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Kenya Westerly Bird Watching Tour - 16 Day

Spur-winged Lapwing

Day 1: Arrival for Kenya Westerly Bird Watching Tour - Birding Safaris Kenya

On arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your 16 Day Kenya Westerly Birding Safari, Avian Safaris representative receives you. You will be transferred to the hotel for check in, depending on the time of arrival; we visit the National Museum Bird Gallery and later have a leisurely bird walk in the Nairobi National Museum Botanical Gardens.

Overnight at Nairobi Safari Club (Full Board)

Day 2: Birdwatching Safari to Nairobi National Park – Kenya Birdwatching Safaris

After an early morning breakfast, we go birdwatching to Nairobi National Park for the full day.

Nairobi National Park has a diverse avifauna with checklist of over 520 bird species. One of the eight species of Kenya Mountains Endemic Bird Areas, 27 species of the 94 Somali–Masai biome, and 25 species of the 67 African Highlands biome that occur in Kenya, have been recorded in the area. Migrating Lesser Falcons roost at the site in large numbers (Over 5,000 individuals have been recorded at a time), and the park’s substantial area of undisturbed grassland is of great importance for species such as the restricted-range Jackson’s Widowbird, which breeds here regularly after good rains. The globally threatened Corncrake, Madagascar Pond-Heron, Lesser Kestrel, Corncrake, Jackson’s Widowbird, Red-throated Tit and the near threatened Shoebill Stork andBasra Reed Warbler have both been spotted. We look out for those unique species.

We search for the African Silverbill, Red-winged Starling, Common Bulbul, Grey-headed Sparrow, Saddle-billed Stork, Little Egret, the Common Squacco, Goliath, Grey and Black Headed Herons, Red-billed and African Firefinches, the Booted, Tawny, Steppe, and Martial Eagles, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Long-tailed and Common Fiscals, Spotted and Pale Flycatchers, Common Stonechat, Blackcap, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Yellow White-Eye, White-bellied Tit, Variable Sunbird, Bronze Mannikin, Red-cheeked Cordon Blue, Streaky Seedeater, Collared Widow bird, the Zitting, Desert, Winding, Stout, Pectrol-patch, Singing and Rattling Cisticolas, Grassland Pipit, Rufouse-naped and Athi Short-toed Lark, Lesser-striped and Red-rumped and Barn Swallow, Brown Parisoma, and many more

Overnight at Nairobi Safari Club (Full Board)

Day 3: Bird Watching To Mount Kenya National Park - Kenya Bird Tour

Today we drive birding to the important bird area named after Kenya’s highest mountain.Birding Mount Kanya can be so well paying since the site has a rich montane avifauna. The park has six of the eight Kenya Mountains Endemic Bird Area and 54 of the 70 Afrotropical Highlands biome species that occur in Kenya. Mountain Kenya area has records of globally and regionally threatened species, some with no recent recods. They include Abbott's Starling,Lesser Kestrel (a passage migrant on the moorland), Jackson's widowbird (at up to 3,000 m), Sharpe's Longclaw, Olive Ibis, Lammergeier, Ayres's hawk-eagle, African Crowned Eagle, African Grass Owl, Cape Eagle-Owl, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed widowbird, Abyssinian Owl (very rare and poorly researched), Scarlet-tufted Sunbird, and Kenrick's Starling which is confined to this area in Kenya.African Pied WagtailAfrican Pied Wagtail

We search for these specialties along with other wildlife among which will include; Black-and-white Colobus Monkey, Sykes monkey, Bushbuck, Cape Buffalo, African Elephant, Olive Baboon, Waterbuck, Black Rhino, Leopard, Giant Forest Hog, Genet Cat, Bush Pig, Spotted Hyena and many more.

Overnight at Mountain Lodge (Full Board)

Day 4: Whole Day Bird Watching Mount Kenya National Park – Kenya Tours

We look out for more species possibly missed the previous day.

