A chance to see the birds, wildlife and whales of Sri Lanka.
As the early bird catches the worm, the early birder sights his quarry. 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 ideal habitat, the time of day is ideal 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 mammals including leopard, sloth bear and Asian elephant.
We fly into Colombo and drive to Waikkal for a night between mangroves and the ocean. Next morning we continue up to Kandy for two nights where activities will include a birding visit to the spectacular Peradeniya botanic gardens, searching for colourful specialties such as Layard’s parakeet and Sri Lanka hanging parrots and more.
Then on and up through tea plantations to Sri Lanka's highest town Nuwara Eliya and across to Horton Plains where several endemics can be found such as the Sri Lanka whistling thrush and Sri Lanka white-eye, as well as soaring raptors. Still in the hill zone we continue to Kithulgala on the banks of the Kelani Ganga, and then to Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a lowland tropical rainforest with endemics such as Sri Lanka blue magpie, Sri Lanka frogmouth, red-faced malkoha, green-billed coucal, as well as the newly discovered, endangered Serendib scops owl. There may be sightings of Purple-faced Leaf Monkey and Giant Squirrel.
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. We return to the Colombo area for our final night before flying home.