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Day 1: Arrival for 15 Day Kenya Easterly Birding Safari – Birdwatching East Africa

On arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Avian Safaris representative receives you for your 15 Day Kenya Easterly Birding Safari. 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 Tour to Amboseli National Park of Kenya – Birding East Africa Tours

We have an early morning breakfast and with packed lunch, bird to Amboseli National Park.

The park covers part of a Pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, ‘Lake’ Amboseli, which floods during times of heavy rainfall. The Amboseli area is in the rain-shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro and receives only 300 mm of rain/year on average. However, water flowing underground from Mount Kilimanjaro wells up here in a series of lush papyrus swamps that provide dry-season water and forage for wildlife.

The Park boosts of a rich avifauna, with over 400 bird species recorded. Among these include the globally threatened Madagascar Pond-Heron, Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Kestrel, Possibly Africa’s most sought after bird- Shoebill Stork (a-one-time record), over 40 birds of prey, and 42 of the 94 species of the Somali-Masai biome that occur in Kenya.

Overnight at Ol-Tukai Lodge (Full Board)

Day 3: Whole Day Birding Amboseli National Park – East Africa Birding Tours

We spend the day in the field birding for Amboseli specialties, Taveta Golden Weaver, Long-toed Plover, Red-throated Tit, Collared Pratincole, Fischer's Sparrowlark, Black-necked Weaver, Fischer's Starling, Greater Spotted Eagle, Caspian Plover, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Capped Wheatear, Lead-coloured Flycatcher, the skulking Aberdare Cisticola, Golden-winged Sunbird as well as Eastern Double-collared, Tacazze and Malachite Sunbirds, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird, Alpine Chat, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Dusky Turtle Dove, Scarce Swift, Cape Wagtail, Cape Robin Chat, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Chiffchaff, Hunter’s Cisticola, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Slender-billed Starling and Kandt’s Waxbill, and many more of the 400 species known to occur here.

Overnight at Ol-Tukai Lodge (Full Board)

Day 4 & 5: Kenya Birding Tour to Tsavo West National Park – Birds of East Africa TourLong-crested EagleLong-crested Eagle

We bird to Tsavo West National Park and spend the fifth day at this Important Bird Area. Plenty of game and a fair bird number of birds must be added on your checklists.

Overnight at Kilanguni Serena Lodge (Full Board)

Day 6: Birding to Arabuko-Sokoke Forest via Taita Hills– East Africa Forest Birding Safaris

Arabuko-Sokoke is conservation value number two on the African mainland and lies just a few kilometers inland on the Kenyan coast. Arabuko-Sokoke is the largest extant fragment of the forests that once covered much of the East African coast, and whose remnants constitute the East African coastal forests Endemic Bird Area. It was proclaimed a Crown Forest in 1932 and gazetted in 1943.

The forest boosts of a more than 230 bird species checklist including nine globally threatened species, namely; Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Fisher’s Turaco, Sokoke Scops Owl, Spotted Ground Thrush, Sokoke Pipit, East Coast Akalat, Amani Sunbird, Plain-backed Sunbird, and Clarke’s Weaver. Five of the seven species of the East African coastal forests Endemic Bird Area and twenty three of the twenty nine species of the East African coastal biome species that occur in Kenya have been recorded here.

Arabuko-Sokoke is also rich in rare and endemic wildlife with six taxa of butterfly endemic to the East African coast, present, as well as three rare near-endemic mammals, and amphibians.

Overnight at Turtle Bay Beach Club (Full Board)

