• Barbets Kenya

Birding & Photography - 18 Days Kenya

With eleven percent of the world’s species – some 1089 different varieties, Kenya’s birding is one of the best in the world. The variety of birds in Kenya is made possible by the favorable climate, diverse habitats and geographical features that make it a suitable migratory route for birds. Even without venturing outside Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, more than 600 resident and migratory bird species are found; more than in any other capital city, and more than in most countries. Bird watching is good all year round in Kenya.

Arabuko-Sokoke Forest near Malindi, tops the list, with the six threatened bird species of the Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, Spotted Ground Thrush, East Coast Akalat, Amani Sunbird and Clarke’s Weaver. Some other areas including the forest “islands” at the top of the Taita Hills, near Voi, is home to the beautiful but critically endangered Taita Thrush and Taita Apalis, as well as the endangered Taita White-eye. Sharpe’s Longclaw and Aberdare Cisticola, native and endangered, live in the highland grasslands near the Aberdare mountain range.

The scarce and threatened Papyrus Yellow Warbler is found in papyrus swamps on the shores of Lake Victoria, alongside the Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler and Papyrus Canary, all papyrus endemics.

Itinerary tab directly below, next to the gallery tab
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Gallery

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival

Arriving on your international flight in Nairobi you will be met by your guide in the arrivals hall and transported to your accommodation for the night. If time allows we will do some birding in the afternoon. Our trip will start early the next morning.

Day 2 - Mt Kenya

Depart Nairobi and pass by Manguo ponds in Limuru area for Maccoa Duck, Eastern and
Northern Double-collared sunbirds,Pin-tailed Whydah, White-backed Duck, African Water Rail,
Purple Swamphen, African Jacana. From here we will drive to Mt Kenya’s
Castle Forest lodge for lunch and later do a birding walk looking for Abbott’s Starling, Waller’s Starling, Kenrick’s Starling, Mountain Greenbul, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Black-throated Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Mountain Buzzard and later in the evening we will watch out for
Olive Ibis and Montane Nightjar. Over-night in Castle Forest Lodge.

Day 3 - Mukuruweini

Early breakfast and start birding the compound for Scaly francolin, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Montane White-eye, White-eyed Slaty flycatcher, Red-fronted Parrot, Rufous-breasted Sparrow-hawk, Grey Cuckooshrike. After lunch we will leave for Mukuruweini for Hinde's babbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Northern Pied-babbler before we retire to Nyeri town

Day 4 - Lake Nakuru

Early breakfast we depart with packed lunch to Aberdare’s Park where we will look out for
African Black Duck, Jackson’s Francolin, Abyssinian Crimson-wing, Black-headed Waxbill,
White-headed Woodhopoe, Moorland Chat, Aberdare Cisticola, Malachite and Scarlet-tufted
Sunbirds. Apart from the birds the park may present leopard, elephants,
buffalos and giant forest hog. We will exit through Mutubio gate and head to South
Kinangop looking for Sharpe’s longclaw and head to Lake Nakuru lodge for the night.

Day 5 - Lake Baringo

Early breakfast and a game drive at Lake Nakuru looking for Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Amethyst
Sunbird, Broad-billed Roller,Little Rock-thrush,White-fronted Bee-eater,Martial Eagle, Lesser
Kestrel, Ruff, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Olive Pigeon, Cliff Chat, Arrow-marked Babbler plus possibility of Lion, Spotted hyena and more before we head to Lake Baringo for Lunch at Soi Safari Lodge. After a break we embark on a birding walk in search of Jackson’s Hornbill, Northern Red-billed Hornbill, White-bellied Go-away Bird, African Grey Hornbill, African Grey Flycatcher, Brubru, White-headed Buffalo-weaver, White-browed Sparrow-weaver, Mourning Collared-dove etc. We will head back to the hotel before dusk.

Day 6 - Lake Baringo, second day

Early morning 3 hours boat ride on the lake will yield the biggest heron in the world, Goliath
heron at close quarters, as well as Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Blue-cheeked bee-eater, Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Squacco Heron, African Darter, Long-tailed Cormorant, Black Crake and more. We will drive to the hotel for breakfast and afterwards focus on nocturnal birds including Three-banded Courser, Slender-tailed Nightjar, and Spotted
Stone Curlew as well as Grayish Eagle-owl, White-faced Scops-owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, African
Scops-owl and Giant Eagle-owl. After lunch, we will take a break before driving to the West Bay area looking for Lichtenstein Sandgrouse, Black-headed Lapwing, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal
Woodpecker, Grey Woodpecker, D’arnaud’s Barbet, Red-and-yellow Barbet before
driving back to hotel.

