However, it is important to note that birding itineraries will of course be created in consultation with you because there are certain determinants like budget, physical fitness, interests and objectives of your highlighted tour, resilience (some hotspots required off-road driving on bumpy rough roads on 4x4), adventurous spirit (which may call for frequent bush camping) etc. You can of course expect great variety as the most basic itineraries take you through different types of habitats, which includes tropical lowlands and highlands forests, Lily-covered inland reservoirs and wetlands, dry country savanna-thorny scrublands, extreme deserts and semi deserts, rock substrate terrains and coastal mudflats. This means that you are signed in for a fantastic birding tour with us.

17 days Grand Kenya Birding Tour

This birding tour has a coastal emphasis, but we consider Nairobi National Park to be an important birding zone within reach of your hotel after arriving from your country. 3 days are spent seeking over 500 species found in this birding capital. A flight to Mombasa from Nairobi


Day 1: Arrival- "Meet & Greet"

Arrival and Transfer to Hotel Boulevard for dinner and Overnight stay.

Day 2: Nairobi National Park

Our bird watching tour in Kenya begins at the Nairobi National Park. You will be picked up from your hotel immediately after breakfast.  As a first birder's outing, this is a rewarding place to begin. Only 7km from your hotel, Nairobi National park boasts a list of 520 species of birds, with 200 species regularly recorded in a day. It also has a wide variety of mammals including four of the ‘Big Five’.

There are five entrance gates to Nairobi National Park. Our birding begins through access from the main gate in the northern segment of the park. On entry we descend a tarmac stretch of road through Croton forest adjoining the plains to the "Ivory Burning" picnic site. A large number of early morning birds can be observed here. Later drive to Hyena Dam and later continue to the grass plains. Days bird watching ends along our designated route with hope of continuing from there the next day. Picnic Lunch will be served. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Boulevard.

Day 3: Nairobi National Park

Spur Winged PloverBird watching continues in Nairobi National Park from where we left off. Further into the plains we are destined for Athi Basin Dam traversing the grasslands and rock substrate terrain. A host of plain game can be expected. We can expect to see the Shelly's Francolin early in the morning or late afternoon which are fairly hard to see anywhere in Kenya, but are very common here. However, the Athi Basin Dam boasts a long list of rarities and almost anything may be attracted by this large expanse of water with its open banks. Huge crocodiles are seen here basking in the sweet morning sun.

Continue later to Cheetah Gate along lowly plains and dense Acacia bushes. The varying flora and terrain means spotting varieties that are uniquely found in this section of the park. Drive further to the Hippo pools and walk along Mbagathi's River trails. An impressive number of birds including the African Finfoot can be

                Spur Winged Plover

spotted and other species in fig and fever trees thriving riverine. A host of other places like the Baboon Escarpment uphilll from Hippo Pools famous for Bush Hyraxes and Olive Baboons. At Mokoyiet River are Mountain Wagtails, also visit the Leopard Cliffs with an impressive view of the Mbagathi Gorge.  Special birds of Nairobi National Park likely to spot include: Hartlaub’s Bustard, Shelley’s Francolin, Brown-backed Woodpecker, White-tailed Lark, Nairobi Pipit, Siffling Cisticola and Jackson’s
Widowbird, which is endemic to Kenya. Picnic lunch will be served. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Boulevard.

Day 4: Dandora Ponds

Picnic Lunch, dinner and overnight at Hotel Boulevard.

Day 5 Nairobi - Naivasha

Depart Nairobi at 0800 hrs and drive down the scenic Rift Valley with a stop at Limuru Ponds to Lake Naivasha  some 80 km north of Nairobi to the shallow freshwater lake a confirmed IBA area and its fringing acacia woodland. It is a prime site for waterbirds with 80 species recorded during counts with significant numbers of Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata, African Spoonbill Platalea alba and Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis. The best area of choice of bird watching in Lake Naivasha is the Crescent Island in the evenings.

