‘Sri Lanka, the Wonder of Asia, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. Immerse yourself in World Heritage wilderness and ancient cultural sites while searching for unique and endemic birds and wildlife in Sri Lanka’.
‘Ayubowan’ (I-you-bo-wan) ‘Long Life’ is the Sri Lankan daily welcome that sums up what Sri Lanka does, it welcomes you. From the people, to the pleasant tropical climate and stunning wildlife scenes found amongst biodiverse and ancient cultural landscapes.
Sri Lanka is three times the size of Kakadu National Park but boasts an incredible eight World Heritage sites! The photographic opportunities are close up and breath-taking and include some of Sri Lanka’s 440+ species birds (33 endemics), 123 mammal species (16 endemic, 28 marine), over 200 species reptile, more than 140 species amphibians and many thousands of insects. Some cultural sites and ruins date back 3,000 years and the Horton Plains was home to some of Asia’s early humans dating back over 30,000 years.
After a successful 5-week reconnaissance trip in 2017, we couldn’t not share this incredible island with a small group of like-minded bird and wildlife-lovers in early 2019. We were successful in sighting all 33 endemic birds in just 10 days, as well as our Sri Lankan Top 5, Sri Lankan Leopard, Blue Whale, Asian Elephant, Serendib Scops Owl and Sloth Bear, along with around 250/440 bird species.
We were delighted with the changing habitats and climatic zones and just how many species they sustained within such a relatively small country (home to 20 million people). We were also amazed by the ease and access to birding and how much local communities knew about the wildlife and its importance for the economy (they knew all the bird names in English even though they spoke little to no English!). Another highlight was the delicious and fresh Sri lankan curries, local treats and tropical fruits we were generously served on a daily basis.Join Us in Sri Lanka February 2019
For those of you who join our 15 day Sri Lankan Birds & Wildlife Tour in February 2019, we will be travelling in a small group with a max 10 guests with two NT Bird Specialist tour leaders, along with a professional nationally accredited naturalist guide and a driver in a mini bus.
The tour includes several private jeep safaris, short walks in varied tropical habitats ranging from wet tropics, savannah grasslands, arid zones, remote villages, montane zones white sandy coastlines to tea and spice plantations. We practise and encourage a minimal impact style of wildlife ecotourism the whole way.
We embark on a whale watching boat cruise (one of the best places to view Blue Whale!) with the optional extra for a second whale cruise or snorkelling trip (or rest time). We also have great opportunities to sample local foods and handy crafts and fair trade textiles along the way.
This tour is FULL BOARD (includes all accommodation, meals, park fees, transport/driver and community guide gratuities) plus more. Flights, driver and National Guide gratuities, travel insurance and alcoholic beverages, extra tours and excursions are excluded. We are more than happy to recommend suitable flight routes and direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Colombo are available at great prices at the moment.
Some of Sri Lanka’s key species include:
Over 440 species birds (with 33 endemics and many migrants):
Sri Lankan Scimitar Babbler, Serendib Scops Owl (only recently been described back in 2004), Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Sri Lankan Green Pigeon, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Indian Pitta, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Shikra, Chestnut-backed Owlet, Sri Lankan Hanging Parrot, Sri Lanka, Grey Hornbill, Yellow Bittern, Yellow-eared Bulbul, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Indian Peafowl, Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush, Greater Flamingo, Asian Openbill, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Lesser Goldenback.
123 species mammal (16 endemic, including 28 cetaceans):
Sri Lankan Leopard, Blue Whale, Sperm Whale, Sloth Bear, Asian Elephant, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Ruddy Mongoose, Loris species, Jackal, Sambar Deer, Chital Deer, Spotted Deer, Purple-faced Langur (endemic), Red-faced Macaques, Tocque Macaque, Giant squirrel, Golden Palm Civet, Wild Boar, Spinner Dolphin.
Over 200 species reptile:
Water Monitor, Mugger Crocodile, Vine Snake, Rat Snake, Olive Ridley & Loggerhead Turtle, Common Green Forest Lizard, Agama Lizard species.
Over 140 species amphibians and many thousands of insects.
Our safari explores key sites over 2 wildlife-filled weeks:
- Anuradhapura (World Heritage site)
- Willpattu National Park (Ramsar site)
- Udawalawe National Park
- Sigiriya Lion Rock Fortress (World Heritage site)
- Nuwar Eliya
- Yala National Park (Ramsar site)
- Bundala National Park (Ramsar site)
- Horton Plains/World’s End (World Heritage site)
- Kandy (World Heritage site)
- Sinharaja Forest Reserve (World Heritage site)
- Galle (World Heritage site)
Sights and sites including:
Rural and village life, water storage ‘tanks’ reservoirs /wetlands, tea plantations, plantations, spice gardens, Sigiriya ‘Lion Rock’/Fresco paintings, Anuradhapura temples, community fishing villages, the Sacred Tooth Relic, women’s weaving centre, Victoria Park, stilt fisherman, Galle Forte.
Sri Lankan National Guide: Dammi Samarasinghe ‘Kandy Birder’– Free-lance National Field Guide and Free-lance Wildlife Researcher, Bsc. Wildlife Management, Nestle in Hill Homestay owner, Kandy, Sri Lanka
NT Bird Specialists Tour Leader Profiles: Luke Paterson Dp. Natural Resource Management and Sarah Burgess Bsc. Biology & Ecotourism, Owners and Directors of NT Bird Specialists, Darwin, Australia
Recommended field guides for Birds of Sri Lanka:
- ‘Birds of Sri Lanka’ (Helm Field Guides) Deepal Warakagoda; Carol Inskipp; Tim Inskipp; Richard Grimmett and
- ‘A Field Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka’ (Oxford) John Harrison, Illustrations by Tim Worfolk
Highlights of touring with NT Bird Specialists in the incredible Sri Lanka
- World class wildlife experiences, local expertise
- Diverse range of tropical bird life for impressive species counts
- Diverse range of tropical habitats visited to maximise wildlife sighting opportunities
- We work with the best Nationally Accredited and local community guides to deliver you the best up to date
knowledge and sighting opportunities possible
- Professional award-winning tour leaders packaging local knowledge to take you to the best locations
- Brilliant natural photographic opportunities for lasting memories
- Excellent interpretation and customer service to comfortably provide you with a great insight into the natural and cultural environments we visit
- Endemic, rare and iconic wildlife only seen in this part of the world
- Stunning natural landscapes, ancient and modern cultural sites
Visit World Heritage National Parks to explore protected and ancient living cultural landscapes
- Wilderness…..Professionally guided in comfort and safety
- Assurance of travelling with an award-winning Australian Accredited Tourism Business so you know you are in good hands
Prices from: $5,699 AUD per guest – Full board with all meals, tours, transport, guiding, accomodation and more…
Seats are limited & selling fast. Taking Expressions of Interest for 2020 tours now.
Please share our Sri Lanka wildlife travel blog amongst your nature networks and we hope to see you soon.
Sarah and Luke 🙂