The morning air is cool in the hills of Sri Lanka. The still air allows noise to travel, so quiet is essential. The verdant jungle is an ideal habitat, the time of day is just right and all is set for the perfect morning…
Sri Lanka is well known as a naturalist’s paradise with 430 species of outstanding birdlife including 33 endemic to the island. There will also be good chances of encountering spectacular land animals including leopard, sloth bear and Asian elephant. Our expert local guide will make sure we see everything possible.
We fly to Colombo airport and drive to a nearby hotel whose grounds have excellent birdlife. Then up to Habarana in the “dry zone” to our village by the lake whose grounds may include Giant Squirrel and Brown Fish-Owl. From here we have the option of a visit to the ancient hill fortress of Sigiriya. We then travel south to Kandy in the hill country and include a birding visit to the spectacular Peradeniya botanical gardens.
Then on and up through tea plantations to Sri Lanka’s highest town Nuwara Eliya and access to the Horton Plains where several endemics can be found such as Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush, Sri Lanka White-Eye and the highland race of the Purple Leaf Monkey. From here we descend to the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a remote tropical rain forest with many endemics such as Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Red-faced Malkoha and Green-billed Coucal.
We descend to drier plains of the National Parks of Udawalawe, famed for its Asian elephants and Yala with its magnificent rock outcrops and most of all, its population of leopards, plus sloth bears and deer herds. Finally we reach Mirissa for whale-watching with a short boat trip to look for the huge Blue Whale, Short-finned Pilot Whale and large schools of acrobatic Spinner Dolphin.
On all departures of this holiday to date we have worked with Upali Ekanayake, an acknowledged expert, internationally known and respected in the birding world. Having studied in Sri Lanka, Aberdeen and Cambridge Universities he is very well qualified to guide our tours. If there is a possibility to see a bird Upali is the best man to find what we are looking for.