26 Day / 25 Night Birding Safari

Kenya holds some remarkable birding sights that you have to see to believe. With eleven percent of the world’s species – some 1089 different varieties, Kenya’s birding is one of the best in the world.  It is not unusual for birding trips to record 300-600 different varieties on a short trip or to record more than 120 at a particular site on a single day!

The variety of birds in Kenya is made possible by the favorable climate, diverse habitats and geographical features that make it a suitable migratory route for birds. Even without venturing outside Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, more than 600 resident and migratory bird species are found; more than in any other capital city, and more than in most countries.

Bird watching is good all year round in Kenya. The rainy seasons of April and November coincide with migration of birds from and to Europe and Asia, and some of the top day’s totals have been recorded at that time. Migrants make up only about ten percent of Kenya’s birdlife. Spectacular birds of the bush –guinea fowl, go-away birds, rollers and barbets, to mention but a few – are active all year.

To see Kenya’s rarest, indigenous and endangered birds, the bird enthusiast needs to seek out forests or highland grasslands tucked away amongst various farmlands.

DAY 1 – NAIROBI

You will be received at the airport (JKIA, Nairobi) and transferred to your hotel for lunch and check-in.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 2 – NAIVASHA

After breakfast, we shall tour Naivasha, which is an important birding area, and the entire region is a popular destination with special birding tours. Naivasha has over 400 recorded bird species. The waters of the Lake obviously attract many water birds including the continent’s highest concentration of African Fish Eagles, many Goliath Heron, Jacanas, Pied and Malachite Kingfisher, Red-knobbed coot, Spoonbills, Little Grebe, rare Maccoa Duck, African Darters and Saddle Billed Stork. The shores and forests of the lake are also excellent birding territory, while the cliffs of Hell’s Gate National Park are and important nesting area for many raptor species. After the tour, we shall return to the hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 3 – NAKURU

Depart after our morning breakfast, for Lake Nakuru National Park, 140km North West of Nairobi, and covering 180 sq km. At Lake Nakuru, the waters are often colored, shimmering flamingo-pink from thousands of the beautiful birds lining its shores.

The Park is also home to warthogs, waterbucks, buffalos, reed bucks and the occasional leopards. There are also white and black rhinos and over 400 species of birds. Guest shall have an evening game drive after lunch and short city tour at Nakuru. Then later on head to the hotel, check in, have dinner and overnight stay.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 4 & 5 – NAKURU- KAKAMEGA FOREST NATIONAL RESERVE

Depart Nakuru after our breakfast for Kakamega forest National reserve, which is situated in the Lake Victoria basin, about 50km north of Kisumu city.

After arrival, guest shall have their lunch at Golf hotel and the rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. The following day at dawn, we shall have our early breakfast for us to have enough of our time to see and study as many birds as possible in this serenity. The sound of the golden- breasted starling and golden pipit, doves and many more different birds are heard at this time of the day and best time to catch our best shots. The rest of the day is spent in the park, in the thick bushes.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 6 – KAKAMEGA FOREST NATIONAL RESERVE

After breakfast, trek deep into Kakamega forest; walking through the forest in the company of forest rangers.

Kakamega’s main attraction is its birdlife. The forest is a unique environment, not just in Kenya but in Africa. There are a number of relict species found here, including the Angsore’s Greenbul, Blue headed Bee-eater, Chapin’s Flycatcher and Turner’s Eremola. Other notables include the Red Chested Owlet, Least Honeyguide, Great Blue Turaco, Banded Snake eagle, and Crowned Eagle. Kakamega is a popular destination for birders and is well set up for bird watching safaris.

This is the last remaining patch of indigenous rainforest that once spread over most of central Africa. Its pathways wind beneath a rich canopy of trees full of monkeys, birds and clouds of butterflies.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 7 – MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK

Depart Golf hotel after breakfast and head northward to Mount Elgon National park through Eldoret town. Have stop-over at Eldoret for lunch and thereafter continue with our safari. Mount Elgon is the Kenya’s second tallest mountain, wagagai peak being the highest peak (14,177ft).It has a wild and intact wilderness with breathtaking scenery of cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges and impressive mountains peaks. It also provides habitats to elephants, buffalos, leopard, several species of monkeys, giant forest hog, various types of antelopes and over 240 species of birds.This is an important bird area, and is frequently visited by specialist birding safaris. Species of interest recorded here include the slender billed Starling, Sharpe’s Long claw, and Crowned Eagle; Ring necked Francolin, Striped Rufftail, Red chested Owlet, Thick billed Honeyguide, Toro Olive Greenbul and Purple throated Cuckoo Shrike.