Day 7&8: Arabuko-Sokoke Birdwatching Tour for Kenya Costal Endemics

At Arabuko-Sokoke, Mida Creek and Sabaki Estuary birding spots we search for Trumpeter Hornbill, Mouse-coloured Sunbird, Scaly Babbler, Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Little Yellow Flycatcher, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Four-coloured Bush-shrike, Black-bellied Starling,Lizard Buzzard, Crested Guineafowl, Narina Trogon, Green Barbet, Mombasa Woodpecker, Fischer's Greenbul, Yellow-bellied and Tiny Greenbuls, Violet-backed Starling, Forest Batis, Black-headed Apalis, East-coast Akalat, Eastern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Black-headed Apalis, Northern Brownbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Pale Batis, Eastern Nicator, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Chestnut-fronted Helmet-shrike, Plain-backed Sunbird, Amani Sunbird, Bohm’s Spinetail, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, Sokoke Pipit, Malindi Pipit, Gull-billed, Saunders’s Terns, Sooty Gull, Grey Plover, Crab Plover, Bat-Hawk Osprey, Western Reef Heron, Lesser Sandplover, Greater Sandplover, Sanderling, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Terek Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Lesser Crested Tern, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Zanzibar Sombre Greenbul, Little Yellow Flycatcher African Open-billed Stork, African Spoonbill, Pied Avocet alongside more other species.

Overnight at Turtle Bay Beach Club (Full Board)

Day 9 and 10: Birding Mida Creek and Sabaki River Mouth – Bird Watching East Africa Tours

Overnight at Turtle Bay Beach Club (Full Board)

Day 11: Kenya Birdwatching Tour to Tsavo East National Park

We bird to Tsavo East National Park, one of the oldest National Parks in Kenya after being established in April 1948.Nothern Grey-headed SparrowNothern Grey-headed Sparrow

Tsavo East National Park has a prolific bird with an astounding checklist of up 500 species on record. The Park lies within the migratory routes of palearctic migrants which qualifies it an important spot for these species especially the rarely seen Sooty and Eleonora’s Falcons.

The park is home to 61 of the 94 species of the Somali-Masai biome that occur in Kenya. Four globally threatened species namely; Taita Thrush, Friedmann’s Lark, Lesser Kestrel and Basra Reed Warbler along with seven regionally threatened species namely; African Finfoot, African Darter, Great egret, Saddle-billed Stork, White-headed Vulture, Martial Eagle, and Violet Wood Hoopoe have been recorded at this site.

Overnight at Tsavo Park Hotel (Full Board)

Day 12 and 13: Tsavo East Game Reserve Birdwatching Tour – East Africa Birding Safaris

We spend two days birdwatching this important Area; we feature all the best spots. We hope to pocket big and small game, Cut-throat Finch, Golden-breasted Starling, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Irania, Quail-plover, Pangani Longclaw, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Violet Wood-hoopoe, Southern Ground Hornbill, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Long-crested Eagle, Square-tailed Nightjar, Somali Long-billed Crombec, the Eastern Paradise, Steel-blue, and Straw-tailed Whydahs, Scaly Chatterer, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Spotted Flycatcher, Vulturine Guinea-Fowl, Crested Francolin, Red-chested Cuckoo, Black-cuckoo Shrike, Eurasian and Black-headed Orioles, Gabar Goshawk, Three-streaked Tchagra, Eastern Violet-backed, and Variable Sunbirds, Red-fronted Warbler, Green-winged Pytilia, white-headed and Blue-napped Mousebirds, Sulphur-breasted Bush Shrike, Red-billed and Yellow-billed Oxpeckers, Black-fronted Bush Shrike, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Yellow-bellied and Striped-cheeked Greenbuls, White-starred Robin, the national Taita Thrush, Taita white-Eye, Taita Apalis, Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle, Tawny, Steppe, Imperial, Martial and Wahlberg’s Eagles, Egyptian Vulture, Bateleur, Black-shouldered Kite, Barbary Falcon, the Grey and Common Kestrels, Red-winged Lark, Somali and Temminck’s  Coursers, Crested Francolin, white-bellied and Buff-crested Bustard, Somali Ostrich, Olive-Tree Warbler, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Northern Pintail, Red-billed Teal, Fulvous Whistling and White-faced whistling Ducks, Common Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, and many more.

Overnight at Tsavo Park Hotel (Full Board)

Day 14: Birding to Nairobi National Game Park – Birding East Africa

Have breakfast, and have a leisurely morning before birding to Nairobi City for the last night on this Kenya Easterly Birding Safari.

