MEGA BIRDING SAFARI PLAN B
|Duration:||20 days, 19 nights|
|* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.|
Our Kenya Mega Birding Safari Plan-A offers a great combination of game viewing and birding throughout central and western Kenya. The itinerary is carefully designed to cover top birding sites on Mt Kenya, both sides of the Rift Valley, the arid north, western remnant rainforest, and Masai Mara along with viewing the unique mammals of Samburu and Buffalo Springs Game Reserves and opportunities to see Cheetah, Lion, Leopard and other big game animals of Masai Mara. Over 600 species of birds and 40 species of mammals are likely during this tour. The best time to take this tour is during the short rains of November and the following months of December-February when most birds are in breeding plumage. May is also a good time for the tour at the end of the longer spring rainy season. The tour can be taken during dry season from June-October when game viewing is at its peak although at that time of year many birds are in non-breeding plumage. Due to guide availability, it's best to book this tour at least a year in advance, especially for those wanting to travel during November. Accommodations vary from excellent in Nairobi and at Lake Nakuru, to very good at Naro Moru, Samburu, Lake Naivasha, Kakamega, and Masai Mara, to rather basic at Lake Baringo and in Kisumu.
The tour begins with a transfer to Naro Moru on the slopes of Mt Kenya with a stop at Castle Rock to look for endemics such as Hinde's Babbler and Abbott's Starling along with hornbills and other birds. During a two-night stay at Naro Moru, birding will cover an altitudinal transect up Mt Kenya. From there the tour continues into the arid north with a stop at Shaba Game Reserve to look for Williams's Lark. Two full days will be spent birding and game viewing at the sister reserves of Samburu and Buffalo Springs. These reserves feature several mammals not found elsewhere such as Grevy's Zebra, Gerenuk, Beisa Oryx, and Reticulated Giraffe and is a good place to look for large predators. A variety of northern specialty birds are also present. The tour then drops down into the Rift Valley to Lake Nakuru, famed for the million flamingos usually lining the shoreline, with some birding en route up the road into the low-lying Aberdare Mountains. After an overnight at Lake Nakuru, the route goes up the western escarpment to the Molo Grassland to seek out Sharpe's Longclaw and Aberdare Cisticola before continuing north to Lake Baringo, one of only two freshwater lakes in the Rift Valley and home to some 450 bird species. After two days birding the Lake Baringo area, the route continues west through the Kerio Valley where some western forest birds such as Ross's Turaco can be found, arriving at Kakamega Forest Reserve that afternoon. Kakamega Forest is Kenya's last remaining rainforest and is home to some 75 bird species found only in western Kenya. Two full days will be spent birding there before proceeding south toward Kisumu and Lake Victoria with stops en route near the Uganda border to pick up some open country specialties. After a morning birding the shores of Lake Victoria, the tour continues to the Oloololo Escarpment rising above the western plains of Masai Mara. Several birds of dry forest are found on the escarpment, along with a number of mammals such as Plains Zebra, Topi, and gazelles. Two days will be spent birding and game viewing on the plains of Masai Mara with a good chance of finding Cheetah and possibly Leopard as well as Lion and many other mammals of the open plains. The tour continues to Lake Naivasha for a two night stay at famed Elsamere Centre before concluding with a day of birding on the Kinangop Plateau and the dry Gatamaiyu Forest on the eastern escarpment of the Rift Valley.