Superb birding Kenya Central & West Safari 13 days
Superb birding Kenya Central & West Safari 13 days

Superb birding Kenya Central & West Safari 13 days

Places you will vist: Nairobi National Park, Aberdare, Lake Baringo, Kakamega Rainforest, Lake Victoria

This tour Superb birding Kenya Central & West Safari is very special since you will learn about bird species which have their most southern and eastern distribution area of their whole distribution range in the areas you will visit.

Kenya has about 1.080 bird species; out of these 7 are endemic and others endemic to Kenya and neighbouring countries – Somalia, Uganda, Southern Sudan and Tanzania. A good number of subspecies are endemic in the region.

Best birding Kenya Central & West Safari takes you to savannah, soda lakes, rain forest, mountain forest, to the largest lake in Africa Lake Victoria. A large variety of biotopes means a large number of different bird species.

Several of the bird species you will look for on this Birding Kenya Central & West Safari are difficult to spot since they live in forest canopies or thickets. This is the reason why we recommend one of our experienced ornithological guides to accompany you. Additionally a local birding guide who knows where to trace some of the hiding species will accompany you.

This Superb birding Kenya Central & West Safari 13 days as described below will allow you time to photograph and also time to enjoy the fantastic landscapes and beautiful accommodation. 


We will provide a bird list of the visited areas on this birding Kenya Safari since there are too many species to list here. Once you reach home and are not sure about a species, just e-mail us the photo and we will gladly assist.


Nairobi National Park – the birder’s paradise with over 500 identified bird species. Some semi endemic species can be observed well in this 117 km² measuring area: Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana athi), Kenya rufous Sparrow (Passer rufocinctus), Long-tailed Fiscal (Lanius h. humeralis), Red-throated Tit (Parus fringillinus), Northern pied Babbler (Turdoides hypoleuca hypoleuca) and many more.


Around the dams you can find Fish Eagle, Open-billed Stork, African Spoonbill, Darter, Night Heron, Pink-backed Pelican, Plovers a.o. Along the river we often spot Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Moustached Grass-Warbler (Melocichla mentalis orientalis), Von der Deckens Hornbill, White-bellied Tit, Rüppel’s Starling and many more.


The open grass land is inhabited by Red-collared Widowbird, Yellow Bishop, African Citril (Serinus citrinelloides kikuyensis), White-bellied Canary, Pin-tailed Whydah, Black-bellied Bustard, White-bellied Bustard, Shelley’s Francolin a.o.  

Predators: Tawny Eagle, Martial Eagle, Black-winged Kite, Lappet-faced Vulture and a Greater spotted Eagle has been spending the northern winter here.


Aberdare region – the volcanic range is also the border of the Great Rift Valley. Thanks to the different vegetation zones from 1.700 m to the highest peak at Lesatima at 4.001 m you find a large number of bird species. Endemic in grass land in the southern region is Sharpe’s Longclaw, in the moorland the Aberdare Cisticola and Jackson’s Francolin.
Birds of prey: Mountain Buzzard, Montague’s Harrier, Crowned Eagle, Augur Buzzard and Great Sparrow-Hawk. Fantastic to watch are the various colourful sunbirds and finches!


Lake Baringo is one of the birding paradises with nearly 500 species. This is one of the places during this Ornithological Kenya Central & West Safari tour to spot species in their most southern distribution range: Jackson’s Hornbill, Brown-tailed Rock-Chat, Little Weaver and Northern masked Weaver. The area is also amazing for different owl species, sunbirds, Hemprich’s Hornbill and many more.

Kakamega Rainforest is the last remnant of a once all East Africa covering rain forest. It is here where western and eastern African flora and fauna meet, which makes the region very special. It is not always easy to spot bird living in the forest either high up in the canopy or in thickets. That is why you will walk with a local birding guide who knows the whereabouts of some of them.

Lake Victoria – the largest lake in Africa has some amazing bird species like Papyrus Gonolek, Black-headed Gonolek, Carruther’s Cisticola, Red-chested Sunbird, Blue-headed Coucal, Slender-billed Weaver, Northern brown-throated Weaver, Swamp Flycatcher and many more.

