Birding safari Sri Lanka, Best photo safari experience

There are over 420 recorded species of birds in Sri Lanka. It is no wonder that Birders gather to the island for Birding tours all year round. Birding in Sri Lanka has become a popular past time among many, may it be avid Ornithologists or photographers wishing to capture a broad spectrum of the most colourful species on earth. Yet there is no limit to Birding in Sri Lanka as anyone with a keen eye and a wish to explore such wonders of nature is welcome. 

We at Wildlife Tours Sri Lanka hold an extensive knowledge onbirding tours in Sri Lanka. Some of the country’s best birdinglocations range from wet to dry zone, forest to jungle and hill country to low lands. Out of the 427 recorded species, 250 are resident and 33 are endemic to the country. 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve the Sinharaja Rainforest is a birders paradise. Any serious birdwatcher on a birding tour in Sinharaja will be left ecstatic as 95% of Sri Lanka’s endemic birds are present in this virgin rainforest. That’s not all, when birding in Sinharaja a mixed species of foraging bird flocks can also be found. Studies on these flocks have revealed 48 species including 12 that are endemic to the island. Some of the rarest birds seen on our birding tours in Sinharaja are the Red Faced Malkoha, Green Billed Coucal and the Sri Lankan Blue Magpie. 

Other studies on the Sinharaja rainforest indicate that while birding in Sinharaja one can witness a relatively high endemism among the butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. This tropical lowland rainforest is where the largest and longest studied bird wave known as the Sinharaja Bird Wave takes place. While on our birding tours in Sinharaja this intriguing phenomenon can be observed as various species flow as one big wave.

Another birding tour that you could take in Sri Lanka is at the Kumana National Park. With a total of 255 species Kumana is renowned for its birds especially its waterfowl and wading birds. This is because when you are on your birding tours in Kumana you are bound to come across the ‘Kumana Villu’ which is 200 hectares of natural swamp lake that attracts many water birds especially in the months of May and June. Originally known as the Yala East national park, due to its close proximity to the Yala national park, the sanctuary was renamed Kumana national park in 2006.


When on a birding tour of Kumana one cannot help but be amazed at the variety of species that can be found. From April to July there are thousands ofbirds that migrate to Kumana. The Black-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Eurasian Spoonbill and the Great Thick – Knee are just a few rare birds that inhabit the Kumana which was declared a protected area in 1938 as it is one of the most important breeding grounds on the island. What’s more while on your birding tour in Kumana you might also meet the Sri Lankan Leopard and the Elephants that visit from the Yala national park. 

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Elephant photo safari in Sri Lanka by Wildlife Tours Sri Lanka

Elephants in Sri Lanka are the largest mammals that are to be found on the island. They are one of the most enriching species of the world and there are national parks in Sri Lanka that are solely dedicated for your big game elephant safaris. It is unfortunate that the elephants in Sri Lanka are considered to be an endangered species because their survival is threatened due to various human activities. Elephant safaris in Sri Lanka can take place in various locations. It would be up to you to select the place in which you would like to observe these gentle jumbo creatures. Although we highly recommend that you visit the elephants at the Udawalawe National Park. 

Elephants in Udawalawe are a guaranteed sight for anyone interested in a fulfilled elephant safari. This is the third most visited park in Sri Lanka and even on the shortest Elephant safaris in Udawalawe you can come across herds that would gather to feed and bathe at the waterholes. A 2011 census revealed that there are 5,800 elephants in Sri Lanka. Out of this an estimated 600- 700 elephants can be found residing in the Udawalawe National park. The elephant safaris in Udawalawe are not confined to just elephants. It is home to so much more species due to the varied habitats in the park. On a visit you would probably come across the endemic Toque Macaque or even the Sri Lankan leopard that is not spotted very often. Another rare animal that you can find on your Elephant safari in Udawalawe is the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear. The variety of birds, some endemic, will leave you amazed while fish, reptiles and amphibians can also be observed. 

At the Yala and Wasgamuwa National Park there is a substantial Sri Lankan Elephant population which is recognised as a subspecies of the Asian Elephant. At Yala these elephants can be seen in large herds with baby elephants in tow while in Wasgamuwa the elephants are of a different nature as they are completely wild and have a limited exposure to safari jeeps. Elephant safaris in Sri Lanka can also be extended to a boat ride. This is possible only at the Gal Oya National Park as it borders a reservoir and many little islands can be seen. Here the elephants swim from one island to another with their trunks out of the water as they use them as snorkels, an intriguing sight for anyone on wildlife safaris

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Whale watching in Sri Lanka has become a renowned attraction of the world. There are numerous whale watching tours from which you can select from. However being one of the pioneers ofwhale watching tours in Sri Lanka, we at Wildlife Tours guarantee an experience of a lifetime. In association with the International Dolphin Watch our whale and dolphin watching tours were introduced to Sri Lanka in the year 2000. 

Two out of Sri Lanka’s big five are the Blue and Sperm whales. Primary destinations for whale watching in Sri Lanka are Galle and Mirrissa which is at the South end of the Island and Trincomalee which is on the East. These magnificent mammals would be on their migratory route during their breeding season to the Bay of Bengal and the Horn of Africa. The best months to witness this magical marine life in its total splendour would be between the months of November and July. 

whale gatherings by Gehan De Silva Many experts believe that it is the deep waters of Mirrisa, also known as Dondra Point, where some of the best whalingmoments of the world take place. Whale watching in Mirissa between December and April would hardly leave you disappointed. The ocean sets up the best Cetaceans display during the early hours of the day therefore it would be the ideal time for a whale watching tour in the isle of Sri Lanka.

