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 land animals including leopard, sloth bear and Asian elephant.
We fly into Colombo and drive to Waikkal to wander amongst mangroves, where rivers meet the ocean. Here we’ll see an array of wetland birds, including herons, storks, kingfishers and waders. We continue to Kandy where we’ll visit a range of upland habitats and seek species including lameback woodpeckers and parakeets, Hill Swallow, Sri Lanka Swallow, Pied Thrush, and Kashmir Flycatchers. We continue through Nuwara Eliya venturing up over 2000m to Horton Plains to and such endemics as Ceylon Whistling Thrush, Yellow-eared Bulbul, Ceylon White-eye, along with soaring raptors.
Descending to Kithulgala we’ll look for the recently discovered Serendip Scops Owl, the secretive Yellow-billed Coucal and a unique primate, Red Slender Loris. We travel to Sinharaja Forest Reserve for a rainforest experience. This can be tough but rewarding birding with an array of impressive species to nd, including the national bird, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Ceylon Frogmouth, Red-faced Malkoha and the colourful Sri Lanka Blue Magpie. 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 Waikkal for our final night before flying home.