Overnight at Nairobi Safari Club (Full Board)

Day 15: End of 15 Day Kenya Easterly Birding Safari – Departure

 

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

Kenya has one of the richest avifauna in Africa, with up to 1,132 bird species recorded. Out of which 9: Taita ThrushTurdus helleri,Tana River CisticolaCisticola restricts,Aberdare CisticolaCisticola aberdare, Taita White-eyeZosterops Silvanus,South Pare White-eyeZosterops kulalensis,Hinde's Pied-BabblerTurdoides hindei,Williams's LarkMirafra williamsi,Sharpe's PipitMacronyx sharpie,Clarke's Weaver Ploceus golandi, are national endemics.

The variation in habitats across Kenya guarantees specific bird lists, making it a fascinating part of the world for a birder’s stop. Much of the country is open grassland to open bush-land; birds are relatively easy to see. Birding specialty tours reckon 600 species in a mere 3 weeks tour!

Kenya has around 170 Palearctic migrants, mainly from Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Siberia (11 of which with a local breeding population too). Another 60 migrate regularly within the Afrotropics or from Madagascar. Some 335 of Kenya’s bird species are found in forests; 230 are entirely forest dependent, and 110 are ‘forest specialists’, requiring intact, undisturbed habitat. 40 species of global conservation concern are known to occur in Kenya; 4 of these are Critically Endangered, 2 endangered and 16 Vulnerable. One, Tana River Cisticola Cisticola restrictus, is classed as Data Deficient. Sharpe's Pipit Macronyx sharpei, classified as Near Threatened and Aberdare Cisticola Cisticola aberdare, not listed by Collar et al.

Kenya has smaller portions of three other Endemic Bird Areass: the Tanzania– Malawi Mountains with 3 out of 37 species, all in the Taita Hills, the Serengeti plains 3 out of 6 species, and the Jubba and Shabeelle valleys with 1 out of 5 species; Jubba and Shabeelle valleys touches Kenya in the extreme north-east of the country. The Taita Hills are geologically the northernmost representatives of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and Malawi, but have no restricted-range bird species in common with the rest of the Endemic Bird Areas. Secondary Areas include the Kakamega and Nandi forests, with Chapin Flycatcher Muscicapa lendu, the North Kenyan short-grass plains with Williams's Lark Mirafra williamsi and Mount Kulal with South Pare White-eye Zosterops kulalensis.

The most significant biomes are the Somali–Masai- Kenya has 94 of its 129 species, the East African Coast- 29 out of 38 species, the large Afrotropical-70 out of 226 species, and the small Lake Victoria Basin- 9 out of 12 species. The easternmost outliers of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome also occur in Kenya- 43 out of 277 species, along with a small portion of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome-13 out of 55 species.Superb StarlingSuperb Starling

Many sites in Kenya are important for congregatory birds. The coast, with its creeks, reefs and beaches, is a major flyway for migratory waterfowl from the Palearctic, as is the chain of lakes stretching along the rift valley from Turkana in the north to Magadi in the south. The rift’s alkaline lakes also provide periodic feeding stations for enormous numbers of Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor. Several small coral islands off the coast shelter important breeding colonies of Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii and other seabirds.

Best Bird Watching Time

For amazing numbers, the best time is between October and April when more than 120 migrant species have arrived from the Northern hemisphere, mostly from the Palearctic but with some African migrants such as Forbes-Watson's Swift; there is also the chance of finding one of the passage migrants such as the Sooty Falcon in March-April and October-December. The coast is particularly good during this period with large flocks of waterfowl congregating at Mida Creek and Sabaki Estuary, while The Rift Valley lakes and Amboseli attract a lot of northern waterfowl.

From April to October the Northern Migrants are replaced by birds from the southern hemisphere and Madagascar, but these are much fewer, no more than 10 or 12 species. It is however the time when many of the birds are in breeding plumage following the long rains, which makes species such as the various weavers much easier as well as much more colourful. This is also the best time of the year for game viewing. In July and August the huge herds of wildebeest and zebra enter the Maasai Mara and provide spectacular game watching. This also makes vultures sightings much easier due to the large numbers of mammals that never survive the migration. The Mara River regularly collects mixed flocks of vultures and Marabou Storks feeding on the animals that failed to cross the river. There are usually healthy numbers of crocs as well!