Day 7 - Kakamega

Early breakfast and departure to Kakamega Forest via Tugen and Keiyo hills where we will
try to call out Ross’s and White-crested Turacos before we take lunch at Kerio view hotel
overlooking the magnificent Kerio valley and head to Kakamega.We will check-in to our accommodation late afternoon.

Day 8 - Kakamega, second day

Early breakfast and walk along the forest road, as warmth sets in birds will be out
basking on the edges of the road which provide good light for photography. Among birds that will be seen are Chubb’s Cisticola, Black-billed Weaver, Black-collared Apalis, White-chinned Prinia,
Luhder’s Shrike, Red-tailed Bristle-bill, Brown-chested Alethe, Red-headed Blue-bill, White-tailed
Ant-thrush, Joyfull Greenbul and Yellow-whiskered Greenbul. There will be also primates:
Blue monkey, Red tailed monkey, Black-and-white Colobus Monkey. We will drive back to
hotel at around 10:30 and rest before lunch. After lunch, we will venture onto
the trails searching for Grey-winged Robin-chat, the elusive White-spotted Flufftail, Green-headed
Sunbird, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet and more before we return to hotel for
dinner and overnight stay.

Day 9 - Isecheno

Early breakfast and drive to the Isecheno area for Orange-tufted Sunbird, White-headed
Woodhopoe, Equatorial Akalat, Southern Hyliota, Turner’s Eremomela, African Shrike-flycatcher,
Red-headed Bluebill, Banded Prinia, Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye, Jameson Wattle-eye and more before lunch. After lunch we will rest and later venture into the forest till dusk before returning to the hotel.

Day 10 - Lake Victoria

Early breakfast and depart to Lake Victoria for a boat ride looking out for Black-headed Gonolek, Payrus Gonolek, Swamp Flycatcher, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, kingfishers and more before we depart to Nairobi .

Day 11 - Swara Plains, Tsavo East

Early breakfast and some brief birding in Swara plains for Yellow-throated Sandgrouse,
Fischer’s Lovebird, Red-throated Tit, Rattling Cisticola, Rupell’s Vulture, White-backed Vulture
and then we will proceed to Tsavo East, however lunch will be taken at Hunters lodge where
we will watch for White-headed Barbet, Grosbeak Weaver, Golden Palm-weaver, Spot-flanked
Barbet. After this we will proceed and enter Manyani gate and bird the way to Aruba Lodge looking for Pangani Longclaw, Three-streaked Tchagra, Blue-capped Cordonbleue, larks and more.

Day 12 - Tsavo

Early breakfast and drive through the Tsavo looking out for Watamu while birding the road for Shelley’s Starling, Somali Bee-eater, Somali Ostrich and Somali Courser, Northern Carmine Bee-eater and more.
We will then check in at our accommodation for lunch and rest before we head to Mida Creek
in search of waders including Terek sandpiper and White-fronted Plover

Day 13 - Arabuko Sokoke

Early breakfast and drive to Arabuko Sokoke Forest with our sights on Amani Sunbird, Plain-backed Sunbird, Tiny Greenbul, Fischer’s Greenbul, Fischer’s Turaco, Chestnut-fronted Helmet-shrike, Sokoke Pipit and then back for lunch and rest before we embark on a drive to the forest for Sokoke Scops-owl and later back to resort.

Day 14 - Sabaki and Malindi

Early breakfast and drive to Sabaki for Caspian Tern, Greater and Lesser-crested Tern,
Saunder’s Tern, Whimbrel, Curlew, Terek Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Broad-billed
Sandpiper, Sooty Gull and more before we drive back for lunch and rest before we do an
evening birding in the forest for Malindi pipit, African Wood Owl, Lizard Buzzard and
whatever might have been missed.

Day 15 - Voi

Early breakfast and depart to Voi Wildlife lodge via Mariakani, we hope to be there for lunch
and have a rest before we go for a walk in Ndara Ranch looking for Scaly Chatterer and Gambaga
Flycatcher before we head back to lodge for a night.

Day 16 - Taita Hills and Lake Jipe

Early morning drive to Taita hills for Taita White-eye, Taita Apalis, Taita Thrush, Striped
Pipit, Yellow-throated Woodland-warbler, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Brown-breasted Barbet
and then drive to Lake Jipe for Pangani Longclaw, Double-banded Courser, Hartlaub’s
Bustard, Tiny Cisticola, Scaly Chatterer, Friedman’s Lark before returning to Voi Wildlife Lodge.

Day 17 - Tsavo East

Early breakfast, with packed lunch, doing a whole day birding and wildlife in the Tsavo East.

Overnight at Voi Wildlife Lodge.

Day 18 - Departure

Early breakfast and depart for Nairobi’s JKI Airport.

If time allow we will do some birding on-route.