Other species include; White Pelican, Long-tailed and Great Cormorants, Black Crake, African Jacana, several duck species, Long-toed Lapwing, Malachite Kingfisher, Green Woodhoopoe, White-headed Barbet, Bearded and Cardinal Woodpeckers, Grey-capped and Lesser Swamp Warblers, White-fronted Bee-eater, Winding and Rattling Cisticolas, Grey-headed Bush-shrike and many more. Hirundines can be plentiful, and over half of the species in Kenya can be seen. In the evening, Verreaux's Eagle Owl hunts along the lakeshore acacias.Over night at Elsamere Centre.

Day 6: Hells Gate - Nakuru

After breakfast enjoy a scenic drive to Hells Gate National Park. Great place for a morning birding walk especially up the cliffs where Nyanza and Mottled Swifts are found including an impressive colony of Rueppell's Vultures. Lammergeier have been recently reintroduced, and other species which are regular include Schalow's Wheatear and Pectoral-patch Cisticolas may be sited. Drive to Nakuru and arrive in time for lunch at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge.

Afternoon birding and game drives. Lake Nakuru is famous for the pink flamingoes and other waterbirds and some acacia species. Other Lake Nakuru specialities include the Hildebrandt's Francolin, Arrow-marked Babbler, Wailing Cisticola, and is one of the best places for Lappet-faced Vulture. It also has both White and Black Rhino, protected here from poachers, and sometimes both Lion and Leopard may be seen.Dinner and overnight stay at Sarova Lion.

Day 4: Nakuru - Lake Victoria

Depart for Lake Victoria's birding havens immediately after breakfast. On the way to Kisumu,  a visit to some diminishing grasslands at Narok/Molo especially areas of recent focus by biodiversity experts advocating for conservation of designated IBA which remains unprotected. Here you are likely to spot the regular Sharpe's Longclaw, along with Wing-snapping Cisticola.

Arrival at Kisumu in time for lunch and later visit Hippo Point, where the papyrus beds have specialities such as Black-headed and Papyrus Gonoleks, Carruther's Cisticola, Swamp Flycatcher, Papyrus and Yellow-fronted Canaries, Black-billed Barbet, White-browed and Blue-headed Coucal, Greater Swamp Warbler an! d others. Over night at Imperial Hotel Kisumu.

Day 5: Kisumu - Kakamega

Kakamega is  60 or so kilometers from Kisumu. The drive is not tiring. There are two possibilities on this day. The journey to Kakamega is quite short, but can be extended along the coast of the lake, where the area around Sioport has further papyrus specialities, as well as western species such as Copper Sunbird, Black and Black-winged Bishops, Woodland Kingfisher, Bar-breasted and Black-bellied Firefinches and Grey Kestrel. Also, there are two river crossings where Rock Pratincole is regular. Some grassland in the west is also productive for species such as Uganda Spotted Woodpecker, Red-headed Lovebird, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird and Blue Swallow. These sites could also be visited in a long morning from Kakamega town, so are possible on a different day. Overnight Golf Hotel Kakamega.

Day 6: Kakamega Forest, North

Depart Golf Hotel and drive 15 kms away to Kakamega Forest. Entire day spent exploring Kakamega Forest. There are two excellent areas, around Isecheno in the south and Kakamega in the north. Day one in Kakamega Forest will focus on the northern side and Day two the southern side. The number of birds found in this IBA truly awesome. Expect to spot the Great Blue and Black-billed Turacos, Grey Parrot, Yellow-billed, Grey-throated, Yellow-spotted and Hairy-breasted Barbets, several Woodpeckers, Scaly-throated and Thick-billed Honeyguides, Turner's Eremomela, Banded and White-chinned Prinias, Blue and Dusky Crested Flycatchers, Chapin's Flycatcher, several Greenbuls and Illadopsises, Yellowbill, Bar-tailed Trogon, Equatorial Akalat, Black-and-White Casqued Hornbill, Snowy-headed and Blue-shouldered Robin-chats and many more. Dinner and overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre.

Day 7: Kakamega Forest, South

Exploration continues in the southern area of the forest today. With your checklist in hand, you will literary overwhelmend by the record number of featheries found here. All meals and overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre.

