Butterfly Safari in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a paradise for butterfly enthusiasts with 243 species of butterflies and skippers. Even the wetland reserves near the capital of Colombo will hold as many as fifty different species. Seasonally, large migrations of whites and yellows take place. All year round a breathtaking array of species can be seen.



Arrival at the International Airport, to be met by a representative of Jetwing Eco Holidays and transfer to Villa Talangama, Colombo for one night. Visit Talangama Wetland and surrounding paddy fields for an assortment of brilliant red Dragonflies such as Elusive Adjutant, Eastern Scarlet Darter and Spine-legged Redbolt and with luck two rare gomphids. Around the lake and canals we find many pond damselflies including endemic species of Gems, Sprites, and Threadtails. The list of species for the wetland is around 24 and growing. At Talangama one will encounter common species of beautiful butterflies, such as Tailed Jay, Common Crow, Common Palmfly, Common Rose, Common Sailor, Plain Tiger and Common Tiger.


After breakfast leave for Martins Simple Lodge, Sinharaja for one night. you will be driven via Kalutara, Matugama, Kalawana and Weddagala to Sinharaja, where several rare and endemic species are found.

After arriving at Sinharaja  walk in the Sinharaja Rain Forest (UNESCO world heritage site) where many butterflies can be seen including the Ceylon Hedge Blue, The Red Spot, The Dark Palm Dart, The Rustic, The Indian Palm Bob, The Ceylon Snow Flat, The Common Jay and other butterflies. Picnic lunch in the Park. Afternoon look for rare and endemic Butterflies in the open areas outside the Forest Reserve.


Early morning visit Sinharaja with fruit baits of ripe jack fruits, mango, guava etc. Keep them at selected spots, including Bamboo bushes and palm trees and wait for the butterflies to come to them. Also walk along the forest foot paths in search of butterflies.

Afternoon leave for Weddagala / Rakwana (through the jungle route), Suriyakanda / Kolonna / Panamure to Embilipitiya. Look for butterflies on the way. Visit “Maduwanwela Walauwa”(at Kolonna), a Sinhalese Chieftain’s house which contained 121 rooms earlier, now only 21 rooms. Dinner & Overnight at Centuria Hotel, Embilipitiya.


After breakfast look for the Dark Grass Blue, the Ape Fly, The Common Pierrot, The Common Cerulean, the Purple Leaf Blue, The Peacock Fancy, the Baron, The Lime Butterfly and the Glassy Tiger, species of butterflies in the Embilipitiya area, and leave for Hambantota. Lunch at Peacock Beach Hotel. After lunch look for Butterflies found close to the beach, near the Salterns in the Palmyrah Palm Tree area and the jungle, just after the Salt Company stores. Then leave for Yala. Dinner & overnight at Jetwing Yala.


Early morning leave for Yala National Park to see Wild animals including Elephants, Leopards, Deer, Sambhur, Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, Buffalo, Crocodiles, Peacocks and large number of birds. Look for the Tailed Jay, The Dark Wanderer, the Cruiser, the Common Tiger, the Plain Tiger, The Gladeye Bush Brown, The Little Banded Swift, the Common Rose, The Dark Blue Tiger, The Small Salmon Arab, The Tawny Coaster and the Common Leopard butterflies in the park. Lunch at the hotel. Afternoon walk along the beach to the South and look for the Zebra Blue, The Cornelian, the Mottled Emigrant, The Common Emigrant, The Danaid Eggfly, The Great Eggfly, The Common Indian Crow, The Brown King Crow, the Dark Blue Tiger found close to the beach. Dinner & overnight at Jetwing Yala.


Morning leave for Nuwara Eliya via Wellawaya and Ella. Look for Butterflies – The Tailless Line Blue, Ceylon Tiger, the Forget-me-not, The Blue Pansy, The Large Oakblue, the Common Jezebel, The Common Laser, the Indian Awl king, the Common Sailor, the Chestnut Streaked Sailor, The Tree Nymph, The Red Helen in the Lunugamvehera Sanctuary and near Ravana Ella waterfall. Lunch at Jetwing St. Andrew’s, Nuwara Eliya. Afternoon city tour. Visit Victoria Park in the city, drive round the lake, visit Elk plains & Moon plains. Evening visit Hakgala Gardens and look for any rare Butterflies you may see among the flowering trees and plants in the park. Dinner & Overnight at Jetwing St. Andrew’s, Nuwara Eliya.


