Day 1: Nairobi. Arrive at the JKIA Airport to be met by your guide. Birding starts right away from the stairs off the plane as the Little, African Palm Swifts and the Superb Starling appears common while the Red-winged Starling whistles to remind you to have your binoculars ready. Transfer to the hotel for a rest, followed by a visit to the Nairobi National Park, which lies within the shadows of the large capital city. With highland forest, Acacia woodland, rocky escarpments, open grassland, large ponds, and small streams, this park is home to a wide variety of birds and mammals.
Some of the key species we will search for here are Shelley's Francolin, Hartlaub's Bustard, Spotted Thick-knee, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Singing Cisticola, Banded and Brown Warblers, African Yellow Warbler, Northern Pied Babbler, White-breasted White-eye, Long-tailed Fiscal and White-winged Widowbird. Nairobi National Park is without a doubt the best place in Kenya to see the endangered Black Rhino, and we have a very good chance of locating this very impressive species together with many of the other mammals we have seen before. Overnight at Laico Regency Hotel. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Gatamaiyu, Manguo Ponds. Leave early for the Gatamaiyu forest, located about 50 km north west of Nairobi stretches through the Kieni forest (part of the central highlands) and boost many montane species includes the Chestnut-throated, Grey, Black-collared, Black-throated Apalis, Montane Oriole, Narina & Bar-tailed Trogon, Black-fronted Bush-shrike, Yellow-rumped, Mustached Green Tinkerbird, Scarce Swift, White-browed Crombec, while Abbott's Starling and the Sharpe's Starling have been recorded, among others.
While Manguo Ponds makes an excellent birding spot en-route to the forest. It boost a wide variety of waterfowls such as the Yellow-billed Ducks, Little Grebe, Red-billed Teal, Red-knobbed Coot, while Maccoa Ducks are regularly recorded, Grey, Black-headed Heron, African Spoonbill, White-faced Whistling Duck, Hottentot Teal, while sometimes waders occur in large numbers such as the Greenshanks, Sandpipers, Plovers etc. Leave late afternoon for Lake Nakuru. On the way pass by the Kinangop plateau in search of Sharpe's long claw, one of the Kenya's endemic. Overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge.
Day 3: Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru National Park is referred to as the "the greatest ornithological spectacle in the world" with both Lesser and the Greater Flamingoes sometimes exceeding 1.5 million individuals. The alkaline habitat supports thousands of resident and migratory waterfowl. The alkaline lake, acacia woodland, grassland, rivers and inlets with marshes hold over the 450 species. Some of the common birds are the Little Grebe, Great White Pelican, Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed, Whiskered Tern, Grey-headed Gull, Cape and Red-billed Teal, Southern Pochard, Long-crested, and African Crowned Eagle, Wailing Cisticola, Ruppell's Long-tailed Starling, Lilac-breasted Roller, Cliff Chat and many species of waders. Overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge.
Day 4: Lake Baringo. We take a morning game and bird-drive in the park before we leave for the Lake Baringo Conservation Area, another of Kenya's birding hot spots. Afternoon, visit the cliffs not far from the lake, a good site for Hemprich’s & Jackson’s Hornbills, Long-billed pipit, African Pygy-kingfisher, Silver bird, White-faced Scops Owl, Bristle-crowned Starling, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Green-winged Pytilia, and Red & Yellow Barbet, Bat Hawk, Three Banded Courser, Slender-tailed Nightjar (among many others). Birding along the camp site and the hotel could yield the Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, African Pigmy kingfisher, Black-headed Plover. Overnight at Soi Safari Lodge.
Day 5: Kongelai Escarpment. We drive down the Kongelai escarpment on the west of Makutano This is yet another excellent birding area where we expect localized birds such as the Yellow-billed Shrike, Lesser Blue-eared Starling, White Crested Turaco, Chestnut Crowned Sparrow-weaver, Dark Chanting Goshawk among many other interesting species. Late afternoon we leave heading for the Kakamega Forest. Overnight at Mago Hotel.
