Kenya Birding & Wildlife Safari January
Kenya Birding and Wildlife Tour Expedition (21st January- 9th February 2019 – 2020)
Day 1, 21st Jan 2019 – 2020: Arrival Nairobi
Today on arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Evening Flight ??? Airways arriving at 2025hrs) (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 Boulevard Hotel http://www.sentrim-hotels.com/boulevard.html here you are booked on Bed and breakfast only)
Day 2-3, 22nd & 23rd Jan 2019 – 2020: Mt. Kenya
Today we will have an early breakfast and later on we will leave for Mt. Kenya Castle Forest Lodge. Located on the Eastern lower slopes of Mt. Kenya, Africa’s second tallest mountain, it is an excellent place to locate many highland forest species. We will also make a stop at Wajee Camp, a noted site for the endemic Hinde’s babbler. While birding the steep forested slopes of the camp, we stand a chance of locating Ayre’s Hawk-eagle, African Wood-owl, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, and Green-headed Sunbird. En- route we will have stop at the rice fields to look at a few of water birds 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. At an elevation of almost 8,000ft nights can be quite chilly. Here if you will be lucky enough there are chance to see Kenya rarest Ibis the Green Ibis. Two nights stay at the Castle Forest Lodge http://www.castleforestlodge.com/ (BLD).
leopard in samburu
Days 4-6, 24th 25th & 26th Jan 2019 – 2020: Early-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 of the most exciting reserves in East Africa. The semi-desert habitat and the rich woodlands along the Ewaso Nyiro River are teeming with wildlife. Exploration 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 Guineafowl, Buff-crested and White-bellied Bustards, Black-faced and Lichtenstein’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 Dikdik, Common Waterbuck, Gerenuk and the magnificent Beisa Oryx. Three nights stay at the Samburu Sopa Lodge.
Day 7, 27th Jan 2019 – 2020: On our last morning in Samburu we will visit the nearby Buffalo Springs Game Reserve. The slightly different habitat is home to many specialities: Somali Ostrich, Lappet-faced Vulture, Rüppell’s Griffon- vulture, Eastern Chanting-goshawk, Pygmy Falcon, Cream-coloured (Somali) Courser, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, White-headed Mousebird, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Nubian and Cardinal Woodpeckers, Fischer’s and Chestnut-headed Sparrow-larks, Yellow-vented Eremomela, Spotted Morning-thrush, Marico Sunbird, Taita Fiscal, Golden Palm Weaver, Black-capped Social Weaver and African Silverbill. We then have a mid-morning departure for the Naro Moro River Lodge located on the northern edge of Mt Kenya. En route we will make a stop at the Meru Forest, where many unique species can be found. Much of the bird life here resembles the coastal avifauna of Kenya. Here we will search for White-eared Barbet, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Black-headed Apalis, African Crested-flycatcher and Kenrick’s and Black-bellied Glossy-starlings. Our lodge is set in the perfect setting of highland forest, flowing brooks, and gorgeous flower filled grounds. The birding in this area is also very nice and we may see African Black Duck, Narina Trogon, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Tropical Boubou, Chin-spot Batis, African Black-headed Oriole, and Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu. One night stay at the Naro Moro River Lodge. Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Silvery-cheeked and Trumpeter Hornbills and Brown-hooded Kingfisher can all be seen here. http://www.naromoruriverlodge.com/
Day 8, 28th Jan 2019 – 2020: Leaving early we will make an ascent onto Mt Kenya, entering the vast and pristine montane forest of Mt Kenya and we will be destined to Aberdare National Park. Once again we will have the opportunity of birding rich forest and forest edge habitats and species we will look for include the Crowned Eagle, Mountain Buzzard, African Goshawk, African Cuckoo-Hawk, Hartlaub’s Turaco (a stunning bird that is particularly common here), beautiful but secretive Narina and Bar-tailed Trogons, querulous flocks of White headed Wood Hoopoe, impressive Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, the beautiful Black-throated and Chestnut throated Apalis, African Hill Babbler (an accomplished songster), Mountain Oriole, Slender-billed and Mountain Greenbuls, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Mountain Yellow Warbler, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Brown Woodland Warbler, the very localized Slender-billed Starling, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, mixed flocks of Black-headed Waxbill and Red-backed Mannikin and possibly, the shy Oriole Finch. Mammals are also well represented on the slopes of Mt. Kenya and we will be looking for Guereza Colobus, Syke’s Monkey, Harvey’s Red Duiker and Bushbuck. we will keep an eye out for such birds as, Rameron (Olive) Pigeon, Red-fronted Parrot, Waller’s Starling, Reaching almost 7,000 ft, birds more commonly seen at this higher altitude are Jackson’s Francolin, Olive Thrush, Cinnamon Bracken-warbler and Moorland Chat. Here we will overnight at The Ark Lodge inside the Park. Here we have decent chances of finding the sought after Doherty’s Bush-shrike. http://www.thearkkenya.com/
Day 9, 29th Jan 2019 – 2020: Mt. Kenya – Lake Naivasha
The morning will begin with an exciting morning birding around the camp and later Leaving for Lake Naivasha. En route we will make a stop time allowing, we‘ll search for several key species along the way. A large rocky escarpment en route is a favourite 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 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 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. e.g. Long toed plover, Great white Egret, Grey Headed Gull, Southern Pochard, Red billed Teal and not to mention the Lilly Trotter. The lake location and wildlife makes it an ideal place for an afternoon boat ride. Lake Naivasha Elsamere Camp, Elsamere, the home of Joy and George Adamson, is situated on the southern shore of Lake Naivasha in Kenya’s Rift Valley. It was here that Joy nurtured some of her orphaned big cats. The area is still a haven for wildlife, with its own small troop of black and white Colobus monkeys living and playing in the Acacia trees. One night stay at the Lake Naivasha Elsamere Camp (BLD)
Day 10, 30th Jan 2019 – 2020: Leaving early we will be transferring to Lake Nakuru National Park. 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 should the water level favor us and have gone down we will have chance to see the flamingoes but then if were are not lucky with them, 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 Black and 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 Lake Nakuru Flamingo Hill Luxury Tented Camp http://www.flamingohillcamp.com/.
