Kenya Birds and Big Game Safari 10 Days
Day 1: Arrival - Nairobi National Park
Met upon arrival by a African Ark Safaris representative , after safari briefing you start birding on our first full day in Africa by traveling to the nearby Nairobi National Park, conveniently located less than 10 Km from the city and though only 117km has one of the richest avian diversity with a record of over 515 species. This is the place to find the newly almost-described Nairobi Pipit. Birds include Common Ostrich, Great, Long-tailed Cormorant, Common Squacco, Black-headed, Grey Herons, African Spoonbill, African Finfoot, White-faced Whistling, Knob-billed Ducks, Red-billed Teal, Secretary Bird, Black-shouldered Kite, Lappet-faced Vulture, Ayres's Hawk Eagle, Martial Eagle, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Shelly's & Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Hartlaub's Bustard, Emerald Spotted Wood, Namaqua, Dusky-turtle, Laughing Dove, Hartlaub's Turaco, White-bellied Go-away-bird, White-browed Coucal, African Palm, Mottled Swifts, Blue-naped Mousebird, Little & Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Lesser, Greater Honeyguide, Eastern Honeybird, Nubian Woodpecker, White-tailed, Rufous-naped Lark, Wire-tailed, Lesser-Striped Swallow, Rock Martin, Yellow-throated, Pangani, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Pale, African Grey, Southern Black Flycatcher, Lesser Swamp Warbler, 9 Cistocolas (Singing, Stout, Croaking, Siffling, Rattling, Winding, Desert, Zitting & Pectoral-patched), Grey-capped Warbler, Abyssinian, Montane White-eyes, Lesser Kestrel, White-bellied, Red-throated Tits, Jackson's Widowbird, Yellow-billed Oxpecker The park also hosts well over 100 species of mammals including four of the big five less elephant. Also Masai Giraffe, Eland, Impala, Grants and Thompson's Gazelles, Southern Bushbuck, Suni, Warthog, Olive Baboon, Overnight at Country Lodge, Nairobi
Day 2 : Nairobi - Gatamaiyu Forest - Lake Nakuru National Park
Though only 100 km from Nairobi it will take us a whole day to get to Lake Naivasha since we'll be passing via Manguo Ponds where we expect a few but a variety of waterbirds we hope (if lucky to see the Maccoa Duck among Little grebe, Cattle & Great Egrets, Grey & Black-headed Heron, Yellow-billed Stork, African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Duck, Red-billed & Hottentot Teals, Northern Shoveler, Red-knobbed Coot, African Jacana, Ringed & Three-banded Plovers, Little Stint, Ruff, Marsh & Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank. We'll head on to the highland forest part of the Kikuyu Escarpment which once stretched to the Aberdare Ranges. Some of the birds seen include African Goshawk, Mountain Buzzard, Lemon, Tambourine, Red-eyed Dove, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Yellow-rumped, Mustached-green Tinkerbird, Eastern Honeybird, Lesser Honeyguide, Fine-banded, Grey Woodpecker, Scarce Swift, Slender-billed, Mountain, Yellow-whiskered, Cabanis's Greenbul, African Hill Babbler, White-stared Robin, Cape, Ruppell's Robin Chat, African Dusky, White-tailed Crested, African Paradise Flycatcher, Cinnamon-bracken, Evergreen Forest, Brown Woodland Warbler, Hunter Cisticola, Black-throated, Black-collared, Chestnut-throated Apalis, White-browed Crombec, Black-backed Puffback, Tropical Boubou, Black-fronted Bush-Shrike, Montane Oriole, Northern, Eastern Double-collared, Green-headed Sunbird, Spectacled, Brown-caped Weaver, Grey-headed Negrofinch, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Black & White Mannikin, Thick-billed Canary. As we head for Naivasha we'll make a short visit to the Kinangop Plateau with the hope to see our first Kenyan endemic Sharpe's Longclaw immediately leaving for Lake Nakuru National Park. Overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge.
Day 3: Lake Nakuru National Park - Lake Baringo Conservation Area
Leave early in the morning for Lake Nakuru National Park, which has been referred to as the "the greatest Ornithological spectacle in the world". Sometimes flamingos exceeding 1.5 million individuals. The alkaline habitat supports thousands of resident and migratory birds. Some of the common birds includes Little Grebe, Great White Pelican, Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed, Whiskered Tern, Grey-headed Gull, Cape, Red-billed Teal, Southern Pochard, Three-banded, Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Long-crested, Black-shouldered Kite, Augur Buzzard, White-fronted Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Dusky Turtle Dove, Rock Martin, Arrow-Marked Babbler, Little Rock Thrush, Wailing, Rattling Cisticola, Ruppell's Long-tailed Starling, White-browed Robin Chat, Cliff Chat, African Grey Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Common, Grey-backed Fiscal, Tropical Boubou, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu..
