14 Days Birding in Central Kenya
This birding tour will give you a great opportunity to explore a region part of Kenya that is neglected yet is an orthinological paradise that hosts some endemic birds among other birds. You will drive through this highland terrain from hills to mountain valleys including the plains with a 4x4 wheeled vehicle to explore these Important Birding Areas (IBA)
Day 1: arrival
On arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport you will be met by our tour manager who will welcome you and brief you on your birding activity. Then, you will be transferred to your hotel Norfolk or any other similar one. Dinner is at Ibis Grill.
Dinner and overnight at Norfolk or Nairobi Serena
Day 2: Nairobi Area
After breakfast, depart for your birding activity starting point from Nairobi Museum. Bird watch in this beautiful city until mid morning, you will be picked and be driven to Nairobi National park for more birding activities. Have your picnic lunch at observation point as you observe game or at Makoyeti Gorge observation point. Continue your birding activity in the park including the adjacent Nairobi Safari Walk.
Nairobi National Park is a park within the periphery of Nairobi city, Kenya’s capital city only 7 km from the city centre. Has a wide variety of birds as well as game as its have different habitats such as Grassland, woodland, thickets, dams and ponds and upland dry forest. Look out for the globally threatened species such as Madagascar Squacco Heron, Corncrake Lesser Kestrel, Red-throated Tit and Jackson's Widowbird among other common birds such as the largest bird on earth, the ostrich, and black headed weaver among other birds. In Nairobi Safari walk areas look out for the little bee eater, weaver among other birds around the walk and also at the forest trail section.
Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Nairobi – Embu
After an early breakfast drive past the third largest pineapple plantation in the world owned by Delmonte firm to Embu for your birding activity at Irangi Forest. Lunch is enroute.
Irangi Forest situated along the Meru road from Embu. About 6 km travel will bring you to the small village of Mutindori. On the left a well defined murram road leads to St. Marks Teacher Training College. Follow this road towards the mountain, passing the college, Manyatta and Mianjakoma Tea Factories and finally reaching the Irangi Forest barrier. You can explore this forest by foot or by vehicle as the numerous tracks and trails in the forest itself merit investigation. Interesting bird watching can be guaranteed, but interesting sightings can be slow and few and far between until one comes across mixed bird parties. The forest holds and excellent selection of highland forest and stream-side birds, including Ayre's Hawk-Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Mountain Buzzard, Rufous-breasted Sparrow hawk, Bronze-napped Pigeon, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Bar-tailed Trogon, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Mountain Wagtail, Mountain Greenbul, African Hill Babbler, hunter’s Cisticola, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Black-fronted Bush-shrike, Montane Oriole, Kendrick’s Starling, Waller's Starling, Olive Sunbird, Brown-capped Weaver, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Black-throated Apalis, Black-headed Apalis, Brown Woodland Warbler, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Abyssinian Crimson-wing, thick-billed seed eater and Grey-headed Negro-finch.
Dinner and overnight at Izaak Walton Inn
Day 4: Mount Kenya National Park
After an early breakfast drive further north to Mount Kenya National Park birding enroute. Arrive at Mountain lodge in good time for lunch. Have your afternoon at leisure as you view the game such as buffaloes, forest hogs, and bush pigs and luckily enough you might spot lions too as they come to drink water near the natural salt lick.
Dinner and overnight at Mountain Serena Lodge
Day 5: Mount Kenya National Park
After breakfast have you birding activities at the forest trails the better part of the morning. The different habitats, that is, the montane forest, the montane grassland, the bamboo and the moorland, Look out for globally threaten species such as lesser Kestrel, Sharpe's Long claw, Abbott's Starling, Jackson's Widowbird
In this Mount Kenya national park other birds to see include Hartlaub’s Turaco, Brown-Hooded Kingfisher, Giant Kingfisher, Grey-olive Greenbul, Zanzibar Sombre Greenbul, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, Black-Throated Wattle-eye, Singing, Red faced, Winding, Rattling, Croaking Cisiticolas, Mountain Yellow Warbler, African-moustached Warbler, Broad-tailed Warbler, African Golden Weaver, Yellow-crowned Bishop, African Fire finch, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, and Abyssinian Crimson wing.