Our country is situated within the International Whaling Commission’s protected zone. From 80 of these giant creatures, 26whale species can be identified in the Indian Ocean. No harm or discomfort is caused to these mammals during your whale watching tour in Sri Lanka.

To the Eastern part of the country is Trincomalee another pristine location for whale watching tours. With its fine white sandy beaches and popular snorkelling and windsurfing activities Trincomalee is a hotspot for visitors from around the globe. Here toowhale watches would have the pleasure of meeting the largest animals on the planet, the Blue and Sperm whales.

Dolphins can also be observed enjoying their travels in pods sometimes with the whales and sometimes without. The most suitable months for your whale watching tour in Trincomalee would be from May to October. It was in Trincomalee that the worlds first underwater filming of whales took place for the 1982 documentary film “Whales weep not”. All whale watching tours in Sri Lanka are just a few nautical miles away from our paradise island. 

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Leopard Safari organise by wildlife tours Sri Lanka

Categorized as vulnerable within its terrains are the Leopards in Sri Lanka. For our Big Game Leopard safari explorers these magnificent carnivores are one of the most interesting species on the island. Leopards in Sri Lanka can be witnessed in almost every national park due to their extremely adaptable natures. The highest number of leopards in Sri Lanka can be spotted at the Yala national park. Statistics even goes to prove that theleopards in Yala are probably the highest in the world. A leopard safari at Yala is the ideal way for anyone to appreciate the Sri Lankan Leopard which is also known as Kotiya by locals. These creatures are more active early morning or late evenings therefore these would be the best times for you to embark on your leopard safari. Make sure that you have an expert tour guide on your leopard safari as these creatures tend to shy away from human interaction. On your Leopard safari in Yala keep an eye out for the prolific birdlife, plants and other animals as well.

Unlike the rest of the animals at the park these top predatory big cats are most often solitary hunters and prefer to catch their pray at night. If you’re lucky you will be able to catch mothers and cubs courting in pairs. This of course depends on theLeopard safari experience that you choose to have. It is estimated that there are around 500-650 Leopards in Sri Lanka. 

While the Yala national park is the best location in the world for a Leopard safari in Sri Lanka the Wilpattu national park is one of the oldest and largest national parks therefore it has more ground to cover for a leopard safari adventure. Although theLeopard population is unknown Wilpattu is one of the top ten parks in the world for a Leopard safari. With a historical background and various ecological features, that make it stand out from other parks, a Leopard safari in Wilpattu will indeed be a special one. The name “Willu” means natural lakes and the Leopards of Wilpattu can sometimes be seen around the 60 or so lakes that this park holds. Due to its size it is a bit of an arduous task to catch these leopards so a lengthy stay and an insightful Leopard safari in Wilpattu is advised. 

When on your Leopard safari in Sri Lanka make sure you observe them from a distance. Avoid the monsoon seasons asLeopards don’t enjoy heavy rains so there is less of a chance of seeing one. 

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Exclusive Wildlife Tours Sri Lanka

Enjoy wildlife holidays in Sri Lanka at their very best with Wildlife Tours Sri Lanka. These Sri Lankan wildlife tours allow you to experience multiple national parks around the island in a relatively short time span. These Sri Lanka Wildlife Tours can be customised to your needs, and can last anywhere from a week to two weeks, depending on the tour and the attractions. Be prepared to travel across this tiny island with your cameras at the ready, as the wildlife is guaranteed to be amazing and your trip is guaranteed to be fun and exciting.

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Discover Sri Lanka with Wildlife 

Sri Lanka is a mosaic of culture, history, tradition, nature, and modernism that are intertwined in all dimensions. No trip to this tiny nation can ever be described as dull. You can often choose to go on a trip where you get to see the cultural attractions of Sri Lanka or the wildlife in Sri Lanka, but our Discover Sri Lanka with Wildlife tours provide you with Wildlife Holidays in Sri Lanka with a difference – we have them combined.

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Wildlife Excursions in Sri Lanka

For those who love nature but only have a limited amount of time to spare or for those who would like to dip their toes in the experience that is the Wildlife of Sri Lanka, Wildlife Tours Sri Lanka brings you overnight excursions to some of Sri Lanka’s wildlife hotspots. From Yala National Park with its leopard density to Udawalawe National Park with its massive numbers of elephants to Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka’s largest and oldest national park, there are experiences that only Wildlife Tours Sri Lanka can provide at this level.

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 5 star rating

The trip you suggested and organized through Eco Team gave us a good overview. We liked specially the Mahoora Explorer in Wilpattu and Udawalawe.

Anita & Ueli Letsch - Switzerland
29th March 2017

 5 star rating

Everyone has been so friendly and helpful. We have had such an excellent trip. The safaris in Yala and Udawalawe were a wonderful experience. We have many memories to take home and we saw so many wildlife. Chauffeur Guide were knowledgeable. The Big Game safari Camps were excellent, best service we have ever had. Attention to details very welcoming and food very good.

Mark Foyn - England
1st August 2017

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