Natural History Tours & Trails
Traverse exciting nature trails in Sri Lanka with our Natural History Tour taking you to sites rich in nature & culture be it rainforests, national parks or world heritage sites.
Arrival in Sri Lanka and transfer to Villa Talangama, Colombo, for one night. Be it relaxation or bird watching, Talangama Villa offers the weary traveler the perfect blend of Sri Lankan hospitality and colonial aestheticism. Overlooking the Talangama marshes, Talangama Villa is the perfect escape, taking the word “tranquility” to a new level. Tastefully furnished with the customer’s maximum comfort in mind where relaxation is the name of the game. Artistic simplicity at its best!
After breakfast leave for Martin’s Simple Lodge (Basic) Sinharaja for two nights. Afternoon visit Sinharaja Rainforest (A UNESCO World Heritage Site) for lowland endemics and mixed species bird flocks. According to a study of the mixed species birds, on average 42 individual birds occur in the flocks, which makes this world’s largest mixed species bird flock. The mixed species Bird flock study of Sinharaja forest has been continuing since 1981 and is considered as the World’s longest studied bird flock study. Birding highlights include Red-faced Malkoha, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, White-faced Starling and Scaly Thrush.
Full day birding to Sinharaja Rainforest (A UNESCO World Heritage Site) for lowland endemics and mixed species bird flocks.
After breakfast leave for Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort for one night. Afternoon visit Udawalawe National Park for dry zone birds and Elephants. Look for dry zone birds, which include Little Green Bee-Eater, Malabar Pied Hornbill & Blue-faced Malkoha. In a visit to Udawalawe National Park close to 50-60 Elephants can be seen and the Nursery Herd, which comprise of many baby Elephants, is one of the key attractions.
After breakfast leave for Jetwing Yala for three nights. En route visit Bundala National Park in safari jeeps. Bundala is a fascinating wetland home for 150 species of winter migrant and resident birds. The park is accessed in safari jeeps. The highlight would be large flocks of Greater Flamingos, which could number upto a few hundred. Bundala is a ‘Ramsar’ wetland of Sri Lanka. Among the larger water birds you could also see Lesser Adjutant, Painted Stork, Asian Openbill, Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-headed Ibis and Woolly-necked Stork. Waders that can be seen at Bundala include Pacific Golden, Lesser Sand and Greater Sand, Little Ringed, Kentish and Little Ringed Plovers, Little Stint, Marsh, Common, Wood and Green Sandpipers. You could also see the two odd-looking Eurasian Thick-knee and Great Thick-knee in addition to Eurasian Curlew, Black tailed Godwit, Common Snipe, Red-necked Phalarope, Pintail Snipe and Ruddy Turnstone.
Morning and afternoon game drive to Yala National Park. According to the Leopard Research sponsored under the Jetwing Research Initiative, Yala Block 1 has one of the highest densities of Leopards in the world. Yala therefore offers one of the best chances in Asia to see Leopards. Other large animals you may see include Elephant, Sloth Bear, Mugger Crocodile, Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Jackal, Grey Langur and Mongoose. Birding highlights include Malabar Pied Hornbill, Painted Stork, Lesser Adjutant and Black-necked Stork.
Morning look for invertebrates and Flora at the hotel and afternoon game drive at Yala National Park.
After breakfast leave for Jetwing St. Andrews for three nights.
Morning visit Horton Plains National Park to see Cloud Forests and rare montane fauna, which include the endemic Rhino-horned Lizard, which was featured in Charles Darwin’s monumental work on evolution, Bear Monkey, Giant Squirrel and Sambhur. Walk though the grasslands and Cloud Forests to a popular viewpoint know as World’s end, which is an escapement with a 870 m drop. We also look for endemic birds Yellow-eared Bulbul and Sri Lanka Hill White-eye and Dull blue Flycatcher. Afternoon visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens. Here we look for the highland races of Purple-faced Leaf Monkey and Toque Macaque. The Toques brim with self-confidence and may approach the visitors!
Full day visit Gardens and forest nearby to the hotel for invertebrates and flora.
After breakfast leave for Plantation Hotel, Kithulgala, for one night. Afternoon cross the Kelani River in a dugout canoe and reach the Kelani Valley Forest Reserve, which is a lowland tropical rainforest rich in endemic fauna and flora. The Kelani Valley Forest Reserve is ideal for any missed lowland endemics such as Sri Lanka Myna, Green-billed Coucal, Spot-winged Thrush, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Brown-capped Babbler and Red-faced Malkoha.
Morning another session of birding at Kelani Valley Forest Reserve and leave for Hunas Falls by Amaya, Kandy, for two nights. En route visit Udawatte Kalle (Upper Gardens) Afternoon visit Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Kandy, which is an object of veneration to Buddhists and the most important sacred relic in the country. Also do a city tour.
Full day visit trails and forest patches near by the hotel for inverts and flora.
After breakfast leave for Amaya Lake, Dambulla for two nights. Afternoon Sigiriya Rock Fortress, which was the pleasure capital of a single king called Kashyapa in the 5 Th centuries A.D.
Morning visit Polonnaruwa (A UNESCO World Heritage Site), the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. At Polonnaruwa we will encounter troops of Toque Macaques who were famously featured in both the BBC’s ‘Temple Troop’ and David Attenborough’s ‘Life of Mammals’. One will be intrigued by the power play between Macaques and Hanuman Langurs. Visit the world famous rock-cut Buddha statues of Gal Vihara and the Parakrama Samudra (‘Sea of Parakrama’) a 2500-hectare man made reservoir built by King Parakramabahu I (1153 –1186 AD) with a capacity of 134 million cubic metres. Afternoon game drive to Minneriya National Park with focus on Elephants.