14 Days/13nights Itinerary.
Great Birding Guaranteed with Soin Africa Safaris.
The Rift Valley and Western Circuit of Kenya.
14 Days/13nights Itinerary.
Renowned as the World’s premier safari destination. Kenya varied geography lends itself to some of Africa’s finest birding. An astonishing list of endemic and near endemic species and the spectacle of a million flamingoes at a single local, are a highlight on the international birding circuit.
Welcome to Kenya. You will be met by Soin Safaris representative on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International airport and transferred to Eka Hotel for overnight on (Bed & Breakfast)
Check out of Eka Hotel very early in the morning and drive to the adjacent Nairobi National Park. Your Soin professional birding driver guide will introduce you to the birds of the park. He will also give you insights of how to spot, identify and keep records of all your sightings. At the end of each day, before you retire to bed you will be recapping as a group what you have seen at each location. The idea is to establish whether you have achieved your objective for the day!
Nairobi National Park was the first park to be gazzeted in Kenya. Its varied habitat of rolling grass, plains, woodland and man-made dams make it ideal for bird watching. The park is a roosting site for lesser Kestrel flocks on passage, the grasslands is ideal for restricted range for Jacksons Widow bird which breeds here regularly. African Crowned Eagles nest in the forested area of the park.
The avifauna in the park is diverse, with a remarkable 516 species recorded. The globally threatened Corncrake is a scarce visitor from the Palearctic. Near threatened shoe bill and Basra reed warbler have both been recorded here.
Rhinos, Cheetah, Giraffes, Cape Buffaloes Wildebeest and Antelopes are also present in the park.
After lunch in Nairobi, we drive to Naivasha, making a few stops on the way to admire the Great Rift Valley and its volcanic Mountains of Longonot and Suswa. Our destination is Lake Naivasha, which lies on the floor of the Rift Valley. This is a shallow fresh water lake, of recent geological origin ringed by Mt. Ol Karia and Eburu. Lake Naivasha is the second site listed by Kenya as Wetland of International importance under Ramsar Conventions.
After checking in and settling, this afternoon a boat ride has been planned to the Crescent Island. Here we get very close to diverse water bird community, Red Knobbed Coot, African Spoonbill, and Little Grebe. Many species of ducks, Maccoa, White Backed Ducks, African Skimmer, and Baillon’s Crake and many species of Palearctic Warders. The park is also known for its high density of African Fish Eagles. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded here.
On your boat trip, you will encounter a sizeable population of Hippos and on occasion, you find the Kenya Horned Viper endemic to central Rift Valley.
Dinner and overnight at Lake Naivasha Country Club on (Full Board)
After breakfast, we depart to Lake Baringo and its Islands. Laikipia Escarpment borders its catchment to the east and Tugen hills in the west. The area around the western shore is mainly acacia woodland, with small covered bush, hilltops, gorges and cliffs. It is in this escarpment where we start our tour looking for (Northern) White Faced Scups Owl, Greyish Eagle Owls (recently split from Spotted), Hemprich’s Hornbills and Heuglin’s Courser.
Then we visit the southern part, which is bush land interspersed with dry riverbeds and swampy wetland with Typha reeds. Here we are likely to find Weavers along the lakeshore, Northern Masked, Jackson and Golden Backed. A colony of up to 20 Goliath Herons has nested in one of the highlands. The Black Heron is also found here. Over 500 species of birds have been recorded in Lake Baringo.
The Lake supports large populations of Nile crocodiles and Hippos.
After an eventful morning, we proceed to Soi safari Lodge for lunch and check-in.
Lake Bogoria is a shallow, alkaline lake on the floor of the Rift Valley. To the east, the Siracho escarpment rises abruptly from the lakeshore.
After a little rest, we will visit the western shore and admire a series of spectacular series of hot springs and geysers. They produce steam rich in Sulphur compounds, believed to be medicinal.
The lake is a key feeding ground of near threatened Lesser Flamingo. Spectacular congregation (estimated 2 million birds) occurs at times. Black Necked Grebe and Cape Teal are usually present in good numbers, not forgetting Pallid Harrier and Lesser Kestrel on passage.
There is a chance of seeing the rare Greater Kudu.
Dinner and overnight at Soi Safari Camp on (Full Board)
This morning we depart for Lake Nakuru National Park. It is a scenic drive over the Great Rift Valley. We marvel at the picturesque volcanic Mountains of Longonot and Suswa.
Lake Nakuru is a very shallow strongly alkaline lake with surrounding woodland and grassland. The park was first gazzeted as a bird sanctuary in1960. It is internationally famous for its population of Lesser Flamingoes, but the numbers have dwindled significantly in the recent past due increase in the water level in the lake.
We will check in for lunch at Flamingo Hill Top Camp.
After lunch, we will do a game drive, explore the lakeshore, and see thousands of White Pelicans since this is their feeding ground. The water birds have significantly increased in numbers and diversity since the introduction of Fish in1961.
