Wildlife Safari and Birding Tour in Kenya
This 11-day Kenya Wildlife Safari Tour which is moderately-paced available daily is a dedicated tour that visits some of the best locations across Kenya. While on this tour, guests get a chance to enjoy the best birds and big game that Kenya and Africa has to offer.
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.
These include species such as Kikuyu White-eye, Kenya Rufous Sparrow, Abyssinian Wheatear, Northern Pied Babbler, Black-lored Babbler, Hinde's Babbler, Hildebrandt's Starling, Snowy Barbet, Sharpe's Longclaw, Jackson's Widowbird, Hunter's Cisticola, Hartlaub's Turaco, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Abbott’s Starling and Jackson's Francolin.
This Kenya Wildlife Safari tour starts in Nairobi, Kenya's political and tourism capital. We then make our way through the highlands making stops at the Kinangop Grasslands and Aberdare National Park. We then sample the slopes of the mighty Mt. Kenya, Africa's second-highest mountain. The drylands of Northern Kenya await us in Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves.
During this wildlife safari tour in Kenya, we travel into the Centra Rift Valley, where a soda lake is known as the "birdwatcher's paradise" awaits; Lake Nakuru. We then make our way to Kenya's top birding forest, Kakamega, where we connect with dozens of Guinea-Congolian Biome species. From here we enjoy some birding at Lake Victoria, before immersing in the wonders of Masai Mara - the best safari destination in the World.
Kenya Wildlife Safari Tour Highlights include:
- Mt. Kenya; a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- The Great Rift Valley; with wonderful landscapes and two lakes (Lake Baringo and Lake Naivasha)
- Kenya's endemic birds; such as the Kikuyu White-eye, Hinde's Babbler, and Jackson's Francolin
- Masai Mara - the World's top safari destination
- Kakamega Forest - Kenya's top birding forest (with loads of Guinea-Congolian birds species)
- The special mammals of Northern Kenya - Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy's Zebra
Alternative Tour Name: Kenya Birding and Wildlife Safari
We shall arrive on our safari 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.
We shall drive to the Kenyan highlands enjoying birding stop-overs on the way. We shall enjoy local endemic species in the Kinangop Grasslands and Aberdare National Park. Here our main targets are the Sharpe's Longclaw,Kikuyu White-eye, Jackson's Francolin and Aberdare Cisticola. Other birds here include African Snipe, Lesser Jacana, Malachite Sunbird, Tacazze Sunbird, Long-tailed Widowbird, Yellow Bishop, Streaky Seedeater, Dusky Turtle Dove, Alpine Chat and Abyssinian Crimsonwing.
Mammals here include Bush Duiker, Bushbuck, African Buffalo and African Elephants.
From here, we continue to Mt. Kenya. We shall arrive at our destination in good time to scan for the local birdlife. We expect species such as Mountain Buzzard, Crowned Eagle, Alpine Swift, Purple-throated Cuckoo-Shrike, Grey Cuckoo-Shrike, Mountain Wagtail, Slender-billed Greenbul, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Black-throated Apalis, Black-collared Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Hunter’s Cisticola, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Crowned Hornbill, African Black Duck, Red-fronted Parrot, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Spectacled Weaver, Grey-headed Nigrita, Scaly Francolin and Ruppell’s Robin-Chat.
Montane mammals are likely, including monkeys, antelopes, mongooses, genets, pigs, hogs, Savannah Elephants and African Buffalo.
Night at Mt. Kenya.
We shall start the day with more birding in Mt. Kenya; as we seek species we may have missed the previous day.
We shall later continue our Kenya Birding Safari to Northern Kenya, leaving the highlands behind. We shall make several stops on the way to enjoy more birding. Soon, we shall arrive at Samburu, a magnificent birding location. Birds awaiting us here include 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, Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-Weaver, Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse and Pink-breasted Lark.
Mammals here include African Elephant, Cheetah, African Lion, Grevy's Zebra and Leopard.
Night in Samburu.
This day will see us enjoy loads of great habitat around this dry area. We shall scout the river beds and the bushlands that surround rocky cliffs here. The local lava-rock flatlands are also a key habitat.
We shall enjoy birding in Samburu and Buffalo Springs, seeking more species such as 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, Northern Red-billed Hornbill, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Fire-fronted Bishop, Somali Bee-eater, African Orange-bellied Parrot, Yellow-vented Eremomela, Somali Crombec, Northern Grey Tit, Black-capped Social Weaver, Northern Brownbul, Buff-crested Bustard, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar,Vulturine Guineafowl, Rufous Chatterer, African
Mourning Dove, Bateleur, Martial Eagle and Tawny Eagle.
We shall spend time scouting for the local mammals, such as Leopard, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, African Lion and African Elephants.
Night in Samburu.
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 will be seen including Arrow-marked Babbler, Little Rock-Thrush, Mocking Cliff Chat, White-browed Robin-Chat, Reed Cormorant, Pink-backed Pelican, Pied Avocet, Kittlitz's Plover, Blacksmith Lapwing, Coqui Francolin, Hildebrandt's Francolin, Black Cuckoo, Levaillant’s Cuckoo, African Cuckoo, Grey-crested Helmet-Shrike, Cape Teal, Brimstone Canary, Blue-billed Teal and Red-billed Teal.
