9 Days Ornithological Safari in Kenya is one of the best bird watching tour packages for birders interested in spotting lots of Kenya’s avifauna of about 1100 species. This safari focuses on exploring the Great Rift Valley lakes of Lake Nakuru, Naivasha and Baringo, as well as Masai Mara national reserve to have a cocktail of birding and wildlife experience. Your professional birding guide will take you to see birds in several Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Kenya. Expect to see the following bird species on your 9 days ornithological safari in Kenya; Black-capped social weaver, Rosy-patched bush-shrike, Golden-breasted starling, Donaldson’s Smith sparrow-weaver, Golden pipit, Somali bee-eater, D’Arnaud’s barbet, White-headed mousebird, Dusky and Donaldson’s Smith nightjars, The Somali ostrich among others.
Kenya is a home to several migrants due to favorable climate, diversity of habitats and several geographical features. The best time to go for time to go for 9 days ornithological safari in Kenya is during the short rains of November and early December when most bird species are in breeding plumage. During that time many Palearctic migrants are present as well. Mating activity normally tapers off in January and birds change into non-breeding plumage.
Another amazing time to visit Kenya for birdwatching tour is during the long rains of April to May however, during these months; some parts of the game reserves become impassable due to the heavy mud and you may be disrupted to spot some birds due to tall grass and other vegetation.
June is also a good time to bird Kenya because many species are still in breeding plumage, the plains are also drying out, and the weather is generally good to see the migrating wildebeest arrive in late June instead of July, and when this happens it’s an added bonus for a June birding tour.
Day 1: Nairobi – Samburu Game Reserve
Meet and greet our company representative and your birding guide for a quick briefing about your tour. Later set off as you drive northwards to the Buffalo Springs National Reserves. You will encounter several birds like Fischer’s starling, Golden pipit, Golden-breasted starling, Greater kestrel, Grey wren-warbler, Hunter’s sunbird, Lanner falcon before reaching Samburu game reserve for lunch and exciting game drive and birdwatching tour. Dinner and overnight stay at Samburu Shaba lodge.
Have early morning breakfast and drive to Samburu game reserve to look out for birds like Acacia tit, Bare-eyed thrush, African palm swift, Brown-tailed rock chat, Ashy cisticola, Black-bellied sunbird, Black-capped social weaver, Hunter’s sunbird, Fischer’s starling, Chestnut-headed sparrow lark, Chestnut weaver, Donaldson-Smith’s sparrow-weaver, Golden pipit, Secretary bird, Golden-breasted starling, Greater kestrel, Grey wren-warbler, Lanner falcon, Mariqua sunbird, Northern brownbul, Palm-nut vulture, Von der Decken’s hornbill, Somali ostrich, Pygmy batis, Red-bellied parrot, White-headed mousebird, Red-necked falcon, Red-winged lark, Reichenow’s seedeater, Rosy-patched bush-shrike, Singing bush lark, Pink-breasted lark, Somali bee-eater, Spotted palm-thrush, Vulturine guineafowl, Yellow-vented eremomela among others. Most birds are spotted in the park’s arid acacia savannah, scrub and gallery forest at the shores of Uaso Nyiro River. Dinner and overnight stay at Samburu Shaba lodge.
After breakfast, drive to Sweetwater Chimpanzee Sanctuary to look for over 500 bird species. The sanctuary is also a home to 22 orphaned Chimps. Today, you will take bird walks to look for the following birds at Sweetwater’s conservancy; Snow Goose, Cackling Goose, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, Tundra Swan, Cinnamon Teal, Rock Pigeon, Ross’s Goose, Osprey, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Virginia Rail, Great Egret, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Goshawk, American Wigeon, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gyrfalcon, American Kestrel, Ring-billed Gull, Caspian Tern, Northern Pintail, Long-eared Owl, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Lesser Yellowlegs, Ring-necked Duck, Short-billed Dowitcher, Greater Scaup, Pectoral Sandpiper, Whooping Crane, Long-billed Curlew, White-winged Scoter, Hooded Merganser, Dusky Grouse, Mountain Plover, Ring-necked Pheasant, Clark’s Grebe, Horned Grebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Plumbeous Vireo, Black-billed Magpie, Mountain Chickadee, Cliff Swallow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, White-winged Crossbill, Chestnut-collared Longspur, American Tree Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Yellow-breasted Chat among others. You will also encounter several animals including Baboons, vervet monkeys, zebra, dik-dik, hippos, Grant’s gazelle, giraffes, impala and eland. Dinner and overnight at the Sweetwaters Tented Camp.
Have breakfast and set off for Mt. Kenya safari club for a luxurious retreat and enjoying spectacular views of forested slopes of snow-capped Mt. Kenya. You will check in to your lodge for lunch and relaxation. Later go for an evening game drive / birding tour to see birds like; Mountain Buzzard, Black-headed Waxbill, Olive Pigeon, Violet-backed Starling, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon and Oriole Finch, Meyer’s Parrots, African Green Pigeon, Black-and-white Mannikin and Spot-flanked Barbet, Jackson’s Francolin, Moorland Chat, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Red-fronted Parrot, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird, Slender-billed Starling, Waller’s Starling, Montane White-eye, Eastern Double-collared Sunbird, Hunter’s Cisticola, and Moorland Francolin in Mount Kenya national park. You may opt to go swimming, bowling, croquet and trout fishing. Dinner and overnight stay at Mount Kenya Safari Club. Please note that a tie and jacket for gentlemen and evening dress for ladies is necessary for dinner at this exclusive club.
