14 Days Nature tour itinerary for kenya: Birding Across Kenya's Wetlands
Eldoret, Kakamega, Kisumu, Lake Baringo, Lake Nakuru National Park, Masai Mara, Mombasa, Nairobi, Nyeri, Samburu
Go on an extensive and exclusive bird watching Safari; visiting some of Kenya's beautiful wetlands. You are guaranteed to check out at least 30 endemic species every day.
6.30 am - Arrive in an early morning flight at the JKIA passenger terminal in Nairobi.
You will be received by a Jungle Guide and be transferred to the Gracia Hotel or similar for breakfast and refreshment.
10.00 am - Embark on a day excursion in the City of Nairobi and its environs.
We shall be visiting the Nairobi National Museum bird’s gallery which will give us an insight of all the available bird Species found in Kenya. Kenya boasts some 1,070 birds species. The museum’s botanical gardens are one of the best areas in the city for tracking local species like the variable sunbird, bronze sunbird, African Goshawk, Baglafecht weaver bird and palm swift, among others.
We shall also visit the Nairobi animal orphanage, Giraffe centre, Crocodile farm and the Bomas of Kenya where our cultural values are represented.
5.30 pm - We return to our city hotel for dinner and overnight (half board) where your guide will give a brief orientation about the safari and provide a Bird’s checklist.
7.30 am - Depart from Nairobi to the mountain lodge. The drive to the mountain lodge will take us through the beautiful central highlands. This is a rural area where agriculture is the main source of livelihood, farms are dotted with coffee and tea bushes, and there are great opportunities to spot beautiful birds on the way.
1.30 pm: Arrive at Mountain lodge to a set buffet lunch; later you will check into your rooms overlooking the Waterhole.
3.00 pm: Take a guided nature walk into the forest which will give you an opportunity to see birds like green ibis, lesser spotted Eagle, Harrier Hawk, Rufous sparrow hawk, Mountain buzzard, Oriole, Starlings and a variety of primates like Sykes and the colobus Monkeys. Resident guides are armed forest Rangers.
Dinner and overnight at the Serena Mountain Lodge - F / B.
Samburu National Reserve
Leave the lodge and drive northwest, towards the Equator Line. At the Equator, we take a short break for photographs and a free gravity motion demonstration. According to the local folks, this is their traditional experiment of proving the Equator without a mechanical gadget.
1.00pm: Arrive at Samburu lodge in time for lunch.
4.00 pm: Embark on an afternoon game drive in this beautiful park where you will find amazing photography opportunities; you will capture Africa at its most untamed.
Dinner and overnight at the Samburu Lodge- F/B.
6.30am: Early Morning game drive in search of the big five of Africa, returning to the Lodge around 8.30am for proper breakfast.
10.00 am: A second game drive will enable you to capture the sounds of Africa. This is also a good time to visit the local Samburu homestead (manyatta) for a cultural experience on the life and times of the pastorals.
4.00 pm: Last game drive to explore the Samburu further; another place to meet the big five of Africa. As the Sun goes down, capture the amazing sunset on the horizons.
Dinner and overnight at the Samburu Lodge - F/B.
We leave the Samburu with picnic lunch boxes towards Lake Nakuru. This will be a long drive with occasional stops to watch birdlife by the Swamps and trees along our driveway. The drive by the Rift valley has breathtaking sceneries, it will be like retracing the footsteps of explorers David Livingstone and Henry Morton who took this path in a caravan in 1883.
1.30 pm: Take a lunch break stop at the Thomson falls in Nyahururu, which is host to species like the chestnut winged Starling, Slender-billed Starling, Rock Martin, grey cuckoo shrike among others. Our remaining drive will take us through the Subukia gorge of the great escarpment, where evidence of geological fault line formations dating 20 million years is evident.
