15 Days Birding
The 15 Days birding tour will explore some of the best birding destinations in Kenya, Amboseli National Park, Taita Hills, Tsavo East National Park , Arabuko Sokoke Forest,Mida Creek, Tana River Primate Reserve and Shimba Hills
Day 1:Nairobi – Amboseli National Park
Leave early from Nairobi, heading to Amboseli National Park.
With stopover along the way, the first one at Lukenya hills, some 30km from Nairobi, interesting Bird species, also some sighting of Mammals that migrate from Nairobi National
Day2: Amboseli National Park
Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.
Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya's most popular parks.
The name "Amboseli" comes from a Maasai word meaning "salty dust", and it is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close.
Nature lovers can explore five different habitats here ranging from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with springs, the savannah and woodlands.
Birdlife is prolific
Day 3: Amboseli – Taita Hills (Long Drive)
After breakfast leave for Taita Hills (Ngangao Forest) with a stopover at Hunter’s lodge along Mombasa Road,
The garden is rich with birds;
Proceed afterwards to Taita Hills,via Voi Mwatate to Wundanyi
Day4: Taita Hills (Ngangao Forest)
The Taita Hills form a green island in the dry bush of southern Kenya.
It is relatively isolated and therefore a very interesting area for birding.
The birdlife is a mix of three distinct zones: the central highlands, the coastal forests and the northern Tanzanian mountains
Spend the early morning looking for the Taita Hills Endemics,
- Taita Thrush
- Taita Apalis
- Taita White Eye
plus other forest birds
Later in the afternoon drive to Tsavo East National Park
Day 5: Tsavo East National Park
Spend the whole day birding in the park. Tsavo East National Park forms the largest protected area in Kenya
It is home to most of the larger mammals, vast herds of dust –
Prolific bird life features 500 recorded species, along with the 300 kilometer long Yatta Plateau.
The longest lava flow in the world, make for an adventure unlike any other in the Tsavo East
Day 6: Tsavo East National Park- Arabuko Sokoke Forest (through Sala Gate)
Morning drive afterwards drive to Arabuko Sokoke Forest via Sala Gate,
The road has some interesting bird species too, so we will do birding slowly before checking out of the park at around midday
Day 7: Arabuko Sokoke Forest
Early morning birding in Arabuko sokoke forest, size 420 km2, managed by Kenya Forest Service (KFS);
It’s the largest and most intact coastal forest in East Africa, with 20% of Kenya's bird species, 30% butterfly species and at least 24 rare and endemic bird, mammal and butterfly species.
There are over 270 species of birds recorded in the forest including several rare and endemic species.
Other globally threatened bird species found in Arabuko-Sokoke include:
- Amani Sunbird
- East Coast Akalat
- Sokoke Scops Owl
- Sokoke Pipit
- Spotted Ground Thrush.
Other birds restricted to Kenyan coastal forests are found the most easily in Arabuko-Sokoke, making it a great place to visit.
The forest has 40 recorded mammal species including;
- African Civet
- Syke’s Monkeys,
- Lesser Galago
Some of Kenya’s rarest mammals are found here, including the Golden-rumped Elephant-shrew,
Day 8: Arabuko Sokoke Forest
Activity: Birding/Nature walk
Spend the day in Arabuko Sokoke Forest looking for the missed species,
Birding is normally done early morning and late afternoon,
This is due to the hot and humid weather, again bird's activities, are active in the morning and late evening, driving will be minimal, so most of the time, walking we be encountered
Day 9: Mida Creek
Mida Creek has wide, healthy beds of sea grass and coral, home to many species of fish and feeding sea turtles, while in the mangroves smaller streams and inlets provide a refuge for crabs and birdlife.
Mida is a stopover point for many migratory birds and an essential protected area for their survival.
This makes it one of the most important and beautiful natural attractions on the Kenyan coast.
Counts of over 6,000 waders have been made on Mida Creek including seven species which are regionally threatened.
The mangroves around the edge of the creek are also important roosting places.
The populations of Greater and Lesser Sandplover and Crab-plovers at Mida Creek are internationally important.
The creek is a significant feeding area for Dimorphic Egrets, Lesser Crested and Roseate Terns.
Common migrant shorebirds here include Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Whimbrel, Grey Plover, and Greater and Lesser Sandplover
Day 10: Lake Jilore/Arabuko Sokoke
Drive to Lake Jilore North of Arabuko Sokoke Forest
Day 11: Arabuko Sokoke- Tana River Primate Research
Morning drive to Tana River Primate Research
Day 12: Tana River Primate Research
The reserve was established to protect the Tana Riverine forest and the two endangered primates:
Tana River Crested Mangabeys and the Tana River Red Colobus monkeys.
