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Birding Kenya Southern Region Tour - 12 Days

Birding Kenya Southern Region Tour

Birdwatching in Southern Coastal Region of Kenya

This amazing 12-day Birding Kenya Southern Region Tour which is moderately paced and available daily will take you to the Southern Kenya region and onto the scenic Indian Ocean Coast.

We shall begin our Kenya birdwatching tour in Nairobi, Kenya's tourism and political capital. We shall then proceed to the foothills of the amazing Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain and the world's highest free-standing mountain. Here we shall enjoy birding among Africa’s big game species, such as Savannah Elephants, Common Hippos and Maasai Giraffes.

"Cisticola Tours made our vacation very safe and arranged for all of our PCR TEST. If you want to go on a birding tour, a safari, or a photographic excursion, I can only suggest this firm... CISTICOLA TOURS, THANK YOU...." -Gilles.

During this birding tour in Kenya, we shall also enjoy the vast Tsavo Conservation Area - covering Tsavo West National Park, Tsavo East National Park, and the iconic Taita Hills. Tsavo West National Park is one of the most diverse conservation areas in East Africa covering over 7,000 square kilometers. Her sister, Tsavo East National Park is even larger, occupying the largest conservation area in entire Kenya (over 13,000 square kilometres). The joy of the Taita Hills Forests is the fact that they belong to a unique biome called the Eastern Arc Mountains.

These special mountains host some of the best endemic species in entire Africa, with Taita Hills hosting three Kenyan endemics i.e. Taita White-eye, Taita Thrush, and Taita Apalis. At the coast, we shall sample some of the best coastal forests from Shimba Hills to Arabuko Sokoke Forest. This time will also include some amazing wetland birding along the Indian Ocean coast, where we shall be connecting with many waterbirds.

You will get to enjoy birding in habitats such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, and dry scrubland. The tour also provides wonderful opportunities to score many species that are endemic to Kenya; as well as East African endemics.

This Kenya birding tour includes species such as Kenya Rufous Sparrow, Taita Thrush, Taita White-eye, Taita Apalis, Clarke's (Kilifi) Weaver, Amani Sunbird, Tsavo Sunbird, Red-throated Tit, Sokoke Pipit, Southern Grosbeak Canary, Taveta Golden Weaver, Hildebrandt's Starling, Snowy Barbet, and Sokoke Scops-Owl.

Birding Kenya Tour Highlights include:

  • Mt. Kilimanjaro views
  • The Indian Ocean Coast
  • Arabuko Sokoke Forest - Africa's top East Coast Forest
  • Kenya's endemic birds; such as the Taita Thrush, Taita White-eye, Taita Apalis and Clarke's (Kilifi) Weaver
Alternative Tour Name: Coastal Kenya Birding and Big Game Tour
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival In Nairobi

We shall arrive via Nairobi; the tourism capital of Kenya.

Depending on your arrival time and how tired you may be from the flights, you can choose to add an extra birding session this afternoon. Otherwise, you can relax and enjoy the local city birds from your hotel.

Night in Nairobi.

Day 2
Day 2 - Amboseli National Park

We shall start our Tour in Amboseli, at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This scenic park is graced by the mighty Savannah Elephants, and hosts the longest and most famous elephant research program in the entire World. The mammals here are great indeed and we shall take time to enjoy them; such as White-bearded Wildebeest, Thompson's Gazelle, Grant's Gazelle, Spotted Hyena, Maasai Giraffe, Common Waterbuck and Common Hippo.

The local birds are great and we shall be hoping to enjoy species such as African Fish Eagle, Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark, Two-banded Courser, Cardinal Quelea, White-bellied Canary, Red-headed Weaver, Taveta Golden Weaver, Speckle-fronted Weaver, White-headed Mousebird, Eastern Chanting Goshawk and Saddle-billed Stork.

Night in Amboseli.

Day 3
Day 3 - Amboseli National Park

We shall have another wonderful day to enjoy Amboseli National Park. We shall be glad to enjoy more views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the wonderful mammals here. If we are lucky, we may add more elusive mammals such as Serval, Caracal and Lesser Kudu.

We shall explore the salt pans that occupy this vast land and if time allows also visit the scenic Observation Hill. We may also choose to explore the Lake Amboseli shores, which are often dry and dusty.

More birds we expect here include Hartlaub's Bustard, Crested Francolin, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, Taita Fiscal, White-headed Buffalo-Weaver, Gorgeous Sunbird, Blue-naped Mousebird, Grey Wren Warbler, Rosy-patched Bush-shrike and Tawny Eagle.

