Kenya Birding Photography Tour June 2020
19 Days/ 18Nights – Nairobi – Mt. Kenya – Samburu – Sweetwaters- Lake Nakuru- L. Naivasha – L. Baringo –Lake Bogoria- Kakamega forest -Masai Mara- Nairobi or Tanzania
Day 01, June 2020: Arrival Nairobi
Today on arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Afternoon or evening Flight) (J.K.I.A) Airport, you will be met and greeted by our customer service representative and later we transfer you to you Nairobi Hotel for relaxation where you will Spend your evening overnight at Nairobi Safari Club Hotel (HB)
Day 02, June 2020: Nairobi National Park
We will pick you from Nairobi Safari Club Hotel at 0700hrs and drive across to Nairobi National Park, which lies within the shadows of the large capital city in the world and despite being only a few kilometers from the city is a home to big game. With highland forest, Acacia woodland, rocky escarpments, open grassland, large ponds, and small streams, this park is home to a wide variety of birds and mammals. Some of the key species we will search for here are Shelley’s Francolin, Hartlaub’s Bustard, Spotted Thick-knee, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Singing Cisticola, Banded and Brown Warblers, African Yellow Warbler, Northern Pied Babbler, White-breasted White-eye, Long-tailed Fiscal, and White-winged Widowbird. Nairobi National Park is without a doubt the best place in Kenya to see the endangered Black Rhino, and we have a very good chance of locating this very impressive species together with many of the other mammals we or you may have seen before. Later in the afternoon we will drive you back to the hotel, Nairobi Safari Club Hotel (FB).
Day 03, June 2020: Nairobi – Mt. Kenya
This morning, we leave Nairobi and transfer to Serena Mountain Lodge, with several short stops enroute. Our first destination is the Blue Post Hotel in Thika, where we will bird the hotel grounds and woodlands along the Chania River. Here we will start seeing our first exciting African species, which may include Hadada Ibis, Red-eyed Dove, Trumpet Hornbill, African Green-pigeon, Speckled Mousebird, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, and Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, White-headed and Spot-flanked Barbets, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Mountain Wagtail, Grey- olive Greenbul, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Grey-capped Warbler, Variable, Collared and Scarlet-Chested Sunbirds, Holub’s Golden-weaver, Baglafecht Weaver and African Citril. We will also make a stop at Wajee Camp, a noted site for the Kenya endemic Hinde’s Pied-babbler. While birding the steep forested slopes of the camp, we stand a chance of locating Ayer’s Hawk-eagle, African Wood-owl, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, and Green-headed Sunbird. Serena Mountain Lodge is located on the lower slopes of Mt. Kenya, Africa’s second tallest mountain, and is an excellent place to locate many highland forest species. Along the entrance road we may encounter Augur Buzzard, African Crowned Hawk-eagle, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Moustached Tinkerbird, Mosque Swallow, Black Saw-wing, Sharpe’s Starling, Black-tailed Oriole, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, and Eastern Double-collared Sunbird. The large waterhole and salt lick at the lodge is host to many mammals and we can expect Blue Sykes Monkey, White-tailed and Marsh Mongooses, Common Genet, Deffassa Waterbuck, Giant Forest Hog, and the tiny Suni. At an elevation of almost 8,000ft nights can be quite chilly. One night stay at the Serena Mountain Lodge (BLD). http://www.serenahotels.com/serenamountainlodge/en/default.html
Days 04, 05 & 06, June 2020: Mt. Kenya – Samburu
Early – morning birding from the lodge balcony is always productive and may include Marabou Stork, Black Goshawk, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Cape Wagtail, Slender-billed and Mountain Greenbuls, Ruppell’s Robin-chat, Hunter’s Cisticola, Grey and Black-throated Apalis, Grey-headed Negrofinch and Yellow-crowned Canary. We will also take a short walk from the lodge along the entrance road in search of the more secretive species of the area such as Scaly Francolin, African Hill Babbler, White-starred Robin, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Mountain Yellow Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Yellow-bellied Waxbill and Oriole Finch. Mid-morning we will leave the cool climate of Mt. Kenya for more arid country in the North, specifically the Samburu Game Reserve. The drive will offer spectacular scenery, and the grasslands along the roadside are a great place for Black-winged Plover, Black-shouldered Kite, Dusky Turtle-dove, Greater Blue-eared Glossy-starling, Cape Rook, Tacazze Sunbird, Red-collared and Long-tailed Widowbirds (seasonal) and Speke’s Weaver. Samburu is one if the most exciting reserves in East Africa. The semi-desert habitat and the rich woodlands along the Ewaso Nyiro River are teeming with wildlife. Explorations, of the fantastic reserve will produce an almost overwhelming array of bird species: Palm-nut and Hooded