Another to put in mind is the weather; Kenya is characterized by two seasons- wet and dry. Aside from the obvious disadvantages of trying to peer through binoculars in a tropical storm the rainy seasons can leave many roads and tracks unusable, especially if you don't have the advantage of 4WD. This can leave some parks, or parts of some parks, totally unreachable. The long rains are usually between March and June with the highest levels of rainfall in April and May. The short rains start in late October and go through to December. It does however vary throughout the country and Northern Kenya is generally happy for any rain it can get.

 

UGANDA BIRD WATCHING ITINERARIES LIST

KENYA BIRD WATCHING ITINERARIES LIST

RWANDA BIRD WATCHING ITINERARIES LIST

UGANDA AND RWANDA BIRDING ITINERARIES LIST

The Republic of Kenya lies astride the Equator on the eastern coast of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia and Sudan to the north, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south and the Indian Ocean and Somalia to the east. The coastline, about 550 km long, faces the Indian Ocean.

Country:Kenya

Government: Republic

Independence

Date: December 12, 1963

Capital City:Nairobi

Total Area:586,600 km2

Area under water:10,700 sq km's

Time: UTC/GMT +3 hours

Population: 43,013,341 as by July 2012

Languages: English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages

Religions: Roman Catholics 33%, Protestant 45%, Muslims 10%, indigenous beliefs 10%, others 2%

Average Altitude: 1,798 m above sea level

Average Temperature: 17.7° C

Climate

The climate of Kenya varies by location; from mostly cool every day, to always warm/hot. The climate along the coast is tropical. This means rainfall and temperatures are higher throughout the year. At the coastal city of Mombasa, the air changes from cool to hot, almost every day. The further inside Kenya, the more arid the climate becomes. An arid climate is nearly devoid of rainfall, and temperature swings widely according to the general time of the day/night. For many areas of Kenya, the daytime temperature rises about 12 C (corresponding to a rise of about 22F), almost every day.

Elevation is the major factor in temperature levels, with the higher areas, on average, as 11°C (20°F) cooler, day or night. The many mile-high cities have temperature swings from roughly 50–79 °F (10–26.1 °C). Nairobi, at 1,798 m (5,899 ft) or 1.798 km (1.12 mi), ranges from 49–80 °F (9.4–26.7 °C), and Kitale at 1,825 m (5,988 ft) or 1.825 km (1.13 mi), ranges from 51–82 °F (10.6–27.8 °C). At night in the highlands, temperatures drop to about 50–54 °F (10–12.2 °C) every night.

At lower altitudes, the increased temperature is like day and night, literally: like starting the morning at the highland daytime high, and then adding the heat of the day, again. Hence, the overnight low temperatures near sea level are nearly the same as the high temperatures of the elevated Kenyan highlands. However, locations along the Indian Ocean have more moderate temperatures, as a few degrees cooler in the daytime, such as at Mombasa.
There are slight seasonal variations in temperature, of 4 °C or 7.20 °F, cooler in the winter months. Although Kenya is centered at the equator, it shares the seasons of the southern hemisphere: warmest summer months in February-March and the coolest winter months in July-August, although only a few degrees cooler.
On the high mountains, such as Mount Kenya, Mount Elgon and Kilimanjaro, the weather can become bitterly cold for most of the year. Some snowfall has occurred on the highest mountains.

Kenya has tremendous topographical diversity, including glaciated mountains with snow-capped peaks, the Rift Valley with its scarps and volcanoes, ancient granitic mountains, flat desert landscapes and coral reefs and islets. However, the basic configuration is simple. Coastal plains give way to an inland plateau that rises gradually to the central highlands, the result of relatively recent volcanic activity associated with the formation of the rift valley. To the west the land drops again to the Nyanza plateau that surrounds the Kenyan sector of Lake Victoria. The coastline is broken and composed of beaches, coral cliffs and reefs, creeks and numerous offshore coral islands.