Day 8: Saiwa Swamp & Kongolei Escarpment

Journey to from Kakamega Forest to Kitale and arrive in time for lunch at Karibuni Lodge, Kitale. There are two commendable birding localities, Kongolei and Saiwa Swamp National Park. 27 km from Kitale town in Trans-Nzoia District of Rift Valley Province. The park ecosystem comprises of forest and swamp vegetation. The swamp is dominated by tall bull-rushes and sedges and is bordered by open grasslands and riverine forests. The park was established to protect the endangered Sitatunga, a semi-aquatic antelope. An interesting shy animal that remains submerged in the waters for the greater part of the day. Other wildlife species commonly found in the swamp include the Otter, Genet cat, Serval cat, mongoose, bushbuck and monkeys.  The ecosystem is also rich in birdlife, harbouring about 372 species.

At Kongolei Escarpment in the Cherangani Hills, there are several dry country birds scarce elsewhere, including Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver, Lesser Blue-eared Starling, White-crested Turaco and Brown-rumped Bunting. Dinner and overnight Karibuni Lodge, Kitale.

Day 9: Cherangani Hills - Lake Baringo

North of Kitale (about half an hour's drive), the Cherangani Hills rise up to a height of 3,581m and form a barrier between the fertile highlands surrounding the town, and a barren stretch of desert to the north. Our bird watching tour traverses the mountainous hills through the eye-catching Kerio Valley and Tugen Hills.This is an en-route birding day because we are headed lower to Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria, the ultimate Rift Valley birding hotspots.

Picnic Lunch en-route. Dinner and over night Lake Baringo Country Club.

Day 10: Lake Baringo

Lake Baringo which without doubt is a one of the most interesting places for bird watching in Kenya because of the different habitats that are found with-in a small radius. There is the fresh water lake with a slight degree of alkalinity, cliffs, open grasslands as well as scattered bushes. Lake Baringo lies in a vast bowl flanked by spectacular mountains and rocky escarpments that rise to the east and west, reaching over 1500m (4,920 ft) above the valley floor.

Over 470 species of birds have been recorded. The woodlands by the lake are alive with White-browed Sparrow-Weavers, Jackson's and Red-billed Hornbills, Bristle-crowned Starlings, and the rare Northern Masked Weavers, there are several Hamerkops along the lakeshore and with luck we should be able to see their nest, which a pair of Grey Kestrels have adopted as a home. There will be time to relax, enjoy the pool, and bird the grounds of the lodge for the resident Spotted Eagle-owls, and Sunbirds such as the Beautiful, Hunter's and the Violet-breasted. Nightjars are common on the lakeshores at night and the Hippos graze freely on the lodge's lawn. Other activities include boat rides and hiking by the nearby slopes and bush country for more species. Why not visit a local Njemps tribe village and sample their handicrafts or listen / watch their dances? Dinner and overnight at Lake Baringo Country Club.

Day 11: Lake Bogoria

Our birding tour takes us south from Lake Baringo after breakfast to Lake Bogoria which has over 135 species recorded. There are tons of pink flamingoes. The south shore has acacia-ficus woodland and to the north is a papyrus swamp and are rich in bird life.

Lake Baringo is generally regarded as a nature park with plenty of scalding hot water springs and geysers on the western shore of the lake. The natural beauty of this birding haven is like no other. A dramatic backdrop of the Laikipia Escarpment, convey spectacular aesthetical composition. Barely 10m deep, this is our choice for a perfect bird watching day.

It is interesting to know that although Lake Nakuru is reputed as the true 'pink lake', the flamingoes resident in sheer numbers do not breed there, but at Lake Baringo. You will be pleased to see mud 'nests' where this birds breed on the shallow soda lake waters of Baringo.

The Kesubo Swamp just North of the lake is a heaven for bird-watchers and the swamp holds the Kenyan record for the largest number of species seen in one hour (96 species of birds). Noted bird species include among others; little grebe, tawny eagle, pratincole, swift, little bee-eater, cape wigeon, yellow-billed stork, African spoonbill, augur buzzard, gabar goshawk, water dikkop, gret tit, starling, hornbill, crombec.

Our choice accomodation is Lake Bogoria Hotel for all meals and overnight.

Day 12: Naro Moru Lodge, Nanyuki

We seek a twist in our bird watching tour in Kenya today. Our target are the mountain and forest birds of the cooler central highlands of Kenya. Headed to Nanyuki we skirt the Aberdares, stopping at Thompson's Falls where we can seek out Slender-billed Starling, African Snipe and Tinkling Cisticola. We then pass across Solio Plains, sometimes good for Bustards, which can include the scarce Denham's, as well as Capped Wheatear, Long-tailed Widowbird and wintering Lesser Kestrels and Montagues and Pallid Harriers.

