17 Days Birding and Wildlife Safari Kenya

17 Days 16 Nights
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Description

This safaris offers Kenya birding in a nutshell, from the soda-surfaced layers of Rift valleys lakes flocked by flamingos to alpine Mount Kenya and the flourishing western lowland forests at Kakamega. All these offer great birding experience doubled with bird-rich savannas, Tsavo’s semi-arid environment also favors avian life, Sokoke’s coastal forests, and the majestic conservation parks that make Kenya the world’s top mammal watching destination in Africa. This is not surprising when you consider visiting Kenya you will probably encounter more bird and mammal species than any other African safari. Most days we are required to kick start by around 6 am and will stay out for about 12 hours, in order to have a chance of the best times for the finest birds and mammals that this trip offers. Where possible we will use the afternoon moments to rest up or visit the local communities. Some days will be fully spent in the fields. Sometimes we shall nights outs depending on our safari guide’s recommendation in the lookout for nightjars and owls, and this is done before dinner or and only last for not more than an hour. Kenya is a decent-sized country with a well-developed road network connecting different birding destinations. You will find it adventurous, time-saving, and relaxing to have your picnic-parked lunch under the shade of the tree. Almost all the birding in Kenya is done on easily accessible areas on clear roads and most of the time is spent in the car with a little walking and hiking with exception of Sokoke, Kakamega forest, and Mount Kenya where a 2 hours walk will be done.  The climate in Kenya is variable, so come prepared with rain gears and sunglasses.

17 Days Birding and Wildlife Safari Kenya Highlights;

  • Day 1: Arrival and Transfer to the Hotel
  • Days 2-3: Birding Nairobi National Park
  • Days 4-5: Birding Transfer to Mount Kenya
  • Day 6: Birding Mount Kenya and Transfer to Aberdare Mountains
  • Day 7: Birding Abadares and Transfer to Lake Nakuru
  • Day 8: Birding Lake Nakuru Transfer to Naivasha
  • Day 9: Birding Lake Naivasha and Transfer to Lake Baringo
  • Day 10: Birding Lake Baringo and Transfer to Kakamega forest
  • Days 11-12: Birding Whole Day Kakamega Forest
  • Day 13: Lake Victoria to Masai Mara
  • Days 14-15: Birding Masai Mara Game Reserve
  • Day 16: Birding transfer to Nairobi
  • Day 17: Departure Day

The Package Includes;

  • Services of English-speaking local guides.
  • All accommodation from the night of day 1 to the night day 16
  • All meals
  • Drinking water
  • Tropical Birding tour leader with telescope and audio playback gear
  • All airport transfers
  • All ground transport in a suitable safari pop-top vehicle
  • Park entrance fees
  •  2 boat trips – one on Naivasha and one on Baringo

The package Exclusion;

  • Optional tips to the tour leader; tips for luggage porters at hotels
  • International flights
  • Additional drinks apart from those included such as alcoholic beverages
  •  Travel insurance
  •  Excursions not included in the tour itinerary
  •  Extras in hotels such as laundry service, minibar, room service, telephone calls, and personal items

Itinerary

1

Day 1: Arrival and Transfer to the Hotel

We arrive in Nairobi and are transferred to our hotel for a three-night stay in the city, which boasts the largest bird list of any city on earth!
Meal plan: Lunch and Dinner

2-3

Days 2-3: Birding Nairobi National Park

We visit Nairobi NP before beginning our exploration of the Great Rift Valley lakes. Highlights may include Von der Decken’s Hornbill and the multicolored Red-and-yellow Barbet, or our first flamingos among many wintering Palearctic shorebirds on Lake Magadi.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

4-5

Days 4-5: Birding Transfer to Mount Kenya

Heading for the country’s highest summit, our journey to Mt. Kenya could yield Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Rueppell’s Robin-Chat, Mountain Yellow Warbler, and Yellow-crowned Canary. The lodge’s waterhole attracts many mammals including African Buffalo. We’ll spend the early mornings searching for White-starred Robin, Abyssinian Crimson-wing, African Crowned Eagle, African Emerald Cuckoo, and Moustached Green Tinkerbird. A shaded riverside trail may reveal Crowned Hornbill, Mountain Wagtail, and up to eight species of sunbirds, including the stunning Tacazze Sunbird. Two nights will be spent just outside the park.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