Days 11-12, 31st Jan & 1st Feb 2019 – 2020: All morning will be spent in Lake Nakuru National Park. More bird possibilities include Hamerkop, Cape and Hottentot Teals, Tawny Eagle, Kittlitz’s Plover, Red-chested and Klaas’ Cuckoos, Nyanza Swift, Greater Honeyguide, White-browed Robin-chat, Arrow-marked Babbler, Grey-crested Helmet-shrike, Rüppell’s Glossy-starling, and Golden-breasted Bunting. 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. A Boat ride can be recommended here. Two nights stay at the Lake Baringo Soi Lodge. http://www.soisafarilodge-lkbaringo.com/
Days 13-15, 2nd – 4th February 2019 – 2020: 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 nights stay at Rondo Retreat Centre http://www.rondoretreat.com/
Day 16-17, 5th & 6th February 2019 – 2020: We’ll leave early and drive to the shores of Lake Victoria 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. In the afternoon we’ll drive south to the Masai Mara National Reserve where we’ll spend two nights at Mara West Tented Camp (Basic Camp), http://www.marawest.com.
Days 18, 7th February 2019 – 2020: Leaving early we will travel across the Mara, en route crossing the famous Mara River. We will make a stop at the well-named Hippo Pools to see these huge beasts at close range. 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, Steinbuck, 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. We will later in the Afternoon hours leave Masai Mara and head to Lake Naivasha for an overnight at the Lake Naivasha Resort https://hotelsinnaivasha.co.ke/lake-naivasha-resort/ .
Day 19, 8th February 2019 – 2020: We will spend our last day in Kenya birding with an exciting morning boat trip on Lake Naivasha. Specialty birds we will be looking for while out on the lake include Pink-backed Pelican, Goliath and Purple Herons, Southern Pochard, African Marsh-harrier, Purple Swamphen, Lesser Moorhen, Three-banded Plover and Lesser Swamp-warbler. Mid-morning we will depart for Nairobi, making several birding stops en route. Our first destination is the Kinnangop Plateau where we hope to find the endemic Sharpe’s Longclaw. This species has been on the decline in the last few years, mainly due to habitat loss, but with some luck we’ll be able to locate this very special bird. Next will be the Gatamaiyu Forest with Time allowing us on the Kikuyu Escarpment, an area of middle-elevation forest, which is home to several species not yet seen on the tour. The main target birds in this area are Cameroon Scrub-warbler, White-tailed Crested-flycatcher, Placid Greenbul, Black-fronted Bush-shrike and the nomadic Abbott’s Starling. Our final birding stop is at the Limuru Pond located just off the main highway. A large ridge overlooks the pond and from this vantage point we should be able to locate Madagascar Pond-heron, Intermediate Egret, White-backed and Maccoa Ducks, White-faced and Fulvous Whistling-ducks, Black Crake and Whiskered Tern. In the late afternoon we drive back to Nairobi and transfer you to the Airport to connect your flight back home with evening flight.
Per person sharing room = USD$ 7,140
A Single Room Supplement = US$ 1,100.
General Information: The climate is generally warm and hot during the day but cold and chilly at some places in the evenings. Accommodation standards are good with en-suite in all rooms. Food is of European standard. Transport is by Toyota Land Cruiser four-wheel drive and the road conditions are reasonable. Visas are required and cost either £35 in advance or $50 in Kenya. Only a moderate degree of fitness is needed. Photographic opportunities are excellent.
Excluded are Travel insurance, alcoholic drinks, International return ticket, Tips/Gratitude to the driver/Guide and items of a purely personal nature.
Tips Guideline is USD$10-20 per person per day to the driver and the guide,
On hotels and lodges waiters and porters is USD$1-5,
Optional Masai Village visit per head at USD$30
Optional Balloon Ride at Masai Mara at USD$450 per head
Enjoy your Africa/Kenya Birding Safari with US!!!
Per Person sharing in a double Room = USD$5,715
Single room Supplement = USD$1,100
Our Price will include the following.
Arrival & Departures airport transfers
Transportation in a 4 x4, Landcruiser for the duration of the safari, fitted with VHF radio call and Pop-up roof for viewing wildlife.
1 Night at Nairobi Boulevard Hotel on Bed and Breakfast Basis
2 Nights at Castle Forest Lodge on Full board Basis
3 Nights at Samburu Sopa Lodge on full board basis
1 Night at Naro Moru River Lodge on Full board Basis
1 Night at The Ark Lodge on Full board Basis
1 Night at Lake Naivasha Elsamere Camp on Full board Basis
2 Nights at Lake Soi Lodge on Full board Basis
3 Nights at Rondo Retreat Center Kakamega Forest on Full board Basis
1 Night at Lake Nakuru Flamingo Hill Tented Camp or Lake Nakuru Lodge on Full board Basis
2 Nights at Mara West Camp (Basic Camp) on Full board Basis
1 Night at Lake Naivasha Resort on Full board Basis
Emergency Evacuation cover from Flying Doctors Service for the period of Travel in Kenya
All Park entrance fees
Experienced driver guide
Experience Bird Guide
Complimentary mineral water throughout your safari
Items of personal nature
Tips to driver guide/ Bird Guide
Any kind of drinks at the lodges/hotels.