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Kakamega RFI

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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 14:43   #1
James Lowther
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Kakamega RFI

Hi all,
I will hopefully have a few days spare in Kenya in November in between a meeting and some mammal focussed safari with my wife and would like to do some more targeted birding in forest habitat. I was thinking of Kakamega NP but have not been able to figure out if it is possible to do traveling and birding independently (via kisumu airport then bus and taxi to the Np)? If not are there any recommended local guides? Or is it better to get a guide in Nairobi and travel there and back by road?
Cheers
James
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Old Saturday 20th July 2019, 10:50   #2
monkir
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Hi.

We visited Kakamega a few years ago and travelled there by road. I cant help on the public transport front but the forest is amazing and well worth the effort. We stayed at Rondo Retreat - used by other birding groups too but we four were the only ones there at the time. They have knowledge of birding guides and can arrange this if necessary in advance. We had Benjamin. It is better using a local guide as they have more knowledge of the sites/local birds. Worth giving them a shout . The cottages are lovely and the food was excellent.

I hope this is of some help.

John

https://www.rondoretreat.com/index.php/info/activities
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Old Sunday 21st July 2019, 20:34   #3
James Lowther
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Thanks a lot John, very helpful,
James
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Old Monday 22nd July 2019, 12:23   #4
Steve Lister
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I would also recommend the Rondo Retreat. It is right next to the main track through the forest and quality birding literally starts on your doorstep.

Steve
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Old Monday 22nd July 2019, 13:24   #5
James Lowther
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Thanks Steve,
James
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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 07:56   #6
mike davidson
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rondo retreat

Hi James
I also suggest Rondo retreat . Il lived in Kenya for 21 years and was a serious birder . Rondo is my favourite place and birding is great .
I am going out to Kenya again next year and will visit there again .
Re transport you can ask Rondo how to get from the airport for advise .

It is not cheap to stay there but it is idyllic !

by the way you cannot buy alcohol there but can take your own . Food is very good .

Mike D in West Moors , Dorset
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Old Friday 9th August 2019, 19:41   #7
James Lowther
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Thanks a lot Mike,
I just got in touch with Rondo retreat via Facebook, after struggling a bit with email so fingers crossed.
What are the main must see birds in Kakamega? Sub-Saharan Africa wise I’ve only been to Gambia so almost everything will be new, but it would be good to know the real specialities
Cheers
James
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2019, 09:15   #8
mike davidson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lowther View Post
Thanks a lot Mike,
I just got in touch with Rondo retreat via Facebook, after struggling a bit with email so fingers crossed.
What are the main must see birds in Kakamega? Sub-Saharan Africa wise I’ve only been to Gambia so almost everything will be new, but it would be good to know the real specialities
Cheers
James
Hi James
there are so many ! Great Blue Turaco , Black and white Casqued Hornbill and Blue -Headed Bee Eater [my favourite ] to name a few .
However there is an excellent book out acouple of years ago titled 50 TOP BIRDING SITES IN Kenya , by Catherine Ngarachu [ a good friend of mine ] . ou might be able to get a copy on the internet , or I could send you my copy if you give me your address

Mike
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Old Tuesday 13th August 2019, 11:28   #9
lewis20126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lowther View Post
Thanks a lot Mike,
I just got in touch with Rondo retreat via Facebook, after struggling a bit with email so fingers crossed.
What are the main must see birds in Kakamega? Sub-Saharan Africa wise I’ve only been to Gambia so almost everything will be new, but it would be good to know the real specialities
Cheers
James
I've never been, but my targets would be:
Turner's Eremomela - effectively endemic!
Chapin's Flycatcher - very local, only other spot is West Uganda
Uganda Woodland Warbler - ditto
Kakamega Greenbul (part of Toro Olive)

There are lots of other more widespread forest species, some of which are spectacular, but these should be amongst your top targets based solely on range.

cheers, alan
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Old Thursday 15th August 2019, 16:19   #10
James Lowther
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Thanks Mike,
i have that book on order now!
Thanks for the specialities Alan, that will be useful for planning.
I believe Kakamega greenbul is split from Shelley's however?
Am working through my copy of Birds of East Africa to update the taxonomy with potential splits and the situation with greenbuls is crazy. Multiple splits compared with the field guide and radically different genera...

cheers,
James
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Old Thursday 15th August 2019, 17:18   #11
lewis20126
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Originally Posted by James Lowther View Post
I believe Kakamega greenbul is split from Shelley's however?
Am working through my copy of Birds of East Africa to update the taxonomy with potential splits and the situation with greenbuls is crazy. Multiple splits compared with the field guide and radically different genera...

cheers,
James
Likely my bad there - I need to sharpen up as I'm in Tanzania in a month!

cheers, a
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Old Thursday 15th August 2019, 17:33   #12
James Lowther
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good luck!
James
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Old Thursday 15th August 2019, 18:30   #13
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Perhaps Mike can answer this; how safe is Kenya these days? Some time back Kenya was gaining a reputation for assaults on birders.
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Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 07:30   #14
mike davidson
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Originally Posted by Bubbs View Post
Perhaps Mike can answer this; how safe is Kenya these days? Some time back Kenya was gaining a reputation for assaults on birders.
Hi Bubbs

I have lived in Kenya for 21 years and birded all over Kenya , always with friends in a group . I still go back once a year for business reasons but managed yo get a couple of trips .I would not go on my own , so as long as you are with a group and a professional birder it is safe as any where .

Mike
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Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 07:34   #15
mike davidson
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[quote=James Lowther;3882936]Thanks Mike,
i have that book on order now!
Thanks for the specialities Alan, that will be useful for planning.
I believe Kakamega greenbul is split from Shelley's however?
Am working through my copy of Birds of East Africa to update the taxonomy with potential splits and the situation with greenbuls is crazy. Multiple splits compared with the field guide and radically different genera...

cheers,
James[/QUOTE

Hi James
agree that the lumps and splits are difficult to keep up with . The check list for Birds of Kenya was updated in 2008 and I was a junior member of the team who prepared that . I know that another update is coming out soon . If you have time in Nairobi , pay a visit to Nature Kenya office which is in the National Museum site .

Look forward to hearing of your trip

Mike
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Old Tuesday 27th August 2019, 15:50   #16
monkir
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Another good drive if you have time in Nairobi is down Magadi Road - if you can make it all the way to the lake even better
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Old Wednesday 11th September 2019, 13:23   #17
mike davidson
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kenya birding magazine

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Originally Posted by James Lowther View Post
good luck!
James
HI James

I have just received a great copy of our annual birding magazine. It has some items on KaKAMEGA !

my email address is [email protected]

If you would like me to send it to you , please email your address

,Mike
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