Take In Sri Lanka’s Wildlife Highlights

Your Sri Lanka Birds & Wildlife small group tour covers the best spots for nature-lovers in Sri Lanka. You will be spotting endemic birds, leopards, elephants, buffalos and sloth bears. The island has approximately 234 breeding bird species of which 33 are documented as endemic.

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Our Suggested Day By Day Itinerary

This tour can be fully personalised and upgrades are available.
Sri Lanka tailor-made holidays will be designed to suit your preferences.

PACKAGE DETAILS

Group Tour consists of 6 -10 Passengers with a Guide

  • From £ 2,170 Per Person
    Based on 2 people sharing a Twin or Double RoomFrom £2,260 Per Person
    Based on a Single Room
  • Price Includes:
  • Return economy flights from UK London/Manchester/Birmingham. Contact us for flights quotation from different countries.
  • Excursions,
  • Entry fees,
  • Transport: Private A/C Car with Chauffeur Guide
    Hotels: Mixture of Simple & Mid-range hotels on Full Board & Half Board basis

Day 1 – Fly to Colombo

Today you will start your Sri Lankan adventure by flying to Colombo International Airport.

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Day 2 – Arrival → Wilpattu

“Ayubowan” & ‘’Vanakkam’’. Welcome to tropical paradise.
You will be welcomed and greeted by your guide or an Earth Trip representative on arrival at the waiting area at Colombo International Airport. You will be transferred to your hotel in Wilpattu. Travel time approximately 3 hours.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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Day 3 – Wilpattu

After an early breakfast you will enjoy a half day safari.

Wilpattu National Park (‘Land of Lakes’) is situated on the north western coast near the ancient city of Anuradhapura. It is the largest and oldest National Park in Sri Lanka, consisting of 140,000 hectares of mostly dry zone evergreen forest cover and a coastal belt to the West. This is one of best places to see leopards in Sri Lanka alongside Yala National Park. The open grassy plains are set within the thick dense scrub jungle. The wetland includes around 48 shallow natural lakes known as Villus, natural basins that are filled up with rainwater and two salt water lakes. These natural lakes are the most important parts of the complex eco-system in the park.

The park is home to elusive leopards, elephants, sloth bears, water buffalos, Mugger Crocodiles, Spotted and Barking deer, wild boar and pythons. You may see the wild animals, particularly elephants, near lakes in the early morning and late afternoons. The park is also home to many endemic birds including the Ceylon Junglefowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Ceylon Woodshrike and Black-capped Bulbul in riverine habitats.

As evening falls, the sound of nightjars greet the night. You will do an evening boat trip along the uppu aru for birdwatching for riverine birds such as kingfishers and grebes.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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Day 4 – Wilpattu → Mannar

In the morning you will enjoy birdwatching near the accommodation. After you will travel to Mannar. Travel time 2-3 hours.

Today you will discover Mannar Island, located 325 kilometres north of Colombo in the far Northwest of Sri Lanka in the dry zone. Though called the largest islet in the country, it is in fact a peninsula formed in the shape of a tongue famous for birdwatching. Talaimannar, the westernmost tip of the island, is almost connected to the Dhanuskodi, the easternmost tip of the peninsula of Southern India by a reef of corals submerged in the Palk Straits. Mannar Island has been referred to by names such as “Manthei”, “Mathota”, Mahathiththa”, “Mahaputu” and “Mawatuthota”. The landscape in Mannar district varies from wooded jungles to paddy fields and swaying palm trees and it is one of the few places in Sri Lanka where Baobab trees thrive.

In the afternoon you will explore Galle’s Dutch Fort on foot with Zain, a knowledgeable local guide. The Fort is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and South Asian traditions. The Galle Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site and the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers. There are many boutique shops along the narrow streets of the Fort as well as antiques, art and craft shops. Other prominent landmarks in Galle include the natural harbour, the National Maritime Museum, St. Mary’s Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests, one of the main Shiva temples on the island. Galle offers a unique opportunity to create a visible demonstration of the conservation of its inheritance.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 5 – Mannar → Near Sigiriya

Today you will spend another day birdwatching in Mannar. Located in Sri Lanka’s dry zone, Mannar receives plenty of sun, as well as a healthy breeze blowing throughout the land. Found at the border of two seas, the waters are abundant with life; whilst on land, the district neighbours a vibrant national park. Birdwatching is very popular here, particularly from November through to March, during which time the Northern hemisphere winter migrant species make the long hard journey across thousands of kilometres to enjoy the tropical climate of Mannar.