We finally check in at Naro Moru Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 12: Mountain & Forest Birding

We are now at the base of Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa. There are spectacular views of the snow capped peaks from the lodge. In addition, the lodge grounds are excellent for birding, and can have such species as Giant Kingfisher, Black Duck, Hartlaub's Turaco, Red-fronted Parrot, Narina Trogon, Grey Apalis, Rufous Chatterer, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Crowned Hornbill and up to nine sunbird species.

With our packed lunched handy, we set out to an exploration to the lower slopes, where some mountain specialities such as Mountain Greenbul, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Brown-chested Alethe, Brown Woodland Warbler, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, Hunter's Cisticola and White-tailed Crested Flycatcher can be seen.

Dinner and overnight Naromoru River Lodge.

Day 13: Samburu

The days are progressing, so is our bird watching tour. By now we have observed and recorded hundreds of different bird species. Today we depart early to the Kenya's northern frontier, the Samburu National Reserve on a 4-5 hours drive. Short stop near Isiolo for Boran Cisticola.

Samburu region boasts around 395 recorded species. So abundant is this area's birdlife that it is possible to notch up over 100 species in a day, the most noteworthy being the rare blue-shanked Somali ostrich. Secretary birds are plentiful, as are bands of bustling helmeted and vulturine guinea fowls, while along the river storks feed and sand grouse congregate at dusk. Both red-billed and Von der Decken's hornbills are common. The rugged nature of the reserve also provides an ideal raptor habitat; common sightings include; pygmy falcons, martial eagles and Verreaux's eagle owls.

In addition, dry-country mammals are present, including Gerenuk, Grevy's Zebra, Beisa Oryx and Reticulated Giraffe, and Elephant, Lion, Cheetah and Leopard are all possible. Over night Samburu Intrepids.

Day 14: Samburu

Full day at park. Highlights: Pygmy Falcon, Harlequin Quail, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Yellow vented Eremomelia, Pygmy Batis, & White-faced Mousebird. Overnight at Samburu Intrepids.

Day 15: Samburu - Wanjee Park

Depart Samburu after early morning bird watching to Wanjee Park some 6 hours away where the endemic Hinde's Babbler lives in the grounds. In addition, African Wood Owl roosts, and there is a selection of other highland birds around. Overnight Wajee Bungalows.

Day 16: Meru National Park

The perfect settting for Joy Adamson's book "Born Free" and home of Elsa the Lion. Meru national park offers a blend of great scenery and beautiful vegetation including riverine palms and woodlands, swamps, and is home to many wildlife animals. The wildlife is varied and includes some of the rarer antelopes; Beisa Oryx and Lesser Kudu are both present. Less crowded than other parks, Meru national park offers exclusive opportunity for serene bird watching.

With over 300 species recorded, including the Peter's Finfoot, the Pel's Fishing Owl, kingfishers, rollers, bee-eaters, starlings and numerous weavers. There is also an abundance of ostriches, hornbills, secretary birds, eagles and a host of other smaller birds.

Dinner and overnight at Leopard Rock Lodge.

Day 17: Nairobi

Eventual drive back to Nairobi with brief stops along interest areas.

End of Tour

11 Days Kenya Coastal Birding Tour:

Featuring : Nairobi National Park, Taita Hills, Tsavo East National Park and Aarabuko Sokoke Forest Birding

Day 1: Arrival - "Meet & Greet"

Arrival and Transfer to Hotel Boulevard for dinner and Overnight stay.

Day 2: Nairobi National Park

Our bird watching tour in Kenya begins at the Nairobi National Park. You will be picked up from your hotel immediately after breakfast.  As a first birder's outing, this is a rewarding place to begin. Only 7km from your hotel, Nairobi National park boasts a list of 520 species of birds, with 200 species regularly recorded in a day. It also has a wide variety of mammals including four of the ‘Big Five’.

