17 Days Kenya Birding Tour

Day 1: Nairobi National Park
Arrive at JKI Airport to be met and transferred in to Nairobi National Park birding whole day with picnic lunch. The park, only 10km off the cosmopolitan city has one of the greatest avifauna with a record of over 515 species in an area of only 117km².

Birds in the park includes the newly-almost-described Nairobi Pipit, Common Ostrich, Great, Long-tailed Cormorant, African Darter, Great Egret, Saddle Billed Stork, Common, Madagascar Squacco, Black-headed, Grey Heron, African Spoonbill, White-faced Whistling, Knob-billed Ducks, Red-billed Teal, Secretary Bird, Black-shouldered Kite, Lappet-faced Vulture, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Martial Eagle, Shelly's & Yellow-necked Spurfowls, African Finfoot, Black-bellied, Hartlaub's Bustards, Emerald Spotted Wood, Laughing Doves, Hartlaub's Turaco, White-bellied Go-away-bird, White-browed Coucal, African Palm Swift, Blue-napped Mousebird, Little & Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Lesser, Greater Honeyguides, Eastern Honeybird, Nubian Woodpecker, White-tailed, Rufous-naped Larks, Wire-tailed, Lesser-Striped Swallows, Rock Martin, Yellow-throated, Pangani, Rosy-breasted Longclaws, Pale, African Grey, Southern Black Flycatchers, Lesser Swamp Warbler, 9 species of Cistocolas, Abyssinian white-eye, Red-throated Tit, Jackson's Widowbird, Red & Yellow-billed Oxpecker, among others.

The park has big game such as the buffalo, Burchell's Zebra, hippo, Masai Giraffe, Coke's Hartebeest, Vervet and the Syke's Monkey, both Black and White Rhino.
Overnight at Silver Springs Hotel.

Day 2: Olorgesailie
We will drive birding down the rift valley to Olorgesaille. Though typically a hot country, rewards could include species like Cut Throat, Blue-capped Cordon-Bleu, Northern 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 Whydah, Tiny Cisticola, Crested Francolin, Spot-flanked, Black-throated Barbets, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Eastern Violet-backed, Beautiful, Scarlet-chested Sunbirds, among many more.

Overnight at Silver Springs Hotel.

Day 3: Nairobi-Manguo Ponds- Gatamaiyu Forest- Lake Naivasha
Today we head for Gatamaiyu Forest, a central highlands montane forest. It boast many montane species including the Chestnut-throated, Grey, Black-collared, Black-throated Apalis, Montane Oriole, Bar-tailed Trogons, Black-fronted Bush-shrike, Yellow-rumped, Mustached Green Tinkerbirds, Scarce Swift, White-browed Crombec. Also the Mountain, Cabanis’s Greenbuls, African Hill Babbler, White Starred Robin, African Dusky Flycatcher, Cinnamon Bracken, Brown Woodland Warblers, Hunter’s Cisticola, Black-backed Puffback, Grey Cuckoo-Shrike, Northern Double Collared Sunbird, Spectacle, Brown-capped Weaver, Grey-headed Negrofinch, Yellow-bellied Waxbill among others.Spectacle, Brown-capped Weaver, Grey-headed Negrofinch, Yellow-bellied Waxbill among others.

While Manguo Ponds a good birding spot en-route to the forest and has a wide variety of waterfowls such as the Yellow-billed Duck, Little Grebe, Red-billed Teal, Red-knobbed Coot, Grey, Black-headed Heron, African Spoonbill, White-faced Whistling Duck, Hottentot Teal, Long-tailed Cormorant, also waders such as Black-winged Stilt, Blacksmith Plover, Ringed Plover, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank.
In the afternoon we’ll head to Naivasha en-route via Kinangop in search of Sharpe's Longclaw a Kenya's endemic and globally threatened species found on the plateau. Hoping to see the said species, leave for the Lake Naivasha.

Overnight at Elsamere Centre (George and Joy Adamson’s House)

Day 4: Lake Naivasha
The Lake is one of the two fresh water lakes along the rift valley and offers superb birding with lake fringed by the papyrus on the shores and the acacia woodland habitats supplemented by the dormant volcanoes of Mt. Longonot, Mt. Eburru and the Ol Karia.

Take an early morning boat ride along the papyrus shore of the Lake Naivasha hoping to see Little Grebe, Great White Pelican, Great, Long-tailed Cormorant, Great Egret, Purple, Goliath Heron, Hamerkop, Sacred, Hadada Ibis, Greater, Lesser Flamingo, Cape, Red-billed Teal, African Jacana, Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Three-banded, Long-toed Plovers, Marsh, Wood, Green Sandpipers.

