Kenya Birding

 

 Kenya Birding ToursKenya Birding tours  are fantastic all  year round due to a large diversity of ecological zones and habitats

Kenya is a major destination  in Africa for  birdwatching tours and wildlife  adventures at any time of year

East Africa (Kenya, Uganda Tanzania) has some of the most excellent birdwatching destinations in the world. 

If you’ve ever considered taking the birding tour of a lifetime, then choosing  Kenya  as your birdwatching destination might be a perfect choice.

Kenya is a vast land of wonders ranging from rich cultures and jaw-dropping landscapes teeming with abundant wildlife, to historical sites and bustling towns

Kenya birding tours are  considered as the best in  Africa 

There  is plenty to see and to do for birders/birdwatchers of all types, from avid fans to relative beginners. 

Kenya currently boasts more  than 1000 bird species,almost half the total number occuring in the whole of Africa

Kenya is rich in biological diversity. Approximately 25,000 species of animal and 7000 species of plants have so far been recorded, along with at least 2000 fungi and bacteria.

One of the reason  why birdwatching tours in Kenya is popular and  productive is because of the country's diverse habitats

Relative ease travel and access to its many national parks, reserves and birding hotspots , accommodation facilities are excellent too

Kenya is one of the main countries in Africa for Birdwatching safaris

Kenya birding tours  has a handful of endemic birds which includes; the Tana River Cisticola, Aberdares Cisticola, Hinde's Babbler, William's Lark, Sharpe's Longclaw, Clarke's Weaver (Kilifi Weaver)  and Sokoke Owl

There are several major biomes , Kenya has a number of isolated mountains,with their own varied habitats

These include the ice- and snow covered mountains,montane forests, tropical rain forests, semi-desert, savannah, mangrove forests and palm fringed coastline,with its many lagoons and estuaries, this diversity of vegetation and wildlife makes Kenya a top birding destination in Africa.

Kenya birding tours can be one of the best holidays of your life. The skies are filled with colourful wonders, so take that leap and get in touch so we can help you make the first move.

Kenya Birding Tours

Kenya Birding tours  can be divided

 suitably into five major geographical areas:

Highlands, Rift Valley, Western, Coastal, and the Northern Plains.

Kenya Birding tours in Highlands consists of two major divisions on either side of the Great Rift Valley.

This area has more plentiful rainfall and cooler temperatures than elsewhere and much of the major population centers are located there.

Nairobi is located on the eastern side of the Rift Valley, as is Mount Kenya.

The Mau Forest, (420,000 hectares) is largest water catchment tower in Kenya, is located in the highlands on the western side of the Rift Valley.

Kenya highlands are especially subjected to agricultural activity and human activity that greatly threatens forests and a number of bird species.

One of the gazetted forests Mau Eburu Forest is close to Nairobi only 120kms.

The Mau Eburu forest area covers 8715.3 hectares (87sqkm) of pristine indigenous forest, huddled in the folds of a 2,820 metres high active mountain.

Overlooking Lake Naivasha to the South East, Lake Elementaita to the North and Lake Nakuru to the North West.

It is a delicate miniature island of biodiversity and home to 12 of the fewer than 100 surviving wild 

Kenya Birding Tours

population of critically endangered Eastern Mountain Bongo, a gorgeous and grandiose Antelope.

There are different forest birds and huge indigenous tree species.

Here birding is pretty cool because it is done while walking and the gradient is perfect for any age group.

 

Eastern Highlands Kenya birding tours

Some Kenya birdwatching sites in the eastern highlands are Nairobi National Park (one of the oldest park and close to the capital city 10 minutes drive and one of the most famous site for birdwatching tours in Africa)

Mount Kenya Forests (Castle, Bantu &Irangi), and the Aberdares Ranges Forest, which includes the Gatamaiyu (most visited/preferred by Birders) Kinale, Kereita and Kijabe Forests.

  • Great Rift Valley Kenya Birding tours

Kenya Birding tours on the western side include the Mau/Molo Grasslands, the Mau Narok region to the south, and the Kongelai Escarpment, Cherangani Hills and Ortum Hills to the northwest of Kitale.

The Great Rift Valley in Kenya encompasses th

Kenya Birding Tours

e eastern half of the larger African Rift Valley, which runs from the Red sea across Ethiopia ,through Kenya and Tanzania.

Lakes in Kenya from north to south, are Lake Turkana, Lake Logipi, Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria, Lake Solai, Lake Nakuru, Lake Elementeita, Lake Naivasha, and Lake Magadi.

