13 Day Kenya Birds, Beast & Beach Safari

IMPORTANT NOTES
• This tour is meant for a leisure birder who want to give some good priority for the family members who are not birders but still be able to scribe some over 350 species of birds from Kenya.
• The tours also skips the Taita Hills where there are 3 kenyan endemics and could be included in request

Day 1: Nairobi National Park

Lion

Lion ©chege wa kariuki

Nairobi National Park birding whole day with picnic lunch. The park, only 10km off the cosmopolitan city has one of the greatest avifauna with a record of over 515 species in an area of only 117km².

Birds in the park includes the newly-almost-described Nairobi Pipit, Common Ostrich, Great, Long-tailed Cormorant, African Darter, Great Egret, Saddle Billed Stork, Common, Madagascar Squacco, Black-headed, Grey Heron, African Spoonbill, White-faced Whistling, Knob-billed Ducks, Red-billed Teal, Secretary Bird, Black-shouldered Kite, Lappet-faced Vulture, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Martial Eagle, Shelly’s & Yellow-necked Spurfowls, African Finfoot, Black-bellied, Hartlaub’s Bustards, Emerald Spotted Wood, Laughing Doves, Hartlaub’s Turaco, White-bellied Go-away-bird, White-browed Coucal, African Palm Swift, Blue-napped Mousebird, Little & Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Lesser, Greater Honeyguides, Eastern Honeybird, Nubian Woodpecker, White-tailed, Rufous-naped Larks, Wire-tailed, Lesser-Striped Swallows, Rock Martin, Yellow-throated, Pangani, Rosy-breasted Longclaws, Pale, African Grey, Southern Black Flycatchers, Lesser Swamp Warbler, 9 species of Cistocolas, Abyssinian white-eye, Red-throated Tit, Jackson’s Widowbird, Red & Yellow-billed Oxpecker, among others.

The park has big game such as the Cape Buffalo, Burchell’s Zebra, Hippo, Masai Giraffe, Coke’s Hartebeest, Vervet and the Syke’s Monkey, both Black and White Rhino, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Eastern White-bearded Gnu, Black-backed Jackal, Hyena, Grant’s & Eastern Thomson’s Gazelles, Bohor Reedbuck and Southern Bushbuck, Common Warthog among others.

Day 2: Nairobi – Amboseli National Park

Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and after clearing hit the road heading to Amboseli National Park, located on the leeward side of Africa’s highest mountain the Kilimanjaro on the Kenya/Tanzania border. Though a relatively dry, dust and mainly open area, it collects lots of underground water from Mt. Kilimanjaro hence several springs of swampy habitats of papyrus that attracts huge concentration of wildlife especially African Elephants, Cape Buffalos, Eastern White-bearded Wildebeests with a variety of waterfowls. There’s also the open acacia woodland and Commiphora bushland around the park.

Hippo/African Elephant

Hippo/African Elephant ©chege wa kariuki

Birds includes the Common Ostrich, Great White Pelican, Common Squacco, Goliath & Grey Herons, Hadada, Sacred & Glossy Ibises, African Spoonbill, Lesser Flamingo, Red-billed Teal, Secretary Bird, African White-backed & Lappet-faced Vultures, Bateleur, Black-chested Snake Eagle & Brown Snake Eagle, Tawny Eagle, African Hawk-Eagle, African Fish Eagle, Pigmy Falcon, African Harrier Hawk, Gabar & Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawks, Crested Francolin, Buff-crested, Hartlaub’s & Kori Bustards, African Jacana, Collared Pratincole, Long-toed & Kittlitz Plovers, Black-winged Stilt, Curlew & Marsh Sandpipers, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Namaqua, Ring-necked, Laughing & African Mourning Doves, Donaldson-Smith Nightjar, Speckled, Blue-napped & White-headed Mousebirds, Green Wood-hoopoe, Southern Ground, Von der Decken’s, Yellow-billed, African Grey & Red-billed Hornbills, Fawn-collared, Rufous-naped & Singing Bush Larks, Rufous Chatterer, Little Rush Warbler, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Banded Parisoma, Desert Cisticola, Grey-backed, Taita Fiscals, Fischer’s & Wattled Starlings, Grey-capped Social-Weaver. ­­

Common Zebra

Common Zebra ©chege wa kariuki

Overnight at Ol Tukai Lodge.