Vultures, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, African Hawk-eagle, Crested and Yellow-necked Francolins, Vulturine Guinea fowl, Buff-crested and White-bellied Bustards, Black-faced and Liechtenstein’s Sandgrouse, Red-bellied Parrot, African Scops-owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Somali Bee-eater, Rufous-crowned Roller, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Bearded Woodpecker, Pink-breasted Lark, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Rosy-patched Bush-shrike, Hunter’s and Black-bellied Sunbirds, Golden-breasted and Fischer’s Starlings, Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-weaver, Cut-throat and the stunning Somali Bunting. Mammal life is also prolific, with many species not seen elsewhere on our tour. Just a few of the many possibilities are Olive Baboon, Black-faced Vervet Monkey, Dwarf Mongoose, Striped Hyena, Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Kirk’s dik dik, Common Waterbuck, Gerenuk and the magnificent Beisa Oryx. Three nights stay at the Samburu Lodge (BLD) http://www.wildernesslodges.co.ke/samburu_info.html.
Day 07, June 2020: Samburu – Mt. Kenya –Sweetwater’s Game Reserve
Today after our morning breakfast at Lodge and depart for Sweetwaters Game Reserve arriving in time for lunch. Sweetwaters is in the slopes of Mt. Kenya and overlooks a floodlit waterhole offering visitors an unforgettable opportunity to view and shoot pictures of animals in their natural habitat.
Optional walking safari escorted by a knowledgeable Ranger, to see Chimpanzee observed from a Boat on the Ewaso Nyiro River which supports other wild game like Elephants, Buffalo, Baboon, Eland, Silver-backed Jackals, Ostrich, Rhino among others. 25 of the 30 luxurious tents overlook the water hole and some are built on stilts to offer you a better view. Each luxurious tent comes with en-suite facilities, a patio (verandah) and is set under a thatch roof. A visit to the Chimpanzee sanctuary should not be missed. Here we will spend two nights at Sweetwater’s Tented Camp. (BLD) http://www.serenahotels.com/serenasweetwaters/default-en.html
Day 08, June 2020: Sweetwater’s Game Reserve -Lake Naivasha
Today after an early breakfast, our safari will be destined for Lake Naivasha, the only freshwater lake in the Rift Valley. From the top of the Rift Valley escarpment, you can see the lake sparkling under the sun thousands of feet below you. The lake is home to a large colony of hippos and it’s also a Mecca for bird watchers and researchers since over 400 different species of birds have been recorded here. It’s on the beautiful shores of Lake Naivasha that Joy Adamson author of the bestseller book “Born free” lived; her home Elsamere is now a wildlife education and conservation center. The lakes location and wildlife makes it an ideal place for an afternoon boat ride. While en route we may come across some Vultures, Greater Kestrel, some of Swallow, Schalow’s and Capped Wheatears and Red-billed Quelea. An afternoon arrival will allow us to bird the tall Acacia woodland on the beautiful hotel grounds. Expected here are Gabar Goshawk, Dideric and Black Cuckoos, Barn Owl, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, White-fronted Bee-eater, Lesser and Wahlberg’s Honeyguide, Black-lored Babbler, Amethyst Sunbird, Grey-headed Bush-shrike and Spectacled Weaver. One night stay at the Lake Naivasha Country Club. (BLD) http://sunafricahotels.com/lake-naivasha-country-club/
Day 09, June 2020: Lake Naivasha – Lake Nakuru National Park
Leaving early we will be transferring to Lake Nakuru National Park allowing time to search for several key species along the way. A large rocky escarpment en route is a favorite roosting spot for the Mackinder’s Eagle-Owl and with some luck we should be able to locate this highly sought-after species. The Acacia scrub by a nearby lake is a favorite haunt for Little Grebe, Yellow-billed Duck, Red-winged Starling, Little Rock-thrush, Pale Flycatcher, and Purple Grenadier. In the afternoon we will arrive at Lake Nakuru National Park, which is called by some, the greatest birding spectacle on earth! Huge numbers of Lesser Flamingos feed in the shallow alkaline water, sometimes up to a million, with smaller numbers of Greater Flamingos. Exploring the Acacia woodland and the lakeside marshes we will no doubt encounter many wonderful avian delights: Great White Pelican, Great Cormorant, African Spoonbill, African Fish-eagle, African Harrier-hawk, Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Grey-headed Gull, Broad-billed Roller, Levaillant’s Cuckoo, White-browed Coucal, Green Wood-hoopoe, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Grey Woodpecker, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Northern Anteater-chat, Grey-backed Fiscal, Brown-crowned Tchagra and African Firefinch. Mammals are also quite common in the park and it is one of the few places in East Africa where the endangered White Rhino can be found. Some of the other mammals we hope to find include Rothchild’s Giraffe and Reedbuck. One night stay at the Sarova Lion Hill Lodge (BLD) https://www.sarovahotels.com/lionhill-nakuru/.
