‘Immerse yourself in World Heritage wilderness and ancient cultural sites while searching for unique and endemic birds and wildlife off the beaten track 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.
After leading two successful 15 day tours in February and March 2019, we’ve scheduled a follow up tour from 14-29 February 2020. This time with an even better itinerary and an extra day to get us to even more of Sri Lanka’s best birdwatching sites. These tours are suited to those who want to explore this incredible island within a minimal impact small group of like-minded bird and wildlife-lovers. You can also book shorter or private Sri Lankan birding tours with us.
These tours are highly specialised for bird and wildlife watching and you can see the obvious benefits these small group and sustainable ecotourism experiences bring to a multitude of guides, villages, communities and habitat preservation.
We were successful in sighting all 33 endemic birds in just 10 days in 2017 and 32 of 33 endemics in 2019, 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.
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.
We are constantly delighted with the changing habitats and climatic zones and just how many species they sustain within such a relatively small country (home to 20 million people). We are 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 is the delicious and fresh Sri Lankan curries, local treats and tropical fruits we are generously served on a daily basis.Join Us in Sri Lanka February 2020
For those of you who join our 16 day Sri Lankan Birds & Wildlife Tour in February 2020, we will be travelling in a small group with a max 14 guests and 1-2 NT Bird Specialist tour leaders (Luke Paterson and Sarah Burgess), along with a professional nationally accredited naturalist guide and a driver in a coach or 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 and tropical food forests. We practise and encourage a minimal impact style of wildlife ecotourism the whole way.
We embark on whale watching boat cruises (one of the best places to view Blue Whale!, Spinner Dolphins and Sperm Whale). We stay in a range of hotels and guest houses selected due to their convenient location to birdwatching hotspots in Sri Lanka.
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, drinks and alcoholic beverages, extra tours and excursions are excluded.
We are more than happy to recommend suitable flight routes and book your pre and post tour activities in Sri Lanka, Maldives and India.
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:
- Willpattu National Park (Ramsar site)
- Sigiriya Lion Rock Fortress (World Heritage site)
- Minneriya National Park
- Nuwara Eliya
- Yala National Park (Ramsar site)
- Bundala National Park (Ramsar site)
- Horton Plains/World’s End (World Heritage site)
- Sinharaja Forest Reserve (World Heritage site)
- Mirrisa / Tangalle
Sights and sites including:
Rural and village life, water storage ‘tanks’ reservoirs /wetlands, tea plantations, plantations, spice gardens, Sigiriya ‘Lion Rock’/Fresco paintings, temple ruins, community fishing villages and more
Sri Lankan National Guide: We use the best birding guides who have National Guiding accreditations while touring in Sri Lanka.
NT Bird Specialists Tour Leader Profiles: Luke Paterson Dp. Natural Resource Management and Sarah Burgess Bsc. Science & 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
16 day Sri Lanka Birdwatching Tour 14-29 February 2020.
Seats are limited & registrations for 2020 Sri Lanka tours now open.
Prices includes ‘full board’ with all meals, tours, transport, expert guiding, jeep safaris, boat cruises, accomodation and more…