Sarus Bird Tours – Kenya Birds Galore
10 Days Easy Birding
Birds Galore!…..Kenya’s birdlife is both profuse and easy-to-find. Only in East Africa can such a large number of species be seen in such a short time, with many of them colourful and spectacular.
Day 1: Arrival
After arriving in Nairobi, we transfer the 40km to Thika.
The grounds of the Blue Posts Hotel are excellent for birding, and have a range of scarce species, including a host of sunbirds.
There is the option of driving the 45 minutes to Kieni Forest in the afternoon for highland forest birds.
Overnight: Blue Posts Hotel
Target Species: African Penduline Tit, Purple-crested Turaco, Black Duck, Trumpeter Hornbill, Grey-olive Greenbul, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Black-throated Apalis, Black-fronted Bush-shrike, Abbott’s Starling, Bar-tailed Trogon and Bronze-naped Pigeon.
Day 2: Nyeri – Thika – Thiba – Wajee Nature Park
After birding Thika, the next stop is the rice-paddies near Thiba. These have numerous water birds, including herons, several duck species, Purple Gallinule and water associated passerines such as Bisops.
Following on from here is a visit to Wajee Nature Park. This is home to the endemic Hinde’s Babbler, and other species including Owls chats and several other highland species.
Overnight: Blue Posts Hotel
Target Species: Grey, Black-necked, Purple and Goliath Herons, Madagascar Squacco, Little, Intermediate and Great White Egrets, several duck species, Purple Gallinule, White-winged Widowbird & Yellow-crowned Bishop, Hinde’s Babbler. African Wood Owl, Ruppell’s and Cape Robin-chats.
Day 3: Naro Moru
It is a short drive to Naro Moru from Nyeri. The grounds of our lodge are full of birds from Ducks and Turacos to Nightjars and Rock Thrushes and up to 10 species of sunbird. The slopes of Mt Kenya have other highland species.
An alternative overnight stop is at the Meteorological Station in the bunkhouses (sleeping bags supplied), where at 3000m, there is the option of walking in the early morning to the moor lands. This gives the opportunity for Alpine Chat and other regional and altitudinal specialities.
Overnight: Naro Moru Lodge
Target Species: Black Duck, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Red-fronted Parrot, Mountain Wagtail, Black Cuckoo Shrike, Thick-billed Seedeater, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Rufous Chatterer, Yellow Bishop, Montane Nightjar, Little Rock Thrush, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, White-starred Robin, Kenrick’s Starling, Doherty’s Bush-shrike. Alpine Chat, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Jackson’s Francolin, Cinnamon, Bracken & Evergreen Forest Warblers, and Olive Ibis.
Day 4: Samburu
The next destination is Samburu National Reserve.
En-route, there is the opportunity of the near-endemic Boran Cisticola and others.
A further option is a visit to the Meru Forest, where Kenya’s only Black-and-White Flycatchers live.
Once in Samburu reserve, birding will be mixed with game-viewing.
Grevy’s and Grant’s Zebras, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Kirk’s Dik-dik, Gerenuk, Impala, Thompson’s and Grant’s Gazelles and Common Waterbuck are all fairly easy to find. Lion and Cheetah occur in smaller numbers, but are usually seen with patience. Elephant are common along the river, as are large Crocodiles. In the evening, Leopards descend to feed at prepared stations, or can be seen lazily sleeping in trees in the day with luck. The birdlife is profuse, and includes many different Raptors, passerines and others including several Sandgrouse species.
Overnight: Samburu Lodge
Target Species: Boran Cisticola, Long-tailed & Jackson’s Widowbirds, Dusky Turtle Dove. Black-and-White Flycatchers. Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Slender-tailed Nightjar, White-headed Mousebird, Violet Woodhoopoe, Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-weaver, Shining & Black-bellied Sunbirds, Somali & White-throated Bee-eaters, Orange-bellied Parrot, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Golden Pipit, Red-winged, Fawn-coloured & Pink-breasted Larks, Taita Fiscal, Buff-crested & Kori Bustards and Liechtenstein’s, Chestnut-bellied & Black-faced Sandgrouse, William’s and Masaked Lark.
Day 5: Samburu
A whole day will be available within the Samburu reserve complex. There will be the option of visiting nearby Shaba Reserve to seek out the endemic William’s Lark, as well as Masked Lark. Then the route goes back to Naro Moru, catching up with species we may have missed earlier.
Overnight: Naro Moru Lodge
Day 6: Solio Plains & Nakuru National Park
Next, the route passes across Solio Plains.
These are good for Wheatears and Widowbirds. Several bustards are possible and Pectoral-patch Cisticola is common. Birds do differ here with the seasons so remember that the target list below covers a whole year.