Mount Elgon also offers excellent climbing and trekking opportunities (no climbing gear is required, except warm clothes) and the park can also arrange for a guide.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 8 – SAIWA SWAMP

After our breakfast we shall visit Saiwa Swamp National park. Its located north of Kitale and the smallest park in Kenya. It was established to protect the rare semi aquatic Sitatunga antelope, distinguished by its long, splayed hooves which are well adapted for walking through the muddy, vegetated swamp fed by the Saiwa River.

The park features river line forest and patches of grassland dotted with acacia trees and is also home to De brazza’s and black and white Columbus monkeys, otter, bush buck, grey duiker and many of other species of animals.

The park has a well maintained trail, plus four observation towers and a basic campsite at the gate. We shall camp at this site for overnight stay.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 9 – KISUMURUMA NATIONAL PARK.

After our breakfast we shall set out for Ruma National Park where there are several excellent birding areas around Lake Victoria. The Main areas of interest are the swamps at Kusa, Koguta and Dunga and within Ruma National Park. The Swamps have one of the last refuges of the endangered Papyrus Gonolek and Papyrus Yellow Warbler, while Ruma is the only place in Kenya where the migratory Blue Swallow has been sighted. We shall spend our day here then head to Kiboko Bay and check in. Dinner and overnight stay here.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 10 & 11 – LAKE JIPE

We shall leave the hotel early after breakfast and visit Mwea National park as we head down to Aberdare National park. Meals and overnight at Tree top. Next day is spent at Aberdare forest and part of Mount Kenya.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 12 – MASAI MARA

Early in the morning we shall depart for Mara. The Mara is equally popular with birders, and specialist birding safaris. Of the over 500 recorded species, notables include the Corncrake, Grey crested Helmet Shrike, Lesser Kestrel, Madagascar Squacco Heron, Saddle Billed Stork, Secretary Bird, Ostrich, White headed Vulture among more common species, Lilac Breasted Roller, Yellow billed Ox pecker among the large herds, and Martial and Crowned Eagles. Dinner and overnight stay at Mara.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 13 – BARINGO

After we have our breakfast, we shall visit Baringo. This is an important bird area, and is frequently visited by specialist Birding safaris. Species of interest recorded here include Jackson’s and Hemprich’s Hornbills, Bristle Crowned Starling, and waterbirds including Goliath Heron, White backed Duck, and African Skimmers and Darters. Dinner and overnight stay will be at Bogoria Spa.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 14 – BOGORIA

We shall then visit Bogoria which is an important bird area, with its large populations of flamingo. Other species of interest recorded here include many Black necked Grebe, African Darter, White necked vulture and African Fish Eagle. The best way to see birdlife in this area is to travel around the lakeshore. The acacia forests and cliffs are both rich birding country. We shall then proceed to Bogoria Spa for our dinner & overnight stay.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 15

ELEMENTAITA.

We shall head to Elementaita which is considered an important bird area, frequently visited by specialist Birding safaris. Species of interest recorded here include both Lesser and Greater Flamingo, the remarkable Jackson’s Widowbird and the Grey crested helmet Shrike. Both Martial and Crowned Eagles have also been sighted here. Lake Elementaita Serena Lodge is where we shall have our dinner and overnight stay.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 16 – MAGADI

We shall visit Magadi which is a flamingo breeding ground and an important bird area, and is frequently visited by specialist Birding safaris. Other species of interest recorded here include the African Spoonbill, Cape Teal, Great Egret and the Avocet. We shall then return to Nairobi and have our dinner & overnight stay at Windsor Golf Hotel.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 17 – NAIROBI

Our day today shall consist of a stroll in hotel gardens, a trip to the Nairobi National Park or the grounds of the National Museum, which are likely to turn up bright black and yellow weavers, tiny iridescent sunbirds resembling flying jewels, Secretary Bird, Bustards and Mouse birds with long tails, which are unique in Africa.

The giant Marabou Storks, a frequent visitor to the city, now nests on the acacia trees along the streets. Later head back to the hotel for dinner & overnight stay.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 17 – NGONG FOREST-KARURA FOREST

