Kenya Birding Tour: 15 Days of Moderate Birding

15 days of moderate Kenya birding tour with myriads of birds and an array of wildlife. We will neither drive for 2 hours on rough road just for two Kenyan endemics nor waking you up at 5am but instead stick with our hot meals from the lodge. A great birding tour for those with non-birding spouses and kids or strong enough for a 12hrs of active birding. You still get to see over 450 species and make the rest of the family happy with over 40 species of mammals including the Big Five.

Day 1: Nairobi National Park

Our Kenya Birding 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.

Grey Crowned Crane on a Kenya Birding Tour

Grey Crowned Crane, ©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 Ole Sereni Hotel

Day 2: Nairobi - Mt Kenya Forest

Hinde's Pied Babbler on a Kenya Birding Tour

A Kenyan endemic Hinde’s Pied Babbler @chege wa kariuki

Birding around Thika in search of one of Kenya’s endemic birds, a Hinde’s Pied Babbler and a localized Grey-Olive Greenbul. Brown-tailed Scrub Robin, Black-throated Wattle-eye and if lucky enough an African Finfoot.

Black-collared Apalis on an African Birding Tour

Black-collared Apalis, ©chege wa kariuki

The next birding site is on the highlands of southern slopes of Mount Kenya. Birds here may include Africa’s most powerful eagle the African Crowned, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Sharpe’s Starling, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, another Kenyan endemic Kikuyu White-eye, Eastern & Northern Double-collared Sunbirds, Rameron Pigeon, Red-fronted Parrot, White-headed Woodhoopoe, African Emerald Cuckoo, Grey Cuckoo shrike and others. Olive Ibises occasionally flies near the lodge in the evening on their way back to their roosting site

Overnight at Castle Lodge

Day 3: Mt Kenya Forest – Samburu National Reserve

Birding tour/walk at the lodge and picking up some missing species before leaving for Samburu National Reserve located on the northern banks of Ewaso Nyiro River and adjoining the Buffalo Springs National Reserve on the southern bank.

After lunch birding in the reserve till dusk.

Donaldson-Smith's Sparrow-Weaver on a Kenya Birding Tour

Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-Weaver ©chege wa kariuki

Overnight at Samburu Game Lodge

Day 4: Samburu National Reserve

Moderate birding tour in Samburu National Reserve. Somali Ostrich, Bateleur, Palm-nut Vulture, African Hawk-eagle, Pygmy Falcon, Martial Eagle. A hard one to miss is a rib-tickling looking Vulturine Guineafowl. Buff-crested Bustard, Black-faced, Chestnut-bellied & Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouses, Rosy-patched Bushshrike,African Orange-bellied Parrot, African Scops-owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Bearded Woodpecker, Somali Bee-eater, Rufous-crowned Roller, Pink-breasted Lark, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Hunter’s & Black-bellied Sunbirds, Golden-breasted, Hilderbrant’s & Fischer’s Starlings, Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-weaver and a special trip to one corner of the reserve in search of another Kenyan Endemic the William’s Lark and may include the Northern Grosbeak Canary, Somali Crombec, Shining Sunbirds, Brown-tailed Rock Chat and Gambaga Flycatcher.

Cheetah Cubs seen on on a Kenya Birding Tour

Cheetah Cubs, ©chege wa kariuki

A wide set of mammals thrive in the 3 reserves and including Reticulated Giraffe, endangered Gravy’s Zebra, Dwarf Mongoose, Kirk’s & Gunther’s Dikdik, Common Waterbuck, Gerenuk and the war-like horned Beisa Oryx, African Elephant, Lion, Leopard & Cheetah.

Overnight at Samburu Game Lodge

Day 5: Samburu National Reserve

Reticulated Giraffe

Reticulated Giraffe, ©chege wa kariuki

Morning and afrternoon birding and game drive the reserve.

Red-&-Yellow Barbet on a Kenya Birding Tour

Red-&-Yellow Barbet, ©chege wa kariuki

Overnight at Samburu Game Lodge

Day 6: Samburu National Reserve – Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy

Birding and enroute game drive and transfer to the largest Black Rhino sanctuary in East Africa known as Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy. Arrive for lunch and gamedrive in the afternoon.

Lion on a Kenya Birding Tour

Lion after a territorial fight, ©chege wa kariuki

Our tented camp, a sheltered oasis, clustered around a water hole and set in the pristine calm of the private conservancy, Sweetwaters Serena Camp offers a charming blend of under-canvas ambiance and Kenyan safari luxury.We stay at the Sweetwaters Serena Safari Camp on a Kenya Birding Tour

Overnight at Serena Sweetwaters Tented Camp 

Day 7: Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy – Lake Nakuru National Park

Birding and gamedrive in the conservancy en route transfer to Lake Nakuru National Park stopping at a large cliff wall that is a roosting spot for the highly-sought-after Mackinder’s Eagle-Owl. Also possible are Little Rock Thrush, Red-winged Starling, Pale Flycatcher and Long-billed Pipit.

African Fish Eagle

African Fish Eagle ©chege wa kariuki

Birding in Lake Nakuru National Park is regarded as the “the greatest ornithological spectacle in the world” with both Lesser and Greater Flamingoes sometimes exceeding 100s of thousands of individuals, however in the recent years you hardly see many thousands individual birds but still it’s a place far worth the birding experience. The alkaline habitat, acacia woodland, grassland, rivers and inlets with marshes holds residents as well as migratory species.

 

Close up views of Little Grebe, Great White Pelican, Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed, Whiskered Tern, Grey-headed Gull, Cape, Red-billed Teal, Three-banded Plover, Little Stint, Long-crested, Tawny Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Augur Buzzard, White-fronted Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Rock Martin, Arrow-Marked Babbler, Little Rock Thrush, Wailing, Rattling Cisticola, Rüppell’s Long-tailed Starling, Rüppell’s Robin Chat, White-shouldered Cliff Chat, African Grey Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Common, Grey-backed Fiscal, Tropical Boubou, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu among many others.