Skirting the Aberdares, the picturesque Thompson’s Falls is home to many other species. Kenya’s highest Hippos reside here. Entering Lake Nakuru National Park, the pink-sheen will be found to be millions of Lesser Flamingos. In amongst them are Greater Flamingo, White Pelican and many other water birds and waders.
The woodland and grassland around the lake is home to Francolin, Babblers, Helmetshrikes, Woodhoopoes, and several Woodpecker and Cuckoo species as well as Hornbills and many passerines. Mammals include Lion and Leopard, Brown Hyena, Defassa Waterbuck, Impala and both Black and White Rhinos.
Overnight: Nakuru Game Lodge
Target Species: Capped Wheatear, Jackson’s & Long-tailed Widowbirds, Kori, Black-bellied, White-bellied & the scarce Denham’s Bustards . Spotted Thick-knee is sometimes found, and Pectoral-patch Cisticola is common. In winter, European Bee-eater, Whinchat, Pallid and Montague’s Harriers and Lesser Kestrel are all found. Greater Kestrel is also possible. Skirting the Aberdares, the picturesque Thompson’s Falls is home to Slender-billed Starling, African Snipe, Tinkling Cisticola and Cape Wagtail. Also present are Crowned Eagle, Mountain Buzzard and African Marsh Harrier, and Golden-winged Sunbird id common. Kenya’s highest Hippos reside here. Entering Lake Nakuru National Park, the pink-sheen will be found to be millions of Lesser Flamingos. In amongst them are Greater Flamingo, White Pelican and many other water birds and waders. The woodland and grassland around the lake is home to Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Arrow-marked Babbler, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Green Woodhoopoe, Red-throated Wryneck, Bearded and Cardinal Woodpeckers, Diederik Cuckoo, Ground Hornbill, Cliff-chat and Cinnamon-chested Rock Bunting. Mammals include Lion and Leopard, Brown Hyena, Defassa Waterbuck, Impala and both Black and White Rhinos.
Day 7: Nakuru National Park
Overnight: Nakuru Game Lodge
Day 8: Nakuru – Baringo
After further exploration of Nakuru, the route is north to Lake Baringo.
This is a freshwater lake, but birding is mainly away from the lake, in the scrub along the cliffs just inland, and in the grounds of Lake Baringo Club. Here, there are several scarce species including Brown Babbler and Slender-tailed Nightjar. There is also the chance of several Owl species.
Overnight: Lake Baringo Club
Target Species: Brown Babbler, Bristle-crowned Starling, Brown-tailed Chat, Northern Grey Tit, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Violet-backed & Beautiful Sunbirds, Heuglin’s Courser, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Bru-bru, Hemprich’s, Jackson’s & Red-billed Hornbills, Red-and-Yellow Barbet, Little, Vitelline-masked, Northern Masked & Jackson’s Golden-backed & White-billed Buffalo Weavers, Verreaux’s & Spotted Eagle Owls and White-faced Scops Owl.
Day 9: Baringo – Nairobi
After further birding around Lake Baringo, the trip heads back south to Nairobi. Options en-route include the lower Aberdares slopes for the endemic Aberdare Cisticola, the Kinangop Plateau for the endemic Sharpe’s Longclaw, and Limuru Pond, which has many water birds, including the scarce Maccoa and White-backed Ducks.
Overnight: Nairobi Hotel
Day 10: Nairobi
The final day will be spent in the Nairobi area.
This will involve the excellent Nairobi National Park, which is home to nearly all the large mammals found in Kenya, with the exception of elephant. It is especially good for Black Rhino. Birds are also numerous, including a potential new species of Pipit found in the wooded areas. Northern Pied Babbler, Jackson’s Widowbird, Hartlaub’s Bustard, Short-tailed and Northern White-tailed Larks and Red-throated Tit are all specialities, and raptors can be plentiful.
African Finfoot is sometimes seen on the river.
For the more adventurous, there is the opportunity of an early drive to Lake Magadi before returning to the park for the afternoon. Here, Chestnut-fronted Sandplover is found, along with Cape Wigeon and Lesser Flamingo. The drive to the lake is also good for dry-country birds including Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Chestnut Sparrow, Chestnut Weaver and Rosy-patch Shrike.
After a final wash and brush-up, it is time to go to the airport in the late-evening for the overnight flight home.
Prices on Request – Flights can be aranged
Price includes: daily full breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, cool-drinks, bottled water, accommodation, entrance fees, guiding fees, and all transport while on tour.
Not included: Air tickets, personal insurance, alcoholic beverages, tips, laundry and personal expenses such as gifts.
NB All Anytime Tour itineraries are essentially drafts – the final itinerary will be arrived at during discussions with the clients and tailored to the client’s individual needs and is, of course, subject to the availability of accommodation etc. and any changes in local conditions. Our aim is to arrive at an itinerary which gives you the maximum chance to see the birds [& etc.] you want to see.