Kenya East Africa
2nd – 15th January 2023
Kenya is in Eastern equatorial East Africa; it’s savannah is famously depicted in documentaries and movies and the landscape that many people imagine when they think of Africa. However, the terrain rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean to mountains and plateaus at its centre. Most Kenyans live in and around the capital city of Nairobi which is in the highlands at an altitude of 1,700 metres.
This tour is being offered at the best time of year in terms of bird and wildlife viewing and a comfortable climate. The arrangements have been made to maximise your safety and comfort, using good quality, comfortable accommodation throughout.
Dr Tonia Cochran Inala Nature Tours and a local guide.
- Excellent photographic opportunities
- A large range of mammals including the “Big 5”: African Leopard, African Lion, Savannah Elephant, both White and Black Rhino and Cape Buffalo. Also: Nile Crocodile, Nile Hippo, Grevy’s Zebra and Beisa Oryx.
- Iconic and scenically spectacular locations including Mt Kenya, the Great Rift Valley, Lake Victoria.
- We cover several habitats including Savannah, Wetlands, Semi-arid Scrubland, Desert Lava, Highland Forest, Montane Grasslands and Equatorial forest.
Day 1. Mon 2 Jan 23. Arrive Nairobi
Days 2 & 3. Tue 3 & Wed 4 Jan 23. Mt Kenya via Thika
Days 4 & 5. Thu 5 & Fri 6 Jan 23. Buffalo Springs and Samburu National Reserve
Day 6. Sat 7 Jan 23. Lake Nakuru National Park
Day 7. Sun 8 Jan 23. Lake Nakuru to Lake Baringo
Day 8. Mon 9 Jan 23. Lake Baringo
Days 9 & 10. Tue 10 & Wed 11 Jan 23. Kakamega Forest.
Days. 11, 12 & 13. Thu 12, Fri 13 & Sat 14 Jan 23. Masai Mara National Reserve
Day 14. Sun 15 Jan 23. Masai Mara to Nairobi
We can organise additional accommodation in Nairobi for those wishing to arrive before the start of the tour. Please contact us for further information and prices.
Day 1. Monday 2 January 2023. Arrive Nairobi.
On our arrival at Nairobi Airport, we will be met by our local guide and transferred to our hotel. If time and energy allows, we can take an optional birding trip this afternoon. This may include nearby Nairobi National Park. This is Kenya’s oldest National Park, located just 7 kilometres from the edge of the Nairobi city centre and indeed, Kenya’s capital birding location with over 500 species recorded in the park. Some species we expect to find here include the Secretarybird, African Water Rail, Spotted Thick-knee, Black-winged Plover, African Finfoot, Pangani Longclaw, Jackson’s Widowbird, Kori Bustard, Hartlaub’s Bustard, Saddle-billed Stork, African Yellow White-eye, Common Nightingale, Rüppell's Robin-chat, Northern Pied Babbler, White-tailed Lark, Rufous-naped Lark, Althi Short-toed Lark, Red-throated Tit, Speke’s Weaver, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Martial Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, African Quail-finch, Zebra Waxbill, Harlequin Quail, Lappet-faced Vulture, Violet Wood-hoopoe, Nairobi Pipit, Grassland Pipit, Siffling Cisticola, Croaking Cisticola and Desert Cisticola. The park also hosts four of the African Big Five (African Lion, Black Rhino, Leopard and Cape Buffalo) and many other interesting animals that you will enjoy during the visit.
Accommodation: Hotel in Nairobi (en suite rooms). Meals: B, L, D.
Days 2 & 3. Tuesday 3 & Wednesday 4 January 2023. Mt Kenya via Thika.
Starting early, we will travel to Mt. Kenya via the Thika area and its surrounds. This area is drier than Nairobi and offers a good mix of new species. We will bird here the entire morning at roadside stops and a few extra locations. Species to expect include Hinde’s Babbler, Northern Pied Babbler, Meyer’s Parrot, African Green Pigeon, Black-and-white Mannikin, Bearded Scrub Robin, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Lead-coloured Flycatcher, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Purple-crested Turaco, Lemon Dove, Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Red-billed Firefinch, Grey-Olive Greenbul and Spot-flanked Barbet. This afternoon we will travel to Kenya’s highest mountain, Mt Kenya where we should see many species of birds. We will bird both along the forest edge and also deeper into the mountain forest. We will also scan the forest, rivers and grasslands for the montane specials. Birds we hope to find in this area include African Cuckoo-Hawk, Mountain Buzzard, Crowned Eagle, Alpine Swift, Purple-throated Cuckoo-Shrike, Grey Cuckoo-Shrike, Mountain Wagtail, Cape Wagtail, Slender-billed Greenbul, Mountain Yellow-Warbler, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Black-throated Apalis, Black-collared Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, White-browed Crombec, Hunter’s Cisticola, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Crowned Hornbill, African Black Duck, Red-fronted Parrot, Spectacled Weaver, Grey-headed Negrofinch, Scaly Francolin, Rüppell's Robin-Chat, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Malachite Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, Eastern Double-collared Sunbird, Black-headed Waxbill, Olive Ibis, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Slender-billed Starling, Abbott’s Starling, Sharpe’s Starling, Waller’s Starling, Kikuyu White-eye, Fine-banded Woodpecker, White-headed Wood-Hoopoe, Bar-tailed Trogon, Yellow-crowned Canary, Dusky Turtle Dove, African Green Pigeon, Lemon Dove, African Olive Pigeon and Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon.
