10 days Maasai Mara / Naivasha / Bogoria bird watching safari
Detailed Birding Safari Kenya from Nairobi | (10 Days)
Arrive at the JKI Airport to be met by your guide. Birding starts right away from the stairs off the plane as the Little, African Palm Swifts and the Superb Starling appears common while the Red-winged Starling whistles to remind you to have your binoculars ready.
Transfer to the hotel for a rest, followed by a visit to the Nairobi National Museum’s birds, ethnography, geology, prehistory galleries (among others) as well as the Snake Park. This is the right place to learn and see many of the Kenya’s multifacets of culture, pre-history and it’s natural resources. Birding continues around the museum’s botanical garden or elsewhere depending on the time. Overnight in Nairobi.
We’ll drive down the escarpment towards this dry, arid, scrub country about 75 km south of Nairobi (towards Lake Magadi) that makes an excellent whole day birding. All the way down the rift valley, stops along the way shows a distinctive change of habitat and species.
Recorded species includes the Cut Throat, Blue-capped Cordonbleu, Northen Crombec, Banded Parisoma, White-bellied Canary, Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Grey Wren Warbler, Taita Fiscal, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark, Grey-headed Silverbill, Grey-capped Social-Weaver, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Straw-tailed Wydah, Tiny Cisticola etc.
We’ll also spend some hours at the Olorgesaille prehistoric Site, a museum displaying many hand tools by man. Picnic lunch at the Museum.
Overnight in Nairobi.
Leave early for the Gatamaiyu forest, located about 50-km n.w. of Nairobi stretches through the Kieni forest (part of the central highlands) and boost many montane species includes the Chestnut-throated, Grey, Black-collared, Black-throated Apalis, Montane Oriole, Narina & Bar-tailed Trogon, Black-fronted Bush-shrike, Yellow-rumped, Mustached Green Tinkerbird, Scarce Swift, White-browed Crombec, while Abbott’s Starling and the Sharpe’s Starling have been recorded, among others. While Manguo Ponds makes an excellent birding spot en-route to the forest. It boost a wide variety of waterfowls such as the Yellow-billed Ducks, Little Grebe, Red-billed Teal, Red-knobbed Coot, while Maccoa Ducks are regularly recorded, Grey, Black-headed Heron, African Spoonbill, White-faced Whistling Duck, Hottentot Teal, while sometimes waders occur in large numbers such as the Greenshanks, Sandpipers, Plovers etc.
Leave late afternoon for Lake Nakuru. On the way pass by the Kinangop plateau in search of Sharpe’s Longclaw, one of the Kenya’s endemic.
Overnight at Lake Nakuru.
Lake Nakuru National Park is referred to as the “the greatest ornithological spectacle in the world” with both Lesser and the Greater Flamingoes sometimes exceeding 1.5 million individuals. The alkaline habitat supports thousands of resident and migratory waterfowl. The alkaline lake, acacia woodland, grassland, rivers and inlets with marshes hold over the 450 species. Some of the common birds are the Little Grebe, Great White Pelican, Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed, Whiskered Tern, Grey-headed Gull, Cape and Red-billed Teal, Southern Pochard, Long-crested, and African Crowned Eagle, White-fronted Bee-eater, Arrow-Marked Babbler, Little Rock Thrush, Wailing Cisticola, Ruppell’s Long-tailed Starling, Lilac-breasted Roller, Cliff Chat and many species of waders.
In addition, the park is rich in big games that includes the Giraffe, Buffalo, Waterbuck, Eland, Hippo, both Black and White Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyena among many small mammals.
Overnight at Lake Nakuru.
We take a morning game and bird-drive in the park before we leave for the Lake Baringo Conservation Area, another of Kenya’s birding hotspots. Afternoon, visit the cliffs not far from the lake, a good site for Hemprich’s & Jackson’s Hornbills, White-faced Scops Owl, Bristle-crowned Starling, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Green-winged Pytilia, and Red & Yellow Barbet, Bat Hawk, Three Banded Courser, Slender-tailed Nightjar (among many others). Birding along the camp site and the hotel could yield the Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, African Pigmy kingfisher, Black-headed Plover.
Overnight at Lake Baringo Club.
Today we take an early morning boat ride before going back to the cliff and the bush around hoping to see the Goliath, Grey Heron, Great White Pelicans among many waterbirds. After lunch we leave for Kitale where we spend the night looking forward for tomorrow birding down the Kongelai Escarpment.
Overnight in Kitale.
We drive down the Kongelai escarpment on the west of Makutano (Kitale – Turkana Road). This is yet another excellent birding area where we expect localized birds such as the Yellow-billed Shrike, Lesser Blue-eared Starling, White Crested Turaco, Chestnut Crowned Sparrow-weaver, Dark Chanting Goshawk among many other interesting species.
Late afternoon we leave heading for the Kakamega Forest.
Overnight in Kakamega.
Day long around the forest trails in the northern circiut. The Kakamega Forest, the only rain forest remaining in Kenya, was once a continuation of the Guinea-Congolian rainforest, rich in species nowhere else to be seen in Kenya. Spending a few days here we hope to see a good number of these forest species that could include the Blue-headed Bee-Eater, Red-headed Malimbe, Green Sunbird, Grey-winged Robin, Yellow Spotted, Yellow-bellied Barbets, African Blue Flycatcher, African Shrike-Flycatcher, Snowy-headed Robin, Common, Jamesson’s, Chestnut and with much luck the Yellow-bellied Wattle Eyes and may be the Blue-shouldered Robin Chat among many others.
Overnight in Kakamega
Birding in the forest trail and later in the afternoon leave for Kisumu City just-by the second largest fresh-water lake in the world. Visit Impala Sanctuary and the Sewerage Works that could yield a Southern Black Bishop, Black-billed Barbet.
Overnight at Kisumu
Today we take an early morning boat ride along the Papyrus vegetation at the Dunga Beach (an old fishing village/jet) with expectation to see some the specialties like the Papyrus Canary, Papyrus Gonolek, Swamp Flycatcher, Slender-billed, Northern Brown-throated, Jackson’s Yellow-backed Weavers, Greater Swamp Warbler e.t.c.
Return to Nairobi where our tour ends with a dinner before the transfer to the airport