+254 735 204 519 info@conquestadventures.co.ke
+254 735 204 519 info@conquestadventures.co.ke

15 Days Birding

0

The 15 Days birding Kenya tour will explore some of the best birdwatching destinations in East Africa, Amboseli National Park, Taita Hills, Tsavo East National Park, Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Mida Creek, Tana River Primate Reserve, and Shimba Hills

Tour Concerns for 15 days birding

  • Best time to visit: January- March, and June – December

Mammal Viewing

Mammal viewing for the 15 Days Birding tour will be 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)

Accommodation

For the 15 Days Birding tour we 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 to the famous Wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara Game Reserve

Food

Food is usually plentiful. Breakfasts offer a good choice, with tea, coffee, juice, fruits, pancakes, the 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

Weather

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 15 Days birding tour are close to the water and so should hold plenty of wildlife at the time of year we are visiting.

Birding

Most areas in the 15 Days birding tour 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

Photography

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 opportunities for the casual photographer to indulge and enjoy shooting. Moderately early starts required, and in some areas, long drives will be encountered

Insects

There are very few biting insects at this time of the year, but general precautions are advised.
Before traveling consult your doctor about suitable anti-malarial medication, and on arrival take adequate precautions against mosquito bites although you may not encounter mosquitos

Travel

Travel in the 15 Days birding Kenya tour is by a comfortable minibus or 4×4 Landcruiser Jeep, and all clients have a window seat. Most of the roads will be tarmacked making traveling 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.

Clothing

Recommended clothing for the 15 Days birding tour in the field is light-weight; neutral-colored 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 rain gear, including a small umbrella. Strong-soled shoes or hiking boots are essential, as we will spend a good amount of time on our feet. The 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

Birds

  • A Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania

Mammals

  • The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals

Reptiles

  • A Field Guide to the Reptiles of East Africa

Trees

  • Field Guide to the Common Trees and Shrubs of East Africa

Birds

  • 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
  • Sulfur breasted Bush-shrike
  • Taita Fiscal
  • Amani Sunbird
  • Taita white Eye
  • Scaly Babbler
  • Little yellow Flycatcher
  • Pale Batis
  • Lead- colored Flycatcher
  • Coastal Cisticola
  • Whimbrel
  • Namaqua Dove,
  • Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
  • Brown Noddy
  • Lesser Crested Tern
  • 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
  • Madagascar Pratincole
  • Two banded Courser
  • Crab Plover
  • Kori Bustard
  • Grey Crowned Crane
  • Coqui Francolin
  • Crested Guinea fowl
  • Martial Eagle
  • Bateleur
  • Tawny Eagle
  • Southern banded Snake-eagle,
  • Lappet-faced Vulture
  • Secretary Bird
  • African Pygmy-goose
  • Saddle-billed Stork
  • Goliath Heron
  • Somali Ostrich
  • Black-headed Lapwing,
  • White-fronted Plover
  • Greater Sandplover
  • Grey Plover
  • Sanderling
  • Curlew Sandpiper
  • Ruddy Turnstone
Photos
Itinerary

Day 1Nairobi – 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 Park

Day 2Amboseli National Park

Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak and the highest free-standing mountain in the world Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones, Mawenzi, Shira, and Kibo. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct but Kibo, the highest peak, is dormant and could explode again. The most recent activity was about 200 years ago; the last major eruption was 360,000 years ago.

It measures up to 40 km across. The base has an area of about 388,500 ha. The best views of the mountain are encountered in Amboseli National Park, early morning before the summit is covered by clouds. 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.Amboseli National Park is a top birding destination in Kenya, birds species are abundant

Day 3Amboseli – 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 afterward to Taita Hills, via Voi Mwatate to Wundanyi

Day 4Taita 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, namely;

  • Taita Thrush
  • Taita Apalis
  • Taita White Eye

Other Taita forest birds

  • Lemon Dove
  • Stripe-cheeked Greenbul
  • Taita Falcon
  • Hartlaub’s Turaco
  • Silvery cheeked Hornbill
  • Orange Ground Thrush
  • Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher
  • evergreen Forest Warbler
  • Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler
  • Later in the afternoon drive to Tsavo East National Park

Day 5Tsavo 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 –

  • Red Elephant
  • Black Rhino
  • Buffalo
  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Hippo
  • Crocodile
  • Waterbuck
  • Lesser Kudu
  • Gerenuk

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 6Tsavo East National Park- Arabuko

Morning drive afterward 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 ForestArabuko Sokoke Forest

We shall do an early morning birding in Arabuko sokoke forest, size 420 km2, managed by Kenya Forest Service (KFS);

Arabuko Sokoke forest is one most visited birding site in Coastal Kenya. 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

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
  • Caracal
  • Syke’s Monkeys,
  • Lesser Galago

Some of Kenya’s rarest mammals are found here, including the Golden-rumped Elephant-shrew,

Day 8Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Activity: Birding/Nature walk

We shall continue with 15 Day birding tour by spending 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 9Mida Creek

Mida Creek has wide, healthy beds of seagrass 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 Creek is a must-go if you are doing Kenya Coastal Birding tour due to the huge assemblance of waders. 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 10Lake Jilore/Arabuko Sokoke

Drive to Lake Jilore North of Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Lake Jilore is a seasonal freshwater pool that attracts large numbers of waterbirds an impressive area for birding. It is surrounded by bushland and open woodland which also hold interesting species. Birdwatching will be done while walking

Day 11Arabuko Sokoke- Tana River Primate Research

Morning drive to Tana River Primate Research

Day 12Tana River Primate Research

Tana River Primate 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 bird species recorded here. The predominant ecosystems of the reserve are riparian forests, dry woodlands, and savannah habitats

Day 13Tana – Shimba Hills

Depart to Shimba Hills through Mombasa

Day 14Shimba Hills

Spend the whole day in the park birding, walking is allowed in Shimba Hills Reserve but not far from the vehicle

Day 15Shimba Hills- Mombasa

Morning drive to Mombasa International Airport for the flight back

More Info for 15 Days Birding

Internet Bird Collection (IBC) offers photographs and videos of thousands of bird species:

http://ibc.lynxeds.com/

If you are traveling with ConQuest Adventures Ltd on the 15 Days birding in Kenya we shall provide you with a bespoke checklist that cross-references the field guide.  But if you want to arrange well in advance, you may want a current checklist for the birds found in your destination country.  Avibase offers up-to-date checklists that you can download and print.

http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/checklist.jsp?lang=EN

As you prepare for the 15 Days Birding tour in a new destination in Kenya, you might want to learn vocalizations for some of your target species.  An excellent site that could provide you with the audio you need is xeno-canto:

http://xeno-canto.org/locations.php