 

In addition, the park is rich in big games that includes the Rothschild’s Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, waterbuck, Common Eland, hippo, both Black and White Rhino, Lion, leopard, Spotted Hyena

Overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge

Day 8: Lake Nakuru National Park- Lake Baringo

Birding tour in Lake Nakuru National Park later leaving for Lake Baringo.  Birding in the afternoon around the lake.

Spotted Eagle-Owl

Spotted Eagle-Owl, ©chege wa kariuki

Overnight at Tumbili Cliff Lodge Lodge

Day 9: Lake Baringo Conservation Area

Lake Baringo make Kenya a true Birding Safari country and birding around the lake’s many habitats including the cliffs and the shores. If lucky with the help of the local guides we hope to see some the specialties such as the Northern White-faced & African Scops Owls, Greyish Eagle-owl, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Three-banded (Heuglin’s) Courser, Slender-tailed Nightjar.

 

Some good chunk of our time will be spent also at the campground that is rich in birds. Other birds may include: Bristle-crowned Starling, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Hemprich’s, Jackson’s Hornbills, Green-winged Pytilia, Red & Yellow Barbet, African Pigmy Kingfisher, Black-headed Plover, Black-throated Barbet, Somali Tit, Little, Golden-backed, Northern Masked, Lesser Masked & Black-headed Weavers, Northern Red Bishop, Red-fronted Warbler, Lanner Falcon, Verreaux’s Eagle, Blue-naped Mousebird, Red-fronted Barbet, Pygmy Batis, Northern Crombec and Cardinal Quelea among many other species.

Shining Sunbird seen in Lake Baringo on a Kenya Birding Tour

Shining Sunbird, ©chege wa kariuki

And birding at Lake Baringo is not enough without a boat trip to explore the lake for water birds such as Purple & Goliath Herons, Yellow-billed Stork, White-backed Night Heron, African Darter, Knob-billed Duck. A star bird from the boat ride is a Northern Red Bishop

Overnight at Tumbili Cliff Lodge

 

Day 10: Lake Baringo- Lake Naivasha

Heuglin's Courser

Heuglin’s Courser, ©chege wa kariuki

A moring birding tour on a boat ride and explore the lake for water birds such as Long-tailed Cormorant, Common Squacco, Green-backed, Purple, Goliath Heron, Yellow-billed Stork, African Darter, Knob-billed Duck and later after breakfast go birdwatching along the cliffs for more species before transfer to Lake Naivasha.  

Overnight at Elsamere Centre

Day 11: Lake Naivasha - Masai Mara National Reserve

Our Kenya Birding Tour takes to the famous Masai Mara National Reserve, a plain of rolling grassland dotted with a mixture of acacia trees and the plain game

Lion

Lion, ©chege wa kariuki

which includes large herds of elephants, zebras, topis, hartebeests, gazelles, Impala’s not forgetting the well known Mara/ Serengeti Wildebeest’s migration, lions, cheetah. We’ll stay on the central part of the reserve along the Mara River. Specialties include the Long-tailed, Rock Cisticolas, Wattled Plover, Rufous-bellied Heron, Pale Wren Warbler. Also Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Ashy Flycatcher, Grey-rumped, Red-rumped Swallow, White-headed, Lappet-faced, White-headed Vulture, White-naped Raven, Ross Turaco, Black-backed Puffback, Croaking Cisticola, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Hildebrandt’s Starling, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Black & White Casqued Hornbill, Narina Trogon, Lilac-breasted Roller, Common Wattle-eye, Silverbird, Plain and Long-billed Pipit, Saddle-billed, Woolly-necked Stork, Yellow-fronted Canary among many others.

Lilac-breasted Roller

Lilac-breasted Roller, ©chege wa kariuki

Overnight at Ashnil Mara Tented Bush Camp

Day 12 & 13: Masai Mara National Reserve

Today we en-route game drive the entire reserve looking for bird specialties of the eastern parts of Mara.

Overnight at Ashnil Mara Tented Camp.

Day 14: Masai Mara National Reserve- Nairobi

After an early morning breakfast transfer to Nairobi en route game drive in Masai Mara National Reserve on our way to Nairobi while searching for more bird species especially the Magpie Shrike and others on the eastern part of the reserve. Picnic lunch along the way.

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena, ©chege wa kariuki

Day 15: Nairobi

Kenya Birding Tour will visit Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

©Sheldrick Wildlife Trust www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

The final day of our Kenya Birding Tour takes us to the Sheldrick  Elephant Orphanage where we will interact with the little orphaned elephants and here their stories from the keeper for an our.

Kenya Birding Tour will visit Giraffe Centre

©Giraffe Centre www.giraffecentre.org

Kenya Birding Tour will visit Kazuri Beads Factory

©Kazuri Beads https://kazuri.com/

Later visiting the Giraffe Centre interacting with the Rothschild Giraffe and Kazuri Beads Factory  again iteracting with the local women hand crafting the sort after beads. We later visit Carnivore Restaurant for dinner before transfer to the airport for your outbound flight

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Highlights

Nairobi National Park

Mt. Kenya National Park

Samburu National Reserve

Buffalo Springs National Reserve

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Baringo Conservation Area

Masai Mara National Reserve

Lake Naivasha

Enquiries.

Kenya Birding Tour: 15 Day MODERATE

Kenya Birding Tour: 15 Day MODERATE

The Cost is Inclusive of:

  • Transport with exclusive use of the safari van as 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
  • Boat ride at Lakes Naivasha and Baringo
  • 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.