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Birding Tours in Kenya, Africa Classic Birding Tours, Bird Watching in Africa

NAS 131S - 22 Days The Classical Kenya Birding Tour

Highlights: In Kenya, it is very impossible to get away from birds! Wherever you travel in this country, there is a huge diversity of birds. Due to various habitats, there are also different species of birds you are likely to see in different habitats, this means that within a short space of time a birder ends up with a long list of birds.
The total bird species list for a two to three week tour to Kenya is tremendous.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival - Nairobi
You will be met by our tour manager who will brief on your three weeks tour. You will then be transferred to your hotel have lunch and then visit the National Museums gallery, the museum garden and, if time permits, other sites around Nairobi, for a diversity of species in this unbelievably bird-rich city. Lunch at a city restaurant. Overnight at Nairobi Serena Hotel

Days 2: Aberdares Range National Park
Early breakfast, drive northwards passing the 3rd world largest pineapple plantations to the town of Mweiga for lunch at the Aberdare Country Club. After lunch you will be ferried by lodge’s 4wd vehicles up the forest to the Ark. Aberdares national park is inhabited mainly by forest dwelling bird species. At the Ark, you spend the evening viewing from the hotel balconies the large number of wildlife that comes to drink at the salt lick close to this eco-lodge. Dinner and overnight at the Ark.

The Aberdares host a rich montane bird fauna. Most of Kenya’s highland species are found here. The reserves are also rich in big game such as elephant, buffalo and antelope – the bongo. The bird viewing is also rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, which include the endangered Aberdare Cisticola, Jackson's Francolin, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers

Day 3-5: Samburu National Reserve.
Drive northwards after breakfast Samburu Game Reserve. This reserve has a plethora of unique bird and game species. Despite its small size, the reserve contains lots of contrasting habitats: rocky cliff and scarps, pools, swamps and river line sandbanks; arid open woodland, bush and grasslands. All these contribute to an impressive biodiversity. Dinner and overnight at Samburu Serena lodge. Samburu National Reserve bird species are such as Palm-Nut Vulture and Egyptian Vultures, Bateleur, and Vereaux Eagles, Vereaux Eagle-owl and the small Pygmy Falcon. We shall also look for Somali Ostrich, Kori and Buff-crested Bustards, Somali Bee-eater, Vulturine Guinea fowl, Ethiopian Swallow, Bare-eyed Thrush, Grey-capped and Black-capped Social Weavers, Cut-throat Finch, Red-winged and Pink-breasted Larks, Golden Pipit, Magpie Starlings and Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-weaver, Northern and Pale Crombecs. While looking out for the endemic William’s and Masked larks, we will also see some big mammals which are confined to the northern part of Kenya and they include the Oryx, Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe and the Gerenuk or Giraffe antelope.

Days 6-7: Nakuru National Park.
Drive southwards after an early breakfast to Lake Nakuru national park and arrive in good time for lunch. The park was opened in 1969 as a bird sanctuary because of the huge flocks of Lesser Flamingo. It also hosts big flocks of both Great White and Pink-backed Pelican, ducks and waders. The acacia is a refuge for other wildlife like the Rothschild Giraffe, both Black and White Rhino and cats like lion and leopard. Dinner and overnight at Lake Nakuru lodge

Lake Nakuru you will see the spectacular gathering of lesser Flamingoes in there hundreds of thousand together with an abundance of other water birds like the Western Reef Heron, Lesser Jacana, and black-headed Gull. We will also look for Acacia forest species, including Green-wood Hoopoe, Hildebrandt’s and Coqui Francolins, Rufous-naped and Fawn-colored Larks, scarce Grey-crowned Helmet-shrike, Arrow-marked Babbler, Bearded Woodpecker, Mottled swift and White-shouldered Cliff Chat. On the baboon cliff we shall be on the lookout for fox Kestrels and other species of falcons.

Days 8-9: Lake Baringo.
After breakfast travel further south to Lake Baringo and arrive in time for lunch. After lunch, go for a drive to Lake Bogoria, looking for Silver bird on the way. Dinner and overnight at Baringo Country Club.

In Lake Baringo Birding along the cliffs will give you golden chances to see some owls and raptors on the cliffs and adjacent acacia. Key species to look for are White-faced Scopes Owl, Hemprich’s Hornbill, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Bristle-crowned Starling ,Mouse-colored Penduline Tit, Beautiful Sunbird, Bristle-crowned Starling, Jackson’s Golden-backed, Little and Northern Masked Weavers. In the evening we visit several sites looking for Vereaux and Spotted-Eagle Owls, as well as the White-faced Scops Owl.

Days 10-12: Kakamega Tropical Rainforest.
Drive after breakfast to Kakamega forest having your lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre.