Night in Amboseli.

Day 4
Day 4 - Tsavo West National Park

Continuing our Tour, we shall leave Amboseli early to have ample time on the way. The roadside has some great birds to see.

Our destination will be the vast Tsavo West National Park, where we shall bird for the rest of the day. Tsavo is a very expansive area and our Tour allocates enough time to explore it comprehensively- which includes some more days later on the tour.

We shall be hoping to connect with many birds here, such as Harlequin Quail, Two-banded Courser, Scaly Chatterer, Friedman’s Lark, Red-winged Lark, Three-streaked Tchagra, Red-naped Bush-shrike, Quail-Plover, Black-headed Lapwing, Spotted Thick-knee, Golden-breasted Starling, Shelley’s Starling, Sombre Nightjar, Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar, Jameson’s Firefinch, Gambaga Flycatcher, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Acacia Tit, Pygmy Batis and Eastern Black-headed Batis.

Mammals here include Maasai Giraffe, African Lion, Lesser Kudu, Fringe-eared Oryx, Kirk's Dikdik, Common Hippo, African Wild Dog, Black Rhino and Leopard.

Night in Tsavo West.

Day 5
Day 5 - Tsavo West National Park

We shall visit the Mzima Springs, a superb wetland where birding can also be done on foot. There will also be great mammals to look forward to such as Hilgert's Vervet and Yellow Baboon.

We shall also visit the Lake Jipe area where we shall scan the wetland for more localised species, both on the lake shores and also the nearby dryland.

Additional birds today may include Zanzibar Red Bishop, Fire-fronted Bishop, Grey-headed Silverbill, Pringle's Puffback, Von der Decken's Hornbill, Vulturine Guineafowl, Superb Starling, Taita Fiscal, Tsavo Sunbird, Blue-capped Cordon-Bleu, Somali Bunting, Pangani Longclaw, Tiny Cisticola, Pale Prinia, Taveta Golden Weaver, Golden Pipit, Tawny Eagle, Martial Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Steel-blue Whydah, Straw-tailed Whydah and Eastern Paradise Whydah.

Night in Tsavo West.

Day 6
Day 6 - Taita Hills

Leaving early, we shall make a day trip to Taita Hills, mainly searching for the local endemics, Taita White-eye, Taita Thrush and Taita Apalis. This indeed forms a great location on our Kenya Birding Tour and the endemics here are always a highlight.

There will be many other exciting birds of this area that we shall enjoy here; as we seek the endemics. These include Lemon Dove, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Striped Pipit and Stripe-faced Greenbul.

We shall then head to our lodge as we score more roadside birds.

Night in Voi.

Day 7
Day 7 - Shimba Hills National Reserve

We shall head south to the Shimba Hills, a remnant of the Southernmost mountainous forests of Kenya, where we shall arrive around midday. We shall spend this afternoon and the next morning enjoying birding in the Shimba Hills National Reserve.

This area is famous for hosting the Sable Antelope, one of the most beautiful ungulates in Kenya. There are more mammals here like Bushbuck, African Buffalo, Maasai Giraffe and Harvey's Duiker.

Birds include Crested Guineafowl, Yellow-throated Longclaw, White-eared Barbet, Green Barbet, Green Tinkerbird, Green-headed Oriole, African Golden Oriole, Zanzibar Greenbul, Flappet Lark, Bohm’s Spinetail, Bearded Scrub Robin, Coastal Cisticola, White-browed Coucal, Yellowbill, Yellow-fronted Canary, Black-crowned Tchagra, Tropical Boubou, Retz’s Helmetshrike, Fischer’s Turaco, Eastern Nicator, Forest Batis, Crowned Hornbill, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Little Yellow Flycatcher, Dark-backed Weaver, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Black-bellied Starling, African Fish Eagle, Palm-nut Vulture and African Hawk-Eagle.

Night in Shimba Hills.

Day 8
Day 8 - To Arabuko Sokoke Forest

We shall have a morning to enjoy more birding in Shimba Hills, as we seek any species we may have missed. On some mornings, we have been lucky with species such as African Wood Owl, Fiery-necked Nightjar and European Nightjar.

We shall then drive North to Arabuko Sokoke Forest. We may add some more species on the way such as Lizard Buzzard, Cardinal Woodpecker, Grasshopper Buzzard, Golden Pipit, Black-crowned Tchagra and Brown-headed Parrot.

Night in Watamu.

