New Trip Report: Kenya self-drive

Here’s a new report from Jan Ebr who was in – all over (5300km!) – Kenya over Christmas.

Kenya, 2021/22: Jan Ebr, 25 days & 84 species including Naked Molerat, Hammer-headed Fruit Bat, De Brazza’s Monkey and Weyn’s Duiker.




  • Theo Linders

    Thank you for the great report!

    I also just returned from a short visit to Kenya, mainly focusing on Kakamega forest, with small sidetrips to the Aberdares and Saiwa Swamp.

    Kakamega Forest is really unique for Kenya, with quite some central African species around. The birdlife really is something else and one needs at least 2-3 nights here if you are also a birdwatcher. I stayed at the Rondo Retreat in the centre of the forest, which has African palm civet on the grounds, as well as a hammer-headed fruit bat lek nearby (what a sound!) and a Lord Derby’s anomalure roosting just outside the gate. There is an excellent trail system with even better (optional) guides which have great knowledge of where to find certain animals. They also organize night walks, which I did not do due to rains and already long birding days. A bat cave up one of the hills had Miniopterus inflatus.

    Saiwa Swamp was nice, though very small and due to logistical issues I wasn’t able to visit the swamp very early/late on the day, so I missed the sitatunga. We saw multiple De Brazza guenon troups, but these animals tend to forage close to the ground near the swamp edge and are extremely quiet, so easy to miss.

    Generally covid means that traveling has become a lot cheaper and hotels are near empty, I stayed one night at the Ark in the Aberdares to catch up with old friends and only paid just over 100 USD, where the rate used to be twice that. Same experience at other hotels (which one should only book directly with them, as etc. are very overpriced) and the car hire (Kabira Uganda Safaris has very good cars including driver at very reasonable costs).

  • Jon Hall

    THanks Theo – will you write a separate report? It sounds like a great place!

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