Overnight at Mountain Lodge (Full Board)

Day 5: Birding Tour to Lake Naivasha Ramsar Site of Kenya – Kenya Water Birds Tour

After breakfast, we bird to the shallow freshwater lake with fringing Acacia woodland- Lake Naivasha Ramsar site (the second site listed by Kenya as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention). Naivasha’s water is supplied by the permanent Malewa and Gilgil, plus the seasonal Karati rivers which all drain the Aberdare Mountains along with substantial ground-water seepage. The lake has no surface outlet. It is thought that a combination of underground outflow and sedimentation of salts keeps the lake fresh, unlike other endorheic lakes in the eastern Rift Valley.

It is the highest of the Rift Valley Lakes at 1,880 m, the second largest freshwater lake and one of the only two freshwater lakes in Kenya.

The fascinating bird life of over 350 species is supported by the availability of dense vegetation at the lake edge. Papyrus fringes the main lake’s shore and cloaks the inlets of the Gilgil and Malewa rivers.

Overnight at Lake Naivasha Country Club (Full Board)

Day 6: Lake Naivasha Birdwatching Tour – Birding Safari Kenya

After breakfast we still bird the lake and its surroundings, we look out for the globally threatened Grey-crested Helmeted-shrike, Basra Reed Warbler, Lesser Flamingo, along with large congregations of Red-knobbed Coot, African Spoonbill and Little Grebe. We continue for locality species among which might include; Grey-backed Fiscal, Pink-backed Pelican, Great Cormorant, Purple Heron, Red-billed Teal, Hottentot Teal, Black Crake, African Jacana, Giant and Malachite kingfishers, African Fish-Eagle, Little Grebe, Pink-backed Pelican, Long-tailed Cormorant, Southern Pochard, Gray-headed Gull, Whiskered Tern, Long-toed Lapwing, Blacksmith Lapwing, Three-banded Plover, Black Heron, Lesser Moorhen, Greater Painted-Snipe, African Skimmer, Purple Heron, Little Bittern, African Rail, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Red-chested Cuckoo, Pearl-spotted Owlet, White-fronted Bee-eater, Green Wood-Hoopoe, African Gray Hornbill, Red-fronted Barbet, Black-throated Honeyguide, Gray-headed Woodpecker, Gray-backed Fiscal, Gray-headed Bushshrike, White-browed Robin-Chat, Gray-capped Warbler, Black-lored Babbler, Purple Grenadier, Pin-tailed Whydah, Spectacled Weaver, Rueppell's Griffons, Verreaux’s Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Lanner Falcon, Speckled Pigeon, Mourning Wheatear, and many more.

Overnight at Lake Naivasha Country Club (Full Board)

Day 7: Bird Kenya Safari to Lake Baringo via Lake Nakuru National Park for Lesser Flamingoes

This morning after breakfast, we bird all way to Lake Baringo Conservation Area.We have bird Lake Nakuru on our way. Lake Nakuru National Park (Ramsar Site) boost of an up to 450 species bird checklist and a 1,496,000 waterbirds record therefore we cannot afford passing without stopping to pocket some crucial species. Five globally threatened species have been recorded here, namely Madagascar Pond-Heron, Lesser Flamingo, Pallid Harrier, Greater Spotted Eagle, Grey-crested Helmet-shrike along with large congregations of Greater Flamingo, Black-necked Grebe, Little Grebe, Great White Pelican, Yellow-billed Stork, African Spoonbill, Black-winged Stilt, Grey-headed Gull and Gull-billed Tern.

Overnight at Lake Baringo Club (Full Board)

Day 8: Kenya Birdwatching at Lake Baringo – Kenya Bird TourVerreaux’s Eagle OwlsVerreaux’s Eagle Owls

We have a whole day birding around Lake Baringo Conservation Area. Baringo is a well-known destination for birdwatchers and boosts of an up to 500 bird species Checklist. The lake used to boast a large Goliath Heronry with over 20 individuals on record, although Goliaths are still breeding around the lake, the Heronry has disappeared. However, Lake Baringo is at the southerly-easterly end of the range for the regionally threatened Jackson’s Hornbill along with their closely similar species, the Von der Decken's Hornbill.