Day 3: Amboseli National Park

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo ©chege wa kariuki

Birding and game drive in the park

Overnight at Ol Tukai Lodge.

Day 4: Amboseli- Tsavo West National Park

African Elephant

African Elephant ©chege wa kariuki

Morning game drive and after breakfast head for Tsavo West National Park with an en-route birding where habitat is relatively denser thicket of savanna dominated by acacia-Commiphora bush land with Baobab, grassy plains, riverine woodland. The park is also famous for the autumn bird ringing at the Ngulia Safari Lodge with thousands of European and Asian Palearctic migrants on their way south.

Overnight at Ngulia Safari Lodge.

Day 5: Tsavo West National Park

The birds of Tsavo West National Park includes the enigmatic Friedmann’s Lark also Singing Bush Lark, Bare-eyed Thrush, Scaly, Rufous Chatterer, Black-headed Plover, Quail-Plover, Somali Courser, Black-bellied, White-bellied Bustard, African Scops Owl, Striped Kingfisher, Pringle’s Puffback, Olive-tree, Basra Reed Warbler, Violet Wood-hoopoe, Southern Black, Spot-flanked, Red & Yellow, D’Arnaud’s, Black-throated, White-headed Barbet, Greater, Scaly-throated, Lesser and Pallid Honeyguide, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Northern White-crowned Shrike, Vulturine Guineafowl, Northern Brownbul, Desert, Zitting, Ashy, Rattling, Tiny Cisticola, Purple-banded, Hunter’s Sunbird Orange-bellied Parrot, Jameson’s Firefinch, Green-winged Pytilia, Fire-fronted Bishop, Red-headed, Vitelline Masked, Lesser Masked, Black-necked Weaver.

Overnight at Ngulia Safari Lodge.

Red-naped Bush-Shrike

Red-naped Bush-Shrike ©chege wa kariuki

Day 6: Tsavo West National Park - Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary

Black Rhino

Black Rhino ©chege wa kariuki

We will bird in the Ngulia area enroute to Rukinga Ranch bordering Tsavo East National Park. Here we may have some limited walking space in search of birds unlike in the park and we will take a nocturnal birding drive. Birds may include Friedmann’s Lark in case it were still wet. Bare-eyed Thrush, Scaly & Rufous Chatterers, Black-headed Plover, Quail-Plover, Somali Courser, Hartlaub’s, & White-bellied Bustards, African Scops Owl, Striped Kingfisher, Pringle’s Puffback, Southern Black Flycather, Red-winged Lark, Spot-flanked, Red & Yellow, D’Arnaud’s, Black-throated, White-headed Barbets, Greater, Scaly-throated & Lesser Honeyguides, Northern White-crowned Shrike, Vulturine Guineafowl, Northern Brownbul, Desert, Zitting, Ashy, Rattling, Tiny Cisticola, Tsavo & Hunter’s Sunbird Orange-bellied Parrot, Jameson’s Firefinch, Green-winged Pytilia, Fire-fronted Bishop, Red-headed, Vitelline Masked, Lesser Masked, Black-necked Weaver, Blue-capped Cordon Bleu, Pangani Longclaw. On night game drive we may see the Dolnaldson Smith Nightjar and Spotted Eagle-Owl

Overnight at Kivuli Camp.

Day 7: Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary - Tsavo East National Park

After morning breakfast take a morning game/birding drive around the sanctuary. Early lunch and drive across into Tsavo East National Park. The Park is mainly made of a large track of open country with lava ridges and rocky outcrops, Acacia-Commiphora woodlands, and Galana River with its bushed thickets dominated by the Doum Palm.

Overnight at Ashnil Aruba Lodge.

Buff-crested Bustard

Buff-crested Bustard ©chege wa kariuki

Day 8: Tsavo East National Park – Watamu

Leopard

Leopard ©chege wa kariuki

Birding and game drive through the park with picnic lunches and exiting from the eastern gate driving to Watamu, Malindi arriving early evening.