The park is also a great sanctuary for rhinos; and hosts four members of the Big Five (Leopard, Cape Buffalo, Black Rhino, African Lion). These may be encountered as we move around the park. Other mammals will be seen, especially herds of Rothschild’s Giraffes.
Night in Nakuru.
Leaving the Great Rift Valley behind, we shall proceed to Kakamega forest, a remnant of the Guinea-Congolian Equatorial forest. Species diversity here is plenty and we shall hope to have a huge addition to our birdlist.
Some of our first birds here may include Yellow-shouldered (-mantled) Widowbird, Little Greenbul, Kakamega Greenbul, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Great Blue Turaco, 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, Sharpe's Drongo, Red-headed Malimbe, Black-necked Weaver, Black-billed Weaver, Vieillot’s Black Weaver, African Broadbill and Petit’s Cuckooshrike.
Night in Kakamega.
We shall spend time walking in the forest in search of local specialties, with breaks in between. The forest is also great with different unique monkeys, antelopes and squirrel species.
Extra birds we shall be seeking here include Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Grey-throated Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Pink-footed Puffback, Green-throated Sunbird, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, White-spotted Flufftail, Dusky Tit, African Emerald 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.
Night in Kakamega.
We shall then depart for the Lake Victoria basin where we shall add some more species. These include Papyrus Gonolek, Black-headed Gonolek, Red-chested Sunbird, Double-toothed Barbet, Black-billed Barbet, Swamp Flycatcher, Black-headed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Slender-billed Weaver, Purple-banded Sunbird, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Greater Swamp Warbler and Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird.
We shall then proceed to the Masai Mara, where we shall arrive at our lodge in the afternoon; in time to pick our first Mara birds. Birding stops on the way will likely produce some more species.
Night in Masai Mara.
Described by many as the top reserve in Kenya, this area will have lots 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 be busy with several transects across this vast savannah. This area is often the crown of our Kenya Safari.
Birds expected here 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 and Rosy-breasted Longclaw.
Mammals include Thompson's Gazelle, Grant's Gazelle, Leopard, Cheetah, African Lion, African Elephant, Common Warthog, Maasai Giraffe, Common Eland, Spotted Hyena and Common Zebra.
Night in Mara.
We shall spend another day scouting this wonderful savannah. The goal will be scanning for any species we may have missed earlier and adding to our list.
More birds we may add here include 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 Lapwing, Saddle-billed Stork and Magpie Shrike.
More mammals may be encountered here such as Topi, Common Hippo, Rock Hyrax, Banded Mongoose, the rare African Wild Dog and Defassa Waterbuck.
Reptiles such as Nile Monitor Lizard and Nile Crocodile are often seen here.
Night in Mara.
On this day we shall head back to Nairobi with a few birding stops on the way.
We shall then take an airport transfer for your flights home, marking the end to our lovely Kenya Safari.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Some of the top birds we hope to connect with include Schalow’s Turaco, Great Blue Turaco, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Bar-tailed Trogon, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, Equatorial Akalat, Blue-shouldered Robin Chat, African Hill Babbler, Kakamega Greenbul, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Great White Pelican, Lesser Flamingo, Greater Flamingo, Northern White-faced Scops-Owl, Greyish Eagle-Owl, Red-chested Owlet, Spotted Thick-Knee, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Northern Red-billed Hornbill, Southern Ground-Hornbill, Rufous-bellied Heron, Dusky Nightjar, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Red-necked Spurfowl, Red-winged Francolin, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Kikuyu White-eye, Rufous-chested Swallow, Lappet-faced Vulture, White-headed Vulture, Ruppell’s Vulture, Secretarybird, Short-toed Snake-Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Grey Kestrel, Temminck’s Courser, Heuglin’s Courser, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Sharpe’s Longclaw, Turner’s Eremomela, Green-capped Eremomela, Black Coucal, African Quailfinch, Kori Bustard, Flappet Lark, Singing Bush Lark, Athi Short-toed Lark, White-headed Buffalo-Weaver, Rufous-tailed Weaver, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Black-throated Apalis, Hunter’s Cisticola, Aberdare Cisticola, Long-tailed Cisticola, Pale Wren-Warbler, Brown Woodland Warbler, Grey-chinned Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, Green-throated Sunbird, Usambiro Barbet, Spot-flanked Barbet, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Familiar Chat, Sooty Chat, Abyssinian Wheatear, African Wattled Lapwing, Saddle-billed Stork, Magpie Shrike, Chapin’s Flycatcher and Jackson’s Francolin.
We also expect to come across mammals such as Leopard, African Lion, Cheetah, Savannah Elephant, African Buffalo, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Rothschild’s Giraffe, Reticulated Giraffe, Maasai Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra, Gerenuk, Beisa Oryx, Common Hippo, Mau Forest Guereza, Red-tailed Monkey and Stuhlmann’s Blue Monkey.
We expect reptiles such as the Nile Crocodile, Nile Monitor Lizard, Jackson’s Three-horned Chameleon and Leopard Tortoise.
What is included?
- Local Transport
- Guiding Fees
- Parks and Conservation Areas Entry Fees
- Activity Fees as per the itinerary
- A checklist to the Birds of Kenya
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"
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.
Yes the meals are included in the tour costs (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
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.
Yes, we offer a great variety of extensions to help you add more days on the tour.
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.
Yes, tips can be in any currency of choice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.