Day 10 & 11, June 2020: Lake Nakuru – Lake Baringo
All morning will be here birding and later we will migrate to our next destination is a fresh-water lake in the north called Lake Baringo. Here the combination of a large lake in semi-desert country and the nearby Baringo cliffs provide the perfect habitat for a great diversity of bird life. Specialities in this area are Dark Chanting-goshawk, Heuglin’s Courser, Northern White-faced Owl, Greyish Eagle-owl, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Jackson’s and Hemprich’s Hornbills, Black-throated Barbet, Red-fronted Warbler, Brown-tailed Chat, Somali Tit, Beautiful Sunbird, Bristle-crowned Starling, Golden-backed and Little Weavers, Northern Masked-weaver and Northern Red Bishop. Other possibilities in the area include Lanner Falcon, Verreaux’s Eagle, Blue-naped Mousebird, Madagascar Bee-eater, Red-fronted Barbet, Northern Crombec, Pygmy Batis, Cardinal Quelea and Eastern Paradise-whydah. Two night stay at the Lake Baringo Soi Lodge (BLD) http://www.soisafarilodge-lkbaringo.com/index.php/photo-gallery.
Day 12: June 2020; Lake Bogoria National Reserve
After breakfast, we proceed to the jewel of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Bogoria. Described as the “Most beautiful view in Africa” by Bishop Hannington, the lake is well known for its Hot springs and geysers, which are spread out along its southern shores. The hot sulfur water gushing out of the ground is known to have therapeutic values. These natural spas and their steam are Mother Nature’s version of a bath & sauna. After a relaxing walk around the lake, your lunch will be served at LAKE BOGORIA HOTEL. After lunch we drive further to Lake Bogoria, shimmering with a pink color due to the thousands of beautiful pink flamingos lining its shores. (BLD). http://www.lakebogoria-hotel.com/
Days 13-15, June 2020: Lake Bogoria to Kakamega Forest
After some final birding around the Lake Baringo area we will depart for the Kakamega Rainforest in the western highlands, en route stopping for special interest birds in the Kerio Valley. These may include Black-headed Lapwing, Meyer’s Parrot, White-crested Turaco, African Black and Horus Swifts, African Pygmy-kingfisher, Double-toothed Barbet, Long-billed Pipit, Silverbird, Brown Babbler, White-crested Helmet-shrike, Black-headed Gonolek, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver and Reichard’s Seedeater. Kakamega Rainforest is the eastern most extension of the Congo Rainforest and is without doubt the best birding destination in the entire country. Many of the species here are found nowhere else in Kenya and the list of possibilities is seemingly endless. Such avian gems as White-spotted Flufftail, Great Blue Turaco, Bar-tailed Trogon, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Grey-throated, Yellow-spotted and Yellow-billed Barbets, Golden-crowned and Brown-eared Woodpeckers, African Broadbill, 13 species of greenbul, Brown-chested Alethe, Banded and White-chinned Prinias, Black-faced Rufous-warbler, Equatorial Akalat, Snowy-crowned Robin-chat, African Shrike-flycatcher, Chestnut, Jameson’s, Brown-throated and Yellow-bellied Wattle-eyes, African Blue Flycatcher, Dusky Tit, Green-throated, Green and Northern Double-collared Sunbirds, Western Black-headed Oriole, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Pink-footed Puffback, Grey-green and Luehder’s Bush-shrikes, Stuhlmann’s Starling, Black-billed and Vieillot’s Weavers, Red-headed Malimbe, Red-headed Bluebill, and Black-and-white Mannikin. Rainforest mammals to be expected are: Eastern Black-and-white Colubus, Gentle and Red-tailed Monkeys and the very active Red-legged Sun-squirrel. Three night stay at Rondo Retreat Centre http://www.rondoretreat.com/
Days 16-18, June 2020: Kakamega forest to Masai Mara via Lake Victoria