Birding also along the Elsamere compound before heading to other birding sites near by the lake.
Overnight at Elsamere Centre

Day 5: Lake Naivasha- Lake Nakuru National Park
After an early morning breakfast we leave for Lake Nakuru National Park to spend the rest of the day birding in the park. It’s regarded as the "the greatest ornithological spectacle in the world" with both Lesser and Greater Flamingoes sometimes exceeding 100s of thousand of individuals, however in the recent years you hardly see a hundred individual. The alkaline habitat, acacia woodland, grassland, rivers and inlets with marshes holds residents as well as migratory species.

Birds may include Little Grebe, Great White Pelican, Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed, Whiskered Tern, Grey-headed Gull, Cape, Red-billed Teal, Three-banded Plover, Little Stint, Long-crested, Tawny Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Augur Buzzard, White-fronted Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Rock Martin, Arrow-Marked Babbler, Little Rock Thrush, Wailing, Rattling Cisticola, Rüppell’s Long-tailed Starling, Rüppell's Robin Chat, White-shouldered Cliff Chat, African Grey Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Common, Grey-backed Fiscal, Tropical Boubou, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu among many others.

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
Overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge

Day 6: Lake Nakuru- Highlands- Lake Baringo Conservation Area
After breakfast drive through the highland grasslands in search of two Kenyan endemics Aberdare Cisticola and Sharpe’s Longclaw will also look for more specialties like Wing-snapping, after we leave for Lake Baringo arriving for late lunch and spending the afternoon birding.

Overnight at Soi Safari Lodge.

Day 7: Lake Baringo
Birding around Lake Baringo Conservation Area is interesting by the fact that we spend most of the day outside the car. And if lucky with the help of the local guides we hope to see some the specialties such as the Hemprich's, Jackson's Hornbills, White-faced Scops Owl, Bristle-crowned Starling, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Green-winged Pytilia, Red & Yellow Barbet, 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 Soi Safari Lodge.

Day 8: Lake Baringo- Kitale
Take a boat ride and explore the lake for water birds such as Long-tailed Cormorant, Common Squacco, Green-backed, Purple, Goliath Heron, Yellow-billed Stork, African Darter, Knob-billed Duck and later after the breakfast go birdwatching along the cliffs for more species as we head for Kitale. Picnic lunch
We spend the late afternoon in the smallest national park in Kenya, 2km² in size we’ll walk around birding through the well-structured boardwalks above the swampy marshes with reeds and other wetland vegetation. Birds includes the African Paradise Flycatcher, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Double-toothed Barbet, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Angolan Swallow, Grey Apalis, Northern Puffback, Black-billed, Brown-capped Weaver, Black-crowned Waxbill, Black & White Mannikin.

Overnight at Barnley's House.

Day 9: Kongelai Escarpment.
We drive down the Kongelai Escarpment where we expect local specialties such as the Yellow-billed Shrike, Lesser Blue-eared Starling, White-crested Turaco, Chestnut-crowned sparrow-weaver, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Golden-breasted Bunting, Double-toothed Barbet, Northern Brownbul, Brown Snake, Martial Eagle, Eastern Grey Plantain-Eater, Brown Parrot, Black-winged Red Bishop, Stripe-breasted Seedeater, and White-crested Helmet-shrike. Also the Hartlaub’s Marsh Widowbird among many other interesting species.

Overnight at
Barnley's House.

Day 10: Kitale – Kakamega Forest Reserve
After breakfast we leave for Kakamega Forest Reserve. Lunch at Rondo Retreat Centre. Afternoon birding in the very productive forest trails

Overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre.

Day 11 & 12: Kakamega Forest
This is the only true rain forest remaining in Kenya and 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, Grey-winged Robin, Yellow Spotted, Yellow-billed Barbet, Shelly's, Joyful, Toro olive, Cabanis' Greenbul, African Blue Flycatcher, African Shrike-Flycatcher, Snowy-headed Robin Chat, Common, Jameson's, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Olive Green Camaroptera, Green, Cooper Sunbird, Mackinnon Shrike, Luhder's Bush-Shrike, Bocage's Bush- shrike, Petit's Cuckoo-shrike, Black-necked, Dark-backed, Vieillot's Weaver, Red-headed Malimbe, Red-headed Bluebill.

Overnight at Rondo Retreat Centre.

