Kenya East Africa: Sunday 10 – Saturday 23 January 2021
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.
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. Sun 10 Jan 21. Arrive Nairobi and Nairobi National Park.
Day 2. Mon 11 Jan 21. Thika to Lake Naivasha
Day 3. Tue 12 Jan 21. Naivasha to Mt Kenya via Kinangop Plateau and Aberdare National Park.
Day 4. Wed 13 Jan 21. Mt Kenya to Samburu National Reserve
Day 5. Thu 14 Jan 21. Buffalo Springs and Sambura National Reserves
Day 6. Fri 15 Jan 21. Lake Nakuru National Park
|Day 7. Sat 16 Jan 21. Lake Nakuru to Lake Baringo
Day 8. Sun 17 Jan 21. Lake Baringo
Days 9 & 10. Mon 18 & Tue 19 Jan 21. Kakamega Forest.
Day 11. Wed 20 Jan 21. Lake Victoria to Masai Mara
Day. 12 & 13. Thu 21 & Fri 22 Jan 21. Masai Mara National Reserve
Day 14. Sat 23 Jan 21. Return 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. Sun 10 Jan 21. Arrive Nairobi and Nairobi National Park. On our arrival at Nairobi Airport, we will be met by our local guide before driving to 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, Ruppell’s Robin-chat, Northern Pied Babbler, White-tailed Lark, Rufous-naped Lark, Somali 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 and many other interesting animals that you’ll enjoy during the visit.
Accommodation: Hotel in Nairobi (en suite rooms). Meals: B, L, D.
Day 2. Mon 11 Jan 21. Thika to Lake Naivasha. Today we will start our birding around the vast Thika area, where we shall make several stops for local birds and also visit the Ol Donyo Sabuk area; we will be targeting species such as the Hinde’s Babbler, Northern Pied Babbler, African Hill Babbler, Meyer’s Parrot, African Green Pigeon, Eastern Bronze-naped 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.
After lunch at Thika, we will drive to Lake Naivasha. There will be more birding stops enroute. On arrival, we will bird around our lodge and the lake shore. Expected species include Mosque Swallow, Lyne’s Cisticola, Chestnut Sparrow, Abyssinian Wheatear, Nyanza Swift, Mottled Swift, White-fronted Bee-eater, Mocking Cliff Chat, Bearded Woodpecker, Plain-backed Pipit, Giant Kingfisher, Grey-backed Fiscal, Grey-crested Helmet-Shrike, Brimstone Canary, Cape Teal, Pied Avocet, Black Heron, Goliath Heron, Lesser Flamingo, Maccoa Duck, Great White Pelican, Common Greenshank, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Hilderbrandt’s Francolin, Arrow-marked Babbler, Black-lored Babbler, African Fish Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Osprey, Hybrid Lovebird, Red-throated Wryneck, Golden-breasted Bunting, Buff-bellied Warbler, Grey Crowned Crane, Black Cuckoo and Hoopoe.
Accommodation: Lodge on 150-acre property at Lake Naivasha (en suite rooms). Meals: B, L, D.
Day 3. Tue 12 Jan 21. Naivasha to Mt Kenya via Kinangop Plateau and Aberdare National Park. This morning we will start with a boat ride on Lake Naivasha before we head slowly towards Mt. Kenya through Kinangop and Aberdares. Birds we expect to see on the way include Brown Woodland Warbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Black-winged Plover, Red-throated Wryneck, Jackson’s Francolin, Common Quail, Slender-billed Greenbul, Aberdare Cisticola, Hunter’s Cisticola, Levaillant’s Cisticola, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Long-tailed Widowbird, Jackson’s Widowbird, Angola Swallow, Montane Nightjar, Sharpe’s Longclaw, Martial Eagle, Mountain Buzzard, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, White-headed Wood-Hoopoe, Bar-tailed Trogon, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Red-throated Pipit, Black-tailed Godwit, African Snipe, Lesser Jacana, Common Stonechat and Olive Ibis. We will arrive at Mt. Kenya late afternoon, where we will bird briefly around the lodge targeting forest and woodland species such as the Mountain Buzzard, Crowned Eagle, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Golden-winged Sunbird, Olive Pigeon, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon and Oriole Finch. We are also likely to see a range of local monkey and antelope species.
Accommodation: Lodge on the slopes of Mt Kenya (en suite rooms) 2,134m above sea level. Meals: B, L, D.
Day 4. Wed 13 Jan 21. Mt Kenya to Samburu National Reserve. We will spend the morning birding further around Mt. Kenya searching for any species we missed the previous day; we also hope to add more species to our already growing list. We will then leave for Samburu and Buffalo Springs, birding on the way. As we approach Samburu, we pass some dry country where we will be searching for specialties such as the Straw-tailed Whydah, Steel-blue Whydah, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark, Rufous Bush Chat, Fan-tailed Raven, Bristle-crowned Starling, Fischer’s Starling, Magpie Starling, Ruppell’s Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-Weaver, Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, White-bellied (Variable) Sunbird and Pink-breasted Lark. This afternoon we will enjoy a game drive in Samburu.
Accommodation: Lodge within Samburu National Reserve (en suite rooms). Meals: B, L, D.
Day 5. Thu 14 Jan 21. Buffalo Springs and Sambura National Reserves. Today we will enjoy searching for the local mammals, such as Leopard, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Grevy’s Zebra, Cheetah, Reticulated Giraffe, Lion and Elephants. Additional bird species here include 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, European Turtle Dove, Egyptian Vulture, Bateleur, Martial Eagle and Tawny Eagle.
Accommodation: Lodge within Samburu National Reserve (en suite rooms) as for last night. Meals: B, L, D.
