17 Days Birding Safaris

ABAA-005: 17 DAYS KENYA EXPRESS BIRDING SAFARIS

17 Days Detailed Birding Safari

Day 1: Nairobi (arrival)

Arrive at the JKI Airport to be met by your guide. Birding starts right away from the stairs off the plane as the Little, African Palm Swifts and the Superb Starling appears common while the Red-winged Starling whistles to remind you to have your binoculars ready. Transfer to the hotel for a rest, followed by a visit to the Nairobi National Museum’s birds, ethnography, geology, prehistory galleries (among others) as well as the Snake Park. This is the right place to learn and see many of the Kenya's multifacets of culture, pre-history and it's natural resources. Birding continues around the museum’s botanical garden or elsewhere depending on the time.

Overnight in Nairobi

Day 2: Samburu Game Reserve

After breakfast drive to Samburu Game Reserve stopping at Thika for a short bird-search that "could" yield the Green-capped Eremomela or a Purple-crested Turaco, Green-headed Sunbird. Drive further through the pineapple plantation and make some few more stops. On the way we'll try out the Hinde's Babbler, another kenyan endemic among many other localized species.

Overnight at Samburu.

Day 3: Samburu Game Reserve

Samburu National Reserve in the northern Kenya, an arid bush country with beautiful riverine forest along the Easo Nyiro River that harbors over 400 species of indigenous and migratory birds. We can hardly miss the Somali race of the Ostrich with bluish legs and neck here. Birds of prey are also at our disposal, including the Martial and Bateleur Eagles, Pygmy Falcon, and Secretary Bird. Here and there calls can be heard to remind you that the Yellow billed, Von Der Decken’s, and Red Billed Hornbills are around.

Among other birds could be Coursers, Sandgrouses, the dry country Larks, and the Northern race of the Zebra – Gravy, Gerenuk, Recticulated Giraffe, large herds of Elephants, Beisa Oryx, among other big games are common.

Overnight at Samburu.

Day 4: Mt. Kenya National Park

After a morning game/birddrive we'll head for Mt. Kenya, a highland/montane forest with species including the Narina Trogon, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Alpine Chat, Tacazze, Variable, Bronze, Malachite, Eastern and Northern Double-collared Sunbirds, Montane, Yellow-whiskered Greenbuls, African Hill Barbbler, and Chestnut-throated Apalis among many forest species.

Overnight at the slopes of Mt. Kenya.

Day 5: Lake Nakuru National park

After breakfast we'll have a morning birdwalk before leaving for Lake Nakuru National Park. We'll have a number of stops on the way to collect a few more lifers. With good views of the Aberdare Ranges and several stops that includes Thomson’s Fall for a picnic lunch, where we hope to get a few rewards like the Stone Chat. We'll descend down to the Great Rift Valley through the Subukia Escarpments and witness the marvels of the conventional currents working on the earth’s crust and try to find the Lynes’ Cisticola at the rim of Menengai Crater (if time allows) before heading to Lake Nakuru National Park.

Overnight at Lake Nakuru.

Day 6: Lake Nakuru National Park

Whole day birding and game viewing in Lake Nakuru National Park, which has been referred to as the "the greatest ornithological spectacle in the world" with the Flamingoes sometimes exceeding 1.5 million individuals. The alkaline habitat supports thousands of resident and migratory birds, over 450 species. Some of the common birds includes the Little Grebe, Great White Pelican, Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed, Whiskered Tern, Grey-headed Gull, Cape and Red-billed Teal, Southern Pochard, Long-crested, and African Crowned Eagle, White-fronted Bee-eater, Arrow-Marked Babbler, Little Rock Thrush, Wailing Cisticola, Ruppell's Long-tailed Starling, Lilac-breasted Roller, Cliff Chat and many species of waders.

In addition, the park is rich in big games that includes the Giraffe, Buffalo, Waterbuck, Eland, Hippo, both Black and White Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyena among many small mammals.

Overnight at Lake Nakuru.

Day 7: Lake Baringo

In the morning do bird/game drive in the park and later leave for Lake Baringo Conservation Area, another one of Kenya's birding hotspots. Lunch at Lake Baringo club. After lunch, visit the cliffs not far from the lake, good for Hemprich’s & Jackson’s Hornbills, White-faced Scops Owl, Bristle-crowned Starling, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Green-winged Pytilia, and Red & Yellow Barbet, Bat Hawk, Three Banded Courser, (among many others). Birding along the camp site and the hotel could yield the Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, African Pigmy kingfisher, Black-headed Plover including many species of waterbirds.

