Kenya Birding Safari for Globally Threatened Species – 24 Days
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Day 1: Arrival in Nairobi for Kenya Birding Safari
On arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Avian Safaris representative receives you for your 24 Kenya Birding Safari Focusing on Globally Threatened Species. 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.
Day 2: Kenya Birding Tour to Nairobi National Park – (Shoebill Stork Record) Kenya Birding Safaris
After an early morning breakfast, we go birdwatching in Nairobi National Park.
Nairobi National Park has a diverse avifauna with a 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 and Basra Reed Warbler have both been spotted. We look out for species known to the spot.
Day 3: Whole Day Birding Tour in Nairobi National Park of Kenya
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, Oliveceous Warbler, Brubru, Whinchat, the Little, White-ramped, Horus and African-palm Swifts, Quail-Finch, Common and Yellow-bellied Waxbills, African-hawk Eagle, White-headed and Spot-flanked Barbets, Baglafecht Weaver, Brown-snake Eagle, and many more; Along with a fine number of mammals among which will include; the Cape Buffalo, Burchell's Zebra, Hippopotamus, Masai Giraffe, Rhinos, Coke's Hartebeest, the Vervet and Syke's Monkey, just to mention but a few.
Day 4: Birding To Mount Kenya National Park - Kenya Birding Safaris
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 records. 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.
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.
Day 5: Whole Day Mount Kenya National Park Bird Watching Tour – Kenya Safaris
Day 6: Bird Watching 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.
Day 7: Lake Naivasha Birdwatching Tour – Kenya Birding Safaris
Day 8: Bird Watching Kenya Safari to Lake Baringo via Lake Nakuru
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 to pass 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.
Day 9 & 10: Lake Baringo Birdwatching Tour – Kenya Birding Tours
We have a whole days 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
Day 11: Birding the Kongelai Escarpment on a Kenya Birdwatching Safari
We bird down the Kongelai Escarpment, we look out for the Brown Snake-Eagle, Martial Eagle, Hartlaub’s Marsh Widowbird, Eastern Grey Plantain-Eater, Brown Parrot, Black-winged Red Bishop, Stripe-breasted Seedeater, and White-crested Helmet-shrike, Yellow-billed Shrike, Lesser Blue-eared Starling, White-crested Turaco, Chestnut-crowned sparrow-weaver, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Golden-breasted Bunting, Double-toothed Barbet, Northern Brownbul and many more.
Day 12: Kenya Birding Safari to Kakamega Forest Reserve
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. 194 forest-dependent 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.
Day 13 & 14: Kakamega Forest Birding Tour – Kenya Tours
We afford to 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 exist.
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.
Day 15: Birding Tour to Kisumu for Lake Victoria species Birdwatching adventure
We have breakfast then leisurely 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.
Day 16: Kenya Birding Safari 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, Rhinoceros, 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 record of Shoebill Stork at 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 center of abundance for the threatened, restricted range Grey-crested Helmet-shrike. The restricted-range Rufous-tailed Weaver has also been sighted within the reserve.
Day 17: 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.
Day 18: Kenya Birding Tour to Nairobi – Birdwatching Tours Kenya
Today we carry a 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.
Day 19: Birding From Nairobi to Tsavo East National Park – Birding Tours Nairobi
We bird to Tsavo East National Park, one of the oldest National Parks in Kenya after being established in April 1948.
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.
Day 20: Kenya Birding Tour of Tsavo East National Park and Transfer to Malindi
We have a game drive for more Savanna bird species as well as big and small game after which we transfer to Malindi. We look out for the 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.
Day 21, 22: Birdwatching Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Mida Creek, and Sabaki River Estuary
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 boasts 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.
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.
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.
Day 23: Fly back to Nairobi
Today we take a flight to Nairobi for the last night and in time to prepare for the journey back home.