12 Days Bird Watching

One day longer on trek, climbing a natural, rather than manmade path, the Machame Route is a more demanding but much quieter and scenic route up the mountain. Overnights are spent camping in tents which are carried and pitched by the accompanying porters. Highlights of this route are the Shira Plateau, Barranco wall and the Karanga Valley reaching the summit via Stella Point. Because this route is more taxing it is recommended that trekkers should be physically fit and with the additional day on trek to assist with acclimatisation there is a good chance of reaching the summit.

Day 1: Tree Hotel

Accommodation: Tree Hotel

Depart for Thika and onto the densely forested slopes of Mount Kenya to arrive for lunch at Mountain Lodge. Here you can opt to sit on the balcony to observe the birds and other animals who come to the waterhole or go for a birding along the nearby forest where one can observe Olive & Bronze-naped Pigeons, Silvery-cheeked Hornbills, Ruppell’s Robin Chat, White-starred Forest Robin, Mountain Greenbul and maybe Verreaux Eagle Owl.

Day 2 - 3: Lake Naivasha

Accommodation: Lake Naivasha Country Club

After breakfast depart with picnic lunches via Thompsons falls into the Rift Valley to Lake Naivasha. Thompson falls is another paradise for birders where one has the opportunity for more birding. Continue to Lake Naivasha for a late afternoon boat ride where you can observe a variety of birds on the lake. Local Specialities include: Lesser & Grater Flamingos, Great White Pelican, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Narina’s Trogon, Arrow- marked Babbler and red-headed Weaver, Hilderbrandt’s Francolin, Montane and Dusky Nightjar. On the second day you will head for hell’s gate in search of the “Bearded Eagle”. Return to the Lake Naivasha Country Club for lunch and spend the afternoon in the vast gardens in search of a variety of birds.

Day 4 - 5: Lake Baringo

Accommodation: Lake Baringo Club

Early morning departure for the Great Rift Valley, the world’s largest fault, 2,500 feet deep, 30 kilometres wide, 2,500 kilometres long. We enjoy an opportunity to go in search of Greater Kudu near the hot springs of Lake Bogoria. Afternoon boat excursion to view Hippo, Crocodiles and water birds at close range. You will spend 2 nights at LAKE BARINGO CLUB. Local specialities include: Dark Chanting Goshawk, Silverbird, Cliffchats, Jackson’s & Yellow-billed Hornbills, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Bristle-crowned Starlings, Verreaux Eagle & Spotted Eagle Owl. Spotted Morning Thrush, Beautiful Sunbird, Grey-headed Bush Shrike, Northern Red Bishop, Northern Masked Weaver, Goliath Heron & Fish Eagle.

DAY 6 - 7: Kakamega.

Accommodation: The Fairmont Ark

Full day drive over the Tugen Hills, through the Kerio Valley and Serikwa plateau and finally onto Kakamega Forest. Kakamega is the eastern most remnant of the great west African rain forests that once stretched the width of Africa, its flora, fauna & avifauna is fascinating.Specialities include Great Blue Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, Blue-headed Bee-Eater, Black & White Casqued Hornbill, Black-billed and Vieillot’s Black Weavers. Overnight RONDO RETREAT. Specialities include Great Blue Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, Blue-headed Bee-Eater, Black & White Casqued Hornbill, Black-billed and Vieillot’s Black Weavers, Chubb Cisticola, Joyfull Greenbul, Luhder’s Bushshrike, Turner’s Eremomela, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Honeyguide Greenbul, Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye & Chestnut Wattle-eye.

DAY 8 - 11: Maasai Mara.

Accommodation: Siana Springs

Early morning departure over the Mau Escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and onto the north west boundary of Kenya’s famous Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Mara is undoubtedly Africa’s finest game viewing area with an immense array of wildlife, large and small, but most notably large predators; Leopard, Lion, Cheetah, Serval Cat, Spotted Hyenas, Jackals and occasionally the endangered Cape Hunting Dog, all accompanied by an equally impressive array of prey species. During the summer months the huge wildlife populations are all supplemented by the massive migratory herds of Wildebeest and Zebra on their annual migrations north from the southern Serengeti plains.
The first 2 nights will be spent at the Kichwa Tembo and the next 2 nights at Siana Springs. Here you can see the “Big Five” as well as the other plain’s game. This area is a paradise for photographers and conservationists. Local bird specialities include: Open-billed Storks, Temminck’s Courser, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Usambiro Barbet and Denham’s Bustard, Tabora Cisticola, Red-fronted Barbet, Paradise Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Black Flycatcher, & Blue Flycatcher,, Red-throated Tit, Saddle Billed Stork, & White-headed Vulture, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Hooded Vulture.

DAY 12: Maasai Mara.

Accommodation: N/A

After an early morning game drive and breakfast we return to Nairobi.