Kenya Leisurely Birding Tour - 10 Days

Winding Cisticola

Day 1: Arrival for Kenya Leisurely Birdwatching Tour - Birding in Kenya

On arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Avian Safaris representative receives you for your 10 day Kenya leisurely birding tour. 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: Kenya Birding Tour to Lake Elementaita - Bird Kenya

We have an early morning breakfast then bird to Lake Elmenteita- a shallow alkaline lake. Elmenteita’s surrounding natural vegetation of mainly Acacia and Tarconanthus camphoratus bushland interspersed with Themeda triandra grassland, favours a rich checklist of real stunning species! We hope to nail the globally threatened Jackson's widowbird, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Lesser Kestrel (a Passage migrant), and the vagrant Greater Spotted Eagle. Other species will include; Grey-headed Gull, Hadada Ibis, Helmeted Guineafowl, Hildebrandt's Francolin, Horus Swift, Kittlitz's Sandplover, Lesser Flamingo, Lilac-breasted Roller, Little Egret, Little Stint, Long-crested Eagle, Marabou Stork, Martial Eagle, Pied Avocet, Plain-backed Pipit, Rattling Cisticola, Red-billed Teal, Red-capped Lark, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Red-eyed Dove, Rufous Sparrow, Sacred Ibis, Scarlet-chested Sunbird,Secretary Bird, Speke's Weaver, Splendid Starling, Tawny Eagle, Variable Sunbird, Wattled Starling, Yellow Bishop, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Mosque Swallow, Northern Anteater Chat, Northern White-tailed Lark, Olive Pigeon, Pale Flycatcher, African Fish Eagle, African White-backed Vulture, Augur Buzzard, Black Swift, Black-headed Oriole, Blacksmith Plover, Blue-eared Starling, Blue-naped Mousebird, Cape Teal, Cattle Egret, Common Bulbul, Common Drongo, Coqui Francolin, Crowned Plover, Egyptian Goose, Great White Pelican, Greater Flamingo, Grey Woodpecker, Grey-backed Fiscal, just to mention but a few

Overnight at Elementaita Country Lodge (Full Board)

Day 3: Birdwatching Safari to Lake Naivasha Ramsar Site of Kenya

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.

Lesser Grey Shrike

Overnight at Lake Naivasha Country Club (Full Board)

Day 4: Lake Naivasha Birding Tour – Kenya Birding Safaris

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, 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, Grey-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 5: Bird Watching Safari to Lake Nakuru National Park of Kenya

This morning after breakfast, we bird all way to Lake Nakuru Ramsar Site. Lake Nakuru National Park (Ramsar Site) boost of an up to 450 species bird checklist and a 1,496,000 waterbirds record. 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.

The lake is internationally famous for its healthy populations of the globally threatened Lesser Flamingo, numbers can reach 1.5 million at times, though drastic and unpredictable fluctuations occur. Undoubtedly Nakuru is a very important feeding site for this species.

Plenty of game here, the elusive Leopard should be on our want list.

Overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge (Full Board)

Day 6: Birdwatching Tour at Lake Nakuru National Park of Kenya – Kenya Birding Safaris

Whole day birding, we have lunch in the field. We search for Grassland, trees and scrub species among which shall include; the Red-chested, Klaas’s, Black and Diederik Cuckoos, Speckled Mousebird, Striped Kingfisher, Broad-billed Roller, Green Wood-hoopoe, African Paradise Flycatcher, Common Wattle-eye, Black-crowned and Brown-crowned Tchagras, Northern Puffback, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Common Drongo, Black-headed Oriole, Rüppell’s Long-tailed Starling, Amethyst Sunbird, Speke’s and Baglafecht Weavers, Red-billed and African Firefinches, Greater and Scaly-throated Honeyguides, African Grey-headed Woodpecker, SpottedFlycatcher, Willow Warbler, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Red-faced Crombec, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Common Waxbill, Little Rock Thrush, helmet-shrikes, Coqui Francolin, Helmeted Guineafowl, Long-crested Eagle, Lilac-breasted Roller, African Hoopoe, White-fronted Bee-eater, Grassland and Plain-backed Pipits, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Whinchat, Schalow’s Wheatear, Northern Anteater Chat, Winding, Rattling and Pectoral-patch Cisticolas, Pied Crow and Red-billed Oxpecker, name it.

Overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge (Full Board)

Day 7: Kenya Birding Safari to Masai Mara National Park – (Shoebill Bird Record)

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 Cape Buffalo). On arrival, we go birding on an evening game drive- an opportunity to “Tick-off” some mammals and other wildlife.

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.

Common 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 8: Kenya Birdwatching tour in the Masai Mara Plains

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 9: Kenya Birding Tour to Nairobi – Birdwatching Safaris 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 10: Departure – End of 10 Day Kenya Leisurely Birding Tour

Today Marks the end of the tour, you guide and the driver transfer you to the Airport for your journey back home.

Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei)

Mountain gorillas are the largest living primates and the world's most endangered apes with a population of less than 800 individuals world over- none in zoos. They are found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

They share 97% DNA with human beings! They are our closest living cousins after the Chimpanzee, They have up to 25 vocalization for communication

Mountain Gorillas are shy, social and very active during day. They live in families of 8-25 members with one leading male (The Silver Back).

Gorillas have a lifespan of 50 years in the wild. They reproduce at a very slow speed with a gestation period of approximately 8.5 months and an interval of four years to the next birth.

Diet: Mainly herbivores eating fruits, herbs, leaves, stems, roots and shoots. Sometimes ingest small insects like ants and termites.

Grauer's Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri)

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.

Blue-breasted Bee-eater (Merops variegatus)

Kingdom: Amimalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Order: Coraciiformes, Family: Meropidae, Genus: Merops

The Blue-breasted Bee-eater is endemic to Africa and just as the name suggests, predominantly eats flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught in the air by sallies from an open perch. While pursue any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet. Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) comprise from 20% to 96% of all insects eaten, with honey bees comprising approximately one-third of the Hymenoptera.