Kenya Mega birding tour takes in twenty-six days of non-stop birding as we thoroughly explore this famous bird and wildlife country. Not only is this safari specifically planned to obtain a huge list of mouth-watering birds and animals, but also Kenya’s most sought-after endemics and rarities. Our 2007 tour smashed all records with an amazing 817 birds, plus an incredible diversity of large mammals and other wildlife. In fact, on our five Mega tours thus far, we have recorded an unbelievable 912 species (over 80% of Kenya's possible birds!) and 99 mammal species (an average of 77 per tour!). Our recently updated itinerary has been tweaked to cover new sites and recent taxonomical splits – putting our current record in jeopardy.
Our tour begins with an exploration of the lush Shimba Hills and Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. Here we will endeavor to find some of the rarest birds in Africa, including the diminutive Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, Green-headed Oriole, Amani Sunbird and Clarke’s Weaver. We then travel through both Tsavo West and East Parks, offering excellent game viewing and a huge bird list. The isolated Taita Hills, with its critically endangered species, will no doubt be memorable, and we’ll search all elevations of the Aberdare’s and Mount Kenya’s slopes for avian gems such as Jackson’s Francolin, Bar-tailed Trogon, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, localized Hinde’s Babbler and Abyssinian Ground Thrush. We then enter the true arid zone at Samburu-Shaba, where highlights should include Golden-breasted Starling, Vulturine Guineafowl, Williams’s Lark, Somali Bee-eater and Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse. The dry woodlands of Lake Baringo are home to Jackson’s Hornbill, Northern Masked Weaver and Somali Sparrow, while the famous Kakamega forest adds a plethora of forest specials with Blue-headed Bee-eater. Turner’s Eremomela, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat and Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye being notable targets. After exploring the papyrus swamps and moist woodlands along Lake Victoria, we finally enter the plains to visit arguably the most famous game reserve in the world, the fabulous Maasai Mara!
*2024 Prices are estimated and dates may change*
Sharpe's Longclaw, Sokoke Scops & Cape Eagle Owls, Sokoke & Malindi Pipits, Clarke's, Compact & Taveta Weavers, Hinde's & Scaly Babblers, East Coast Akalat, Green Barbet, Green Tinkerbird, Fischer's, White-crested, Ross's & Hartlaub's Turaco, Amani, Plain-backed, Tsavo, Violet-breasted & Golden-winged Sunbirds, Green-headed Oriole, Taita & Abyssinian Ground Thrushes, Taita Apalis, Taita & Kikuyu White-eyes, Jackson's & Elgon Francolins, Aberdare Cisticola, Abbott's, Golden-breasted, Magpie & Fischer's Starlings, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, Somali & Three-banded Coursers, Rock Pratincole, William's & Friedmann's Lark, Jackson's Hornbill, Red-naped Bushshrike, Somali Sparrow, Donaldson-Smith's Sparrow-Weaver, Somali & Blue-headed Bee-eaters, White-headed Mousebird, Turner's & Yellow-vented Eremomelas, Yellow-bellied & Jameson's Wattle-eyes, Vulturine Guineafowl, White-spotted Flufftail, Bar-tailed Trogon, Hartlaub's Bustard, Sooty Gull, Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse, Eastern Black-headed & Forest Batis, Donaldson-Smith's Nightjar, Forbe's-Watson's Swift, White-headed Wood Hoopoe, Pallid Honeyguide, Mombasa & Speckle-breasted Woodpeckers, African Broadbill, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Papyrus Gonolek, Red-throated Tit, Uganda Woodland, Black-faced Rufous & Basra Reed Warblers, Somali Crombec, Southern & Yellow-bellied Hyliotas, Brown-chested Alethe, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Easy Coast Akalat, White-throated Robin, Chapin's & Gambaga Flycatchers, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Fire-fronted & Zanzibar Red Bishops, Jackson's Widowbird, Red-throated & Brown Twinspots, Grey-headed Silverbill, Steel-blue Whydah, Cuckoo Finch, Papyrus Canary, Southern Grosbeak-Canary, Oriole Finch. Top Mammals
Lion, Leopard, Black & White Rhinoceros, Cheetah, Striped & Spotted Hyenas, Reticulated, Maasai & Rothschild's Giraffes, Angola Pied Colobus, Grevy’s Zebra, Gerenuk, Serval, Golden-rumped Elephant-Shrew, Crested Porcupine, Small-spotted & Blotched Genets, African Civet, African Buffalo, African Elephant, Southern Tree Hyrax, Giant Forest Hog, Lesser & Greater Kudu, Harvey's Duiker, Suni, Sable Antelope Habitats Covered
lowland & montane forests, Acacia savanna, papyrus swamps, rivers and wetlands, rocky gorges, grassland, semi-desert, coastal estuaries Expected Climate
warm to hot, dry conditions, but cool at higher elevations and occasional rain can be expected Max Group Size
6 with 1 Rockjumer leader Tour Pace & Walking
Our Mega tours are very fast-paced birding adventures designed for the dedicated lister and serious birder. The focus of the tour is to see as many of the endemics and area specials as possible in our given time. In order to cover the necessary route to maximise the species list we tend to spend a single night at most sites and travel large distances. There is very little down time aside from that spent driving from one site to the next. These tours are not suitable for dedicated or avid photographers; inexperienced or new birders; as well as anyone with serious mobility or health challenges. Accommodation
comfortable to luxurious lodges, a few more basic hotels & tented camps Ease of Birding
mostly easy birds with some difficult species Number of Species Expected
780 - 800+ Other Attractions
Olorgasailie Prehistoric sites, Mt Kenya, Aberdare Mountains, Shimba Hills, Maasai Mara, Lakes Elementeita & Baringo, Masaai and other local tribes, African curios Photographic Opportunities
good to excellent - time permitting
We both had a very enjoyable tour with Gareth Robbins. There were a couple of occasions where we needed medical attention and our needs were taken care of in a very timely manner. We were very impressed with the professional way in which Gareth lead the tour and with his care and consideration of the tour participants. His wildlife, cultural knowledge and experiences contributed to a really great tour.
We have birded with David Hoddinott previously. As usual, David was exceptionally talented at finding birds and other wildlife, plus making certain that all participants were able to see them. David maximized our exposure to viewing birds and wildlife which made the tour a pleasurable experience.
I really can’t think of a way this tour could have been improved.... The itinerary was wonderful, the accommodations lovely, and the birds fantastic. Greg de Klerk is one of my all-time favorite guides. He genuinely cares about his guests, and does his best to make sure they have a great experience. This was truly a trip I have dreamed of since I was a kid, and it certainly fulfilled my expectations.
We very much enjoyed our East Africa experience, finding it to be the adventure we dreamed it would be. With Greg de Klerk as our excellent and informative guide and the incredible wildlife, the tour exceeded our expectations. Greg took care of us all throughout the tour and was extremely patient and considerate to make certain that all were able to find the birds we were seeking. We had a group with different levels of birding experience and Greg worked so well with all. Thanks to all who made this wonderful experience happen for us.
David Hoddinott and indeed the drivers and Alison were all amazing - making this a life-changing experience. Everything went far better than expected throughout the tour in my opinion. I do not see how it could have been improved. Well done to all!