Baringo Bird Area is not only a home to 36 of the 94 Somali-Masai biome species that occur in Kenya but also four globally threatened species namely; Madagascar Pond-Heron, Lesser Flamingo, Pallid Harrier, Lesser Kestrel. We also expect the Spur-winged Goose, Knob-billed Duck, Gabar Goshawk, Shikra, Black Crake, African Jacana, Spur-winged and Long-toed Plovers, Heuglin’s Courser, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Northern White-faced Owl, Greyish and Verreaux’s Eagle Owls, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little and Dwarf Bitterns, Green-backed, Purple and Goliath Herons, Woolly-necked and Marabou Storks, Hadada Ibis, Fulvous and White-faced Whistling Ducks, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Northern Red-billed, Eastern Yellow-billed and African Grey Hornbills, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Red-fronted and D’Arnaud’s Barbets, Lesser Honeyguide, Nubian and Bearded Woodpeckers, Sand Martin, Northern Brownbul, Brown Babbler, White-browed Robin Chat, White-browed Scrub Robin, Southern Black, African Grey and Lead-coloured Flycatchers, Purple Grenadier, Crimson-rumped and Black-cheeked Waxbills, Pin-tailed Whydah, White-bellied Canary, Somali Golden-breasted Bunting, Allen’s Gallinule, Purple Swamphen, Senegal Thick-knees, Northern Grey Tit, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Pygmy Batis, just to mention but a few

Overnight at Lake Baringo Club (Full Board)

Day 9: Bird Kenya Safari to Kakamega Forest Reserve – Kenya Forest Birding

After an early morning breakfast, we bird to Kakamega Forest Reserve. The Forest is generally considered the eastern-most remnant of the lowland Congo rainforest of Central Africa since it is dominated by Central African species of flora and fauna.

Kakamega Forest’s avifauna is not only nationally well known, rich, unusual in its composition, fascinating and unique combination with the dominant central African lowland species alongside highland species, but also continentally. Its 194 forest dependant species which include; 40 of the 43 Guinea-Congo Forest and 33 of the 70 Afrotropical Highlands biome species that occur in Kenya, rank the highest of any Kenyan forest and it is probable that at least 45 of the birds of Kenya are confined to this area in the country.

Overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre (Full Board)

Day 10 & 11: Kenya Forest Birdwatching Tour at Kakamega – Birds of Kenya Tours

We spend two days at Kakamega, a Kenya birdwatchers paradise. On the want list, please include two globally threatened species- Chapin’s Flycatcher and Turner’s Eremomela, 16 regionally threatened species, and the World’s smartest bird- African Grey Parrot along which is confined to this spot in the country (Less than ten pairs are likely to existing.

We bird for Brown Illadopsis, Equatorial Akalat, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Chubb's Cisticola, Black-collared and Buff-throated Apalises, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, the Brown-eared and Yellow-crested Woodpeckers, African Blue and Dusky-crested Flycatchers, Common and Chestnut Wattle-eyes, Black-billed, Dark-backed and Brown-capped Weavers, Red-headed Malimbe, Pink-footed Puffback, Square-tailed Drongo, Stuhlmann's Starling, Bar-tailed Trogon, Luhder's Bush-shrike, Grey-green or Bocage's Bush-shrike, Green-throated and Green-headed Sunbirds, the Great Blue and Black-billed Turacos, the restricted-range Blue-headed Bee-eater, Dusky Tit, Yellowbill, Brown-chested Alethe, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Western Black-headed Oriole, White-spotted Flufftail, the Ansorge's, Slender-billed, Joyful and Shelley's Greenbuls  Red-headed Bluebill, Yellow-throated Leaf-love, Uganda Woodland Warbler, White-chinned Prinia, White-throated Bee-eater, African Crowned Eagle, Red-tailed Bristlebill, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Grey-headed Negrofinch, the Double-toothed, Yellow-spotted, Grey-throated and Yellow-billed Barbets and many more.

Overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre (Full Board)

Day 12: Birding Tour to Kisumu for Lake Victoria species Birdwatching experience

We have breakfast then bird to kisumu to feature the shores of Lake Victoria. At Dunga swamp Important Bird Area, we search for the globally threatened Papyrus Gonolek alongside the Parasitic Weaver, Brimstone Canary, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Red-headed Lovebird, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Bronze Mannikin, Purple-banded and Superb Sunbirds, Black-rumped and Black-faced Waxbills, Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Brown-backed Scrub Robin, Green Crombec, Marsh Tchagra, Black-billed Barbet, the Little, cattle and Great Egrets, Yellow-backed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, African Pygmy and Malachite Kingfishers, Swamp Flycatcher, Greater Swamp Warbler, White-winged Warbler, Hamerkop, Yellow-billed Stork, Pied Kingfisher, White-winged and Whiskered Terns, African Skimmer, Black-bellied Firefinch, White-crested Turaco, Dark-capped Yellow Warblers, Red-faced, Singing, Whistling, Croaking, Siffling and Zitting Cisticolas, Grey-capped Warbler, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Cardinal Quelea, Black and Black-winged Red Bishops, Hartlaub’s Marsh and Yellow-mantled Widowbirds, Red-chested and Copper Sunbirds, Shikra, African Thrush, Black-headed Gonolek, Grosbeak, Compact, Holub’s Golden, Slender-billed, Yellow-backed, Jackson’s Golden-backed Weavers, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Southern Red Bishop, Rock Pratincole, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Senegal Coucal, Village Indigobird, name it.

Overnight at Kisumu Sunset Hotel (Full Board)

Day 13: Bird Watching to Masai Mara Game Reserve

This morning we bird all way to the famous Masai Mara National Park, a renowned home for Africa’s Big Five (African Lion, African Elephant, Leopard, Rhinocerous, and African Buffalo). On arrival, we go birding on an evening game drive- an opportunity to “Tick-off” some mammals and other wildlife.African BuffaloAfrican Buffalo

Please expect a productive birding activity at this site. More than 500 bird species are known to occur, including 12 species of Cisticola and 53 birds of prey. Grassland birds are especially well represented. Large numbers of Palearctic migrants winter in the area, including Caspian PloverandWhite Stork.

There is a single record of Shoebill Stork, from the Musiara swamp.

As an endemic bird area, Masai Mara has all the three of Serengeti Plains and one of the eight species of the Kenya Mountains Endemic Bird Areas that occur in Kenya. Seven globally threatened species have been recorded here; they include the Madagascar Pond-Heron, Pallid Harrier, Jackson’s Widowbird, Red-throated Tit, Grey-crested Helmet-shrike, Corncrake, and Lesser Kestrel.

The Mara’s extensive grasslands are a stronghold for the threatened, migratory Corncrake and the threatened, restricted-range Jackson's widowbird. The woodlands around the reserve are probably the centre of abundance for the threatened, restricted range Grey-crested Helmet-shrike. The restricted-range Rufous-tailed Weaver has also been sighted within the reserve.

Overnight at Masai Mara Sopa Lodge (Full Board)

Day 14: Birding Masai Mara Plains – Kenya Birding

Today we bird the Mara plains, we search for, Usambiro Barbet, Foxy Lark, Red-throated Tit, Hildebrandt’s Starling, Swahili and Kenya Rufous Sparrows, Little Bee-eater, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, White-headed Barbet, Flappet and Rufous-naped Larks, Long-billed Pipit, Pale Wren-Warbler, Green-capped Eremomela, Red-tailed and Sooty Chats, Trilling, Rock and Long-tailed Cisticolas, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Variable Sunbird, Yellow Bishop, Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting, Harlequin Quail, Red-necked Spurfowl, White-bellied and Black-bellied Bustards, Senegal and Black-winged Plovers, the localized White-tailed Lark, Red-capped Lark, Fischer’s Sparrow Lark, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Stout and Croaking Cisticolas, Northern, Pied and Isabelline Wheatears, African Quailfinch, Jackson’s, Yellow-mantled and Red-collared Widowbirds, Caspian Plovers, Banded Martin, Rufous-chested, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Bateleur, Pallid and Montagu’s Harriers, Lesser Spotted, Tawny and Steppe Eagles, Grey Kestrel, and many more.

Overnight at Masai Mara Sopa Lodge (Full Board)

Day 15: Kenya Birding Tour to Nairobi – Birdwatching Tours Kenya

Today we carry picnic breakfast and lunch then head out for a game drive. We bird for more species possibly missed the previous days. From the game drive, we proceed to Nairobi for your last night.