Day 9
Day 9 - Arabuko Sokoke Forest And Sabaki River Mouth

Birding in the forest will be mainly during morning hours. Forest birding will start very early and end at around 1100hrs. We shall use the vehicle to get us to starting points, from where we shall walk along forest trails.

We hope to see species such as Trumpeter Hornbill, Little Yellow Flycatcher, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Thick-billed Cuckoo, African Wood Owl, Green Barbet, Green Tinkerbird, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, East Coast Boubou, Forest Batis, Pale Batis, Eastern Olive Sunbird, Plain-backed Sunbird and Amani Sunbird.

The local mammals include the endemic Golden-rumped Sengis and Yellow Baboon.

In the afternoon we shall visit the Sabaki River Mouth wetlands, along the Indian Ocean. We keep an eye for the localised population of Malindi Pipits, around the River Mouth. Here we may also find the Mangrove Kingfisher, Eastern Black-headed Batis and Violet-breasted Sunbird. Wetland species include Sooty Gull, Pallas’s Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Eurasian Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, White-fronted Plover, Swift Tern, Caspian Tern and Sanderling.

Night in Watamu.

Day 10
Day 10 - Arabuko Sokoke Forest And Mida Creek

With a second day here, we shall continue our birding as we seek extra species. Likely additions include Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Sokoke Pipit, Four-coloured Bush-Shrike, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Eastern Nicator, Lowland Tiny Greenbul, Fischer’s Greenbul, Zanzibar Greenbul, Crested Guineafowl, East Coast Akalat, Red-capped Robin-Chat and Fischer’s Turaco.

In the afternoon, we shall enjoy birding at another wetland Western Reef Heron, Dimorphic Egret, Common Greenshank, Crab Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Grey Plover, Sooty Gull and Greater Crested Tern, among many other abundant shorebirds.

This evening, we may return to Arabuko Sokoke Forest, to search for nocturnal species such as the Sokoke Scops-Owl, African Barred Owlet and Fiery-necked Nightjar.

Night in Watamu.

Day 11
Day 11 - Tsavo East National Park

Today we visit Tsavo East National Park; which has more open savannah than her sister Tsavo West National Park. This area is very diverse and occupies a vast land mass across the drylands of Eastern Kenya. The park is bathed by the massive Athi-Galana-Sabaki River, which serves as the lifeline of this great park.

Expected birds species include Somali Ostrich, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Somali Bee-eater, Golden Palm Weaver, Banded Parisoma, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Nubian Nightjar, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Heuglin’s Bustard, Golden Pipit, Quail-Plover, Steel-blue Whydah, Yellow-vented Eremomela, Tsavo Sunbird, Black-bellied Sunbird, Singing Bush Lark, Red-winged Lark, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark, African Cuckoo-Hawk, African Hawk-Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, White-headed Vulture, Egyptian Vulture and Broad-billed Roller.

Mammals here include Cheetah, Tana Gazelle, Common Waterbuck, Maasai Giraffe, Gerenuk, Coke's Hartebeest, Hunter's Hartebeest, Topi and African Elephant.

Night in Tsavo East.

Day 12
Day 12 - Mombasa Road To Nairobi

On this day, we shall enjoy birding along the Nairobi-Mombasa Road. We shall enjoy lunch enroute at a restaurant where we shall also enjoy some more birding.

Expected birds on the way include Red-throated Tit, African Penduline Tit, African Golden Weaver, Desert Cisticola, Long-tailed Fiscal, Brown Snake-Eagle, Eastern Chanting Goshawk and Knob-billed Duck.

Later in the afternoon, we shall proceed to Nairobi. We shall then head to the airport for the flight home; marking the end to our lovely Tour.

Wildlife species expected to see:

Top birds include Cardinal Quelea, White-headed Mousebird, Saddle-billed Stork, Jameson’s Firefinch, Mouse-coloured Penduline-Tit, Acacia Tit, Harlequin Quail, Two-banded Courser, Scaly Chatterer, Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Taita Thrush, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Four-coloured Bush-Shrike, White-bellied Canary, Taveta Golden Weaver, Golden Palm Weaver, Clarke’s (Kilifi) Weaver, Taita White-eye, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Eastern Nicator, Tiny Greenbul, Fischer’s Greenbul, Zanzibar Greenbul, Stripe-faced Greenbul, Crested Guineafowl, East Coast Akalat, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Fischer’s Turaco, Trumpeter Hornbill, Blue-capped Cordon-Bleu, Somali Bunting, Taita Aplais, Tiny Cisticola, Pale Prinia, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Little Yellow Flycatcher, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Thick-billed Cuckoo, African Wood Owl, Green Barbet, White-eared Barbet, Green Tinkerbird, Bohm’s Spinetail, Forest Batis, Pygmy Batis, Pale Batis, Eastern Olive Sunbird, Plain-backed Sunbird, Violet-breasted Sunbird, Amani Sunbird, Tsavo Sunbird, Common Greenshank, Crab Plover, White-fronted Plover, Grey Plover, Sooty Gull, Lesser Crested Tern, Sokoke Scops-Owl, African Barred Owlet, Sombre Nightjar, Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar, Nubian Nightjar, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Striped Pipit, Malindi Pipit, Sokoke Pipit, Mangrove Kingfisher, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Brown-headed Parrot, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Golden-breasted Starling, Shelley’s Starling, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Flappet Lark, Red-winged Lark, Friedman’s Lark, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark, African Cuckoo-Hawk, African Hawk-Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, White-headed Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Broad-billed Roller and Narina Trogon.

