BIRDING TOURS IN KENYA
9 Days in Naivasha, Nakuru & Masai Mara
This is one of our popular itineraries from our menu of birding tours in Kenya.
This birdwatching holiday goes to the fresh water Lake Naivasha, the alkaline lakes of Nakuru and Elementaita and the Masai Mara Game Reserve. With minimal transfers in the Rift Valley, all of your daylight hours are for quality bird watching.
Naivasha with different habitats: fresh water lake, open savanna grasslands and acacia woodlands presents an opportunity to record a high number of Kenya birds species in a very relaxed way.
Lake Nakuru is not only for flamingos but also for numerous species of water birds.
Masai Mara, the last section of this birding tour will not only be for birds but also for excellent game viewing. As always you can depend on our competent Kenya bird guides who will accompany you throughout the tour to be worth companions in finding, interpretation and appreciation of the many bird species you will come across on this birding tour in Kenya.
Contact Ontdek Kenya Safaris for a private departure.
ITINERARY OF THE 9 DAYS KENYA BIRDING TOUR
Day 1. Kenya Birding tour: Nairobi
Arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the evening. Transfer to the Eka Hotel or alternative accommodation in Nairobi.
Day 2. Kenya birding tour: Hell's Gate National Park
After breakfast we leave Nairobi via the Nakuru road to the Rift valley. The Nairobi - Nakuru road is on a contour along the rim of the Rift valley and on a viewpoint we will be able to see our whole route for the next days. Our destination is Lake Naivasha: a fresh water lake in the Rift Valley.
After lunch we drive to Hell's Gate National Park. The first part is open grasslands bordered with steep rock cliffs in which the Rüppell's Griffon Vulture nests. Possible sightings here are the Verreaux's or Black Eagle, Common Ostrich, Black-shouldered Kite, White-fronted Bee-eater, Grassland and Long-billed Pipit, Northern and Schalow's Wheatear, Lilac-breasted Roller...
The narrow Ol Njorowa Gorge has a completely different habitat and hence very different birds: Yellow, Grey and African Pied Wagtail, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Purple Grenadier, Common Drongo, Superb Starling, Brimstone Canary, Common Waxbill, White-browed Robin-Chat...
Accommodation for 3 nights is in one of the lodges or tented camps in the area. For birdwatching holidays we prefer to book the Lake Naivasha Country Club, a 55-acre property with green lawns shaded by mature acacias and spreading fever trees, that stretches down to the lake's shore.
Day 3. Crescent Island.
We start our day with a boat ride on Lake Naivasha on the look out for a range of fish eaters: both the Long-tailed and Great Cormorant together with the Fish Eagle and the Pied, Malachite and Giant Kingfisher.
To have the best sightings of the Kenya birds species found in Lake Naivasha, Crescent Island is the place of choice. It is a lagoon from where we should be able to see Red-capped Lark, Spectacled and Baglafecht Weaver, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Brimstone Canary and Red-billed Firefinch.
Day 4+5. Kenya birding tour: Lake Elementaita and Lake Nakuru. O/N Lodge near Lake Elementaita
We transfer to the Lake Elementaita area where we have our accommodation for 2 nights in either the Sunbird Lodge or the Pelican Lodge. From both places you have easy access to the lake. You will also enjoy a wonderful panorama on lake and the surrounding hills.
In the afternoon we will do a birding walk on the shore of Lake Elementaita.
On day 5 your birding tour goes to Lake Nakuru, which is famous for its thousands of Lesser Flamingos - the Greater Flamingoes will be easily distinguishable by their height. The Great White and Pink-backed Pelican and Black-winged Stilt are also there.
The lake has a low concentration of salt, so it supports fish that of course attract other water birds.
It is a good place to look for Avocets, Storks, Ibises, Ducks, Cormorants, Herons, and Terns. In the wooded acacias there is a chance to see the White-browed Coucal, Broad-billed Roller, Arrow-marked Babbler and the Narina Trogon.
We go with a picnic lunch, so that we can take a full day for birding and game viewing in the park.
Day 6,7+8. Birding tour: Masai Mara. O/N Tented Camp or Lodge
We head to the famous Masai Mara National Reserve, which borders Serengeti in Tanzania. Masai Mara is the gem of birding and game viewing in Kenya with 450 species recorded. We will drive through Masai land, home to one of the most fascinating cultures in Africa.
In the vast grasslands we expect to see Elephants; the large Cats: Lion, Leopard, and Cheetah; the herd animals: Buffalo, Zebra, Wildebeest, Thompson's and Grant's Gazelles; and specialties like the Hartebeest and the Topi.
Expected Kenyan bird species are the highly conspicuous Common Ostrich, the small but still conspicuous Cardinal Quelea, Sooty Chat, Ground Hornbill, Open-billed Stork, Temminck's Courser, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse and Denham's Bustard. Lilac-breasted Rollers are common. If we find a kill, we may see six species of vultures all dining together: Egyptian, Hooded, Griffon, Nubian, White-backed and White-headed. It will be a double reward should a Hyena or a Jackal join in the scramble for the kill.
In addition we will encounter numerous raptors such as Bateleur, Martial and Tawny Eagles, as well as Pale Chanting Goshawk, Augur Buzzards and Black-chested Snake Eagles. Along the Mara River we'll watch for African Finfoot, Schalow's and Ross' Turaco, Woodland Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Barbet, Black-billed Weaver, Violet-backed Starling, and perhaps with luck, Pel's Fishing Owl. Any tapping noise on the trees may be indicative of the relatively uncommon Woodpeckers (Golden-tailed, Green-backed and Fine-banded).
Hopefully we will be lucky enough to see some of the more difficult to see mammals such as Bat-eared Fox, Hunting Dog, Serval and the delightful Banded Mongoose.
Select a lodge or tented camp in Masai Mara of your choice.
Day 9. Kiambethu Tea Plantation and back to the airport
We break our transfer back to the airport in the Limuru area where we visit the Kiambethu Tea Plantation. We enjoy a talk on tea (from the growing up to when it lands in your cup), weather allowing have lunch in the beautiful manicured garden and do a short bird walk in a stretch of indigenous forest.
The garden is a great place for birding: we may spot Manikins, Grosbeak Weavers, Firefinches, Double-collared Sunbirds, Hartlaub's Turacos - just to name a few of them.
In the late afternoon we transfer back to the airport where we say goodbye.
Itinerary changes on this birding tour may be made due to local conditions beyond our control.
PRICE: Our attractive price based on the size of your party includes all accommodation as per itinerary, all meals from breakfast of day 2 through lunch of day 7, all transport Nairobi-Nairobi and airport transfers, bottled water during the walks, services of guides, a comprehensive bird checklist, the park entrance fees and a Flying Doctors Evacuation cover.
Not included are your airfare to Kenya, visa, travel & medical insurance, drinks at the table, tips and expenditure of personal nature e.g. telephone, laundry...
FOR A PRICE QUOTE: Contact Ontdek Kenya-Safaris