Have breakfast and leave for Nyeri; arriving on time for hot lunch at the Outspan Hotel. Later drive to Treetops for check-in and later start your birding adventure and night game drive experiences. The forests and moorlands of Aberdare National Park hosts over 290 species including; Aberdare cisticola, Scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, Abyssinian crimsonwing, African goshawk, African green pigeon, African paradise flycatcher, African yellow warbler, Augur buzzard, Ayres’s hawk eagle, Bar-tailed trogon, Bronzy sunbird, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Crowned eagle, Doherty’s bush-shrike, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Hartlaub’s turaco, Jackson’s francolin, Montagu’s harrier, Montane white-eye, Moorland chat, Tambourine dove, Moorland francolin, Mountain buzzard, Moustached green tinkerbird, Narina trogon, Olive ibis, Rufous-chested sparrowhawk, Hunter’s cisticola, Sharpe’s longclaw, Golden-winged sunbird, Tacazze sunbird, White-headed wood-hoopoe among others. Dinner and overnight at Treetops.
Have breakfast and drive to Lake Nakuru national park arriving on time for lunch. Later take a birding tour round the Lake to see the famous pink flamingo and other birds. Lake a great birding spot in Kenya with over 500 bird species including the Red-billed Duck, Northern Pintail, White-browed Coucal, Southern Pochard, Tufted Duck, Maccoa Duck, Black-bellied Bustard, Ring-necked Dove, Laughing Dove, Levaillant’s Cuckoo, Tambourine Dove, Eurasian Nightjar, Namaqua Dove, Little Swift, Black-winged Stilt, Horus Swift, Black-winged Lapwing, Ruddy Turnstone, Greater Painted-Snipe , Crowned Lapwing, Lesser Sand-Plover, Great Snipe, Crab-Plover, Common Sandpiper, Gull-billed Tern, Abdim’s Stork, Long-tailed Cormorant, Great White Pelican, White Stork, Green Sandpiper, Cattle Egret, African Sacred Ibis, Squacco Heron, Black-winged Kite, Scissor-tailed Kite, White-backed Vulture, African Harrier-Hawk, White-headed Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Rueppell’s Griffon, European Honey-buzzard, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Speckled Mouse bird, Eurasian Hoopoe, Violet Wood hoopoe, African Gray Hornbill, Malachite Kingfisher, Madagascar Bee-eater, Rufous-crowned Roller, Lesser Honey guide, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Nubian Woodpecker, Greater Kestrel, Meyer’s Parrot, Black-crowned Tchagra, Foxy Lark, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Marsh Warbler, Barn Swallow, Kikuyu White-eye, Red-billed Oxpecker, Rueppell’s Starling, Thrush Nightingale, Northern Anteater-Chat, Shining Sunbird, Brimstone Canary, Gray Apalis among others. Dinner and overnight at the Lake Nakuru Lion Hill Lodge
Wake up very early morning and drive to Mara north of the famous Serengeti National park for game drive / birdwatching tour. You will reach on time for lunch, relaxation and later go to look for over 500 birds. Masai mara game reserve is a highlight of 9 Days Ornithological Safari in Kenya; you will meet several wildlife, both migratory and resident bird species like Brown-throated Sand Martin, Grey-rumped Swallow , Red-capped Lark, White-tailed Lark, Grey Woodpecker , Rufous-necked Wryneck, Usambiro Barbet , Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird , Crowned Hornbill, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Lilac-breasted Roller, European Bee-eater, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Speckled Mousebird, Alpine Swift, Swamp Nightjar, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Schalow’s Turaco, Meyer’s Parrot, Speckled (Rock) Pigeon, Gull-billed Tern, African Green Pigeon, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Stint, Kittlitz’s Plover, Three-banded Courser, African Jacana, Kori Bustard, African Crake, Helmeted Guineafowl, Common Buttonquail, Common Kestrel, Lanner Falcon, Augur Buzzard, African Marsh Harrier, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Rüppell’s Vulture, Secretarybird, Red-billed Teal, White-faced Whistling-Duck, Sacred Ibis, Saddle-billed Stork, White Stork, Hamerkop, Black-crowned Night-Heron among others. Dinner and overnight at Sopa Lodge.
Have breakfast and drive to the park for game drive and birdwatching safari in search for some birds which you might have missed a day before. You will also spot some animals like Wildebeest, elephant, cheetah, giraffe, black rhino, great herds of antelope and fascinating primates such like red- tailed monkey. All meals and overnight stay at Sopa Lodge.
Depart early for Nairobi early morning and ascend the escarpment to the central highlands. You will arrive in Nairobi in afternoon for lunch and relaxation. Later head to Carnivore Restaurant for farewell dinner before being transferred to the airport to end your 9 Days Ornithological Safari in Kenya – Bird Watching Tour In Kenya