Top mammals include Cheetah, Leopard, African Lion, Savannah Elephant, Black Rhino, Nile Hippo, Fringe-eared Oryx, Lesser Kudu, Cape Buffalo, Golden-rumped Sengi and Four-toed Sengi.

Top reptiles include White-headed Dwarf Gecko, Speckled Sand Snake, Tree Skink and Nile Crocodile.

What is included?

  • Local Transport
  • Acommodation
  • Meals
  • Guiding Fees
  • Parks and Conservation Areas Entry Fees
  • Activity Fees as per the itinerary
  • A checklist to the Birds of Kenya
  • Taxes

What is not included?

  • Travel Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • International Airfare
  • Items of personal pleasure e.g. laundry, personal drinks and telephone fees
  • Tips and gratuities for hotel staff and guides
  • Anything that is not mentioned in "what is included"
Wildlife Reviews
4.67 stars
- based on 1  reviews
  1. During COVID-19, we had a wonderful holiday
    Gilles04 Feb 2021







    Cisticola Tours made our vacation very safe and arranged for all of our PCR TEST. If you want to go on a birding tour, a safari, or a photographic excursion, I can only suggest this firm... CISTICOLA TOURS, THANK YOU....

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Why travel with Cisticola Tours?

Cisticola Tours is a dedicated birding tours and widlife safaris company based in Nairobi, Kenya. We offer a wide range of tours and safaris across the entire Kenya. We operate both scheduled and private tours or safaris across the entire Kenya; visiting all habitats and locations. Our team has a great array of sites to choose from when you are planning your Kenyan Birding Tour or Wildlife Safari. This includes some exciting remote and little-known regions. All our tours provide special photographic opportunities to help you capture those wonderful memories of Africa. All our tour guides are drawn directly from Kenya and bring vast safari experience in the field to help you enjoy each minute spent with us. Our tours also contribute to sustainability projects through our Environmental Education Program and supporting the Kenya Women Birders Club. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to continue making your safari dreams come true.

Are meals included?

Yes the meals are included in the tour costs (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Is water included in the tour costs?

We provide unlimited water in the vehicles throughout the tour. Any extra water or drinks that you will buy at lodges or shops are not included in the tour costs.

Can I add extra days to the tour?

Yes, we offer a great variety of extensions to help you add more days on the tour.

Can you cater for special dietary needs?

Yes, Kenyan lodges have a great tourism culture and will happily cater for all diet needs. Should you require specific meals, please alert us in advance to make the appropriate plans.

Can I tip in Dollars or Pounds or Euros?

Yes, tips can be in any currency of choice.

Can I pay by card?

Most urban hotels will accept cards. If you need to pay for items in remote areas, our staff can help you get ATM machines in nearby towns to enable the payments.

Can I get WIFI on tour?

Yes, most lodges will have WIFI connection. However, some of the remote areas may be out of connection and will likely have low or no internet.

Can I buy a local SIM Card?

Yes, with your passport, our staff will help you buy a local SIM Card and you can be able to use this while on tour.

Can I buy Birding or Wildlife Guide Books in Kenya?

Yes, you can buy most of the Guide Books in Kenya. Please alert us in advance if you would like us to prepare some books for you on arrival.

Which airport should my flight land in?

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

12 Days

Price & Availability

USD3,500 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement USD 400
This tour is operated by: Cisticola Tours
4.67 based on 3 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.67 Based on 3 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Indian Ocean Coast & Southern Kenya
  • Available Daily
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 1 to 6 Pax
  • 12 days
  • All months
  • Moderate
  • English, French
  • Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
  • Jomo Kenyatta International Airport