Montane mammals are likely, including monkeys, antelopes, mongooses, genets, pigs, hogs and squirrels.
Accommodation: Lodge at Mt Kenya (en suite rooms) both nights Meals: B, L, D both days.
Days 4 & 5. Thursday 5 & Friday 6 January 2023. Buffalo Springs & Samburu National Reserves.
We shall leave early for Samburu and Buffalo Springs. Here we will spend time birding and enjoying the local mammals such as Leopard, Cheetah, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Lion and African Savanna (Bush) Elephant.
We can expect to see many birds here, including Somali Ostrich, Somali Courser, Golden Pipit, Golden-breasted Starling, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Pringle’s Puffback, Northern Puffback, Northern White-crowned Shrike, White-headed Mousebird, Hunter’s Sunbird, Black-bellied Sunbird, Shining Sunbird, Red-billed Hornbill, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Fire-fronted Bishop, Somali Bee-eater, Stone Partridge, African Orange-bellied Parrot, Yellow-vented Eremomela, Northern Crombec, Northern Grey Tit, Black-capped Social Weaver, Northern Brownbul, Buff-crested Bustard, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Somali Sparrow, Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar, Dusky Nightjar, Vulturine Guineafowl, Rufous Chatterer, African Mourning Dove, Egyptian Vulture, Bateleur, Martial Eagle and Tawny Eagle.
This is an amazing part of Kenya and allows for excellent dry country birding. Many of the typical North-East African dryland birds are present here and the habitat will provide a huge species list.
Accommodation: Lodge at Samburu (en suite luxury tented camp) for 2 nights. Meals: B, L, D both days.
Day 6. Saturday 7 January 2023. Lake Nakuru National Park.
We will leave early this morning and travel to Lake Nakuru National Park. This park is famed as the birdwatchers’ paradise, and indeed was the first national park in Africa to be set up with an avian conservation objective. Up to a million flamingos have been recorded in this park depending on their regional migration. Most of these are Lesser Flamingos with Greater Flamingos making a smaller population. Other birds include the Woolly-necked Stork, Arrow-marked Babbler, Little Rock-Thrush, Mocking Cliff Chat, White-browed Robin-Chat, Reed Cormorant, Pink-backed Pelican, Pied Avocet, Kittlitz's Plover, Blacksmith Plover, Coqui Francolin, Hildebrandt's Francolin, Black Cuckoo, Levaillant’s Cuckoo, African Cuckoo, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Cape Teal, Brimstone Canary, Hottentot Teal, Red-billed Teal, Dusky Nightjar, Montane Nightjar. Palearctic water migrants are seasonally also abundant here. The park is also a great sanctuary for rhinos (both Black and White Rhinoceros) and three other members of the Big Five (Lion, Leopard and Buffalo), and these may be encountered as we move around the park. Other mammals will be seen include herds of grazing herbivores and the endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe.
Accommodation: Lodge within Lake Nakuru National Park (en suite rooms). Meals: B, L, D.
Day 7. Sunday 8 January 2023. Lake Nakuru to Lake Baringo.
We will enjoy more birding in Nakuru this morning targeting species we may have missed earlier before traveling to Lake Baringo. If time allows, we will stop briefly at a roadside dam near the lake to check for some waterfowl. Birding will also be active along the way. In the afternoon, we shall enjoy a nature walk around the area scouting for owls and nightjars and a variety of other species. Birds to expect here include Greyish Eagle-Owl, Northern White-faced Scops Owl, Shikra, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Verreaux’s Eagle, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Heuglin’s Courser, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, D’Arnaud’s Barbet, Black-throated Barbet, Brubru and Grey-headed Bushshrike.
Accommodation: Safari Lodge on the shores of Lake Baringo in the Rift Valley (en suite rooms). Meals: B, L, D.
Day 8. Monday 9 January 2023. Lake Baringo.
We will start today with a boat ride on Lake Baringo, in search of African Fish Eagles advertising their territories as they hunt. More birds here include Spotted Thick-knee, Senegal Thick-knee, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Nubian Woodpecker, Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Little Weaver, Jackson’s Golden-backed Weaver, Northern Masked Weaver, White-billed Buffalo-Weaver, White-bellied Canary, Beautiful Sunbird, Black-headed Plover, Jackson’s Hornbill, Yellow-billed Hornbill, Hemprich’s Hornbill, Northern Red Bishop, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Mocking Cliff-Chat and Bristle-crowned Starling, among many other wonderful species of this region.. Accommodation: Lake Baringo (en suite rooms) as for last night. Meals: B, L, D.
