Kenya Birding Tour: 13 Days of Birds, wildlife & Beach

These are 13 days of moderate birding with myriads of birds and an array of wildlife and finally sunbathing on our white sandy beaches of Watamu. While Deep sea fishing, surfing, snorkeling, sky diving, watching sea fish from a glass-bottom boat, a visit to the ancient Ruins of Gedi are all arranged as options. A great birding tour for those with non-birding spouses and kids. You still get to see over 300 species and make the rest of the family happy with big game including a possible Golden-rumped Elephant-shrew.

Day 1: Nairobi National Park

Our First day of Birding in Africa Tour starts with Nairobi National Park, only 10km off the cosmopolitan city has one of the greatest avifauna with a record of over 520 species in an area of only 117km².

Lion

Lion ©chege wa kariuki

Birds  may includes the newly-almost-described Nairobi Pipit, Common Ostrich, Saddle-billed Stork, African Spoonbill, Saddle-billed Stork, African Spoonbill, 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.

Overnight at Ole Sereni Hotel.

Day 2: Nairobi – Amboseli National Park

Our 2nd day of Kenya Birding Tour we transfer 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 of Amboseli National Park 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.

Common Zebra

Common Zebra ©chege wa kariuki

Overnight at Ol Tukai Lodge.

Day 3: Amboseli National Park

Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo ©chege wa kariuki

More birds of Amboseli National Park for the day may include Curlew & Marsh Sandpipers, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Namaqua, Ring-necked, Laughing & African Mourning Doves, Donaldson-Smith Nightjar, Speckled, Blue-napped & White-headed Mousebird. 

More birding in the afternoon . 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. ­­

Overnight at Ol Tukai Lodge.

Day 4: Amboseli- Tsavo West National Park

African Elephant

African Elephant ©chege wa kariuki

A morning in search of more birds of Amboseli National Park and later transfer to Tsavo West National Park which is famous for the autumn bird ringing/banding at the Ngulia Safari Lodge with thousands of European and Asian Palearctic migrants on their way south.

The habitat is relatively denser thicket of savanna dominated by acacia-Commiphora bush land with Baobab, grassy plains, riverine woodland.

Overnight at Ngulia Safari Lodge.

Day 5: Tsavo West National Park

Our Kenya Birding Tour in Tsavo West National Park, more birds may include the enigmatic Friedmann’s Lark, Red-naped Bush Shrike, Scaly Chatter which would be some of the star birds of this Kenya Birding Tour. Other birds may include Singing Bush Lark, Bare-eyed Thrush, Rufous Chatterer, Black-headed Plover, Quail-Plover, Somali Courser, African Scops Owl, 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, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Vulturine Guineafowl,

Northern Brownbul, Desert, Zitting, Ashy, Rattling, Tiny Cisticola, Tsavo Sunbird, Hunter’s Sunbird, Jameson’s Firefinch, Green-winged Pytilia & Fire-fronted Bishop.

Red-naped Bush-Shrike

Red-naped Bush-Shrike ©chege wa kariuki

Overnight at Ngulia Safari Lodge.

Day 6: Tsavo West National Park - Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary

Black Rhino

Black Rhino ©chege wa kariuki

Birding the Ngulia area enroute to Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary bordering Tsavo East National Park. Here we have (though very 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, Bustard, African Scops Owl, Pringle’s Puffback, Southern Black Flycather, Red-winged Lark, Tiny Cisticola, Tsavo & Hunter’s Sunbird, Orange-bellied Parrot, Jameson’s Firefinch, Dolnaldson Smith Nightjar and Spotted Eagle-Owl and Red-naped Bush-Shrike

Overnight at Kivuli Camp.

Day 7: Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary - Tsavo East National Park

Birding tour in Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary and later after lunch we 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.

Buff-crested Bustard

Buff-crested Bustard ©chege wa kariuki

Overnight at Ashnil Aruba Lodge.

Day 8: Tsavo East National Park – Watamu

Leopard

Leopard ©chege wa kariuki

Birding tour through the Tsavo East National 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

The birding family members on this birding tour will visit the famous Arabuko Sokoke Forest and the non-birders will enjoy marine park visit, deep sea fishing, or sun-bathing along the white sandy beaches. The forest is the largest remnant of the East African Coastal Forest. We hope to see the rarely seen Kenyan endemic Clarke’s Weaver among the rich diversity of other bird species.  Other birds of Arabuko Sokoke Forest may include near endemic Amani Sunbird, Sokoke Pipit & Malindi Pipit, East Coast Akalat, Scaly Babbler, Mombasa Woodpecker.

 This is also the home to near endemic Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew.

Depending on the tide we will either visit Mida Creek or the forest fringed by mangrove forest, the creek has a large area that fills with the saline water during 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.

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 during 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 waterfront 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 ruins of Gedi (a historical and archaeological site) or just basking on the white sandy beach.  Again the non-birders family members will have had longer beach holiday while we visited the forest for birding.

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.

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Highlights

Amboseli National Park

Tsavo West National Park

Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary

Tsavo East National Park

Watamu

Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Mida Creek

Sabaki River Estuary

 

Enquiries.

Kenya Birding Tour: 13 Days of Bird, Wildlife & Beach Safari

Kenya Birding Tour: 13 Days of Bird, Wildlife & Beach Safari

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.