The Kenya Lake system is a major location on the West Asian-East African Flyway, a route followed by huge numbers of birds in their yearly migration from breeding grounds in the north to wintering places in Africa

There are a chain of Lakes, some which are alkaline and varying differently in altitude

Starting with Lake Turkana (375m) which is  the largest desert lake in the world

Other alkaline lakes that attract huge numbers of Flamingos,and other water birds are  Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria but also in Lakes Elementaita also spelled as Lake Elementaita or Elmenteita and Oloidien.

 For nearly all of the year, up to 4 million Lesser Flamingos move between the three shallow lakes


The major freshwater lakes are Lake Naivasha and Lake Baringo, which is actually slightly alkaline.

These attract different aquatic birds than those found around the soda lakes.

Much of the surrounding habitat is bushland and scrub, which has rich bird species too

Great  Rift Valley is also where the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania is located along with its northern extension into Kenya, Maasai Mara Game Reserve

Maasai Mara  dotted plains are home to vast herds of migratory Wildebeest(Gnus)  Zebras, Giraffes, many species of antelope such as the Impalas, Topis, Elands Gazelles (Thompson’s and Grant’s).

Big cats such as; Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs and Hyenas plus other big mammals; huge herds of Buffalos and 

Kenya Birding Tours

Elephants.

The savanna includes grassland but also bush, open woodland, scrub, rocky hillsides, ridges, valleys and riverine th

is diversity of habitats results in a great diversity of birds.

For instance, over 500 bird species have been recorded within the boundaries of Maasai Mara Game Reserve alone.

  • Western Kenya Birding tours

The Western area is the region around Lake Victoria and lies between the eastern and western branches of the African Rift. This region is marked by numerous faults and escarpments with valleys in between.

The last remaining rainforest in Kenya is located there, the Kakamega Forest which the most visited forest in Africa by birdwatchers

Some 80 species of birds in the Kakamega Forest are found nowhere else in the country.

The well marked and kept nature trails are very productive, walking while birding allowed in the forest.

An altitudinal gradient coming down the Kongelai Escarpment onto the Western Plateau adds to the diversity of bird species.

Habitat such as Papyrus swamps and other lakeshore vegetation around Lake Victoria is home to its own set of specialty birds, 

while the lake  itself attracts numerous aquatic species.

The Busia Grassland near the northeast shore of Lake Victoria is home to several localized bird species and is fast turning into agricultural fields,

  •  Coastal Kenya Birding tours

Coastal Kenya covers the entire eastern half of Kenya.

This low-lying region is hot and largely featureless.

It's characterized by several river floodplains and low plateaus and forests that gradually rise in elevation.

The scrub and forest along the East African coast is unique, and as such a significant number of birds are only found in the narrow coastal strip where this habitat occurs

The beaches, reefs, creeks and open ocean support another group of birds clearly found elsewhere in Kenya

Sand dunes, open woodland and mangroves all add to the diversity of birds to found along Kenya Coast

During years of good rain, a rich network of seasonal fresh water pools fills up in the area, several the sizes of small lakes

These attract large numbers of water birds

Kenya Birding Tours

 and can be particularly impressive for birding

Lake Chemchem and Lake Jilore are two of the large ones located not inland in Arabuko Sokoke Forest

They are surrounded by bush land and open woodland which also hold interesting bird species and making it a worthwhile visit 

The Kenya coast is known 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 Shrike

The Kenya Coast  is of course, the only place in Kenya to find two Afro tropical migrants, Mangrove Kingfisher and Spotted Ground Thrush

Seasonal movements of migrant birds are also quite marked with Palearctic species such as Osprey, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Eurasian Bee-eater and Spotted Flycatcher

Rare forest birds, vast congregations of waders, gulls and terns other specialties make the coast of Kenya an outstanding birding destination

Amboseli and Tsavo West National Parks near the border with Tanzania are found in this region.

Taita Hills with its endemic species; Taita Apalis, Taita Thrush and Taita White Eye

North Coast Kenya birding; we have Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Mida Creek, Tana River Primate Reserve,Dakatcha Woodlands, Sabaki River Estuary

Arabuko Sokoke Forest  is the largest stretch of coastal dry forest, 420km2 the ecosystem comprises of three forest types;

Mixed forest, Brachystegia woodland and Cynometra bush, each containing different rare species of Birds, Mammals, Butterflies, and Plants.

There are 270 bird species, 261 butterflies, 79 amphibians, 52 mammals and 600 plants species.

