Birding – 8 Nights 9 Days

Day 1

Route: Airport > Kitulgala
Drive Time: Approx: 3 hrs

Upon arrival you will be greeted by your chauffeur guide.

Thereafter proceed to Kitulgala and check in to your hotel.

David Lean’s epic war film “Bridge on the River Kwai” was filmed in this area of the Kelani River, which runs through Kitulgala, and the ruins of the bridge still remains.

In the evening trek to Makandawa Forest Reserve also known as Kelani Valley Forest Reserve.

Kelani Valley forest reserve is a low elevation forest where you can see rare and endemic birds, ampibians, reptiles, frogs, endemic fishes in the stream, endemic tree snails & if lucky mammals including mousedeer, monkeys and other small animals.

Some of the lowland endemic birds that can be seen are Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Red-faced Malkoha, Spot-winged Thrush, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Brown-capped babbler, Green-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Frogmouth.

Day 2

Route: Kitulgala > NuwaraEliya
Drive Time: Approx: 3 hrs

Wake up early to the sound of the Kelani River gushing by and visit Kelani Valley Forest one last time.

Return back to your hotel for breakfast.

Thereafter leave for Nuwara Eliya for two nights. The scenery is spectacular and as the road winds higher, we pass picturesque waterfalls tumbling down hillsides and vantage points which afford views of rugged hills stretching far into the distance.

Visit a tea factory where the world’s best tea is being produced.

In the evening visit Victoria Park for Himalayan migrants Kashmir Flycatcher, Pied Thrush Indian Pitta and Indian Blue Robin.

Dinner & Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 3

Route: NuwaraEliya > Horton Plains > NuwaraEliya

Take a packed breakfast and drive up to Horton plains national park to go on a 8km trek to the famous World’s End, a stunning viewpoint, which is a sheer drop of 870 meters hidden in clouds. This is the only national park in the country where visitors are allowed to walk freely inside.

Some of the wildlife that can be seen here/ not limited to are; Sambhur, Barking Deer, Bear Monkey, Giant Squirrel, Fishing Cat, Leopard and Wild Boar. More than 52 species of resident and 11 species of migrant birds can be seen. Of the endemic birds the Yellow-eared Bulbul, Sri Lanka Hill White-eye and Dull blue Flycatcher are the main highlights.

Return back to your hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

In the evening take a short walk around the Nuwara Eliya town which is referred to as “Little England” by the locals.

Dinner & Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 4

Route: NuwaraEliya > Yala
Drive Time: 5 hrs

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast in the mountains descend to the southern coast of Yala.

En-route visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens. The gardens look pretty much what you would expect from a botanical garden with neat lawns, drive ways and landscaped collections of plants from all over the world. As this is a tropical botanical garden you have the chance of seeing the Purple-faced leaf monkey in the wild.

For birders, the montane endemics like Sri Lanka White Eye, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Ceylon Hill Munia and Dull-blue Flycatcher can be spotted. A montane bird common here is the Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher. During the northern winter Indian Blue Robin can also be seen.

As you descend you will notice the change of the landscape around you; In a matter of few hours the climate, flora & fauna changes as you enter the dry zone.

In the afternoon jeep safari to Yala National Park and experience the best of the wildlife it has to offer.

After an adventurous safari return to your hotel for dinner & overnight stay.

Day 5

Route: Yala

Take a packed breakfast and set out for full day safari to Yala National Park.

Enjoy your picnic breakfast & lunch served inside the park.

Yala is the most famous national park in Sri Lanka and is also known worldwide for its highest density of leopards anywhere in the world. Yala also has the highest densities of mugger crocodiles in the world. During a safari at Yala some of the wildlife you can see/ not limited to are; Leopards, Sloth Bear, Asian Elephants, Mugger Crocodiles, Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Wild Buffalo, Mongoose and many other animals. Some of the birds that can be seen are Painted Stork, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Lesser Adjuntant and Black-necked Stork.

Dinner & Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 6

Route: Yala > Bundala > Sinharaja
Drive Time: Approx: 5 hrs

Have an early breakfast at the hotel and go on a jeep safari to Bundala National Park.

Bundala is a ‘Ramsar’ wetland of Sri Lanla and is home for more than 150 species of winter migrant and resident birds. Among the larger water birds you could also see Lesser Adjutant, Painted Stork, Asian Openbill, Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-headed Ibis and Wooly-necked Stork.

Thereafter leave for Sinharaja for two nights.

Dinner & Overnight stay at the lodge.

Day 7

Route: Sinharaja

Take a packed breakfast and go on full day birding to Sinharaja Rainforest (A UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Sinharaja is the best location to see lowland endemics and mixed species bird flocks. On a birding trip to Sinharaja a birdwatcher can see close to 25 of the 33 endemic bird species. Some of the birds that can be seen 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 and the endemic Sri Lanka Frogmouth.

Sinharaja is the only relatively undisturbed rain forest of any considerable size and many of the plants are very rare and are represented by only one individual of its kind in a large area.

Return back to your lodge for Dinner & Overnight stay.

Day 8

Route: Sinharaja > Colombo

Enjoy your last breakfast at the rainforest.

Thereafter leave for Colombo for one night.

In the evening go on a city tour of Colombo combined with birding around the outskirts of the city.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 09

Route: Colombo > Airport

Breakfast at the hotel and say goodbye to memories as you will be taken to the airport for your departing flight.

Translate »