Day 13: Kakamega Forest– Kisumu (Lake Victoria)
After an early morning breakfast we head on the west in search of the localized Rock Pratincole along the river while birding the whole morning on the villages, farmland and the Busia Grasslands. We hope to find a few more localized birds such as the Bar-breasted Firefinch, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Senegal Coucal, White-crested Turaco, Copper’s Sunbird, among others. Arriving in Kisumu later in the late afternoon.

Overnight at Kisumu Sunset Hotel.

Day 14: Kisumu (Lake Victoria)- Masai Mara National Reserve
A morning birding on the shores of the second largest fresh-water lake in the world. Along the Papyrus vegetation at the Dunga Beach (an old fishing village/jet) 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 Terns, African Skimmer, Red-chested, Copper Sunbirds, Shikra, African Thrush, Black-headed Gonolek, Slender-billed, Northern Brown-throated, Yellow-backed, Jackson’s Golden-backed Weavers, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Southern Red Bishop, Black-billed Barbet.

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 include the Long-tailed, Rock Cisticolas, Wattled Plover, Rufous-bellied Heron, Pale Wren Warbler. Also Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Ashy Flycatcher, Grey-rumped, Red-rumped 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 among many others.
Overnight at Mara West Tented Camp

Day 15: Masai Mara National Reserve.
We’ll take birdwalk along the escarpment in search of the Red-tailed Chat, Long-tailed, Rock Cisticola while a bonus  of the Mwanza Flat-headed Agama is almost a “your money back”.
Lunch at the camp later in the afternoon heading for with an en-route game drive arriving late in the evening.

Overnight at Mara West Tented Camp.

Day 16: Masai Mara National Reserve
Today we en-route gamedrive the entire reserve looking for birds specialties of the eastern parts of Mara.
Overnight at MatiraTented Camp.

Day 17: Masai Mara National Reserve- 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. Picnic lunch along the way.

The tour ends with a dinner and transfer to the airport.


The cost per person sharing is

Inclusive of:

  • Transport with exclusive use of the safari van as from the 1st day to departure day as per itinerary.
  • Pick up and drop off on arrival and departure at the airport.
  • Accommodation in lodges as per the itinerary with all the three meals a day
  • Services of a knowledgeable birdguide
  • Boat ride at Lakes Naivasha and Baringo
  • Parks, reserve and conservation areas entry fee
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Drinking water available from the van cool box
  • other pre-tour information

Exclusive of:

  • -Medical and travel insurance including luggage.
  • -Beverages
  • -Items of personal nature such as telephone, laundry, gifts among others
  • -Visa, airport tax
  • -tipping of Safari driver guide, lodge porters, waiters etc
  • -Other extras such as balloon Safari, Masai Village visit





Nairobi National Park
Manguo Ponds
Gatamaiyu Forest
Lake Naivasha

Lake Nakuru National Park
Highlands Grasslands
Lake Baringo
Kongelai Escarpment
Kakamega Forest
Lake Victoria
Masai Mara National Reserve

Available in both private and group tour.
Min Pax -1 Max: 6 per custom converted safari vehicle with guaranteed window seats, with
one guide.

Journey Information

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From: John Gabriel, Johannesburg, South Africa.
“Hi Chege, Maurice and I have talked about our day with you in the Nairobi National Park on many occasions. From a birding point of view it has been the high point of many years birding and I know that I have boasted about it to many people over the past six months. Your knowledge of the birds and of the park made it a truly memorable experience for which I want to thank and compliment you. To see more than 150 species in a day is spectacular, and when leopard and cheetah are added to the day's viewing, it becomes even more so”
From: Josep del Hoyo, Spain, (Editor, Handbook Of The Birds Of The World)
“Chege was very knowledgeable on every site that I visited with him and we succeeded in videoing several difficult birds.”
From: Jack Jeffrey Hawaii Bird Photography & Tours www.jackjeffreyphoto.com
Birdwatching East Africa (BEA) is one Kenya’s best kept secrets. Chege wa Kariuki and his staff are the best there is to offer for game drive, birding, photography, and mobile tent camping safaris. They create unique adventures for birders and photographers providing unparalleled opportunities to see many of Kenya’s bird species, numerous mammals, including the big five. The staff are very knowledgeable, friendly, courteous and provide in depth information about Kenya’s wildlife, habitats and people. The camp staff is unsurpassed. Their chef provides wonderful meals made from produce from local farms, and the campsites have comfortable tents, showers and toilets, and are a very safe environment for clients. These are just a few of the reasons we use Birdwatching East Africa as our guide and outfitters for birding and photo safaris when in Kenya.
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