Lankan Wildlife

Lankan Wildlife

Sri Lanka is a wildlife lover’s dream holiday destination. The national parks are home to an excellent range of mammals, as well as a huge diversity of birds. The coast offers one of the best chances to spot congregations of resident and migratory whales, along with large Spinner Dolphin shoals.

Our carefully curated itinerary takes you to some of the finest Sri Lankan locations for observing the island’s rich wildlife and spectacular landscapes.

You’ll have the chance to see Blue and Sperm Whales and Spinner Dolphins, along with sea birds. On land, you’ll look for Leopard, Asian Elephant, Sloth Bear, Sambar and Spotted Deer along with a range of smaller mammals. Crocodiles and monitor lizards are frequently seen in riverine habitats.

The potential birdlife you will encounter on this adventure is very rich, as we’ll cover all four of the islands climactic zones, (Wet, Dry, Arid and Intermediate) across a range of habitats including open seas, coastal wetlands, dry scrub and montane forests. There have been more than 400 species recorded in Sri Lanka, of which 30 are endemic to the island.

10 DAYS
FROM £2445
Group Tour
Themes:
Activity Levels
Moderate
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • Entrance fees/tickets for the above
  • In-destination transfers & transport
  • Accommodation & Meals as specified
  • English speaking guides
  • 24/7 support while you travel

Explore this itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sri Lanka

On arrival in Colombo’s International airport, you will be warmly greeted and drive south towards Mirissa.

En-route, set out on a riverboat safari at Muthurajawela, cruising down the mangrove-lined banks of the Madu River to view the amazing indigenous birdlife and photograph the lush forested scenery. The river is dappled with some 25 small islands – some of which are home to local communities that engage in the cinnamon trade. Make a stop and see the amazing process by which the villagers peel the cinnamon from the trees and cultivate it. Other highlights along the river include an ancient temple and the chance to spot crocodiles and huge water monitors. Birding highlights include stork billed kingfisher, Common kingfisher, Cormorants, black and yellow bitterns.

Afterwards, Stop briefly at the Victor Hasselblad sea turtle research and conservation centre in Kosgoda. It was the very first turtle conservation centre established in Sri Lanka in 1978, and continues to do great work. Check in to your hotel in Mirissa.

Dinner
Day 2: Whale Watching

An early morning start to embark on your whale watching trip, which lasts around 3 to 4 hours depending on sightings and sea conditions. The chances of sighting Blue Whales are high in Mirissa, with both resident and migratory whales crossing from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea enjoying the warm waters off the south coast around Mirissa.

Blue whales are seen relatively close to shore. Then your naturalist skipper will take you further out to sea look for Sperm Whales. Dolphins are also spotted frequently in large shoals in these waters.

Return to your hotel and spend your afternoon at leisure. The beach in Mirissa is excellent, and there are other beaches within easy reach along the coast to explore.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Whale & Bird Watching

This morning, you’ll embark on another whale watching excursion, after which you’ll drive eastwards towards Yala National Park.

En-route, you’ll enjoy a birding session at the Bundala National Park’s wetlands.

Check in to your hotel in near Yala National Park.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Yala National Park

A full day safari in your exclusive safari is the best way to explore Yala for keen wildlife watchers. Yala is Sri Lanka’s oldest wildlife reserve, famous for having one of the highest densities of leopard in the world.

You are also highly likely to see a wealth of other wildlife, including Elephant, Sloth Bear, Sambar and Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Stripe-necked, Brown & Ruddy Mongooses, Black-naped Hare & several civet species. In the water holes you may see Mugger Crocodile, Painted Stork, Lesser Whistling Teal, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Great, Median & Little Egrets & the rare Black-necked Stork.

Your naturalist and driver will be able to tailor your route based on your desire for specific species or interests.

Note: All vehicles on a full day safari congregate at the designated lunch point between 12-2pm, right next to the sea. You can buy packed lunches at your hotel. You are free to stretch your legs and explore within the open air area. Basic restroom facilities are available.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Yala National Park

This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, and enjoy the facilities.

Later, enjoy an afternoon safari at Yala National Park.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Yala National Park

Rise early for your last safari in Yala National Park, for one more opportunity to savour the wildlife and spot any species you may have missed earlier.

The afternoon is at leisure.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Uda Walave National Park

After breakfast, leave for Uda Walawe (2 hrs).

Visit the Elephant Transit Home in UdaWalave to see the elephants being fed at 12 noon.

Proceed to the Uda Walave NP to enjoy an afternoon safari. This is an excellent chance to see up to 50-60 Elephants in herds and a variety of birds. The Nursery Herd here comprises of many baby Elephants, and is one of the key attractions of the National Park.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Uda Walave & Sinharaja

Enjoy a morning safari at Uda Walawe National Park, and then proceed to Sinharaja for an afternoon birding walk.

Sinharaja is the best location to see mixed species bird flocks which can sometimes include around 40 individual species. On your birding trip,  you can also see many endemic bird species.

Highlights include Orange-billed Babbler, Crested Drongo, Red-faced Malkoha, Ashy-headed Laughing Thrush, Green-billed Coucal, Lesser Yellownape, Orange Minivet, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Black-naped Monarch, Yellow-fronted Barbet, White-faced Starling, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Bronze-winged Pigeon, Spot-winged Thrush, Sri Lanka Myna, Legge’s Flowerpecker, Brown-backed Needletail, Green Imperial Pigeon, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Chestnut-backed Owlet, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Scaly Thrush, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Black-throated Munia, Layard’s Parakeet, Black Eagle, Crested Goshawk, Dark-fronted Babbler, Velvut-fronted Nuthatch and Sri Lanka Frogmouth.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Sinharaja - Negombo

This morning you’ll have another birding session at Sinharaja National Park.