The ecosystem is also a stronghold for birdlife with over 200 species recorded here. The predominant ecosystems of the reserve are riparian forests, dry woodlands, and savannah habitats
Day 13: Tana – Shimba Hills
Depart to Shimba Hills through Mombasa
Day 14: Shimba Hills
Spend the whole day in the park birding, walking is allowed but not far from the vehicle
Day 15: Shimba Hills- Mombasa
Morning drive to Mombasa for the flight back
Tour Concerns for 15 days birding
Best time to visit: January- March and June to December
Top Highlights for 15 days birding tour
- Somali golden –breasted Bunting
- Eastern Paradise Flycatcher
- Peter’s Twinspot
- Zanzibar Red Bishop
- Black-necked Weaver
- Golden breasted Starling
- Green headed Oriole
- Retz’s Helmet- Shrike
- Sulphur breasted Bush-shrike
- Taita Fiscal
- Amani Sunbird
- Taita white Eye
- Scaly Babbler
- Little yellow Flycatcher
- Pale Batis
- Lead- coloured Flycatcher
- Coastal Cisticola
- Collared Palm-Thrush
- Red tailed ant-Thrush
- Taita Thrush
- East Coast Akalat
- Eastern Nicator
- Malindi Pipit
- Golden Pipit
- Chestnut headed Sparrow-Lark
- Red winged Lark
- Eastern yellow-billed Hornbill
- Broad –billed Roller
- Somali Bee-eater,
- Mangrove Kingfisher
- Narina Trogon
- Blue-naped Mousebird
- Bohm’s Spinetail
- Fiery-necked Nightjar
- Sokoke Scops- Owl
- Yellow bill
- Thick billed Cuckoo,
- Fischer’s Turaco
- African Orange –bellied Parrot
- Namaqua Dove,
- Chestnut bellied Sandgrouse
- Brown Noddy
- Lesser Crested Tern
- Ruddy Turnstone
- Curlew Sandpiper
- Grey Plover
- Greater Sandplover
- White fronted Plover
- Black headed Lapwing,
- Madagascar Pratincole
- Two banded Courser
- Crab Plover
- Kori Bustard
- Grey Crowned Crane
- Coqui Francolin
- Crested Guinea fowl
- Martial Eagle
- Tawny Eagle
- Southern banded Snake-eagle,
- Lappet faced Vulture
- Secretary Bird
- African Pygmy-goose
- Saddle billed Stork
- Goliath Heron
- Somali Ostrich
Excellent in Amboseli National Park, Tsavo East National Park and Shimba Hills Reserve.
In Amboseli National Park, there are clear stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro ( Africa's tallest and World's tallest free standing mountain at 5,895 meters19,341feet)
Will be based in good to excellent lodges throughout,all have private, en-suite bathrooms, and full-time hot water.
In most places electricity is available 24 hours a day.
Several lodges have generators, and they will switch it off for part of the night, but alternate light sources are provided.
The exact Lodges/Camps/Hotels we use will be dependent on the availability at the time of booking, the months of June, July and August are always busy due to the high tourist arrivals due the famous Wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara Game Reserve
Food is usually plentiful. Breakfasts offer a good choice, with tea, coffee, juice, fruits, pancakes, egg of your choice and other things depending on location.
Lunches are taken at hotels or somewhere in the bush depending on the day’s plan.
Evening meals are at the accommodation with a full dinner.
Vegetarian and other diets are always available
will be warm to hot most days although it can sometimes be cool, especially at altitude and in the early mornings.
You will probably experience 'dry heat', though rain is certainly possible.
Most sites selected for this holiday are close to water and so should hold plenty of wildlife at the time of year we are visiting
Most areas birding will be done while walking apart from Amboseli and Tsavo East National parks
though there are several designated areas where walking is permitted.
Coast weather is always hot and humid; birding is productive early in the morning and late afternoon
If you are a casual photographer, you will love this trip!
Nowhere in Africa are birds more cooperative, and nowhere are mammals so easier to see.
We are visiting many places where birds are common and approachable, so there are ample of opportunities for the casual photographer to indulge and enjoy shooting.
Moderately early starts required, and in some areas long drives will be encountered
There are very few biting insects at this time of the year, but general precautions are advised.
Before travelling consult your doctor about suitable anti-malarial medication, and on arrival take adequate precautions against mosquito bites although you may not encounter mosquitos
Travel is by comfortable minibus, and all clients have a window seat.
most of the roads will be tarmacked make travelling much easier , though there are some 'murram' roads, which are both rough and dusty.
Sometimes the wildlife we want to see is at the end of a dusty road.
Roads around National Parks are likewise gravel, though we travel slowly here to maximize our chances of birding and game.
Recommended for the field is light-weight; neutral-coloured clothing that can be easily rinsed out and quickly dries.
Long-sleeved shirts and long pants will help protect you from insects, thorny plants, and sunburn.
Shorts may be appropriate for some occasions; long pants that convert into shorts by unzipping the legs are generally very useful and popular.
A sweater or fleece jacket is useful for cooler nights and early mornings.
You may consider bringing raingear, including a small umbrella.
Strong-soled shoes or hiking boots are essential, as we will spend a good amount of time on our feet.
Dress is casual throughout.
Laundry service will be available regularly during the tour (cost not included), which should help you in deciding what to pack.
Making use of laundry service means you will not need to bring many items of clothing
Recommended Books for 15 Days Birding