4.00pm: We arrive at the Nakuru National park and immediately embark on a game viewing drive. Lake Nakuru is a shallow alkaline lake of the Rift valley, home to some 1.5 million flamingos and other water birds including the great white pelican, pink-backed pelican, African darter, Cormorants, Hammerkops, Stilts, seagulls, African fish eagle, white-fronted tree ducks, Egyptian geese, etc. Other bird Species found in this park includes the Steppe Eagle, long-crested eagle, Marabou, Shrikes, starlings, Weavers, Larks etc, in general lake Nakuru boasts 400 birds species and is described as the bird watcher's paradise. Other Wildlife to be seen in this park includes the white and black rhino, lions, hyena, leopard, buffaloes, baboons, giraffe, gazelles etc.
6.30 pm: Check into the Lake Nakuru lodge for dinner and overnight- F/B.
6.30 am: Early morning game drive to capture the flamingoes in still water. Look-out for the big five.
Return to the lodge for breakfast at 9.00am.
10.30am: An Optional mid-morning game drive; you can also opt to relax or take a swim.
Lunch will be served from 12.30 pm.
4.00 pm: Another afternoon game drive in this park increases our chance of spotting the leopard which is normally very elusive.
Dinner and overnight at the Nakuru Lodge- F/B.
Embark on an en-route game drive as we exit Nakuru park for a drive to the Lake Baringo and Bogoria Circuit. Some of the bird species found on this circuit include; sparrow weavers, Jackson’s hornbill, Red and yellow-billed hornbill, Silver-cheeked hornbill, Bristle-crowned starlings, Barbets, Northern masked weaver, Grey Kestrels etc. It is possible to checklist between 40 and 50 bird species on a single outing.
2.00 pm: Arrive and check in at the Lake Baringo Country Club. The club grounds feeding platforms for birds and 20 different species can be recorded.
4.00 pm: Go for a nature walk in the surrounding forest, searching for more bird species; returning to the club by 6.00 pm.
Dinner and overnight at the Lake Baringo club- F/B.
8.00 am: Take a one-hour boat excursion in Lake Baringo - this will enable you to reach the Olkokwe island and witness the feeding of African fish eagle, you will also be able to get closer to a colony of Hippopotamus.
Return to the club at around 9.30 am.
10.00am: With picnic lunch boxes, embark on a day excursion to the Lake Bogoria reserve. Lake Bogoria is a salty alkaline lake set about 50 km from Lake Baringo; the main attraction here is the natural hot spring that forms steam geyser jets from the ground.
1.00 pm: Lunch will be under an acacia tree, overlooking the lake.
3.00 pm: Drive back to lake Baringo arriving around 4.30 pm to relax.
Dinner and overnight at Lake Baringo club- F/B.
Go on a drive to Kakamega forest reserve which will take you through the Spectacular Kerio valley, a part of the western Great Rift valley, and through Eldoret, one of the fastest growing Agricultural town. Kakamega is the only tropical rainforest in Kenya, situated in western Kenya and in the Lake Victoria basin.
1.30 pm: Arrive at Rondo Retreat center in time for lunch. The rest of the day will be spent bird watching around the retreat’s grounds.
Dinner and overnight at the Rondo retreat Center.-F/B.
Another full day in Kakamega forest, walking through the dense vegetation in search of more birds and other wildlife.
Lunch will be at the Rondo Retreat Center.
Dinner and overnight at the Rondo retreat Center- F/B.
After breakfast, we hit the road with picnic lunch boxes towards Kisumu. We will be passing through some major birding hotspots, our drive will take us through Kisii aiming to arrive Mara in time for the evening game drive. Masai Mara National Reserve is the most famous wildlife destination in Kenya. Set some 270 km Southwest of Nairobi, it is the most visited protected Park covering an area of 1,812 square kms.
4.00 pm: Arrive at the Mara and proceed on a game drive in this sprawling reserve.
6.00 pm: Check in at the Sarova Mara Camp.
Dinner and overnight at the Sarova Mara Camp-F/B.
Spend two more days in the Mara, enjoying morning and afternoon game drives.
