Overview

Our Kenya Mega birding tour offers twenty-six days of non-stop birdwatching as we thoroughly explore this famous bird and wildlife of this country. Our 2007 tour smashed all records with an amazing 817 bird species recorded, 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!). 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 new summer version of this tour has been timed and tweaked to aim for even higher numbers!

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!

Tour Facts Top Birds
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
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

The booking was complicated by the COVID crisis and the many participants who cancelled the tour, but I am very grateful to RJ who managed to maintain the tour. The tour itself was absolutely outstanding, because of Kenya, because of the protected areas system, because of the birds and the mammals, because of the scarcity of other tourist, because of the small number and high quality of tour participants, but above all, because of the enthusiasm and professionalism of our Kenyan birdguide and our driver-birder guide. From the first minutes to the last hour of the 26 days tour, they have been fantastic guides, with amazing spotting capacity, top skill to attract skulking and shy species, and difficult to beat knowledge of songs and calls, of identification criteria, of local repartition and habitat preference of each species. And added to this, a thorough knowledge of all the places we visited and a great network of local guides who provided additional assistance to both locate rare and difficult birds, but also to avoid problems with local peoples. I cannot praise highly enough their work and the great atmosphere they created during this long tour, and I am sure I will return to Kenya with them.

Greg de Klerk was very friendly and competent. He worked diligently to ensure we all saw the birds. We were always given sufficient time to look closely and for some to take photos. A most enjoyable tour.

Great trip – close encounters with a lot of target birds and mammals, exciting habitats, comfortable accommodations and an outstanding guide. Glen must be one of the foremost authorities on African birds and I learned a great deal from him regarding ecology, behaviour, systematics and conservation.

Our Rockjumper guide was Rich Lindie. The word “excellent” does not begin to cover the outstanding quality of his technical and interpersonal skills. Rich is the personification of enthusiasm for what he does. Extensively knowledgeable about both flora and fauna (in particular of course birds), he was at all times professional and friendly. In addition, Rich has a great sense of humor and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him and hearing about some of his amazing experiences in international travel, living, teaching and guiding. What an interesting and talented young man. We were very fortunate to have him as our guide.

Thank you for a wonderful experience! The tour exceeded my expectations. Andre Bernon is an extremely talented and knowledgeable guide. His eyes and ears are incredible and he is very thoughtful with his guests.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
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