Day 6. Fri 15 Jan 21. 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 and three other members of the Big Five, and these may be encountered as we move around the park. Other mammals will be seen include herds of grazing herbivores and Rothschild’s Giraffe.
Accommodation: Lodge at Lake Nakuru (en suite rooms). Meals: B, L, D.
Day 7. Sat 16 Jan 21. 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 the Spotted ( & Greyish) Eagle-Owl, Northern White-faced Scops Owl, Shikra, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Verreaux’s Eagle, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar, Heuglin’s Courser, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, D’Arnaud’s Barbet, Black-throated Barbet, Brubru, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Somali Fiscal, Three-streaked Tchagra, 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, Somali Sparrow and Bristle-crowned Starling, among many other wonderful species of this region.
Accommodation: Safari Lodge on the shores of Lake Baringo in the Rift Valley (en suite rooms). Meals: B, L, D.
Day 8. Sun 17 Jan 21. Lake Baringo. We will start today with a boat ride over Lake Baringo, in search of water birds like African Jacana, Black Crake, Goliath Heron, Little Bittern, Purple Heron and White-faced Whistling Duck. The boat ride experience will also help you enjoy the beauty of the lake and see the local African Fish Eagles advertising their territories as they hunt too. We will then return to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast we shall scout the local scrubland and the nearby cliff-seeking birds we may have missed the previous day. After lunch at the lodge, we have time to relax and enjoy our lodge views before heading out later in the afternoon to search for nightjars and owls.
Accommodation: Lake Baringo (en suite rooms) as for last night. Meals: B, L, D.
Days 9 & 10. Mon 18 & Tue 19 Jan 21. Kakamega Forest. We will depart early for Kakamega, driving through the vast Kerio Valley. We will make several stops to enjoy local birds such as White-crested Turaco, Rufous Chatterer, Boran Cisticola, Gambaga Flycatcher, Silverbird and Fan-tailed Raven. On arrival, we shall walk around the lodge compound to pick our first birds of the forest. The following day will bird both in the morning and afternoon, breaking for lunch and a break at the lodge in the middle of the day. Kakamega forest is a remnant of the Guineo-Congolian Equatorial forest. Species diversity here is high and we expect to see species such as the Yellow-shouldered (Yellow-mantled) Widowbird, Little Greenbul, Shelley’s 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, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Olive-Green Camaroptera, Square-tailed Drongo, Red-headed Malimbe, Black-necked Weaver, Black-billed Weaver, Vieillot’s Black Weaver, African Broadbill, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, 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, Orange-tufted 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.
Day 11. Wed 20 Jan 21. Lake Victoria to Masai Mara. This morning we will leave early to travel to Lake Victoria. On our way out, we shall scan several local spots that often produce birds such as African Thrush, Black Bishop, Copper Sunbird and Lizard Buzzard. We will then travel to the lakeside city of Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria. The water here is fresh and contains lots of life; the local riparian zone will be our major target. We expect species such as the Papyrus Gonolek, Black-headed Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Woodland Kingfisher, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Long-toed Plover, Double-toothed Barbet, Black-billed Barbet, African Marsh-Harrier, Blue-headed Coucal, Slender-billed Weaver, Red-chested Sunbird, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Angola Swallow, Rufous-chested Swallow, Beaudouin’s Snake-Eagle, Swamp Flycatcher, Greater Swamp Warbler, Papyrus Yellow Warbler and Carruthers’s Cisticola. We will then continue to the Masai Mara via the Ahero Rice Scheme where we may find a few additional species such as Southern Red Bishop and Broad-billed Roller. We will arrive in the late afternoon in time for some birding around our camp.
Accommodation: Mara National Reserve (en suite rooms). Meals: B, L, D.
Days 12 & 13. Thu 21 & Fri 22 Jan 21. Masai Mara National Reserve. Described by many as the top reserve in Kenya, this area haslots to offer, from the Big Five, herds of grazing mammals, to the amazing birdlife. The magical Annual Wildebeest Migration is also a spectacle that has made the area very famous. Birding will likely be busy with several transects across this vast savannah. We shall spend time in the reserve trying the different habitats. Each area will provide a different habitat and we shall be seeking different species on each section of the reserve. Likely species include Southern Ground-Hornbill, Rufous-bellied Heron, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Square-tailed Nightjar, Dusky Nightjar, Schalow’s Turaco, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Red-necked Spurfowl, Red-winged Francolin, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Rufous-chested Swallow, Lappet-faced Vulture, Short-toed Snake-Eagle, White-headed Vulture, Ruppell’s Vulture, Secretarybird, Grey Kestrel, Temminck’s Courser, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Green-capped Eremomela, Black Coucal, African Quailfinch, Kori Bustard, Bush Pipit, White-tailed Lark, Flappet Lark, Singing Bush Lark, Athi Short-toed Lark, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Karamoja Apalis, Black-backed Cisticola, Long-tailed Cisticola, Pale Wren-Warbler, Usambiro Barbet, Familiar Chat, Sooty Chat, Wattled Plover, Woolly-necked Stork, Saddle-billed Stork and Magpie Shrike.
Accommodation: Lodge in Masai Mara National Reserve (en suite rooms) both nights. Meals: B, L, D.
Day 14. Sat 23 Jan 21. Return to Nairobi. Today we will return to Nairobi, birding en route. We may stop at a roadside swamp near Nairobi for more waterfowl before arriving in Nairobi late in the afternoon. Airport transfers are available for those flying out this evening and we can also arrange additional accommodation in Nairobi for those departing tomorrow.
Accommodation: none. Meals: B, L.
Tour Price: US$10,500 per person twin share. Single supplement US$1,045.
Based on a group size of 6-10 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.