Itinerary Superb birding Kenya Central & West Safari 13 days

Day 1 – Arrival in Nairobi
At Jomo Kenyatta international Airport you will be greeted and taken to the hotel. The drive is just about 40 minutes depending on traffic.

Heron Portico Hotel or any other, breakfast

Day 2 – Nairobi National Park
Early morning your driver/guide and birding guide will pick you and you spend the day in the only National Park in the world bordering a capital city. You will search in all habitats for common and rare birds. During the northern winter you will find a good number of migrants.

You will carry packed lunch which you will take at the river. A ranger will accompany you for a walk along the river where you can find kingfishers, herons, finches and others. Then you continue with the drive looking for more species.

In the evening you will return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. We hope you had a splendid first day of your ornithological Kenya Safari.

Heron Portico Hotel or any other, full board


Day 3 – Nairobi Aberdare National Park
After breakfast you will be picked by your driver/guide and birding guide and the journey takes you over the rim of the Great Rift Valley and down almost up to Naivasha. Here you take the road to your right and start ascending to the grassland at Kinangop. A local guide will take you to see the first endemic bird species on your ornithological Kenya Safar. The Sharpe’s Longclaw is also endangered but luckily some local people look after them.

The road takes you even higher up and at 3.187 m at Mutubio Gate you will be checked in. You are now in the heather zone and open moorland, the habitat of the endemic Aberdare Cisticola and Jackson’s Francolin.

You have picnic lunch with you which you will enjoy at a lovely place.

In the afternoon you descend in northeastern direction. In the Rosewood / Podocarpus zone you look out for Red-fronted Parrots (Poicephalus gulielmi massaicus), Black Saw-wing, Eastern and Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird and with luck you might spot a Malachite Sunbird taking nectar on a Red hot Poker flower.

Scaly Francolin live at lower altitude in the mountain forest. Near The Ark you might be lucky and see the impressive black Giant Forest Hogs.

The Ark is a night observation lodge and the spot lights enable you to see Elephants, Buffalos, Bush Bucks coming to drink and lick salt while spotted Hyenas are looking for prey or a carcass. Birds are also visiting at night like the Black Duck and Thick-knee.

The Ark, full board

Day 4 – Aberdare – Lake Baringo
Early morning as well as yesterday evening time permitting walk on the wooden path. Here you might find Hunter’s Cisticola, Golden-winged Sunbird, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Grey-headed Negrofinch, White-starred Robin, Mountain Greenbul, Mountain Yellow Warbler and others.

As soon as you are ready to depart you leave the park and meet with Paul along the road. He is in charge of the project protecting the Mackinder’s Eagle Owl. He will tell you a lot about his work and take you to see at least one of these wonderful birds.

After driving along the equator you are heading south and through Nakuru town from where again the road takes you north to the equator again. If it is worth to visit Lake Bogoria will be decided closer to your birding trip. Currently the water level is so high that the flamingos are hard to reach.

You will carry picnic lunch to be time independent and later in the afternoon check in at the lodge. Maybe there is time to search for the Jackson’s Hornbill, Little Weaver and Northern masked Weaver. Here is their most southern distribution range and they love being around in the lodge compound.

Tumbili Cliff Lodge, full board

Day 5 – Lake Baringo
You start your day with an early breakfast before you will explore the water birds on a 3 hour boat ride. Herons, egrets, bishops, warbler and the Fish Eagle shooting down to fetch the fish the boat man has thrown on the water.

Northern masked Weaver and Golden-backed Weaver weave their nests on dead trees. In any case you will see many species!

In the afternoon you will search for other species like Bristle-crowned Starling, Magpie Starling and others. Your guides will search Pearl-spotted Owlet, Northern White-faced Owl, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, African Scops-Owl, Greyish Eagle-Owl, Slender-tailed Nightjar and Heuglin’s (Three-banded) Courser.