Day 6: Kakamega Forest. Day long around the forest trails in the northern circuit. The Kakamega Forest, the only 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 a few days here we hope to see a good number of these forest species that could include the Blue-headed Bee-Eater, Red-headed Malimbe, Snowy-headed Robin, Common, James son’s, Chestnut and with much luck the Yellow-bellied Wattle Eyes and may be the Blue-shouldered Robin Chat among many others. Overnight at Mago Hotel.
Day 7: Kakamega Forest. Birding in the forest trail and later in the afternoon leave for Kisumu City just-by the second largest fresh-water lake in the world. Visit Impala Sanctuary and the Sewerage Works that could yield a Southern Black Bishop, Black-billed Barbet. Overnight at Imperial Hotel.
Day 8: Kisumu - Malindi. Today we take an early morning boat ride along the Papyrus vegetation at the Dunga Beach (an old fishing village/jet) with expectation to see some the specialties like the Papyrus Canary, Papyrus Gonolek, Swamp Flycatcher, Slender-billed, Northern Brown-throated, Jackson's Yellow-backed Weavers, Greater Swamp Warbler Yellow-front Tinkerbird, Copper Sunbirds etc. After lunch Transfer to the airport for a flight to Nairobi on arrival connect you scheduled flight to Malindi check in at Turtle bay.
Day 9: Malindi. The Watamu–Malindi area is extremely rich for its diversity of birds. Over 450 species within 30 kilometres of Watamu including some rare and little-known species that have made the area known world-wide amongst birders and ornithologists. Seasonal movements of migrant birds are also quite marked, with Palaearctic species such as Osprey, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Eurasian Bee-eater, Rufous Bush Chat, Spotted Flycatcher being quite common, and it is one of the easier places in Kenya to find Eurasian Honey Buzzard. The coast is also especially good for Afro-tropical migrants such as African Pygmy Kingfisher, Carmine Bee-eater, White-throated Bee-eater, Red-capped Robin Chat, Yellowbill, African Paradise Flycatcher, and Black Cuckoo-shrik. Overnight at turtle Bay.
Day 10: Malindi - Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. Today depart to Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Considered amongst the most important forests in Africa for its bird conservation value, it is the global stronghold for one Globally Endangered species, the Spotted Ground Thrush, and five Globally Vulnerable species of birds - Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, East Coast Akalat, Amani Sunbird, and the Clarke's Weaver, which is found nowhere else in the world. It is also home to a large number of species restricted to the coastal strip,. Asian Lesser Cuckoo, Yellowbill, African Barred Owlet Fiery-necked Nightjar, Böhm's Spinetail, Mottled Spinetail, Forbes-Watson's Swift Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Trumpeter Hornbill Little Yellow Flycatcher,Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Forest Batis, Pale Batis, Retz's Helmet-Shrike, Chestnut-fronted Helmet-Shrike, Four-coloured Bush-Shrike, Black-bellied Starling.
Afternoon visit Gede Ruins Forest which was abandoned in the 15th century. Arabic city of Gede is surrounded and over-grown by indigenous forest different to that of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest as it is growing on ancient coral unlike the sands of the main forest. This small patch of now quite seriously impoverished forest has for many years been an important wintering site for the Spotted Ground Thrush, a Globally Endangered species that migrates to the Kenya coast from it’s breeding grounds in southern Africa. Gede has also got breeding Palm-nut Vultures, and Red-necked Falcon have been seen regularly here. Plain-backed Sunbird, Amani Sunbird. Overnight at Turtle bay.
Day 11: Departure. Today spend the whole day around Turtle Bay Beach Club. The actual hotel gardens are in fact quite disappointing for birds since most of the plants are exotics. However, one can still see a few and the bush around the hotel is home to one or two unique species. Birds of note that have been recorded from the hotel and beach front include: Frigatebird, silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Mottled Spinetail, African Golden Weaver, Black –Bellied starling, Hadada Ibis, African Goshawk, Osprey, Trumpeter Honbill, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Eastern Bearded Scrub Robin-chart, Mouse-coloured Sunbird also seen particularly during the migration: pallid Harrier, Eurasian Roller, Red-tailed Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike. Late afternoon you will be transferred to the Airport connect your departure flight.
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