Nature & Culture - hand in hand

Kenya Birding Tour

18 birding days

A Birdwatcher's Paradise ... Kenya boasts a wide variety of habitats, from snow-capped peaks to grass plains, arid deserts and palm-fringed ocean. Over 1100 bird species have been recorded, of which we should see well over half, as well as a bewildering array of large mammals.




Fact File

- 18 birding days in Kenya visiting famous National Parks and nature reserves

- start in Nairobi and finish in Mombasa

- using accommodations close to the sites


- visiting the Highlands for range restricted bird species

- exploring Rift Valley lakes

- visit to Kakamega Forest and famous national parks such as Masai Mara and Tsavo

- birding in Aberdare-Sokoke Forest and other sites along the coast

- wide variety of birds

- plenty of large mammals



Departure Dates


Ask for the actual price.

Our price includes:

- all travel within the country as noted in the itinerary;

- all accommodation based on shared rooms (most rooms are twin bedded), at most locations there are single rooms as well for extra charge (Please ask for a single room at the time of booking!);

- 3 meals per day, generally breakfast at the accommodation, packed lunch, dinner (consists of at least two courses);

- services of the leader(s);

- trip materials.

Not included:

- optional programmes to places of interest and entrance fees involved;

- airport and other departure taxes, tips;

- food beyond generally 3 meals/day mentioned in the itineraries;

- excess baggage charges;

- telephone calls;

- alcoholic beverages;

- compulsory personal insurance.

If you have questions about the inclusion of any cost item, please contact us.

Activity level

Generally easy to moderate walks

Longer driving distances





After arriving at Nairobi, we head into the Highlands, where our various lodge grounds have several montane species, including Red-fronted Parrot, Tacazze Sunbird (and up to 8 others!), Hartlaub's Turaco, Montane Nightjar, Bronze-naped Pigeon, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Hunter's Cisticola, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, Grey-olive Greenbul, Giant Kingfisher, Trumpeter Hornbill, and with luck, Purple-crested Turaco. We may have the chance of some high-altitude birding for Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Jackson's Francolin and Alpine Chat. We can look for the endemic Hinde's Babbler on the slopes of the mountains, and Kieni Forest's denizens include Tullberg's Woodpecker, White-headed Woodhoopoe, the elusive Abbott's and Kenrick's Starlings and Black-fronted Bush-shrike, and we will traverse Kinangop Plateau, where the endemic Sharpe's Longclaw and Wing-snapping Cisticola occur.

In between the highlands, we head to Samburu. As well as many raptors, including Pygmy Falcon, we look for Somali Ostrich, Kori and Buff-crested Bustards, Somali Bee-eater, Vulturine Guineafowl, Bare-eyed Thrush, Black-capped Social Weaver, Cut-throat, Red-winged and Pink-breasted Larks, Golden Pipit, and Donaldson-Smith's Sparrow-weaver. Big game is abundant, with Elephant, Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy's Zebra and regular Leopards. We have the opportunity of seeking out the endemic William's Lark, and Masked Lark.

From here we visit two Rift Valley soda lakes, Nakuru and Elementaita. The nearby fringes of the Aberdares are also home to the endemic Aberdare Cisticola, and the lakes are home to huge gatherings of Lesser Flamingo, and other waterbirds are abundant. We will also look for acacia forest species, including Hildebrandt's and Coqui Francolins, scarce Grey-crowned Helmet-shrike, Arrow-marked Babbler, and Bearded Woodpecker. Lake Baringo is freshwater, and several restricted-range species occur, including Hemprich's and Jackson's Hornbills, Heuglin's Courser, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Northern Grey Tit, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Beautiful Sunbird, Bristle-crowned Starling, Jackson's Golden-backed, Little and Northern Masked Weavers. Previous tours have found 4 roosting Owls, Verreaux's and Spotted Eagle, White-faced Scops and Barn.

After a spectacular drive across the Kerio Valley, stopping to look for Boran Cisticola and Little Rock Thrush, we reach the western plateau. Near Mt. Elgon, we visit Saiwa Swamp, where Blue-headed Coucal, Double-toothed Barbet, Black-throated Wattle-eye, African Shrike Flycatcher, Ross's Turaco and Splendid Glossy Starling may be found. Kongolei Escarpment has several Kenya scarcities, including Lesser Blue-eared Starling, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver, Yellow-billed Shrike, Pygmy Batis and White-crested Turaco.

Kakamega Forest holds many rarities, including several Barbets and Woodpeckers, Great Blue Turaco, Narina and Bar-tailed Trogons, Grey Parrot, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Turner's Eremomela, Bocage's and Lühder's Bush-shrikes, Grey-headed and White-breasted Nigritas, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, White-chinned and Banded Prinias, African Broadbill, Chapin's Flycatcher and a host of Greenbuls. Heading to papyrus-fringed Lake Victoria, we look for Papyrus and Black-headed Gonoleks, Red-faced Lovebird, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Carruther's Cisticola, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Warbler and the enigmatic Rock Pratincole.

In the Masai Mara, several species are restricted in Kenya to the area, including Wattled Plover, Red-necked Spurfowl, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Hildebrandt's Starling, Sooty Chat and Bare-faced Go-away Bird. Cheetah, Lion and Elephant star on the mammal-front.. We will stop on the way back to Nairobi for newly-discovered site for Karamoja Apalis, as well as a pond for White-backed and Maccoa Ducks. Once at Nairobi, we will visit the Lake Magadi road and its National Park, excellent for Bustards, Larks and Cisticolas. Species we look for include Pringle's Puffback, Northern Pied Babbler, Red-throated Tit and the newly-discovered Nairobi Pipit.

We head coastwards via Tsavo, with the elusive Red-naped Bush-shrike, Golden-breasted Starling, Taveta Golden Weaver and Tsavo Purple-banded Sunbird, and Taita Hills, famous for its endemic eponymous Thrush, White-eye and Apalis. The final few days will be spent exploring varied coastal habitats, including; Sokoke Forest, for the endemic Clarke's Weaver, Sokoke Scops Owl, Amani Sunbird, Fischer's Turaco, East Coast Akalat and Sokoke Pipit; and Mida Creek and Sabaki Rivermouth, for many waders and terns. Species include Crab Plover, Malindi Pipit, Zanzibar Red Bishop, Mangrove Kingfisher, African Skimmer and Madagascar Pratincole.


Kenya is one of the most visited countries of Africa as it is renowned for its Safari opportunities. It is a country where you can see all the most famous Big Game animals in a relatively comfortable climate. It also has an extensive bird list and an increasing eco-tourism industry geared to birders not least as it holds some remarkable birding sights such as the rift valley lakes with millions of flamingos. Kenya is a birdwatcher's paradise, teeming with birdlife, with diverse habitats, spectacular scenery and a supporting cast of the big game for which it is famous. Over 1100 bird species have been recorded in the country, and it is possible to see well over a half of these without undue effort within three or four weeks.

Our tour is offered in conjunction with Sarus Bird Tours. Sarus has been visiting Kenya for many years, and the leader of this tour will be Brian Finch.