Overnight at Lake Baringo Club.

Day 8: Kapedo

We drive north of Lake Baringo about 75km to Kapedo lying on a semi-desert and the specialties around this area could include the Magpie Starling, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark, Pigmy Batis, Somali Sparrow, Somali Fiscal, Pale Prinia, Mouse-Coloured Penduline-Tit, among others.

Overnight at Lake Baringo Club.

Day 9: Kitale

Take a boat ride and explore the lake for water birds like the Goliath, Grey Heron and later after the breakfast go birdwatching along the cliffs for more species. Before lunch we leave for Kitale where we spend the night looking forward for tomorrow birding down the Kongelai Escarpment.

Overnight Kitale.

Day 10: Kongelai Escarpment

We drive down the Kongelai Escarpment on the west of Makutano (Kitale - Turkana Road). This is yet another excellent birding area where we expect local specialties such as the Yellow-billed Shrike, Lesser Blue-eared Starling, White-crested Turaco, Chestnut-crowned sparrow-weaver, Dark Chanting Goshawk among many other interesting species.

Late afternoon we leave for the Kakamega Forest.

Overnight in Kakamega.

Day 11 & 12: Kakamega Forest

Kakamega Forest, the only rain forest remaining in Kenya, which was once a continuation of the Guinea-Congolian rainforest, rich in species nowhere else to be seen in Kenya. Spending a few days here we hope to see a good number of these forest species that could include the Blue-headed Bee-Eater, Red-headed Malimbe, Green Sunbird, Grey-winged Robin, Yellow Spotted, Yellow-bellied Barbets, African Blue Flycatcher, African Shrike-Flycatcher, Snowy-headed Robin, Common, Jamesson's, Chestnut and with much luck the Yellow-bellied Wattle-Eyes, Shelley's, Joyful Greenbul, among many others.

Overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre.

Day 13: Kisumu (Lake Victoria)

Birding before breakfast and after, later drive to Kisumu City just-by the second largest fresh-water lake in the world. Visit Impala Sanctuary and the Sewerage Works that could yield a Southern Red Bishop, Black-billed Barbet.

Overnight at Kisumu

Day 14: Maasai Mara Game Reserve

Today we take an early morning boat ride along the Papyrus vegetation at the Dunga Beach (an old fishing village/jet) with expectation to see some of the specialties like the Papyrus Canary, Papyrus Gonolek, Swamp Flycatcher, Slender-billed, Northern Brown-throated, Jackson's Golden-backed, Yellow-backed Weavers, Greater Swamp Warbler e.t.c.

After this we leave for the world famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

Overnight in Mara.

Day 15: Maasai Mara Game Reserve

Maasai Mara Game Geserve is a plain of rolling grassland dotted with a mixture of acacia trees and the plain game which includes large herds of Elephants, Zebras, Topis, Hartebeests, gazelles, Impala’s not forgetting the well known Mara/ Serengeti Wildebeest’s migration, Lions, Cheetah among other cats. We'll stay on the western part of the reserve along the Olololo Escarpments blended by river, swampy, grassy and forested habitats. Specialties could include the Tabora, Rock Loving Cisticola, Wattled Plover, Rufous-bellied Heron, Penduline Tit, and Pale Wren Warbler, among others. Those interested with Balloon Safari- this is the place to view Mara and her wildlife by air. we'll spend sometime in the afternoon to visit the Maasai Village for a cultural dance.

Overnight in Mara

Day 16: Nairobi

En route game drive on our way to Nairobi while searching for more bird species especially the Magpie Shrike and others on the eastern part of the reserve. While on the way to Nairobi (if time allows) we'll drive to kinangop plateau in search of yet another Kenyan endemic Sharpe's Longclaw, later heading back to Nairobi.

Overnight in Nairobi

Day 17: Olorgesaille

Leave early in the morning for Olorgesaille (towards Lake Magadi) stopping en route for these semi arid dry country birds such as the Cut Throat, Blue-capped Cordon bleu, Northen Crombec, Banded Parisoma, White-bellied Canary, Crimson-rumped Waxbill among many others. Return to Nairobi where our tour ends with a dinner before the transfer to the airport.

 

birding safaris