On this day we shall an early morning breakfast then start our day by visiting Ngong road forest. This magical forest is located on the city’s edge- just 6 Kms from the CBD. The forest occupies an area of 1,224.4 Ha. The Ngong Road Forest Reserve was first gazetted in the year 1932. It is divided into two main sections, namely: the Miotoni Section to the North West and the Racecourse & Kibera section to the South East. The forest is a representation of the dry upland indigenous forest that used to cover the entire western region of Nairobi to the Ngong Hills. Due to its location, it serves as a great refuge for many of Nairobi’s wildlife, including loads of birds, butterflies and moths, Warthogs, assorted monkeys, squirrels and antelopes. The Ngong River or also known as Motoine River has a tributary that runs from Ngong Road Forest, which later joins the Ngong tributary beyond the forest. This forest also forms part of the upper catchment of the Athi and Kiserian rivers. Different birds are found here:Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Narina Trogon, Bronze Mannikin, Lesser Honeyguide, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-collared Apalis, Red-faced Cisticola, Red-billed Firefinch, White-rumped Swift, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, White-headed Barbet, Amethyst Sunbird, Bronze Sunbird, Grey Heron, Tropical Boubou, Black-backed Puffback, African Paradise Flycatcher, African Black Duck, Brown-backed Scrub Robin, White-starred Robin, Brown-chested Alethe, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Ruppell’s Robin-Chat, Red-chested Cuckoo, Montane Nightjar, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, African Cuckoo-Hawk, African Crowned Eagle, African Fish Eagle, Pied Kingfisher. We shall leave for lunch at mid-day then later visit Karura forest.

Karura Forest is an urban forest in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The forest was gazetted in 1932 and is managed by the Kenya Forest Service in conjunction with the Friends of Karura Forest Community Forest association.

Karura Forest is located north of central Nairobi and is bordered by the suburbs of Muthaiga, Gigiri, Runda, Ridgeway’s, Peponi and New Muthaiga. The western part of the forest is also known as Sigiria Forest

Karura Forest has an area of 1 063.0 hectares, making it largest of three main gazetted forest in Nairobi. The others are Ngong Forest and Oloolua Forest. The forest has well marked and maintained nature trails.

The forest is cut by Thigirie, Getathuru, Ruaka and Karura Rivers, all tributaries of the larger Nairobi River.

Wildlife in Karura forest include Monkey species (including recently re-introduced black and white Colobus monkeys),  bushbaby,  bushbuck,  bushpig,  porcupine,  duikers,  genet,  Suni African civet. More than 200 bird species have been recorded in the forest.

Bird species includes ; Singing Cisticola, African Goshawk, African Crowned Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Grey Cuckoo, Brown chested Alethe, Narina Trogon, Long Crested Eagle, White backed Duck, Malachite Kingfisher, Hartlaub’s Turaco, White headed Barbet, Slender billed Greenbul, African Black Duck, African Emerald Cuckoo, Yellow -rumped Tinkerbird, Paradise Flycatcher, Grey crowned Cranes (a breeding pair), Spot- flank Barbet,  Recently a Red – chested Flufftail has been heard at the wetland next to KFEET. The sightings of birds that used to be seen 10 years ago has been attributed to the  planting of indigenous trees in patches that had exotic species.

We shall later retire after our long day to our Nairobi hotel for overnight and dinner.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 18 – MOUNT KENYA – ABERDARES

After breakfast we shall take a drive to Mt Kenya and its surrounding forests which are good birding zones in the country. Notable species recorded here include the Lesser Kestrel, Jackson’s Widowbird, Abbots Starling, Jackson’s Francolin, Hunter’s Cisticola, the Crowned Eagle, African Grass Owl and Cape Eagle Owl.

The bird-rich Aberdares are very popular with birders, and specialist birding safaris. At least 200 species have been recorded, including African Green Ibis, African Cuckoo Hawk, Cape Eagle Owl, Mountain Buzzard and Hartlaub’s Turaco.

Rare species include the Scarlet tufted Sunbird, long tailed Widowbird, African grass owl and the Aberdare Cisticola on the moorlands.We shall then go to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 19 – SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK

We shall continue our journey to Samburu National Park which is very popular with birders and specialist birding safaris. Samburu and Buffalo Springs have over 380 recorded species, with similar numbers in Shaba. Notable species recorded include arid endemics such as Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow Weaver, Shining Sunbird and the Bristle Crowned Starling, many Vulturine Guinea fowl, several Hornbill species, Somali Ostrich and rare species such as the Taita Falcon, migratory Kestrels and William’s Lark. We shall then have our dinner and overnight stay at Sarova Shaba Game Lodge.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 20 – MERU NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast we shall head to” the land of plenty”-Meru, which is excellent Birding country, becoming popular with specialist birding safaris. There has been recorded sighting of Saddle Billed Stork, Pel’s Fishing Owl and African Fin foots in the swamps and along the rivers of Meru National Park. beside those are the cranes, Grey crested Helmet Shrike, Lesser Kestrel, Madagascar Squacco Heron, Saddle Billed Stork, Secretary Bird, Ostrich, White headed Vulture among more common species, Lilac Breasted Roller, Yellow billed Ox pecker among the large herds, and Martial and Crowned Eagles. After an eventful day, we shall return to Alba Hotel for our dinner and overnight stay.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 21 – AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK

