Kenya Custom Trip 2013, Part I – Naivasha

Shiv just sent us the trip report from our recent trip to Kenya. This was a custom tour designed to introduce the clients to  Africa’s wildlife and to help them get as many photographic opportunities as possible, and Shiv delivered very successfully! The first part of this report features the amazing wildlife at Naivasha.



The trip started reasonably well, considering that just a few days before Iker and Iratxe were set to travel, our airport’s arrivals terminal had burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances. Yet after a good night’s rest in Nairobi, and a scenic drive to Naivasha coming down the eastern side of the Rift Valley, spirits were high. It is nice to travel with a couple who were so excited to be here. This was their first trip to sub-Saharan Africa, and they were suitably enthused.

Naivasha Boat Trip

Lake Naivasha is a special place. It is only one of two freshwater lakes in the East African Rift Valley, and boasts an impressive list of 450 bird species. But the main photographic target here was the African Fish Eagle, easily Africa’s most recognized bird.

African Fish Eagle

Each day the clouds moved at just the right moment to afford the best light whilst shooting. Iker managed to get some wonderful shots, and Iratxe was enveloped in her own personal birdwatching heaven. There weren’t only Fish Eagles to be seen, the lake was stuffed with waders, herons and egrets, gulls and terns, and 4 species of kingfishers.

African Pied Kingfisher
Gray-headed Gull

A brief afternoon’s trip to Hell’s Gate National Park was productive but the weather was dreadful. It was a good time to put down the cameras and concentrate on birds, which here meant cliff-nesting raptors. Hell’s gate is the best place in Kenya to watch nesting Ruppell’s Vultures, soaring Verreaux’s Eagles and Lanner Falcons. The Verreaux’s Eagles proved elusive, but we did get to see a big female Lanner hunting within a large flock of Mottled Swifts at dusk. A perfect way to finish off the trip.

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