We will also explore the grassland and woodland for Grey Crested Helmet Shrike, large numbers of Palearctic Warders winter here and use the site. It is one of the flyway in Eastern Rift Valley. Over 450 species of birds have been recorded.
You can also see. Rhinos, Rothschild’s Giraffe, Bohor Reedbuck, Waterbuck and the rare Large Eared -Leaf Noosed Bat.
Dinner and overnight at Flamingo Hill Tented Camp on (Full Board)
This morning we depart for Kakamega forest. This is a unique mid-altitude forest
with affinities to West Africa and the easternmost outlier of Congo Basin Forest.
Kakamega Avifauna is unique not only nationally, but continentally as well. At least 16 bird species occur in Kakamega and nowhere else in Kenya.
We arrive in time for lunch and check in at Rondo retreat.
After lunch will explore the surrounding area for garden species, Bronze Tailed Starling, Grey Parrots, Stuhlmann’s Starling and both Snowy-Crowned and Grey Winged Robin Chat. Near the fishponds, we can find the White Spotted Flufftail.
Dinner and overnight at Rondo Retreat on (Full Board)
We have a full day to explore the forest looking for its specialties, the Great Blue Turaco, Blue Headed Beeaters, African Broadbill, Hairy Breasted Barbet, Brown Eared Wood Pecker, Toro Olive Greenbull, Grey Chested Illadopsis, Southern Hyliota, Yellow Billed Wattle Eye and Chapin’s Flycatcher. More searches inside the forest should reveal the shy Blue Headed Coucal, Broad Tailed (Fan Tailed) Warbler and Marsh Tshagra
Kakamega forest has over 400 species of Butterflies, over 300 species of Trees and 27 species of Snakes. Not forgetting the Primates, Blue and De-Brazza Monkeys.
It has also impressive waterfalls.
Overnight and dinner at Rondo retreat on (Full Board)
This morning we depart for Kisumu City. We will make a brief stop at Mumias town, the only place in Kenya to find Rock Pranticoles and at Busia grassland to look for Red –Headed Lovebirds, Bar-Crested Firefinch, common in Lantana shrubs.
Check in at Impala Acacia Premier for lunch.
This afternoon we will explore this one square kilometer of Wildlife Sanctuary looking for Carruther’s Cisticola, Black Billed Barbet, Lesser Moorhen and Little Bittern. Red and Southern Bishop and African Marsh Harrier. Later we will take a boat ride and visit Dunga Island. This site is reliable to see the scarce and threatened Papyrus Yellow Warbler. Other papyrus endemics are Papyrus Canary, Papyrus Gonolek, and White Winged Warbler. Lots of, Egrets, Hammerkop, Kingfishers, Ducks, Sandpipers and Terns.
Within the wildlife sanctuary, we have Rhinos, Hippos, Antelopes (Impalas) Monitor lizards and Pythons.
Dinner and overnight at Acacia Premier on (Full board)
This morning after breakfast we depart to Masai Mara, Kenya’s mostly visited Reserve, world famous for its high density of herbivores, predators and the annual Wildebeest migration.
The Mara extensive grassland is a stronghold for the threatened migratory Corncrake and near threatened, range restricted Jackson’s Widowbird.
Check in and lunch at Mara Leisure Lodge.
In the afternoon, we will scout the escarpment and look out for special residents, the Ovampo Sparrow hawks, Red Tailed Chat, Green Capped Eromomela, Pale Wren Warbler and Rock Loving and Trilling Cisticola.
Dinner and overnight at Mara Leisure Lodge on (Full Board)
We have a full day to explore the swamps and the rocky areas for Rufous Bellied Heron, Saddle Billed Stork, Shoebill, Rock and Tabora Cisticola, Yellow Bellied Hyliota, Black Coucal and Denham’s Bustard, African Blue Flycatcher, Double Toothed Barbet, Ross’s Turaco, Black and White Casqued Hornbill, African Moustached Warbler, Martial Eagle and Grey Throated Barbet just to name a few.
Maasai Mara has more than 500 species of birds recorded, including 12 species of Cisticolas and 53 birds of prey. Large numbers of Palearctic migrants’ winter in the area, including Caspian Plovers and White Storks.
Dinner and overnight at Mara Leisure Camp on (Full Board)
This morning, we wrap-up and head to Nairobi after breakfast. Do not put away your binoculars or note books yet! We have a last stop to make before the city. At Manguo Swamp and the nearby Sewage Lagoon to look for Maccoa Ducks, Malachite and Grey Headed Kingfishers. Plenty of Leonitis Flowers around, more likely to find beautiful Sunbirds with long tails, Malachite and Golden Winged.
Lunch is on your own today to sample different restaurants in Nairobi, before transferring to your international flight. (Breakfast) at Mara Leisure Camp.
We bid farewell to this grand journey traversing Kenya enjoying our feathery creatures!