After our breakfast, we shall head out to one of our favorite destinations: Amboseli National Park. Over 400 species including at least 40 raptors have been recorded here in Amboseli. Notable species include the Lesser Flamingo, many ducks, darters and heron nest in the wetlands, and birds of prey including a small population of Martial Eagles. We shall have our dinner and overnight stay at our lodge/ hotel.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 22 – TAITA & CHYULU HILLS

Today after our breakfast, we depart for Chyulu area which is very popular with birders, and specialist birding safaris. Notable species recorded include Abbots Starlings en route from Mt Kenya to Kilimanjaro, Shelley’s Francolin, Orange Ground Thrush and several rare raptors- Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Crowned Eagle and Martial Eagle. The Taita Hills are also a very important bird reserve, with many endemics including the Taita Falcon, Taita Thrush, Taita White Eye and the Taita Apalis. Later on we shall have our dinner and overnight stay at our lodge/ hotel.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 23 – TSAVO WEST

This vast area is excellent Birding country, popular with specialist birding safaris. Notable species recorded include the rare Basra Reed Warbler, Friedmann’s Lark, Grey crested Helmet Shrike, Lesser Kestrel, Madagascar Squacco Heron, Saddle Billed Stork, Secretary Bird, Ostrich, White headed Vulture among more common species, Lilac Breasted Roller, Yellow billed Ox pecker among the large herds, and Martial and Crowned Eagles

We shall have our dinner and overnight stay at our lodge/ hotel.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 24 – ARABUKO SOKOKE-MALINDI

The Malindi-Watamu area is very popular with birders, and specialist birding safaris. We shall leave for Malindi after breakfast and stop at Mida Creek, along with the beaches of Watamu which is a feeding area for Western Reef Heron, Lesser Crested Tern, and shorebirds such as the Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper and Greater and Lesser Sandplover.

Offshore Whale Island is an occasional breeding ground for Roseate and Bridled Terns. To the North, the Sabaki river mouth attracts Madagascar Pratincole, Sooty Gull and the Lesser Crested and Saunder’s Tern. Outside Malindi, near the Marafa Depression is the Dakatcha Woodland, considered an important bird area and sanctuary for the Southern banded Snake Eagle, Sokoke Pipit and Clarke’s Weaver. Our dinner and overnight rest will be in our hotel.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 25 – TANA RIVER DELTA

The Tana River Delta is an excellent area for birding. The Delta itself attracts an average population of around 20,000 water birds, including Pelicans, Egrets, Storks, Flamingo, Geese and many shorebirds. The Surrounding forests are also rich with birdlife, including the rare Southern Banded Snake Eagle, East Coast Akalat, Malindi Pipit, Basra Reed Warbler, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Violet Wood Hoopoe, Scaly babbler, and of course, the Tana River Cisticola.

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

DAY 26 – BACK TO NAIROBI

Meal Plan {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}.

Included Safari Features

  • Round trip transport from Nairobi, through the sites mentioned in the above itinerary and back to Nairobi.
  • Multi-lingual Professional Safari Guide/Driver.
  • Recommended accommodation.
  • Guaranteed departures for at least two (2) guests for Private trips, at least four (4) guests on Luxury trips and at least six (6) or more guests for budget booking.
  • Complimentary Mineral Water in the Safari Minibus whilst on Safari.
  • Membership in Flying Doctors Society – Emergency air rescue.
  • Safari vehicles carry cold drinks and mineral water.
  • Guaranteed window seating with open top/ roof.
  • All meals included while on safari.
  • Pre–tour itinerary document.
  • Extensive Game drives.
  • 100% of the total sum of the trip to be paid before the day of the Safari.
  • Government Levy, VAT and Service charges are included.
  • Guaranteed clean, well serviced & well conditions cars.

Excluded Safari Features

  • Personal expenses such traveling insurance, excess baggage fee, communication charges that includes, emails, faxes, cell phones, airtime and phone calls, beverages or meals not indicated in the itinerary.
  • All applicable Game Park entrance fees.
  • Optional Night Game drives, Bird watching, Nature walks, evening outings etc.
  • Gratuity for Porte rage, waiters at hotels, camps and airports.
  • Christmas, New Year and Easter Supplements.
  • Gratuity for your professional driver guide.
  • Sundowner bush cock tails, balloon Safaris, Horse Rides, Chopper trips, Yatch trips, Drown recorded trips and bush dinner. Although they can be provided on request.
  • Cost of obtaining passport and visas while crossing borders.
  • International/ Local / Flying Doctors Airfares.

Kindly note: We considerately advocate for M-Pesa payment for your safari using our TILL NUMBER.

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