After breakfast leave for Horton Plains National Park via Ambewela & Pattipola. At the Plains walk in the National Park area as well as outside in dwarf Bamboo groves, Patanas and jungle cover look for the following butterflies which are endemic, very rare or peculiar to the Plains. The Ceylon Tree Brown, The Ceylon, Forester, Ceylon Tiger, The Blue Admiral, The Cruiser, The Tamil Lace Wing, The Aberrant Bushblue, The Blue Mormon, The Red Helen, The Hedge Hopper, The Rare Ace. Picnic lunch at Horton Plains. After lunch walk up to “Little World’s End” and ” World’s End” and see the beautiful trees and plants, Orchids and Wild animals such as Sambhur ( more than 3000 in the plains), Leopards, Bear, Monkey etc. and large number of birds including some rare and endemic birds. Return to Nuwara Eliya in the evening. Dinner & Overnight at Jetwing St. Andrew’s, Nuwara Eliya.


After breakfast leave for Kandy. Visit a Tea Plantation & Factory on the way. See Ramboda Waterfall (329 ft. high). At Peradeniya visit the Royal Botanical Gardens ( 147 acres) and look for the Metallic Cerulean, The Plumbeous Silverline, the Yamfly, The Great Orange Tip , The Indian Red Admiral, The Ceylon Lesser Albatross, The Ceylon Palmfly, The Common Tree Brown, The Blue Admiral, The Common Banded Peacock and The Common Blue Bottle among the flowering bushes and trees. Lunch at The Swiss Residence, Kandy. Afternoon visit the city sites in Kandy and shopping. Evening visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic to witness the ‘Pooja` (offerings). See Kandyan dance performance. Dinner & Overnight at The Swiss Residence, Kandy.


After breakfast leave for Knuckles Range of mountains via Hunasgiriya and Looloowatta (carry picnic lunch). Spend the whole day in the mountain range looking for rare and endemic type of butterflies- the Common Line Blue, the Indian Dart, the Common Banded Awl, The Clipper, The Ceylon Tiger, The Indian Fritillary and Common Banded Demon. Proceed to Elkaduwa. Dinner & Overnight at Hunas Falls by Amaya, Elkaduwa.


After breakfast leave for Sigiriya. On the way stop at Dambulla to see the Cave Temple with murals, statues etc. and look for butterfly species found in the dry zone. Then leave for Sigiriya. Lunch at Sigiriya Village Hotel. After lunch walk in the hotel Garden, Farm and the surrounding jungle area, around the lake at Sigiriya looking for butterflies – The Red Spot Duke, The Blue Oakleaf , The Blue Mormon, The Crimson Rose, The White Orange Tip, The Spot Sword Tail, the Chocolate Albatross and The Yellow Orange Tip. Climb the rock fortress to see the beautiful frescoes and other remains of the Palace and Fortifications. Walk to the pleasure garden, along the inner moat and proceed to Pidurangala Temple – an area full of butterflies. Sometimes large groups of Flighters could be seen drinking water in half dried streams and pools. Evening return to the hotel. Dinner & Overnight at Sigiriya Village Hotel, Sigiriya.


After breakfast leave for Polonnaruwa. On the way see large number of Flighters and the following butterflies: the Zebra Blue, the Monkey Puzzle, the Plain Cupid, the Common Guava Blue,  the Peacock Royal, the Common Shot Silverline, The Spot Sword Tail and the Red Spot Duke. Lunch at the Seruwa Hotel. Afternoon visit the Cultural Triangle sites to see the monuments of the medieval capital-Polonnaruwa. Look for butterflies in the jungle and open areas around the monuments. Dinner & Overnight at Seruwa Hotel, Polonnaruwa.


After breakfast leave for Anuradhapura via Habarana and Maradankawala. On the way look for the following butterflies in the Minneriya – Giritale National Park and in the jungle between Habarana and Maradankadawala: The Tawny Rajah, The Psyche. The Small Salmon Arab, The White Orange Tip, The Golden Angel, The Brown Awl. The Common Evening Brown, the Brown King Crow and the Common Mormon. Visit Mihintale to see the ruins and in the jungle area look for butterflies. Afternoon see the monuments at Anuradhapura. Dinner & Overnight at Palm Garden Village.


After breakfast leave for Colombo via Dambulla and Kurunegala. At Ibbagamuwa proceed to Kumbukgete and Dolukanda to see some rare species found in the Dry zone. Also see the large number of medicinal trees and herbs and the ruins of a Temple Complex. Lunch at Kandyan Reach Hotel, Kurunegala. After lunch leave for Colombo. Evening at leisure. Dinner & overnight at Villa Talangama, Colombo.


Transfer to Airport for departure.

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