Overnight at Turtle Bay Beach Club

Day 9: Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve & Mida Creek, Watamu

Sokoke Scops-Owl

Sokoke Scops-Owl ©chege wa kariuki

Based on the Kenyan coastal beach, we bird in Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, which is the largest remnant of coastal forests that once covered most of the East African Coast. Specialties here include Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, East Coast Akalat, Spotted Ground Thrush, Amani Sunbird and a Kenyan endemic Clarke’s Weaver.

 

Also Plain-backed, Olive & Mouse-collared Sunbirds, Retz’s & Chestnut-fronted Helmet-Shrikes, Four-collared Bush-Shrike, Lizard Buzzard, Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Pale Batis, Blue-mantled, Ashy & Little Yellow Flycatchers, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Fisher’s Turaco, Yellowbill, African Pigmy, Mangrove Kingfisher, Eastern Green Tinkerbird, Mombasa Woodpecker, Pallid Honeyguide, Böhm Spinetail, Scaly Babbler, Red-tailed Ant Thrush, Red-capped Robin Chat, Fischer’s, Zanzibar & Tiny Greenbul, Black-bellied Starling, Eastern Bearded Scrub Robin, Eastern Nicator, African Golden Oriole.

Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher

Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher ©chege wa kariuki

Depending on the tide we’ll visit Mida Creek (hopefully during the lunch time) fringed by mangrove forest, the creek has a large area that fills with the saline water duri

ng high tides. Watching and identifying wading birds here is superb, fun and hard. They may include the “the special one” Crab-Plover, Greater & Lesser Sandplovers, Black-tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Curlew & Terek Sandpipers, Whimbrel & Eurasian Curlew, Oystercatcher, Dimorphic Egret, Yellow-billed & Wooly-necked Storks, Mangrove Kingfisher.

Overnight at Turtle Bay Beach Club

 

Day 10: Arabuko Sokoke Forest–Sabaki River Estuary

We’ll also squeeze some time to visit Sabaki River Estuary an area characterized by sandbanks, mudflats, mudbanks, sand dunes, fresh pools, and marshes. The site is important for both intra-African and Palearctic migrants for roosting, resting, and feeding ground for gulls and terns

A good site for Madagascar Pratincole, African Skimmer. Also Dimorphic & Little Egrets, Great & Lesser Flamingos, Water Thick-knee, Ruddy Turnstone, Heuglin’s,, Sooty and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Gull-billed, Caspian, Greater-crested, Lesser-crested & Common Terns, also the Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Ethiopian Swallow, Zanzibar Red Bishop also nearby Malindi Pipit.

Overnight at Turtle Bay Beach Club

 

Day 11 & 12: Watamu Beach

Residing at Turtle Bay Beach Club located at the front of Watamu Marine National Reserve we spend two days on the beach and activities may include snorkeling, deep see diving, glass bottom boat marine fish viewing, sky diving, a visit to Gedi Ruins or just basking on the white sandy beach.  

Overnight at Turtle Bay Beach Club

 

Day 13: Watamu - Nairobi

Beach holiday at the club before your local Malindi -Nairobi flight connecting you to Nairobi for your international flight at JKI Airport.

The Cost is Inclusive of:

  • Transport with exclusive use of the custom made safari land cruiser from the 1st day to departure day as per itinerary.
  • Pick up and drop off on arrival and departure at the airport.
  • Accommodation in lodges as per the itinerary with all three meals a day
  • Services of a knowledgeable bird guide
  • Parks, reserve, and conservation areas entry fee
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Drinking water available from the van cool box
  • other pre-tour information

The Cost is Exclusive of:

  • Medical and travel insurance including luggage.
  • Beverages
  • Items of personal nature such as telephone, laundry, gifts among others
  • Visa, airport tax
  • Tipping of Safari driver guide, lodge porters, waiters, etc
  • Other extras such as balloon Safari, Masai Village visit

Keep In Touch

Birdwatching East Africa
Karibaribi Farm House, Mang’u Rd
P.O. Box 7968-01000, Thika, KENYA
+254 722 329 570.