In September 2015 we, Leonie and Rick, joined Mwangi Wa Gitau for a 6-days bird safari in Kenya. Mwangi is a very knowledgeable Guide, an official Birding Pal Professional Guide and highly recommend.
We had our first encounter through BirdingPal, and worked together to design a tailor made trip. Mwangi is a good listener and understood well that we were not in search of the big five or fancy resorts. He has the right contacts in the right places, such as Lake Elementaita and Lake Baringo. The accommodations were well chosen, simple and exactly what we were looking for. We hardly saw any other tourist and we were surrounded by birdlife.
Mwangi offers bird watching time for as long as you like. Sometimes we ran out of energy, but he was still going strong. Even during the late evenings, when checking the bird list, he was helpful reminding us the details of the birds we saw that day. This prevented some errors for our eBird submissions. And when he heard a potential lifer, he dragged us out into the bush again. Of course, we didn't mind!
Mwangi knows the bird calls, even from ones who mimic others, which is incredible. We met his trainers in Nairobi, but he has clearly surpassed them all. What is also important; Mwangi is a team player. He knows his birds, but he also receives advice form the local experts. This way we found Owls, Coursers and Nightjars in a matter of minutes. He would probably have found them by himself, but it saved time to learn about the latest roosting movements by teaming up. He appreciates the smaller, less colourful birds (Hunter's Cisticola) as much as the impressive Fish Eagle.
We dreamed of visiting Kenya and after 20 years the dream came through. However, Kenya is not off the "bucket list". Better: it will stay on the list and hopefully we'll be back within a few years.
Mwangi will certainly be part of our next trip.