In the evening you will travel to Habarana near Sigiriya where you can enjoy birdwatching (travel time will be approximately 2 hours).

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 6 – Habarana → Kaudulla

In the morning you will do a boat safari on one of the most beautiful lakes in Sri Lanka. The Habarana Lake is famous for birdwatching. There are approximately 138 species of birds that have been spotted around the lake including a few endangered species. If you are a nature lover, this will be your haven as it is truly one of the most breathtaking views you will see in your life.

Afterwards you will travel to nearby Kaudulla National Park for an afternoon safari.

Kaudulla National Park is the most recent to be added to the list of 15 parks in Sri Lanka. Famous for its elephants and bird population, species include the nation’s largest bird, the Lesser Adjutant and the Pompadour Green Pigeon. Built around the year 300 A.D, the tank slowly fell into disrepair and was rebuilt in 1959, and with its variety of plant life it has now become home to 24 species of mammals, 25 species of amphibians and countless bird types. The endangered Rusty Spotted Cat can be spotted in Kaudulla National Park, as well as large herds of Asian elephants, elusive leopards and both Sambar and Axis Deer.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 7 – Habarana → Kandy

In the morning you will enjoy another boat safari on Habarana Lake to spot some more birds.

Afterwards you will travel to Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. Travel time approximately 2 hours.

In the afternoon you will visit close to Peradeniya, near Kandy. With your guide you can spot some wildlife including plenty of fruit bats and a variety of birds.

In the evening you will see the Traditional Kandyan Dance.
Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second largest city is home to a Sinhalese cultural tradition of which Sri Lankans are justifiably proud. Rich in colour and agile in their movements, the Kandyan dancers evoke images of pageantry and past traditions. Lively and exuberant, spellbinding and hypnotic, a cultural show is a spectacle to remember with its nimble dancers, energetic drummers and fireproof firewalkers.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 8 – Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

In the early morning you will visit a sizeable forest reserve in the midst of Kandy.
Udawatta Kele Sanctuary, once a Royal Park forbidden to commoners, is a favourite spot where you can walk around and experience nature. Morning times are ideal for bird watching as it is home to around 70 bird species. Trek through the semi-wilderness to experience the wet zone winds against your face while you witness much of its endemic bio-diversity. The various treks offered ranges from a short and sweet Lovers’ Walk to Lady McCarthy’s drive, Lady Torrington’s road, or Lady Gordon’s road.
During your trek, you will discover medieval rock shelter dwellings of Buddhist monk hermits, Garrison Cemetery – A British military burial ground and a variety of over 400 plant species, 32 species of butterflies and various mammal species.

In the evening enjoy birdwatching near the hotel.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 9 – Kandy → Nuwara Eliya

In the morning you will visit the Peradeniya Royal Botanic Gardens. Since British times, Peradeniya has become one of the finest botanical gardens in Asia. Before the British ruled the Kandyan Kingdom in 1815, the site at Peradeniya was a Royal Pleasure Garden, apparently being enjoyed by the last Queen of Kandy. This lush corner exists in the cradle of a deep bend in the wide and languid river of the Mahaweli and was formally established in 1821. Initially managed by Alexander Moon, the gardens started as little more than a coffee and cinnamon plantation. Today, spread over sprawling 147 hectares, they are home to some 4,000 species from all corners of the earth. With your guide you can spot some wildlife including plenty of fruit bats, a variety of birds and even some monkeys. There is a pungent and fascinating spice garden which provides a fine introduction to the long-practiced medicinal science of Ayurveda and an exceptional orchid house sheltering some 300 varieties. A number of the wider pathways are tree-lined, including the classic “Avenue of Palms” which has the aesthetic power to transform a simple stroll into an event.

Afterwards you will travel by car with your guide through the scenic hill country to Nuwara Eliya. As the road winds through the hills, you will pass picturesque waterfalls, tumbling down hillsides and vantage points, which afford views over a panorama of rugged hills stretching far into the distance. There are many viewpoints to stop by along the way.