Tumbili Cliff Lodge, full board 

Day 6 – Lake Baringo
Early morning when temperatures have not yet risen you get below the basalt lava cliffs and walk under Acacia trees. Here you might find Pygmy Falcon, Shikra, Mocking Cliff Chat, Brown-tailed Rock-Chat, Shining Sunbird, Gambaga Flycatcher and maybe a Verreaux’s Eagle soaring along the cliff hunting for Rock Hyrax or a Lanner Falcon looking down at you.

For lunch you will return to the lodge.

The compound is full of different bird species. So you spend the afternoon with your birding guide and search for Three-streaked Tchagra, Somali Tit, Eastern violet-backed Sunbird, Pygmy Batis, Steel-blue Whydah and many more.

Tumbili Cliff Lodge, full board

Day 7 – Baringo – Kakamega Rain Forest
The road up the Tugen Hills is steep and you will experience hair pin bends. As steep is the road down into the Kerio Valley where you will stop to look at the Kerio Gorge. A bit gentler is the road climbing up the Elgeyo Marakwet Escarpment. This is the area where Kenya’s athletes are training. You will pass Eldoret town and if you like alcoholic drinks you can buy them here since Rondo Retreat doesn’t sell.

You will reach Rondo Retreat in the middle of Kakamega Rain Forest for a bit late lunch.

In the afternoon you take a walk through the amazing garden and look out for Great Blue Turaco, Crowned Eagle, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Grey and Olive Sunbird, Joyful Bulbul but also red-legged Sun squirrel, Matschie’s Colobus and Red-tailed monkeys. You will see this garden is full of life!

Rondo Retreat Centre, full board – please carry your alcoholic drinks

Day 8 + 9 – Kakamega Rainforest
West and East African flora and fauna meet at Kakamega Rainforest. This makes the area enormously interesting since you are within a region very rich of different plant, animal and bird species. 330 bird species are recorded and many only occur here or further west.

You will walk in the forest around Rondo Retreat but also spend one morning in the part north of Kakamega town managed by Kenya Wildlife Service. Local guides will assist in finding more elusive species.

Kakamega has many colourful birds like the Great Blue Turaco, Ross’s Turaco, Blue-headed Bee-eater several barbets and finches but also many with duller colours like Alethe, Greenbuls and others.

Just walking under the huge trees, listen to voices and spot many butterflies is enjoyable by itself. The variety of birds you can find here on our ornithological Kenya safari is amazing. Take your time and listen to sounds.

Rondo Retreat Centre, full board – please carry your alcoholic drinks

Day 10 – Kakamega Rainforest – Lake Victoria
It is an interesting drive passing ancient rock formations shaped by wind and water. Some of them are really tall. The drive is 2.5 – 3 hours and goes through Kisumu town. Either you check at the lodge at the Impala Wildlife Sanctuary or any nearby.

In the afternoon you will walk in the Impala Wildlife Sanctuary (115 recorded bird species) and search for Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Red-chested Sunbird, Carruther’s Cisticola, Slender-billed Weaver, Swamp Flycatcher, Black-headed Gonolek a.o.

Impala Eco Lodge or similar, full board

Day 11 – Lake Victoria
Early morning you will enjoy a 3 hour boat ride in search of the local birds and to photograph them. Some are swimming and some hide in the papyrus and reed others perch of fly over the water – so you must have your eyes everywhere. Papyrus Gonolek, Carruther’s Cisticola and several warbler species are hiding in papyrus which doesn’t make them easy to be spotted.

For lunch you return to the hotel.

In the afternoon a short drive will take you to the Hippo Point pool to look for more bird species or you visit again the Impala Wildlife Sanctuary.

Impala Eco Lodge or similar, full board 

Day 12 – Lake Victoria – Ndere National Park
As usual you start the day very early since it takes a while to reach the island by car and by boat. You will spend the day here with picnic lunch and search for some of the around 133 species.

Impala Eco Lodge or similar, full board

Day 13 – Kisumu – Nairobi
A short drive to the Dunga area. It is worth to have a look here and some species might surprise you by showing up. 

Lunch will be taken in a restaurant before you get to the airport for the flight to Nairobi. At Four Points by Sheraton you will have a day room and a hotel vehicle will take you to your departure flight.