nland, a mainly level but narrow coastal plain lies on sedimentary rocks, with some igneous intrusions such as Dzombo and Mrima. Beyond low rolling hills lies the Nyika plateau, mainly on sedimentary rocks. This is largely a thorn-bush plain with seasonal drainage lines and a few isolated rocky hills. This landscape covers almost the entire north-eastern sector of the country, on a very gradually sloping plain. The Great Rift Valley, with its associated escarpments and mountains, is a major feature. It runs the length of the country from Lake Turkana in the north to Lake Natron on the southern border with Tanzania. The central portion of the rift is raised, with the Aberdare Mountains and Mount Kenya to the east and the Mau Escarpment and Cherangani Hills to the west. The northern and southern most sectors of the rift are the region west of the central highlands is characterized by Precambrian metamorphic rocks. Mount Elgon, an old, eroded volcano, intrudes through the ancient shield on the Uganda border.

The Lake Victoria basin generally has a gently sloping landscape and an eroded surface that exposes granitic outcrops. Isolated hills and mountains, such as Mount Kulal, Mount Nyiro and Mount Marsabit, are scattered to the north and east of the central highlands. The Taita Hills, rising from the south-eastern plateau, are an ancient fault block formation, the northernmost of a chain of isolated peaks (the ‘eastern arc’) that stretches south to Malawi through eastern and southern Tanzania. They sit almost cheek-by-jowl with one of the region’s most recent volcanic ranges, the Chyulu Hills.

All Kenya’s major rivers drain from the central highlands, divided by the rift into those flowing westwards into Lake Victoria and those flowing eastwards towards the Indian Ocean.

There are five major drainage basins: Lake Victoria, the Rift Valley, the Athi-Galana-Sabaki river (and coastal areas to its south), the Tana River and the northern Ewaso Ngiro river. The Rift Valley contains several basins of internal drainage, forming a chain of endorheic lakes from Lake Natron on the Tanzanian border, through Lakes Magadi, Naivasha, Elmenteita, Nakuru, Bogoria, Baringo and Turkana.

These lakes vary in alkalinity, from freshwater Lake Naivasha to the intensely alkaline Lake Magadi.

Lake Turkana is notable as a major volume of (more or less) fresh water in an otherwise arid and barren part of the country, while a number of rivers, including the Turkwel, Kerio, Athi-Galana, Tana and Northern and Southern Ewaso Ngiro, flow for long distances through dry parts of the country. Here they may often be the only permanent source of water.

Kenya is generally a dry country; over 75% of its area is classed as arid or semi-arid and only around 20% is viable for agriculture. Inland, rainfall and temperature are closely related to altitude changes, with variations induced by local topography.

Kenya is the home of the Safari. For over a hundred years Kenya has attracted adventurers and romantics from all over the globe. This has been the setting of some of history’s greatest adventure tales. This is the home of Out of Africa, a place where setting out on an adventure into the wilderness became an age old tradition.

The spirit of the Safari lives on today. The romance of sundown drinks, of evenings around a campfire and nights under canvas with the distant roar of a lion in the African night can still be found in Kenya.

The variety of birdlife is enhanced by its visibility. Vibrant Sunbirds flit from tree-to-tree, Weavers build their incredible variety of nests in the open, the Starlings shine, resplendent Widowbirds dance in the air, and bright Turacos are strangely camouflaged in the trees. Kingfishers, Rollers, Bee-eaters, Hornbills, Barbets and Woodpeckers are present in many varieties, and for a greater challenge, the Cisticolas and Greenbuls provide just that. Overhead, the sky is alive with a variety of Swifts and Swallows, and raptors are plentiful. Ground birds include several Bustards, Larks, Pipits and Game birds, and the cast is not complete without the wonderful sight of tens of thousands of Lesser Flamingoes on the soda lakes, and the world's largest bird, the Ostrich.
 

UGANDA BIRD WATCHING ITINERARIES LIST 

KENYA BIRD WATCHING ITINERARIES LIST

RWANDA BIRD WATCHING ITINERARIES LIST

UGANDA AND RWANDA BIRDING ITINERARIES LIST

  1. Uganda
  2. Kenya
  3. Rwanda