6

Day 6: Birding Mount Kenya and Transfer to Aberdare Mountains

In the morning, we bird the Solio Plains, where we hope to find Temminck’s Courser, Jackson’s Widowbird, Black-bellied Bustard, and various other grassland species. In the afternoon, we head for the Aberdares Mountains, where we overnight.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

7

Day 7: Birding Abadares and Transfer to Lake Nakuru

Today we explore the alpine moorland above the treeline, perhaps encountering Jackson’s Francolins as we climb up into the highest accessible Lobelia-covered plains in Kenya. Our targets here include Alpine Chat and, with luck, we’ll find the specialized and beautiful Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird. In the afternoon we drop down into the Rift Valley to Lake Nakuru where we overnight.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

8

Day 8: Birding Lake Nakuru Transfer to Naivasha

We will awaken to vast flocks of flamingos, pelicans, and other waterbirds. The surrounding woodland holds Narina Trogon, Red-throated Wryneck, Arrow-marked Babbler, and African Firefinch. After lunch we venture to Naivasha, another of the Rift Valley gems.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

9

Day 9: Birding Lake Naivasha and Transfer to Lake Baringo

We will spend the early morning at Lake Naivasha, sifting through vast flocks of waterbirds, and birding productive lakeside woodland. Later we drive to Lake Baringo, rich in arid-zone birds, where we search for Hunter’s Sunbird, Heuglin’s Courser, Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, and Northern White-faced Scops-Owl. At dusk, we should see Slender-tailed Nightjars gliding along the hippo-covered shore. We overnight at Lake Baringo.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

10

Day 10: Birding Lake Baringo and Transfer to Kakamega forest

Today exemplifies birding in Kenya. We begin in the sub-desert and end up in the most eastern tract of the lowland equatorial rainforest in Africa. First, we visit the cliffs near Baringo, scanning for Fan-tailed Raven, Hemprich’s Hornbill, Mocking Cliff-Chat, and Bristle-crowned Starling. Later we explore the Kerio Valley, where we search rocky, scrubby hillsides for Green-backed Eremomela, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Brown Parrot, White-crested Turaco, Pearl-spotted Owlet, and Black-headed Gonolek. Late in the day, we arrive at Kakamega for a three-night stay.

11-12

Days 11-12: Birding Whole Day Kakamega Forest

Kakamega is full of birds and is justly famous as one of Kenya’s birding meccas. Many of Kenya’s fantastic forest birds are available only here. These include dapper Equatorial Akalats, comical Great Blue Turacos, and sensational Blue-headed Bee-eaters among other beauties like White-chinned and Banded Prinias, Jameson’s, and Yellow-bellied Wattle-eyes, Bocage’s and Luehder’s Bushshrikes, Black-billed and Vieillot’s Weavers, Gray-headed Negrofinch, Red-headed Malimbe, and Red-headed Bluebill.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

13

Day 13: Lake Victoria to Masai Mara

Today we head to Lake Victoria, searching for swamp specialties such as Blue-headed Coucal, Swamp Flycatcher, and the striking Papyrus Gonolek. Rice paddies may produce African Openbill, Southern Red Bishop, and Zebra Waxbill. In the afternoon, we head south to the Masai Mara National Reserve for a three-night stay.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

14-15

Days 14-15: Birding Masai Mara Game Reserve

The Mara, the northern portion of the magnificent Serengeti system, offers spectacular vistas over flat-topped acacia and grassy plains riddled with ungulates and other animals. We’ll spend the days in the western part of the reserve looking for East Africa’s famous Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, African Elephants, gazelles, and other wildlife. However, birding does not take a back seat, and we should be rewarded with views of many large raptors and vultures that gather at the kills, as well as storks, Kori Bustard, Southern Ground-Hornbill, and other species that suffer from disturbance outside these large protected areas. Other highlights may include Rufous-bellied Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Temminck’s Courser, Sooty Chat, and Schalow’s Turaco.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

16

Day 16: Birding transfer to Nairobi

Today we return to Nairobi for a final night, searching for the endangered Sharpe’s Longclaw and other grassland specialties en route.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

17

Day 17: Departure Day

Today we fly out on our international departures or join the Eastern Extension.
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch

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