Days 9 & 10. Tuesday 10 & Wednesday 11 January 2023. Kakamega Forest.
We will depart early for Kakamega, a remnant of the Guineo-Congolian Equatorial forest where there is high species diversity. We shall spend time walking in the forest in search of local specialties, with short breaks in between. Here we expect birds species such as the Yellow-shouldered (mantled) Widowbird, Little Greenbul, Kakamega Greenbul, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Great Blue Turaco, Western Banded Snake-Eagle, Crowned Eagle, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Red-headed Bluebill, Oriole Finch, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Uganda Woodland Warbler, White-chinned Prinia, Buff-throated Apalis, Turner’s Eremomela, Green Hylia, Southern Hyliota, Olive-Green Camaroptera, Sharpe’s Drongo, Red-headed Malimbe, Black-necked Weaver, Black-billed Weaver, Vieillot’s Black Weaver, African Broadbill, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Grey-throated Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Pink-footed Puffback, Green Sunbird, Western Olive Sunbird, Green-throated Sunbird, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, White-spotted Flufftail, Dusky Tit, African Emerald Cuckoo, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Bocage’s Bush-Shrike, Luhder’s Bush-Shrike, Black-crowned Waxbill, White-breasted Negrofinch, Bar-tailed Trogon, Least Honeyguide, Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, White-headed Wood-Hoopoe, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Equatorial Akalat, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Western Black-headed Oriole, Common Wattle-eye, Jameson’s Wattle-eye and Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye. The forest also abounds with different unique monkeys, antelope and squirrel species.
Accommodation: Kakamega Forest (en suite rooms) both nights. Meals: B, L, D.
Days 11, 12 & 13. Thursday 12, Friday 13 & Saturday 15 January 2023. Masai Mara National Reserve.
We will spend the next three days in the vast Masai Mara in search of local birds and mammals. Described by many as the top reserve in Kenya, this area has lots to offer, from the Big Five, herds of grazing mammals, to the amazing birdlife. Mammals here include Common Hippopotamus, Common Warthog, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Spotted Hyena, Topi, Grant’s Gazelle, Bushbuck, Bohor Reedbuck, Silver-backed Jackal, Common Eland, Common Zebra, African Buffalo and Thompson’s Gazelle. The magical Annual Wildebeest Migration is also a spectacle that has made the area very famous. We shall also spend time in the reserve exploring the different habitats. Likely species include Southern Ground-Hornbill, Rufous-bellied Heron, Dusky Nightjar, Schalow’s Turaco, Grey-crested Helmet-shrike, Red-necked Spurfowl, Red-winged Francolin, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Rufous-chested Swallow, Lappet-faced Vulture, White-headed Vulture, Ruppell’s Vulture, Secretarybird, Grey Kestrel, Temminck’s Courser, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Green-capped Eremomela, Black Coucal, African Quailfinch, Kori Bustard, Melodious Lark, Flappet Lark, Athi Short-toed Lark, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Black-backed Cisticola, Long-tailed Cisticola, Pale Wren-Warbler, Usambiro Barbet, Familiar Chat, Sooty Chat, African Wattled Plover, Woolly-necked Stork, Saddle-billed Stork and Magpie Shrike.
Accommodation: Lodge in Masai Mara National Reserve (en suite rooms) for 3 nights. Meals: B, L, D each day.
Day 14. Sunday 15 January 2023. Return to Nairobi.
Today we will return to Nairobi, birding en route after spending more time as required in Masai Mara. Airport transfers are available for those flying out this evening and we can also arrange additional accommodation in Nairobi for those departing tomorrow (not included in tour price).
Accommodation: none. Meals: B, L.
Tour Price: US$8,600 per person twin share. Single supplement US$900.
Based on a group size of 6-11 participants + Inala leader Dr Tonia Cochran + local guide.
Inclusions: 13 nights’ accommodation, specialist guiding and transport for day and night tours in a private open-roofed 4WD safari Toyota Landcruisers with specialist licensed local guide and site guides/wildlife rangers as outlined in the itinerary, all meals (B, L, D snacks and bottled water), entry fees to National Parks, boat cruises at Lake Naivasha, Lake Victoria and Lake Baringo and guided walks as outlined int eh itinerary and all internal taxes and charges.
Exclusions: any international and domestic airfares, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (travel and medical insurance, phone calls, laundry, tips etc), personal & incidental expenses and any additional activities not mentioned in the above itinerary.
Please note: The above rates are based upon a group size of 6-10 people. If the tour does not achieve minimum numbers, a small supplement may be charged. We would always discuss this with you beforehand.
The itinerary: Whilst we aim to follow the itinerary as planned, please note that the itinerary provided should only be used as a guideline. Depending on individual trip circumstances, weather, and local information, the exact itinerary may not be strictly adhered to. The guides reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as they see fit.
For much of this tour we will be in a wonderful yet remote part of the world. Some of the roads are unsealed and rough. If you have medical conditions or health concerns, it is important you make us aware of these in advance of this tour.