We are very flexible and gladly work out your specific Kenya birding Safari for you.

What are the possibilities how to travel on this Superb birding Kenya Central & West Safari 13 days?

  • Landcruiser is required and we recommend photographers with long lenses not to be more one car for the Nairobi and Aberdare part. The following visited places are mainly on foot or by boat.
  • You will definitely get to see the most species by having a professional local ornithological guide at your side for the whole trip. Locally he will be assisted by local guides who know the whereabouts of certain species
  • You can also travel with a driver/guide who has reasonable to good birding knowledge and do some bird identification yourself.
  • Lorenzo Barelli as you can see from his photos is a keen bird photographer and will gladly share his knowledge about birds and photography
Season, preferred guide, number of participants influence the price. We therefore don’t indicate a price for our best ornithological Kenya Central & West Safari here. Kindly get in touch with us and we gladly send you a quotation.

Some bird species of the different regions you visit during this Superb birding Kenya Central & West Safari 13 days

Nairobi National Park:
Narina Trogon, Red-eyed -, Ring-necked Dove, Dusky Turtle Dove, Greater Cormorant, Darter, Reed Cormorant, Fish Eagle, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Winding -, Rattling -, Stout Cisticola, Black-winged Kite, Lanner Falcon, Tawny Eagle, Martial Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, Augur Buzzard, Spur-winged Goose, Pink-backed Pelican, Open-billed Stork, Striped Kingfisher, Grey-headed Gull, herons, egrets, African Purple Swamphen, Red, – Yellow-billed Ducks, Rüppel’s Robin-Chat, Northern Fiscal, Long-tailed Fiscal, Red-backed -, Red-tailed Shrike, Rüppel’s -, Superb Starling, Widows, Whydas and many more. around 500 bird species occur.

Lake Baringo:
Dark and white morph of African Paradise Flycatcher, Pygmy and Lanner Falcon,  Pearl-spotted Owlet, African Sops Owl, Verreaux Eagle Owl, Northern White-faced Scops Owl, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Northern Grey or Somali Tit, Heuglin’s Courser, Pale Prinia, Darter, Great White – Little – Cattle Egret, Purple and Goliath Heron, African Fish Eagle, Osprey, Jackson’s Hornbill, Madagascar Bee-eater, Black-headed Plover, Common Tern, Jacobine, – Red-chester Cuckoo, Green Wood-hoopoe, Pied – Malachite and Pygmy Kingfishers, Spot-flanked – Red-fronted – Black-throated Barbets, Nubian and Grey Woodpeckers, Rufous Chatterer, Brown Babbler, Brown-tailed Rock-chat, Northern Crombec, Pygmy Batis, Southern Black Flycatcher, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, White-crested Helmet-shrike, Violet-backed – Magpie  – Bristle-crowned Starlings, Northern Masked – Little – Red-headed Weavers,  Yellow Bishop, Pin-tailed, Steel-blue Whydahs. A local ornithologist has identified 470 bird species.

Kakamega Rainforest:
Great Blue Turaco, Ross’s Turaco, Double-toothed -, Yellow-spotted-, Yellow-billed- and Grey-throated Barbets, Black&White Casqued Hornbill, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Joyful Greenbul, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Turner;s Eremomela, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Equatorial Akalat, Bar-tailed Trogon, African Blue Flycatcher, Grey Parrot, African Thrush, Snowy-head, Blue-shouldered Robin-chats, Chubb’s Cistocola, Black-collared Apalis, Dusky Crested Flycatcher, African blue Flycatcher, Mackinnon’s Shrike, Red-headed Bluebill, Grey-headed Negrofinch and many others. East and West African flora and fauna meet here. That is why the area is so interesting and rewarding.

Lake Victoria:
Black-headed Gonolek, Papyrus Gonolek, Caspian Tern, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Grey-headed Gull, herons, egrets, Moorhens, Gallulines, Carruther’s Cisticola, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Swamp Flycatcher, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Slender-billed Weaver, Compact Weaver and many more