In addition, the park is rich in big game that includes the giraffe, buffalo, waterbuck, eland, hippo, both Black and White Rhino, lion, leopard, Spotted Hyena. Later in the afternoon leave for Lake Baringo Conservation Area, another of Kenya's birding hotspots. If time allows we deviating to the Molo grassland in search of the Aberdare Cistiola and the Sharpe's Longclaws (Kenyan endemics) also look for the Levaillant's, Wing-snapping Cisticola. Overnight at Lake Baringo County Club
Day 4: Lake Baringo Conservation Area
We have a whole day birding around Lake Baringo Conservation Area and if lucky we hope to see some the specialities such as the Hemprich's, Jackson's Hornbill, White-faced Scops Owl, Bristle-crowned Starling, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Green-winged Pytilia, Red & Yellow Barbet, Bat Hawk, Two-banded Courser, Slender-tailed Nightjar while birding along the camp site and the hotel grounds could yield the Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, African Pigmy Kingfisher, Black-headed Plover Overnight at Lake Baringo County Club.
Day 5: Lake Baringo - Kakamega Forest
Today we take an early morning boat ride along the lake before going back to the cliffs and the bushes around. On boat ride we hope to see the Goliath, Grey Heron, Great White Pelicans, Common Squacco Heron, Yellow-billed Stork, Knob-billed Duck among others later heading for Kakamega Forest. Overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre.
Day 6: Kakamega Forest
Kakamega Forest, the only true 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 here we hope to see a good number of these forest species that could include the Yellow-spotted, Yellow-billed Barbet, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Green, Green-throated Sunbird, Grey-winged Robin, Equatorial Akalat, African Blue Flycatcher, African Shrike-Flycatcher, Snowy-headed Robin, Common, Jameson's, Chestnut and with much luck the Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye, Shelley's, Joyful Greenbul, Turners Eremomela, Uganda Woodland Warbler, White-chinned, Banded Prinia, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Black-billed, Vieillot's Weaver, Red-headed Malimbe. Overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre.
Day 7: Kakamega Forest - Kisumu
After breakfast drive to Kisumu City just-by the second largest fresh-water lake in the world. We'll try out the Rock Pratincole along the river nearby while birding the whole day on the villages, farmland and the Busia grasslands to the west arriving Kisumu in the late afternoon or evening. We hope to see the Bar-breasted Firefinch, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Senegal Coucal, White-crested Turaco, among others. Overnight at Kisumu Hotel.
Day 8: Kisumu - Masai Mara National Reserve
Today we take an early morning boat ride along the Papyrus vegetation at the Dunga Beach (an old fishing village ) with expectation to see some of the specialties like the Papyrus Gonolek, Swamp Flycatcher, Greater Swamp Warbler, White-winged Warbler, other birds includes Hamerkop, Little Egret, Yellow-billed Stork, Pied Kingfisher, White-winged, Whiskered Tern, African Skimmer, Red-chested, Copper Sunbird, Shikra, African Thrush, Black-headed Gonolek, Slender-billed, Northern Brown-throated, Yellow-backed, Jackson's Golden-backed Weaver, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Southern Red Bishop. After this we leave for the world famous Masai Mara National Reserve, a plain of rolling grassland dotted with a mixture of acacia trees and the plain game which includes large herds of elephants, zebras, topis, hartebeests, gazelles, Impala s not forgetting the well known Mara/ Serengeti Wildebeest's migration, lions, cheetah. We'll stay on the western part of the reserve along the Olololoo Escarpments blended by river, swampy, grassy and forested habitats. Specialties could include the Long-tailed, Rock Cisticola, Wattled Plover, Rufous-bellied Heron, Penduline Tit, Pale Wren Warbler. Other birds could include Rosy-breasted Longclaw, African Wattled Plover, Ashy Flycatcher, Grey-rumped, Red-rumped, Rufous-chested Swallow, White-headed, Lappet-faced, White-headed Vulture, White-naped Raven, Ross Turaco, Black-backed Puffback, Croaking Cisticola, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Hildebrandt's Starling, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Black & White Casqued Hornbill, Narina Trogon, Lilac-breasted Roller, Common Wattle-eye, Silverbird, Plain and Long-billed Pipit, Saddle-billed, Woolly-necked Stork, Yellow-fronted Canary, Yellow-bellied Hyliota. Overnight at Mara Serena Lodge.
Day 9: Masai Mara National Reserve
We take an early morning birdwalk along the escarpment in search specialties such as Red-tailed Chat, Long-tailed, Rock Cisticola while if lucky we get a bonus of the Mwanza Flat-headed Agama. Later proceed to the Maasai Mara triangle and Overnight at Mara Serena Lodge.
Day 10: Masai Mara - Nairobi
En route game drive in Masai Mara National Reserve on our way to Naivasha while searching for more bird species especially the Magpie Shrike and others on the eastern part of the reserve. Lunch at the famous Carnivore restaurant, justifiably referred to as Africa's Greatest Eating Experience, having twice been voted amongst the worlds 50 best restaurants by UK based Restaurant magazine. Drop off at Jomo Kenyatta international Airport for your flight back home.
The above cost includes :
Transport with exclusive use of the equipped safari vehicle.
Pick up and drop off on arrival and departure.
Accommodation as per the itinerary with all the meals except for dinner in Nairobi
Experienced Birder / Bird Guide equiped with binoculars, telescope and sound recording gear.
Parks, reserve and conservation areas entry fee
Drinking water available from van's cool box
Checklist of the birds of Kenya and other pre tour information
The above cost excludes :
Medical and travel insurance
Any extra meals
Beverages both soft and hard drinks
Items of personal nature such as telephone, laundry, gift among others
Visa, Airport Tax