The Clarke's Weaver ( Kilifi Weaver) an endemic bird that  breeds in Arabuko Sokoke and Dakatcha forests,  other unique and rare bird;

Sokoke Scops Owl

Sokoke PipitKenya Birding Tours

East coast Akalat,

Amani Sunbird

Spotted Ground Thrush

Three mammals which are endemic species: - Aders duiker, Sokoke Bush Tailed Mongoose, and Golden rumped Elephant Shrew.

Below links to other Coastal Kenya Birding sites that are worthy visiting

Mida Creek

Dakatcha Woodlands

Sabaki River Estuary

Tana River Primate Reserve

Birdwatching  tour is best in the cool hours of early morning and in the late afternoon when the day's heat has started to dissipate

South Coast is Shimba Hills National Reserve, (the second largest forest after  Arabuko Sokoke Forest) notable for Sable Antelope as well as several range-restricted bird species such as the Green- headed Oriole, Asian lesser Cuckoo, not found elsewhere in the country.

The southern coast is rocky and ruled continuously with coral reefs.

 Kenya BirdingTours

  •   Northern Plains Kenya Birding Tours

The region is rather dry. It includes Lake Turkana, semi-desert savanna west of Lake Turkana, and the Chalbi Desert to the east and Marsabit National Park.

The region is only lightly populated. Samburu Game Reserve, Samburu Shaba and Samburu Buffalo Springs Reserve are located in the southern area of this region. 

These reserves are home to the Samburu people and features birds of semi-arid savanna such as ;

Vulturine Guineafowl

Somali Ostrich

Somali Bee-eater

Stone Patridge.

As well as some interesting mammals such as 

Beisa Oryx

Reticulated Giraffe

Striped Hyena

 Grevy's Zebra 

Wildlife in the area depends hugely on Ewaso Nyiro river which cuts through the three reserves

It originates from Aberdares Ranges

The river provides the much needed water and the lush green vegetation,especially during the dry season.

Not far from  Samburu is Meru National Park which has abundance of wildlife 

Kenya Birding tours

We offer a range of friendly, affordable and skillfully guided Kenya birding tours, in all those  hotspots plus other regions in East Africa.

Kenya Birding Tours  cater for all levels from beginners, amateurs and twitchers.

Kenya Birding tours are intended not only to offer incredible bird watching, but also a satisfying calming experience.

On most of our Kenya birding tours we aim to see a wide variety of species, while taking time to enjoy other wildlife, as well as other diversities of interest.

With over 1,000 bird species recorded, several endemics and many near endemics, and birding which starts in the capital Nairobi, Kenya can justifiably be depicted as a haven for birders.

Whether you are a new or regular visitor to East Africa, an ornithologist or a traveler with a passing interest in birds, Kenya birdwatching tours should be high on your list of priorities. 

Kenya Birding tours itineraries offer the benefits of small group travel including flexibility, attention to 

Kenya Birding Tours

detail, lovely company, reduced prices, reduced waiting times, and more opportunities to appreciate the unexpected.

We organize different birding itineraries, from one day to multi-day  birding tours  in Kenya and also the neighbouring countries of Uganda and Tanzania

Our Kenya Birding tours features:

Carefully planned itineraries, great birding

Knowledgeable Guides, enthusiastic and eager to share their expertise

The best local guides, adept at finding & spotting birds also making sure that everyone sees it.

Excellent value for your money

A plus to your birding and wildlife escapade in Africa is the opportunity to learn some of the many of cultures and customs found in different parts of the continent

Best time for Birding tours in Kenya

Birdwatching tours  in Kenya are  excellent the whole year but it is at peak from September to April when the migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa are wintering here

At this time, many resident bird species are nesting and are in dazzling breeding plumage.

For wildlife viewing, however, the dry season is better

The best wildlife viewing months in Kenya are during the dry season from late June to October.

The Wildebeest migration normally reaches the Maasai Mara National Reserve in the months of July or August and stays until October when they go back to the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Wildlife watching is fine all year-rou

Kenya Birding Tours

nd, but this can differ for some parks

Please take a look at our website to find more itineraries that you may be interested in. We have a range of Kenya Birding / Wildlife/Photography tours which may change to suits with your schedule and interests and each offers the best available experience in East Africa. If you have any query please don't hesitate to ring us on +254 735 204 519/726 171 043 – or email; info@conquestadventures.co.ke / conquestadventuresltd@gmail.com  we will be thrilled to help you