Kakamega Tropical Rain Forest. This is the only tropical rain forest in the country. It is on the easternmost boundary of the West African tropical rain forest. This makes it a unique biome because it contains species found nowhere else in the country. Birds to look for are the Great Blue Turraco, White-spotted Fluff tail, the endemic Chapin’s Flycatcher, the threatened and incredibly localized Turner’s Eremomela, Stuhlman’s Starling among a long list of other West African species.

Day 13: Kisumu
Drive to Kisumu, which is a city at the shores of Lake Victoria, after breakfast. Take a boat ride for your birding. All meals and overnight at kiboko bay.

Along the Papyrus stands on the shores of Lake Victoria and Yala Swamps, we shall look for the three Papyrus endemics which are Papyrus Gonolek, Warbler and Canary. Other Lake region species to see are Open-billed Stork, White winged Warbler, Swamp Flycatcher, Red-headed Quelea, Yellow-backed Weaver, Greater-swamp Warbler, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Red-chested Sunbird, Slender-billed and Golden-backed Weavers among others.

Day 14: Lake Naivasha.
After breakfast drive to Lake Naivasha and arrive in good time for lunch. Have another boat ride for ducks, waders, warblers and kingfishers. The woodland around the lake is a good habitat for cuckoos and cisticolas. The lake supports large populations of Hippo, Wildebeest, Maasai Giraffe, Waterbuck and lots of others. The Acacia around the lake provide larger population of African Fish Eagle, Grey-crested and Helmet-shrike. Dinner and overnight at Lake Naivasha Sopa/ Simba

Lake Naivasha is fresh water abundant with bird life with over 400 species recorded here. The lake is unique as it has to other lakes in its vicinity; lakes Oloide and Sonachi (which is a crater lake) and there is a game sanctuary that nears this lake

Days 15-18: Maasai Mara

Drive to and bird the famed Maasai Mara after breakfast. You will have packed lunch. Dinner and overnight at Keekorok lodge

The Mara Game Reserve has varied habits, including open rolling grasslands, river line forests, acacia woodlands, swamps, escarpments, etc. These contribute to its exceedingly diverse wildlife. It is know for its huge concentrations of herbivores and attendant predators. More than 500 bird species are known to occur here, including raptor 53 raptor species such as Southern Ground Hornbill, Long-toed Plover Lizard Buzzard, Secretary Bird, Shelley’s Francolin, Red-necked Spur fowl, Madagascar Squacco Heron, Rofous-bellied Heron Spotted Thicknee, Red-throated Spurfowl, Magpie Shrike, Black Coucal, Little Greenbul, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Athi Short-toed Lark, Karamoja Apalis, Zitting and Rock-loving Cisticola

.Days 19-21: Amboseli National Park
Drive to Amboseli national park and lunch is enroute. Have three game viewing drives in the park. Dinner and overnight at Amboseli Serena.

Amboseli National Park ;This famous reserve is at the base of Africa’s highest mountain and the world’s highest standing volcano, Mt Kilimanjaro, which towers more than 19,000 feet above the plains. Birds that can be seen within the reserve include C, White-backed and Lappet-faced Vultures, Spur-winged and Egyptian Geese, Red-billed and Hottentot Teals, Long-tailed Cormorant, Red-knobbed Coot, Yellow-billed and Saddle-billed Storks, Great and Intermediate Egrets, Grey, Black-headed, Herons Black Crake, African Jacana, Grey Crowned-crane, African Spoonbill, African Fish-eagle, Water Thick-knee, Collared Pratincole, Two-banded Courser, Three-banded Plover Greater Painted-snipe, White-browed Coucal, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Lilac-breasted Roller, Grey-headed, Malachite kingfishers, African Hoopoe, Red-capped Lark, Fischer’s Sparrow-lark, Pangani long claw and the hard to find Taveta Golden-weaver.

Day 22: Nairobi - Departure

After an early breakfast drive back to Nairobi, check in your Nairobi hotel and have dinner at carnivore for your dinner and then be transferred to JKIA for your outbound flight.

Prices and Costs
Package Cost Shall Be Provided According To Group Numbers and Period of Travel

Cost Inclusions:-
• Transportation by 4wd with photographic roof
• Accommodation and meals as stated in the itinerary.
• Park entry fee where applicable
• Service of an English-speaking driver
• Guarantee of going for this trip.
• Game viewing drives as per the Itinerary
• Driver allowances and park fees for vehicle and driver
• Government taxes

Cost Exclusions:-
• Tips to driver guide, porters and hotel staff.
• Extras at the Lodges – tips, drinks, telephone bills, drinks both alcoholic and non – alcoholic.
• Airfare is not included in the tour