Overnight at Nairobi Safari Club (Full Board)

Day 16: End of 16 Day Kenya Bird Watching Tour - Departure

 

For detailed information about this tour or customise one for you, please contact us

 


Shoebill Balaeniceps rex

Diet: Lungfishes, Catfish, Tilapia, Frogs, Reptiles, and small mammal

Habitat and feeding: Swamps, marshes, particular floating vegetation, generally muddy areas on fresh water bodies

The Shoebill is a massive bird, growing to heights of 3-1/2ft to 4-1/2ft tall.

The birds nest solitarily, laying one to three eggs in a large flat nest built amid swamp grasses or sedges, usually in remote areas. These eggs measure 80 to 90 mm high by 56 to 61 mm and weigh around 164 g. It takes 140 days of nest-attendance to get from new-laid egg to independent offspring and it takes three to four years to get from newly independent offspring to mature adult.

This species is considered to be one of the five most desirable birds in Africa by ornithologists.

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)

This sedentary medium-sized wading bird of 56 cm long, weighing 470 gm  is know to occur from Africa to coastal southwest Arabia wetlands.

Hamerkops feed during the day, the main diet consists of amphibians and fish. Sometimes, they eat shrimp, insects and rodents. They walk in shallow water looking for prey, shuffling one foot at a time on the bottom or suddenly opening their wings to flush prey out of hiding.

Hamerkops, of all birds make the biggest nest in the trees, sometimes more than 1.5 m across, comprising perhaps 10,000 sticks and strong enough to support a man's weight. A mud-plastered entrance 13 to 18 cm wide in the bottom leads through a tunnel up to 60 cm long to a nesting chamber big enough for the parents and young.

They lay 3 to 7 eggs that start white but soon become stained. Both sexes incubate for 28 to 30 days. The chicks leave the nest at 44 to 50 days.

In culture, the bird is associated to bad omen; Some cultures in Uganda believe, when the bird patches on ones house then they are likely to be struck by lightening. In some places, when it calls over the house, people know that someone close to them has died. The Kalahari Bushmen believe that the inimical god Khauna would not like anyone to kill a Hamerkop. According to an old Malagasy belief, anyone who destroys its nest will get leprosy, and a Malagasy poem calls it an "evil bird". Such beliefs have given the bird some protection.

White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis)

 

The very gregarious White-throated Bee-eaters grow to 19–21 cm length, excluding the tail streamers, which can exceed an additional 21 cm length.

Sexes are similar and weigh between 20 and 28 grams. 

White-throated Bee-eaters breeds in dry sandy open country, where nest colonially in sandy banks or open flat areas. They make a relatively long 1–2 m tunnel in which 6 to 7 spherical white eggs are laid. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs, but up to five helpers also assist with caring for the young.

Predominantly, they eat insects, especially bees, wasps, ants, beetles and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.

 

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata)

Turacos are a group of African near-passerines. The Great Blue Turaco is the largest turaco and also the largest species in the diverse Cuculiformes order (which includes the cuckoos).

Generally, the Great Blue Turaco is 70–76 cm in length with a mass of 800–1,231 g. In the Bandundu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Great Blue Turaco is actively hunted for meat and feathers. The blue and yellow tail feathers are prized for making good luck talismans.

Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis)

Woodland Kingfisher

This brightly coloured medium-sized Kingfisher ranges from 20 - 23 cm, from bill tip to tail.

The bird is endemic to Africa, preferring a variety of wooded habitats with some trees, especially Acacias, including around human habitation. The Woodland Kingfisher is aggressively territorial, attacking intruders including humans. It has a striking display in which the wings are spread to show the white linings.

They nest in tree holes excavated by Woodpeckers or Barbets, where they lay up to three round white eggs.

Grauer's Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri)

Grauer's Broadbill

Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Family: Eurylaimidae, Genus: Pseudocalyptomena, Species: Pseudocalyptomena graueri

The Grauer's Broadbill or African Green Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri) is an actual broadbill, one of only a few African representatives of a primarily Asian family. It is bright green with a blue throat and vent and a small bill, quite unlike those of the other broadbills. It is endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountains of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests where it forages in canopies.

It is one of the African Big Five bird species, highly sought after by ornithologists but very elusive.

The species is both globally endangered and endangered according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

  1. Uganda
  2. Kenya
  3. Rwanda