Kenya Birding Tours- 22 Days of Active Birding

Day 1: Nairobi National Park

Our Kenya Birding Tours 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.

Kenya Bird Tour: Shelley's Francolin

Shelley’s Francolin ©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.

Kenya Bird Tour: African Mustached Warbler

African Mustached Warbler @chege wa kariuki

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 a Thika Hotel

Day 2: Thika - Mt Kenya Forest

Kenya Bird Tour: Hinde's Pied Babbler

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.

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 tours in the forest hopefully  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.  

Leopard

Leopard ©chege wa kariuki

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.

Kenya Bird Tour: Vulturine Guineafowl

Vulturine Guineafowl @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 in Samburu Ashnil  Camp

Day 4: Samburu/Bufallo Springs National Reserve

Donaldson-Smith's Sparrow-Weaver

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

Continue our Birding Tour in Samburu, Buffalo Springs National Reserves 

Overnight in Samburu Ashnil  Camp

Day 5: Samburu National Reserve - Marsabit

Lioness

Lioness @chege wa kariuki

Final birding in the reserve and transfer to Marsabit birding enroute in search of Somali Crombec, Northern Grosbeak Canary, Somali Crow.

Overnight in Marsabit 

Day 6: Marsabit - North- Marsabit

Kenya Birding Tours takes us farther north  of Marsabit in search of birds like  Heuglin’s Bustard and Masked Lark, Somali Sparrow, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Larks, Somali Fiscals, Thekla and Short-tailed Lark & Crested Larks, Somali Coursers, African Scissor-tailed Kite, Shining Sunbird, Greater Kestrels

Kenya Bird Tour: Masked Lark

Masked Lark @chege wa kariuki

Overnight in Marsabit

Day 7: Marsabit - Naro Moru

Kenya Bird Tour: Somali Crow

Somali Crow @chege wa kariuki

After our birding tour in Northern Kenya to his hot and larva desert transfer to Naro Moru birding enroute. Late lunch and in the late afternoon visit the vast & pristine montane forests and alpine habitats of Mount Kenya National Park in search of Alpine Chat, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Jackson’s Francolin, Slender-billed Starling all seen above 3000m.

Africa Bird Tour: Abyssinian Ground Thrush

Abyssinian Ground Thrush @chege wa kariuki

Other birds includes the Tacazze Sunbird, Black-headed Waxbill, Abyssinian Crimsonwing and Dusky Turtle Dove among others.

Kenya Bird Tour: Jackson's Francolin

Jackson’s Francolin ©chege wa kariuki

Overnight at Naro Moru River Lodge

Day 8: Naro Moru -Lake Nakuru National Park

Birding tour around the lodge compound may produce 7 species of sunbirds, Collared, Northern Double-collared, Variable, Bronze, Tacazze, Green-headed, Amerthyst & Scarlet-chested. We may also encounter Narina Trogon, Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike, Chinspot Batis, African Black-headed Oriole and Black-crowned Tchagra.

 

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

 

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.

Kenya Bird Tour: African Black Duck

African Black Duck @chege wa kariuki

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 9: Lake Nakuru National Park - Lake Baringo

Today our birding tour takes us to Lake Baringo enroute in search of 2 Kenyan endemics Aberdare Cisticola and Sharpe’s Longclaw, also Wing-snapping, Leviallant’s Cisticola, Maccoa Ducks, Lesser Jacana, Great Crested Grebe, Yellow-crowned Canary, Malachite & Golden-winged Sunbirds.

Kenya Bird Tour: Lesser Flamingo

Lesser Flamingo @chege wa kariuki

Overnight at Tumbili Cliff Lodge

Day 10: Lake Baringo

Lake Baringo make Kenya a true African Birding Tours 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.

Kenya Bird Tour: Heuglin's Courser

Heuglin’s Courser, @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 11: Lake Baringo- Saiwa Swamp

Kenya Bird Tour: Grayish Eagle-Owl

Grayish Eagle-Owl @chege wa kariuki

We bird the smallest national park in Kenya, 2km² in size we’ll walk around birding through the well-structured boardwalks above the swampy marshes with reeds and other wetland vegetation. Birds include the African Paradise Flycatcher, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Double-toothed Barbet, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Angolan Swallow, Grey Apalis, Northern Puffback, Black-billed, Brown-capped Weaver, Black-crowned Waxbill, Black & White Mannikin.

