Mau Eburu Forest Birding
Mau Eburu forest the is easternmost conservatory of the 22 gazetted forest blocks that forms the vast 420,000 hectare Mau Forest Complex, within Kenya’s Rift Valley, the largest indigenous montane forest in East Africa,and one of Kenya's water tower, which has some of the highest rainfall rates and the largest drainage basin in Kenya. Mau Eburu is nestled among the folds of Mount Ol Donyo Eburu,meaning a mountain of steam,assigned by the maasai people some 300 years ago,is a geologically active volcanic massif rising 2,855m above sea leavel,that is ,some 900m above adjacent areas on the Rift Valley. The forest area covers 21,536 acres (87km2) of pristine indigenous forest, and forms part of the Rift Valley conservation and ecology ecosystem stretching from Nakuru, Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Elementeita, the Soysambu Conservancy, Lake Naivasha, to Longonot and Hells Gate National Parks, Mau Eburu forest overlooks Lake Naivasha to the South East, Lake Elementaita to the North and Lake Nakuru to the North West.The forest straddles some extra ordinarily rugged terrain, rich in dramatic spectacle. Stupendously deep valleys,cut by mountain streams that cascade over sheer rock cliffs into narrow gorges festooned with ferns. No less spectacular are the forest's magnificent stands of the tall- growing conifers, pencil cedar and podo interspersed,higher up, with thickets of African mountain Bamboo and Giant Heather
A wide belt of closed -canopy broad leaf forest, almost pristine in places covers the tumbling upper slopes of Eburu,many of the plants, wildlife and birds marooned in the forest have western affinities
Mau Eburu forest forms part of the catchments for Lakes Naivasha and Elementaita, with several ground springs, and is the source of Ndabibi River and other small streams. It is a delicate miniature island of biodiversity and home to 12 of the fewer than 100 surviving wild population of critically endangered Eastern Mountain Bongo, a gorgeous and grandiose Antelope which are doing quite well, young ones have been recorded by the cameras installed to track their movements. The Bongo is listed as critically endangered,their total number estimated to be fewer than 120, are restricted to few upland forests, in Aberdares Ranges, Mount Kenya and Mau Escarpment,
Mau Eburu is home to a rich variety of upland forest bird species, more than 250 different birds have been recorded Other wildlife species includes; buffalo, black and white colobus monkey, Sykes’s monkey, leopard, bushbuck, duiker,bushbaby, There are no accommodation facilities inside the forest, but there are camping sites. Birding in Mau Eburu forest is pretty easy because the gradient is gentle any age bracket can manage. walking is allowed with an armed ranger from Kenya forest service or the community scouts who monitors the Mountain Bongos.
Mau Eburu has the advantage of being readily accessible and near the capital city Nairobi,its one and half hour drive