Dragonfly Watching in Sri Lanka

At least 118 species of dragonflies have been described with more awaiting description by science. The whole of Sri Lanka is like a giant wetland complex with thousands of man made lakes and vast areas of paddy fields and irrigation networks. The abundance of habitat make the island very good for dragonfly watchers.

Jetwing Eco Holidays have run the most number of dragonfly watching tours in Sri Lanka, including the annual tour for British Dragonfly Society.

Day
1

Arrive in Sri Lanka and transfer to Villa Talangama, Colombo, for one night. Afternoon, visit Talangama Tank and surrounding paddy fields for an assortment of colorful Libellulidae Dragonflies. Damselflies including pond species, Pinflies, Blue-tails, and Orange-headed Sprites will be found along the canals and paddy fields. The list of species for the Tank area is around 24 and growing.

Day
2

After breakfast leave for Kitulgala Rest House, Kitulgala  for two nights. We find river and stream Dragon and Damselflies and a few more secretive forest species in the Kelani Valley Forest Reserve. Spend the afternoon with a walk through the rain forest and visit Beli-lena archaeological site.

Day
3

Spend a full day visiting rivers and streams around the Kitulgala area looking at forest and river damselflies and dragonflies, both adults and larvae. We should find the more secretive endemic Forest species (Drepanosticta) and Blurry Forest Damselfly (Platysticta maculata) and beautiful Gossamerwing (Euphaea splendens) and Green-wing Damsels (Neurobasis chinensis) on the rivers and streams. Dragonflies next to the streams include colourful Dropwing (Trithemis species), and in the faster water Iris Cascader (Zygonyx iris ceylonicus) whose larvae cling to stones in waterfalls.

Day
4

After breakfast leave for Jetwing St. Andrews, Nuwara Eliya for two nights. Higher in the mountains more endemics await us. Afternoon walk around nearby wetlands should give us some new sightings and evening discover the St. Andrew’s Hotel’s nature trail where possibly some different forest species can be found.

Day
5

Morning in Horton Plains National Park take a walk on the plains and through forested areas where we might spot Paragomphus henryi, Elattoneura centralis, Indolestes gracilis, Libellago greeni and several Drepanosticta species. Afternoon if the weather holds we could visit Hakgala Gardens, established in 1860, it is 7 miles outside Nuwara Eliya and should give us a glimpse of several new species such as (Anax immaculifrons) Mountain Emperor and (Sympetrum fonscolombei) Red-veined Darter.

Day
6

After breakfast leave for Hunas Falls by Amaya, Kandy for two nights. Make one stop in Kandy to visit the world famous Temple of the Scared Tooth Relic (A UNESCO World Heritage Site). Later in the afternoon a stroll around the in the Hunas Falls hotel’s gardens and ponds should give the chance to spot an uncommon species last described in 1897, (Aethriamanta brevipennis) Blackheaded Basker.

Day
7

Spend the day walking around the nature trail, estate and streams should produce Gossamerwings, Emeralds, Brook damselflies (Platycnemididae) and other stream species plus Jewels (Libellago), Skimmers (Orthetrum species) and several others to add to our growing list.

Day
8

After breakfast leave for Amaya Lake, Dambulla, for two nights. Afternoon visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress, which was the pleasure capital of a single king called Kashyapa in the 5th century A.D. Sigiriya Sanctuary is also fantastic for dry zone dragonflies that enjoy the ancient water gardens at Sigiriya Sanctuary and surrounding tanks. We look for Stripe-headed Pinfly (Prodasineura), Featherlegs (Copera marginipes), and various Skimmers (Orthetrum), Gliders (Tholymis) species and Darters (Sympetrum).

Day
9

We spend the morning on the tank at Amaya Lake and observe the dry zone species. Enjoy the day and optional afternoon trip to Dambulla Caves.

Day
10

After breakfast leave for Tamarind Tree, Katunayake, for one night. The hotel is just 2kms from the airport.

Day
11

Transfer to International airport for Departure

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