Overnight at Barnley’s House.

Day 12: Kongelai Escarpment

Our birding tour takes us to this remote western part of Kenya, the Kongelai Escarpment 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, Golden-breasted Bunting, Double-toothed Barbet, Northern Brownbul, Brown Snake, Martial Eagle, Eastern Grey Plantain-Eater, Brown Parrot, Black-winged Red Bishop, Stripe-breasted Seedeater, and White-crested Helmet-shrike. Also the Hartlaub’s Marsh Widowbird among many other interesting species.

Overnight at Barnley’s House.

Day 13: Kitale - Mt Elgon National Park

Birding in Kongelai Escarpment and depending on what we missed we give a trial once more before leaving for Mt Elgon National Park characterized by gigantic Juniper trees, Podocarpus and Mt Elgon Olive.

 

Late afternoon birding in the forest. Some of the birds that we may encounter would Ayre’s Hawk-Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Mountain Buzzard, Great, Little & Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawks, Scaly Francolin, Hartlaub’s & Ross’ Turacos, African Wood Owl, Abyssinian Nightjar, Mottled, African & Scarce Swift, Narina & Bar-tailed Trogon, White-headed Wood-Hoopoe, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, Double-toothed & Yellow-billed Barbets, Fine-banded and Grey Woodpecker, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Equitorial Akalat, White-starred Robin, Oriole Finch among others.

Overnight in Mt Elgon National Park

Day 14: Mt Elgon National Park - Kakamega Forest

Kenya Bird Tour: Elgon Francolin

Elgon Francolin, ©chege wa kariuki

A birding tour drive to the moorland in search the majestic Elgon Francolin among other birds we see on the way up and later transfer to Kakamega Forest

Overnight Rondo Retreat Centre

Day 15: Birding in Kakamega Forest

Africa Bird Tour: Great Blue Turaco

Great Blue Turaco @chege wa kariuki

Africa Bird Tour: White-spotted Flufftail

White-spotted Flufftail, ©chege wa kariuki

Kakamega Forest is the only true rain forest remaining in Kenya and birding here is superb by number of localized species seen. The forest 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, Grey-winged Robin, Yellow Spotted, Yellow-billed Barbet, Shelly’s, Joyful, Toro olive, Cabanis’ Greenbul, African Blue Flycatcher, African Shrike-Flycatcher, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Common, Jameson’s, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Olive Green Camaroptera, Green, Cooper Sunbird, Mackinnon Shrike, Luhder’s Bush-Shrike, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Black-necked, Dark-backed, Vieillot’s Weaver, Red-headed Malimbe, Red-headed Bluebill.

Overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre.

Day 16: Kakamega Forest -Busia

Kenya Bird Tour: Blue-headed Bee-Eater

Blue-headed Bee-Eater, @chege wa kariuki

Today our Kenya Birding Tours takes us through Busia and making a few stops for localized Rock Pratincole, Piapiac along the river. Before arriving in to the hotel we will search for early calling Swamp Nightjar. We hope to find a few more localized birds such as the Bar-breasted Firefinch & Black-bellied Firefinch, Black-rumped Waxbill, Whistling Cisticola, Red-headed Lovebird, Black-winged Red Bishop, Green Crombec, Orange-tufted Sunbird, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Senegal Coucal, White-crested Turaco, Copper’s Sunbird, Little Greenbul

Overnight at a Busia Hotel

Day 17: Busia - kisumu

Kenya Bird Tour: Brown Twinspot

Brown Twinspot, ©chege wa kariuki

Birding from Busia area for more birds that we may have missed en route to Kisumu.

Overnight in Kisumu 

Day 18: kisumu - masai mara national reserve

A morning birding tour on the shores of the second largest fresh-water lake in the world. Along the Papyrus vegetation at the Dunga Beach (an old fishing village/jet) with expectation to see some of the specialties like the Papyrus Gonolek, Swamp Flycatcher, Greater Swamp Warbler, White-winged Warbler. Also Hamerkop, Little Egret,

Kenya Bird Tour: Northern Brown-throated Weaver

Northern Brown-throated Weaver ©chege wa kariuki

Yellow-billed Stork, Pied Kingfisher, White-winged, Whiskered Terns, African Skimmer, Red-chested, Copper Sunbirds, Shikra, African Thrush, Black-headed Gonolek, Slender-billed, Northern Brown-throated, Yellow-backed, Jackson’s Golden-backed Weavers, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Southern Red Bishop, Black-billed Barbet, Black-billed Barbet.