There are five entrance gates to Nairobi National Park. Our birding begins through access from the main gate in the northern segment of the park. On entry we descend a tarmac stretch of road through Croton forest adjoining the plains to the "Ivory Burning" picnic site. A large number of early morning birds can be observed here. Later drive to Hyena Dam and later continue to the grass plains. Days bird watching ends along our designated route with hope of continuing from there the next day. Picnic Lunch will be served. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Boulevard.

Day 3: Nairobi National Park

Bird watching continues in Nairobi National Park from where we left off. Further into the plains we are destined for Athi Basin Dam traversing the grasslands and rock substrate terrain. A host of plain game can be expected. We can expect to see the Shelly's Francolin early in the morning or late afternoon which are fairly hard to see anywhere in Kenya, but are very common here. However, the Athi Basin Dam boasts a long list of rarities and almost anything may be attracted by this large expanse of water with its open banks. Huge crocodiles are seen here basking in the sweet morning sun.

Continue later to Cheetah Gate along lowly plains and dense Acacia bushes. The varying flora and terrain means spotting varieties that are uniquely found in this section of the park. Drive further to the Hippo pools and walk along Mbagathi's River trails. An impressive number of birds including the African Finfoot can be spotted and other species in fig and fever trees thriving riverine. A host of other places like the Baboon Escarpment uphilll from Hippo Pools famous for Bush Hyraxes and Olive Baboons. At Mokoyiet River are Mountain Wagtails, also visit the Leopard Cliffs with an impressive view of the Mbagathi Gorge.  Special birds of Nairobi National Park likely to spot include: Hartlaub’s Bustard, Shelley’s Francolin, Brown-backed Woodpecker, White-tailed Lark, Nairobi Pipit, Siffling Cisticola and Jackson’s
Widowbird, which is endemic to Kenya. Picnic lunch will be served. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Boulevard.

Day 4: Dandora Ponds

Picnic Lunch, dinner and overnight at Hotel Boulevard.

Day 5: Nairobi - Taita Hills

Depart early for Taita Hills and enjoy birding en-route. Journey takes 7-8 hours including several brief stops at designated bird watching spots. Lunch en-route. You will be booked into Sarova Salt Lick Lodge, a classic game lodge with great ambience and stunning views. Built on stilts and elevated over a spectacular waterhole which is iillumiinated by floodlights at night to facilitate game viewing. In addition, an underground tunnel and bunker with ground level windows provides unbelievably close yet safe access to a variety of wildlife as they drink.. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Taita Hills Area birding and game viewing. Overnight Salt Lick Lodge.

Day 7:  Tsavo East National park

Depart for Voi and on into Tsavo East National park. Rest of the day birding & big game viewing in the area. Overnight at the Voi Safari Lodge.

Day 8: Tsavo East National Park

Full day birding & big game viewing. Overnight Voi Safari Lodge.

Day 9:  Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Drive to Arabuko Sokoke Forest, birding in the forest rest of the day. Overnight at Scorpio Villas, Malindi.

Day 10: Birding Arabuko Sokoke and Mida Creek. Overnight at Scorpio Villas, Malindi.

Day 11: Drive to Mombasa for dinner and overnight and or drive back to Nairobi following morning withplenty of birding en-route Or catch 4 o'clock flight to Nairobi.

Airport Transfers

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We undertake airport pickup and drop off from Jomo Kenyatta International and Wilson Airports

Please read our price chart to all major destinations within Nairobi and its environs

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Car and Bus Hire Services

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Cross Border Shuttles

Nairobi Arusha-Moshi Shuttles

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Mt. Climbing & Hiking

Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya and Aberdares

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest Mountain in Africa and Mt. Kenya the second highest, both in East Africa. The Aberdares are the third highest range of mountains in Kenya, reaching a summit of just over 4000m. This massive range is well known for its thick salient forests, and their prolific game.

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Bird Watching Safaris

Bird Watching in Kenya
Go with real bird enthusiasts on a grand trip.

Most of Kenya's parks have over 400+ recorded species, but we take you to special places too. Read our chart showing Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and take pride in an Adventure with award winning guides.

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Great Migration Safaris

Serengeti & Masai Mara

Chirstened as the 8th wonder of the world, the great migration happens throughout the year across the parks of Serengeti and Masai Mara and touches on Ngorongoro conservation areas too.

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