Early morning we will depart for Kisumu on the northeastern shore of Lake Victoria where we will search for the specialities of the area, some of which are found only in the papyrus swamps surrounding this great lake. Species we are likely to see are African Openbill, Abdim’s Stork, Water Thick-knee, Long-toed Lapwing, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Blue-headed Coucal, Black-billed Barbet, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Greater Swamp-warbler, Swamp Flycatcher, Birds to be Red-chested and Copper Sunbirds, Papyrus Gonolek, Slender-billed, Black-headed and Northern Brown-throated Weavers, Black-winged Bishop, Fan-tailed Widowbird and Papyrus Canary. From Lake Victoria we will proceed to the Masai Mara Game Reserve in South-Western Kenya. The Mara is the northern extension of the famous Serengeti plains. Here we will find a wide assortment of bird life, as well as some of the most spectacular mammals on the continent. Complimenting the wildlife is the dramatic scenery of endless grasslands, lush river valleys, and steep rock strewn escarpments. Birds we can expect in this area of the Mara are Rufous-bellied Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Coqui and Red-necked Francolins, Grey Crowned-crane, Temminck’s Courser, Wattled Lapwing, Ross’ and Schalow’s Turaco, Malachite and Woodland Kingfishers, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Rufous-chested Swallow, White-tailed Lark, Familiar Chat, Silverbird, Red-faced, Trilling and Tabora Cisticolas, Green-capped Eremomela, Black-crowned Tchagra, Hildebrandt’s and Violet-backed Starlings, Yellow-fronted Canary and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting. This is the best area in the Mara to see big game up close and some of the many mammals to be seen here include Black-backed Jackal, Bat-eared Fox, Banded Mongoose, Spotted Hyena, Serval Cat, African Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Bush Hyrax, African Elephant, Common Zebra, Hippopotamus, Common Warthog, Masai Giraffe, African Buffalo, Eland, Bohor Reedbuck, Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelles, Impala, Topi, Coke’s Hartebeest, and thousands of Wildebeest. We will also see many massive Nile Crocodiles, some over 15ft in length, basking in the sun along the banks of the Mara River. Two nights stay at the Mara Malaika Camp. (BLD) http://malaikacamp.com/galerie/?lang=en we will spend first night at Mara West camp http://marawest.com/accommodation/
Day 19, June 2020: Mara to Nairobi or head to Tanzania this Day
We leave in the morning and drive back to Nairobi for (optional) Overnight stay at a Nairobi Hotel (to be advise by you upon requirements) at the end of the tour or transfer you directly to the Airport for your connecting Evening flight back home
Enjoy your Africa Birding Safari with US!!!
Quotation in US Dollars (Kenya Section).
Number of participant Per Vehicle 2pax 3pax 4pax 5pax 6pax
Per Person Sharing = US$ 8,385 6,955 6,239 5,810 5,524
Single Room Supplement = US$ 1380
– Arrival & Departures airport transfers
– Transportation in a 4 x4 08-seater microbus for the duration of the safari, fitted with
VHF radio call and Pop-up roof for viewing wildlife.
– 2 Nights at Nairobi Safari Club Hotel on bed and breakfast board basis
– 1 Night at Serena Mountain lodge on full board basis
– 3 Nights at Samburu Lodge on Full board Basis
– 1 Night at Sweetwater Tented Camp on Full board Basis
– 1 Night at Lake Naivasha Country Club on Full board Basis
– 1 Night at Lake Nakuru Lodge on Full board Basis
– 2 Nights at Lake Baringo Soi Lodge on Full board Basis
– 1 Night at Lake Bogoria Hotel on Full board Basis
– 3 Nights at Kakamega forest Rondo Retreat on Full board Basis
– 1 Night at Mara West Camp on Full board Basis
– 2 Nights at Masai Mara Malaika Tented Camp on Full board Basis
– All Park entrance fees
– Experienced driver guide
– Experience Bird Guide
– Complimentary mineral water throughout your safari
– International Airfare
– Visa charges
– Items of personal nature
– Tips to driver guide/ Bird Guide
– Any kind of drinks at the lodges/hotels.