Kenya’s Great Rift Valley Lakes are simply legendary. The sheer volume of species that can be found around these lakes is unparalleled. Take Lake Baringo, where the world record for the number of bird species observed in one single area was broken once.
Nestled in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria National Reserve, and Lake Nakuru offer exceptional birding. Lake Baringo’s diverse habitats draw over an impressive 450 species. Nearby, Lake Bogoria’s National Reserve’s hot springs attract huge flocks of flamingos (in their millions). UNESCO-listed Lake Nakuru National Park hosts 400 bird species as well as being an impressive big game viewing park – the best place in Kenya to see White and Black Rhinos. These remarkable Great Rift Valley Lakes are must-visit destinations for birders exploring Kenya.
We’ve put together a 3-day tour that showcases the best of them. An extension to Lake Naivasha, Lake Elementaita, or to Africa’s largest desert lake, Lake Turkana can be easily arranged.
From Nairobi, we will travel north to the exceptional Lake Baringo. Our focus will be seeing birds around the lakeshore of Lake Baringo. We will also get to venture onto the lake by boat to seek out elusive species, keeping an out for African Fish Eagles while they hunt and vocalize their territorial calls. Additionally, we will be exploring the scrubland and dramatic cliffs encircling the lake, aiming to see raptors like the Dark Chanting-Goshawk, Spotted Eagle-Owl, African Scops Owl, Northern White-faced Scops Owl, Shikra, and Verreaux’s Eagle. Other species to look forward to are the Slender- tailed Nightjar, Heuglin’s Courser, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, D’Arnaud’s Barbet, Black-throated Barbet, Brubru, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Jackson’s Golden-backed Weaver, Northern Masked Weaver, to name a few.
Where you will be staying: Tumbili Cliff Lodge
In the morning, we will be visiting Lake Bogoria National Reserve, renowned for its breathtaking volcanic hot springs and an astonishing population of flamingos—often surpassing a million at once! A perfect morning seeing this spectacular mass congregation.
In the afternoon, we will drive to the Lake Nakuru National Park, only a short drive away where we’ll end the trip on a high. Acclaimed as the ‘Birdwatcher’s Paradise,’ this is an unparalleled birding location and a highlight of the trip. With over 300+ species found around this magnificent alkaline lake, we will take our time capturing photographs of target bird species such as White-backed Duck, Saddle-billed Stork, Marabou Stork, African Spoonbill, Great Crested Grebe, African Jacana, Black-headed Oriole, Red-chested Cuckoo, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Grey-backed Fiscal, along with numerous amounts of big game found here.
Where you will be staying: Lake Nakuru Lodge
Easy – on-foot birding at Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria National Reserve but nothing too strenuous.
Best time of year to visit:
All year round, but prime birding season in Kenya falls during the short rains of November and early December. This period showcases most species in vibrant breeding plumage, featuring captivating display behaviours of whydahs, widowbirds, and bishops. Additionally, it’s when numerous Palearctic migrants make their presence felt, so the count will be high.
The above cost is based on a small group. This is not scheduled as a group tour. Please get in touch if you’d like us to arrange a private tailor made tour.
At Sustainable Birding, our goal is to ensure that every birding holiday we create contributes positively to bird conservation efforts and local communities. Our determination to promote sustainable travel led us to become founding members of Tourism Declares Climate Emergency. As part of this commitment, we have established the world’s pioneering carbon scoring and offsetting framework for tailor-made holidays. Feel free to request us to carbon score your individual trip!
Bird species highlights:
This tour has been designed for you to explore Kenya’s top mammal and birding destinations in just over a week. You will have the opportunity to visit three of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley lakes, trek through the tropical rainforest of Kakamega Forest, discover by boat Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria, and culminate your journey at the iconic Masai Mara National Reserve.
The Sustainable Birding Company is a subsidiary of Far and Wild Travel, a tailor-made tour company based in Cumbria, UK. Far and Wild Travel offer sustainable, luxury, tailor-made tour itineraries throughout Africa and around the world.