Travel time will be approximately 2 ½ hours.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 10 – Horton Plains

Early in the morning you will discover the Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka’s highest and most isolated plateau with an elevation of 2,134 metres. The scenery that can be seen from here is considered to be the finest view in Sri Lanka. Here you can follow bridle paths for about 4 hours through mystic cloud forests and Patna grassland to the “Worlds End” a sheer drop of 1050 metres. Lie on your stomach and peep over the ridge, the view when it is clear of mist is simply magnificent. Horton Plains National Park is home to rare flora and fauna; Sambar deer and elusive Bear monkey as well as many birds. Early morning, the Indian Ocean rims the horizon, 80 kilometres away. The name Horton Plains, was out of respect for the then British Governor of Sri Lanka, Sir Horton and the area was discovered by Sir Thomas Farr in the 1900s. This is one of world’s best nature tracks and nature lovers will enjoy this wide, patna-grass-covered plain and the Baker Falls.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 11 – Bundala National Park Safari

Early in the morning you will travel to Bundala National Park. Travel time will be approximately 25 minutes. Firstly you will do a birdwatching jeep safari then you can enjoy a leisurely walk around the lake.
This park is one of the best national parks for bird watching, with over 193 recorded bird species including migratory birds. Thousands of migrant birds reach the island every year including the flamingos. A morning safari at Bundala is an ideal place for bird lovers. The park features a series of lagoons which are an important habitat for wintering water birds. It is due to this fact that Bundala was declared Sri Lanka’s first Ramsar wetland. The best time to visit the Bundala National Park is between August and April when shore bird numbers can reach as high as 20,000. Bundala National Park is a mix of scrub jungle and sand dunes bordering the sea. Its beaches are important nesting sites for turtles. 383 species of plants, including six endemics and 7 species which are considered threatened in Sri Lanka. It is also home to 32 different species of mammals, five of which are classified as threatened. These include the Sri Lankan Elephant, Sambar, Barking and Spotted Deer. Bundala is also the only national park where you can see both marsh and estuarine crocodiles on the same safari drive.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 12 – Tissamaharama → Sinharaja Rainforest

In the morning you will travel from Tissamaharama to Sinharaja. Travel time will be approximately 2 ½ hours.

In the afternoon you will enjoy birdwatching at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sinharaja. Sinharaja Rainforest National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders encased by sheer wilderness waiting to be discovered. Here you will be welcomed by a thick air of humidity, the incessant noise of birds and insects, and an endless canopy of tall trees. Sinharaja Rainforest National park is a primary tropical rainforest and biosphere, regarded as a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. In Sinharaja you can spot endemic mammals, bird species, butterflies, insects, reptiles and rare amphibians. As well as an interesting spectacle known as ‘bird wave’, where birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks, invariably led by the fearless Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the noisy Orange-billed Babbler. These are just two of Sri Lanka’s 26 endemic birds that can be found here in addition to the 20 rainforest species, including the elusive Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 13 – Sinharaja

Early in the morning, rise with the birds and enjoy birdwatching at Sinharaja Rainforest. As well as the wildlife, there are more than 20 communities that live in Sinharaja Rainforest and their livelihood is dependent on this forest.
In the evening enjoy birdwatching near the hotel.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 14 – Sinharaja → Negombo

Today you will travel to the coastal town of Negombo, travel time will be approximately 3 hours.

The park is home to elusive leopards, elephants, sloth bears, water buffalos, Mugger Ccocodiles, Spotted and Barking deer, wild boar and pythons. Alongside these wild animals you may be able to see many endemic birds include the Ceylon Junglefowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Ceylon Woodshrike and Black-capped Bulbul in riverine habitats. Butterflies recorded include the Great Eggfly, Great Orange Tip, Glad-eye Bushbrown, Blue Mormon, Common Mormon, Common Rose and Crimson Rose. Diverse varieties of colourful butterflies can be seen in the park as well. You may see the wild animals, particularly elephants, near lakes in the early morning and late afternoons. The wildlife is abundant around the lakes and coastal belt, here you may spot the White Ibis, Open Bills, Painted Storks Spoonbills, Egrets, Whistling Teals, Kingfishers and you may also see the water buffalos, monitors and crocodiles.

In the afternoon you will travel to the fishing town of Negombo.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 15 – End of Tour

You will be transferred to Colombo Airport to fly home. Travel time to the airport is approximately 20 minutes.

 

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast

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Tailor Your Tour - Potential Highlights

  • Trekking in the Virgin Sinharaja Rainforest
  • Game Drive at Wilpattu National Park Safari
  • Reach the ‘World’s End’ at Horton Plains National Park Safari
  • See flamingos at the bird lovers favourite Bundala National Park
  • Visit Kandy’s Peradeniya Botanical Gardens for the Bats and Birds
  • Taste fresh Seafood and Sri Lankan curry

If you love this tour, but you prefer to do it without a group, we can arrange this for you! Our team will tailor this tour to match your interest. With our in-depth knowledge you will get the best advice on every detail of the tour.

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