Later, drive (3.5 hrs) to Negombo. Spend your last evening in Sri Lanka on the beach, or shop for souvenirs in Negombo’s charming streets.

Brekafast, Dinner
Day 10: Departure

Depending on the time of your flight, you have the opportunity to relax at the hotel, or shop for souvenirs in Negombo’s charming streets.

You’ll be driven to the airport in time for your return flight.

Breakfast
Day 1: Arrive in Sri Lanka

On arrival in Colombo’s International airport, you will be warmly greeted and drive south towards Mirissa.

En-route, set out on a riverboat safari at Muthurajawela, cruising down the mangrove-lined banks of the Madu River to view the amazing indigenous birdlife and photograph the lush forested scenery. The river is dappled with some 25 small islands – some of which are home to local communities that engage in the cinnamon trade. Make a stop and see the amazing process by which the villagers peel the cinnamon from the trees and cultivate it. Other highlights along the river include an ancient temple and the chance to spot crocodiles and huge water monitors. Birding highlights include stork billed kingfisher, Common kingfisher, Cormorants, black and yellow bitterns.

Afterwards, Stop briefly at the Victor Hasselblad sea turtle research and conservation centre in Kosgoda. It was the very first turtle conservation centre established in Sri Lanka in 1978, and continues to do great work. Check in to your hotel in Mirissa.

Dinner
Day 2: Whale Watching

An early morning start to embark on your whale watching trip, which lasts around 3 to 4 hours depending on sightings and sea conditions. The chances of sighting Blue Whales are high in Mirissa, with both resident and migratory whales crossing from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea enjoying the warm waters off the south coast around Mirissa.

Blue whales are seen relatively close to shore. Then your naturalist skipper will take you further out to sea look for Sperm Whales. Dolphins are also spotted frequently in large shoals in these waters.

Return to your hotel and spend your afternoon at leisure. The beach in Mirissa is excellent, and there are other beaches within easy reach along the coast to explore.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Whale & Bird Watching

This morning, you’ll embark on another whale watching excursion, after which you’ll drive eastwards towards Yala National Park.

En-route, you’ll enjoy a birding session at the Bundala National Park’s wetlands.

Check in to your hotel in near Yala National Park.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Yala National Park

A full day safari in your exclusive safari is the best way to explore Yala for keen wildlife watchers. Yala is Sri Lanka’s oldest wildlife reserve, famous for having one of the highest densities of leopard in the world.

You are also highly likely to see a wealth of other wildlife, including Elephant, Sloth Bear, Sambar and Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Stripe-necked, Brown & Ruddy Mongooses, Black-naped Hare & several civet species. In the water holes you may see Mugger Crocodile, Painted Stork, Lesser Whistling Teal, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Great, Median & Little Egrets & the rare Black-necked Stork.

Your naturalist and driver will be able to tailor your route based on your desire for specific species or interests.

Note: All vehicles on a full day safari congregate at the designated lunch point between 12-2pm, right next to the sea. You can buy packed lunches at your hotel. You are free to stretch your legs and explore within the open air area. Basic restroom facilities are available.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Yala National Park

This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, and enjoy the facilities.

Later, enjoy an afternoon safari at Yala National Park.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Yala National Park

Rise early for your last safari in Yala National Park, for one more opportunity to savour the wildlife and spot any species you may have missed earlier.

The afternoon is at leisure.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Uda Walave National Park

After breakfast, leave for Uda Walawe (2 hrs).

Visit the Elephant Transit Home in UdaWalave to see the elephants being fed at 12 noon.

Proceed to the Uda Walave NP to enjoy an afternoon safari. This is an excellent chance to see up to 50-60 Elephants in herds and a variety of birds. The Nursery Herd here comprises of many baby Elephants, and is one of the key attractions of the National Park.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Uda Walave & Sinharaja

Enjoy a morning safari at Uda Walawe National Park, and then proceed to Sinharaja for an afternoon birding walk.

Sinharaja is the best location to see mixed species bird flocks which can sometimes include around 40 individual species. On your birding trip,  you can also see many endemic bird species.

Highlights include Orange-billed Babbler, Crested Drongo, Red-faced Malkoha, Ashy-headed Laughing Thrush, Green-billed Coucal, Lesser Yellownape, Orange Minivet, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Black-naped Monarch, Yellow-fronted Barbet, White-faced Starling, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Bronze-winged Pigeon, Spot-winged Thrush, Sri Lanka Myna, Legge’s Flowerpecker, Brown-backed Needletail, Green Imperial Pigeon, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Chestnut-backed Owlet, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Scaly Thrush, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Black-throated Munia, Layard’s Parakeet, Black Eagle, Crested Goshawk, Dark-fronted Babbler, Velvut-fronted Nuthatch and Sri Lanka Frogmouth.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Sinharaja - Negombo

This morning you’ll have another birding session at Sinharaja National Park.

Later, drive (3.5 hrs) to Negombo. Spend your last evening in Sri Lanka on the beach, or shop for souvenirs in Negombo’s charming streets.

Brekafast, Dinner
Day 10: Departure

Depending on the time of your flight, you have the opportunity to relax at the hotel, or shop for souvenirs in Negombo’s charming streets.

You’ll be driven to the airport in time for your return flight.

Breakfast

Departure Dates & Prices

The per person prices below are based on two sharing, and exclude international flights. A deposit is required to reserve a place.

For further information, or to book any of our tours, please contact us.

Nov 8, 2024
£2445 per person
Single Supplement £595
Full

Dates don't work? Don't fancy joining a group?
All our group tours can be tailored as private itineraries.

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Our prices do not include international flights unless explicitly stated.

The price shown is per person, based on two people travelling and sharing a room, outside peak periods. Prices may vary depending on the time of travel, and single supplements may apply.

Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)