Green Ibis, Long-crested Eagle, Mountain and Augur Buzzards, Rofous-breasted Sparrow hawk, Red-fronted Parrot, Red-throated Wryneck, Common Stone-chat, Kenrick's and Waller’s Starlings, Oriole Finch, Montane White-eye, African Hill Babbler, Montane Greenbul, White-headed Hoopoe, Grey , Black-throated, Black-headed, Chestnut-throated Apalises, Green, Olive, and Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeons, Lemon, and Tambourine Doves, Moustached Green Tinker bird, White-headed and White-eared Barbets, Scarce and Alpine Swifts, Eastern and Northern Double-collared sunbirds, Green Headed, Golden- winged and Tacazze sunbirds among more common species.
Lunch, dinner and overnight at Mountain Serena Lodge
Day 6 - 9: Mount Kenya National Park – Samburu Game Reserve
After breakfast travel further north passing the equator and arrive in this prestigious park. Check in at Samburu Serena Lodge and, later in the afternoon have a game viewing drive as you bird watch. You may also have a chance to spot the special five that is beisa oryx, grevy zebra, gerenuk, Somali ostrich and reticulated giraffe.
The Samburu Game Reserve, Shaba Game Reserve and Buffalo Springs are watered by the Uaso Nyiro River (meaning the brown river) which runs through all these three reserves and in parts is the border between the Samburu and Buffalo Springs; there's usually plenty of bird life in the Acacias and Doum Palms along the river banks. The river is generally wide and shallow but vanishes completely in very dry seasons while it raises high enough to flood both banks after especially heavy rains. In drought or very dry spells the weavers which normally nest along the banks seem to become less common, while birds such as the yellow billed hornbill tend to move down closer to the river. The shade provided by the acacia and doum palm trees also makes them a favorite place for elephants in the middle of the day. Look out for bristle-crowned starling, night heron, vereaux’s eagle-owl (also known as the South African Fish-Eagle), pigmy falcon, Donaldson-Smith’s sparrow weaver and the red- headed weaver.
All meals at Samburu Serena lodge or similar lodge
Day 10: Mount Kenya Safari Club
After breakfast bid farewell to samburu and drive to the elegant Mount Kenya Safari Club for a leisure stay. Enjoy the facility of this club as once was a colonial establishment. You can also opt to visit the adjacent sanctuary whereby you can see the chimpanzee at an additional fee.
Lunch, dinner and overnight at MKSC
NOTE: dressing for dinner is strictly casual. Can hire one in the club if you do not have one.
Day 11-12: Aberdare National Park.
After breakfast drive to Aberdare national park via Outspan hotel in Nyeri to be transferred by lodge vehicle to tree tops located in the Aberdare national park after lunch. at treetops lodge’s water hole look out for many water birds and wading birds which may include familiar and common species such as the black-headed heron, hammerkop, yellow-billed stork, African green ibis and the hadada ibis
Aberdare National Park forest and moorlands shelter and nourish a diverse avian fauna. You can encounter birds such as silvery-cheeked hornbill, Hartlaub’s turaco, Narina and bar-tailed trogons, green pigeons, tambourine dove and purple-crested cuckoo-shrike. birds of prey may include the African crowned eagle which preys on monkeys, guineafowls, francolins and even known to take duickers. black and white colobus monkeys are a favorite prey. Other birds of prey may include the mountain buzzard and aguar buzzard, long crested eagle, owls, the rare Ayre’s eagle and the palearctic birds such as Montagu harrier and steppe buzzard. Other forest birds include the cinnamon-chested bee eater, African paradise fly catcher, and white headed hoopoe. At the bamboo area look out for the white –starred robin, Jackson’s francolin and in the moorland region expect to see the cisticolas- the Aberdare cisticolas, hunter’s cisticolas and the L’evaillant and wing – snaping cistocola. sunbirds include the Tacazze sunbird and the malachite sunbird. The Kinangop grasslands which are on the plateau west of Aberdares are home of the Sharpe’s long craw found nowhere else in the world.
Lunch, dinner and overnight at treetops
Day 13: Outspan – Nairobi
After breakfast drive to Outspan hotel and collect your excess luggage left at the hotel and drive back to Nairobi. Have a stop over at fourteen falls. Have your lunch at Thika. Drive to Nairobi and check in your hotel. You will be transferred to carnivore restaurant for dinner. After dinner you will be transferred back to your hotel for overnight.
Overnight at Norfolk or a similar hotel
Day 14: Departure
After breakfast bid farewell to Kenya as you will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your outbound flight.
Total Cost: US $ 5600 per person sharing. Single Supplement: US $ 1867