 

We later for the world famous Masai Mara National Reserve arriving late in the afternoon. Birding along the way ay produce Yellow-bellied Hyliota and Green-capped Eremomela. 

Overnight at Mara West Tented Camp

Day 19: Masai Mara National Reserve

Continue our Kenya birding tours along the Olololoo Escarpments for birds such as Long-tailed Cisticola, Trilling Cisticola & Rock Cisticola, Pale Wren Warbler, Red-tailed Rock Chat and may be a Red-throated Wryneck.

Kenya Bird Tour:

Red-winged Francolin ©chege wa kariuki

Masai Mara National Reserve is a plain of rolling grassland dotted with a mixture of acacia trees and blended by the famous Mara River, swampy, grassy and forested habitats all hosting different kind of birds & birding. Specialties among other common birds include Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Ashy Flycatcher, Mosque, Lesser striped & Red-rumped Swallows, African White-backed, Lappet-faced, White-headed & Hooded Vultures, White-naped Raven, Ross Turaco, Black-backed Puffback, Croaking, Stout, Pectoral-patched, Rattling and Black-backed Cisticolas,

Africa Bird Tour: Rufous-bellied Heron

Rufous-bellied Heron, ©chege wa kariuki

Fan-tailed Widowbird, Hildebrandt’s Starling, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Black & White Casqued Hornbill, Lilac-breasted Roller, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Plain and Long-billed Pipit, Saddle-billed, Woolly-necked Stork, Yellow-fronted Canary among many others.

Overnight in Mara

Day 20: Masai Mara national Reserve

A long day of our Kenya birding tours as we sample most corner sites for more bird in the eastern part of the reserve. We also have great chances of prides of lions,

Cheetah

Cheetah, ©chege wa kariuki

cheetahs and leopard among other larger mammals of the African Savana.

Overnight in Mara

Day 21: Masai Mara national Reserve-Lake Naivasha

Our Kenya Birding Tours takes us to amazing birding site Lake Naivasha en route game drive in Masai Mara National Reserve on our way to Naivasha while searching for more bird species especially the Magpie Shrike, Karamoja Apalis, Swahili Sparrow, Capped Wheatear, Two-banded Courser, Athi Short-toed Lark, Silverbill, Southern Grosbeak Canary, Gabon and Dusky Nightjars and others on the eastern part of the reserve. Picnic lunch along the way.

At Lake Naivasha we will look for Grey-crested Helmet-Shrike, Hilderbrant’s Francolin, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Schalow’s Wheatear, White-fronted Bee-eater, Lyne’s Cisiticola among waterbirds during a boat ride.

Overnight at Elsamere Centre

Day 22: Lake Naivasha - Nairobi

Our Kenya Birding Tours gets complemented with boat ride on the lake for more and closer views of waterbirds.

 

Later transfer to Nairobi for dinner and finally be dropped at the airport on time for your international outbound flight

11 Day kenya eastern & coastal birding safari

we also offer 11 days coastal extension which makes it the 35 Day Kenya Mega Birding Safari

 

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Kenya Birding tour : Highlights

Nairobi National park

Mt Kenya Forest

Samburu National reserve

Bufallo Springs National Reserve

Marsabit

Naro Moru

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Baringo

Kitale

Kongelai Escarpment

Mt Elgon National Park

Kakamega Forest

Busia

Kisumu

Masai Mara National Reserve

Lake Naivasha

Enquiries.

21 Days Kenya Birding Tour - Hardcore

Kenya Birding Tour: 22 Days Hardcore

The Cost is Inclusive of:

  • Transport with exclusive use of the safari van.
  • Pick up and drop off on arrival and departure at the airport.
  • Accommodation in lodges as per the itinerary & all meals
  • -Services of an English speaking safari 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:

  • Medicaland travel insurance including luggage.

  • Otherextras such as balloon Safari, Masai Village visit

  • Tipping of Safari driver guide roughly between $8-10 a day

  • Visa, airport tax

  • Balloonsafaris

  • Beverages

  • Items of personal nature such as telephone, laundry, gifts among others

Keep In Touch

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