Trip report: Kenya: Big 5 mammals and a overwhelming mosaic of African birds (August 2010) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Keith Barnes.

This was the second leg of our second Megafari of 2010 – a true trip of a lifetime for most of the participants. The main aims of the Kenya leg was to see a mosaic of African birds from the drier woodlands of the Amboseli area through to the many specialties of the montane rainforests of Mt Kenya and the lowland forests of Kakamega. In addition, mammals were on the mind and we saw a staggering 50 species. But it was the nature of our encounters that were amazing! Several prides of lions with kills were probably the stand-out feature for mammal enthusiasts, but we also had classic Cheetah, Leopard and Serval encounters, making the trip a boon for cats. Amongst the more regular fare, great views of both species of Rhinoceros, and Giant Forest Hog were exciting. We netted 534 bird species and 50 mammals on this 19-day leg of the trip, as well as accumulating an incredible 652 bird species and 60 mammals in just over four-weeks of the Megafari. The Megafari was a boon for spectacular birds and we saw 32 species of bird of prey, 8 species of turaco, 7 species of kingfisher, 8 species of bee-eater, 9 species of hornbill, and 28 species of sunbird. We also saw the famous Big-5 mammals and had incredible encounters with Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees amongst 12 species of primates. For the extremely successful Uganda and Rwanda portion of the tour, see our trip report for that tour.

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