Dinner and overnight at the Sarova Mara camp-F/B.
- do -
Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives.
Overnight with full board at Sarova Mara.
We start off on a morning drive back to Nairobi arriving around lunch-time. The afternoon can be spent shopping or organizing your luggage.
Have an early dinner at the Pampa Brazilian restaurant along Mombasa road.
You will be dropped at the airport for onward flight. End of Services.
Transport in a safari minivan with a pop-up roof.
English speaking guide.
2 game drives per day.
Accommodation in standard safari lodges in all national parks.
Tips and gratuities.
Mara means spotted, it constitutes miles upon miles of savannah grasslands, meandering rivers, swamps and towering escarpments. It is a rewarding wildlife arena at any time of the year but the climax is during the annual Wildebeest migration from July to October. During this season, over a million wildebeest, 200,000 Zebras, 300,000 Gazelles cross over from the Serengeti Reserve in Northern Tanzania to Masai Mara in search of greener pastures, the spectacle is during the crossing of the Mara River, where thousands will drown while others end up in the jaws of the ravenous crocodiles. The predators follow the Migration on their frenzied journey which makes the Mara an ideal hunting ground for lions, leopard, cheetah, and the hyenas. The Mara is also home to large herds of Elephants, Buffalos, hippos and a variety of herbivores. The Mara ecosystem hosts about 500 species of birds and is an exciting ground for bird watchers. Some of the most prominent species found in this park include Masai ostrich, Ground hornbill, Secretary bird, Bateleur, Martial and Tawny Eagles, Vultures, starlings, rollers, window birds, flycatchers, bee-eaters, Kingfishers, weavers, pipits, anteaters, woodpeckers, Honeyguides, etc.
The Mountain Lodge is set at the edge of Mt.Kenya, the second tallest mountain in Africa standing at 5,199 M. The forest surrounding the lodge is an alpine flora with montane, bamboo, moorland and tundra vegetation and a great place for Bird Watchers. There is a guided walking safari in the forest where close to 130 birds species have been recorded. The forest is also a host to an abundance of wildlife including the Giant forest Hog, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, elephants, bongo, buffalo, Mouse Shrew, duiker and Suni among others. The Lodge set is a tree hotel, a raised Platform like Noah’s ark with a Watering Hole at the front where animals frequent for a drink and salt lick.
Samburu reserve is set in the semi-arid northern part of Kenya and have the most beautiful sceneries that have attracted international filmmakers. It also boasts of rare animal species which are adapted to dry conditions, such animals include, the Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Somali Ostrich, Vulturine Guinea fowl, Kudus etc. Samburu is rich in birdlife and has been a very popular destination for birders, some 380 birds species have been recorded here including arid endemics such as Smith’s Sparrow-weaver, shining sunbird, bristle crowned starling, Hornbills, Kestrels, Eagles, Falcons, Larks Barbets etc.
Lake Baringo is set in the Great Rift valley, North of the equator and about 100 km from Nakuru. It's about 130 square km and is the most northern lake after lake Turkana and among the three freshwater lakes in the Rift valley. Baringo is off the beaten track in a hot and semi-arid area, it is surrounded by the Tugen hills and the Laikipia Escarpment to the East. Baringo is a fabulous and beautiful place; it provides an invaluable habitat and refuge for more than 500 bird species, 7 different fish species, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Wildlife can be found in the surroundings of the lake. The communities found in this area are the Njemps, Ichamus, Rendille and the Kalenjin, who are Pastoralists and fishermen.
Kakamega forest offers unique wildlife and scenic beauty. It hosts about 400 species of butterflies, 300 species of birds and 27 species of snakes. The park also supports more than 350 species of trees and 7 primate species. Birds found in the Kakamega forest includes Gray parrot, great blue turaco, blue-headed bee eater, casqued hornbill, hairy breasted barbet, woodpeckers, Babblers, bush shrike, cisticolas among others.