small-mammal

Small Mammal & Birding Safari

8 Nights & 9 Days, FEB/MARCH/APRIL

1

ARRIVAL / SINHARAJA

Upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, you will be welcomed by your naturalist guide from Classic Sri Lanka, and travel to Sinharaja (3.5 hrs drive)

You will reach for the Blue Magpie Hotel in Sinharaja, where you will check-in for lunch.

In the afternoon, explore the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. The largest tract of natural rainforest in Sri Lanka, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve contains a wide variety of endemic flora and fauna.

Endemic Birds to lookout for: Serendib Scops Owl, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Ashy Headed Laughing Thrush, Sri Lanka Crested Drongo, Blackrumped Flameback, Red Faced Malkoha, Orange Billed Babbler, Brown Capped Babbler, White Faced Starling, Chestnut-backed Owlet, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Sri Lanka Scimitar Babbler, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush, Layard’s Parakeet, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Sri Lanka Hill Mynah, Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Black Capped Bulbul, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Spot Winged Thrush, Green Billed Coucal, Sri Lanka Yellow Fronted Barbet and Sri Lanka White Throated Flower Pecker (Legge’s Flowerpecker)

Other Bird Species to lookout for: Brown Wood Owl, Spot Bellied Eagle Owl, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Malabar Trogon, Black Bulbul, Velvet Fronted Nuthatch, Indian Blue Robin, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Brown-breasted Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue Fly catcher, Blue-throated Munia, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Yellow Browed Bulbul, Dark Fronted Babbler, Bay Owl and Three-toed Kingfisher.

Endemic Mammals to lookout for: Purple Faced Leaf Monkey (Southern lowland wetzone subspecies), Toque Macaque and Layard’s Palm Squirrel

Endemic Reptiles to lookout for: Sri Lanka Green Pit Viper, Sri Lanka Keelback, Sri Lanka Kangaroo Lizard, Sri Lanka Hump Nosed Lizard

Spend one night at Kochchikade

Ranweli Village Resort

  • Room Standard Room
  • Basis Full Board Basis
2

SINHARAJA

Full day exploration of the main Sinharaja Reserve and its surrounding areas including the nearby Athweltota Forest. Your naturalist guide along with the assistance of a local expert will ensure you tick as many species in your “must see” check-list as well as get you’re the best photographic encounters.

Overnight stay at Sinharaja

Blue Magpie Lodge

  • Room Standard Room
  • Basis Full Board
3

SINHARAJA / UDAWALAWE

After one more guided nature walk in Sinharaja, head towards Udawalawe (2.5 hrs drive), and check-in to the Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort.

In the afternoon go on a birding safari to Udawalawe National Park. This park is a good location for dry zone and intermediate zone bird species. Further the park is the best place in the island for daytime sightings of the elusive Jungle Cat, one of the three species of wild cats found in Sri Lanka. The park is also the best place in the island for year round encounters for the Asian Elephant. Endemic Birds to Lookout for Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Swallow, Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Woodshrike and Brown-capped Babbler.

Other Bird Species to Lookout for- Barred Buttonquail, Indian Peafowl, Painted Stork, Wooly-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Spot Billed Pelican, Black-winged Kite, White –bellied Sea Eagle, Grey-headed fish Eagle, Pallied Harrier, Montague’s Harrier, Osprey, Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Hawk Eagle, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Alexandrine Parakeet, Plum-headed Parakeet, Grey-bellied Cuckoo, Sirkeer Malkoha, blue –faced Malhoka, Brown Fish Owl, Created tree Swift, Coppersmith Barbet, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Rufous Woodpecker, Indian Pitta, Marshall’s Iora, White-browed Fantail, Black-naped Monarch, Forest wagtail, White Wagtail, Blyth’s Pipit, Jerdon’s Bushlark, Grey-breasted Prinia, Jungle Prinia, Ashy Prinia, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Green Warbler, Large-billed Leaf Warbler, Hume’s Whitethroat, Tawny-bellied Babbler, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Rosy Starling, Orange Headed Thrush, White-rumped Shama, Baya Weaver, Indian Silverbill, Black-headed Munia, Indian Roller.

Mammal Species to Lookout for Asian Elephant, Jungle Cat, Jackal, Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, Black-naped Hare, Toque Macaque, Grey Langur, Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Ruddy Mongoose, Leopard.

Overnight stay at Udawalawe

Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort

  • Room Standard Room
  • Basis Full Board
4

UDAWALAWE/ NUWARA ELIYA

Early morning birding safari in Udawalawe National Park.

After check-out head to the central highlands in Nuwara Eliya (4.5-5 hrs drive).

En-route you will pass the beautiful mountainous region of Ella and Haputale, which boast of stunning views and magnificent waterfalls. Ella Gap is a stunning viewpoint where you can panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges. During clear nights, one might be able to see the illumination projecting from Great Basses lighthouse in the South Coast of the island.

Upon reaching Nuwara Eliya check-in to Heaven Seven Hotel.

In the late afternoon, birding for highland species around the Galway’s Land, which is a small retreat of wilderness is located in the heart of Nuwara Eliya. The park is small, and constitutes a leisurely walk along a forest trail. This walk is quiet and pleasant, and a great retreat from the busy city.

Endemic birds to lookout for: Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Yellow Eared Bulbul, Sri Lanka White-eye, Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Scimitar Babbler.

Other birds to lookout for: Kashmir Flycatcher, Velvet Fronted Nuthatch, Pied Thrush, Indian Blue Robin, Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher, Forest Wagtail, Indian Pitta, Blythe’s Reed Warbler, Green Warbler, Large-billed Leaf Warbler.

Spend 2 nights at Nuwara Eliya

Heaven Seven Hotel

  • Room Standard Room
  • Basis Full Board
5

NUWARA ELIYA/HORTON PLAINS

Early morning, travel with a packed breakfast for birding at Horton Plains National Park. Horton Plains is Sri Lanka’s highest elevated national park lying approximately 7,000 feet above sea level and comprises of cloud forests and open grassland. Make an early morning start with a packed breakfast to Horton Plains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and take a guided walk along the nature trails to a viewpoint known as World’s End with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

Endemic Birds to lookout for

Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush, Sri Lanka Bush Warbler, Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Yellow-eared Bulbul, Sri Lanka White-eye, Sri Lanka Scimitar Babbler, Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush, Crimson-backed Flameback

Other Birds to Lookout for

Common Kestrel, Black Winged Kite, Jerdons’ Baza, Common Buzzard, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Pacific Swallow, Forest Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Green Warbler, Large-billed Leaf Warbler, Dark-fronted, Babbler, Velvet Fronted Nuthatch, Indian Blackbird, Pied Bushchat, Kashmir Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Black-throated Munia and Great Tit.

Mammals to Lookout for

Purple Faced Leaf Monkey (Mountain Variety a.k.a Bear Monkey), Toque Macaque, Layards Palm Squirrel, Sambhur, Indian Muntjac, Wild Boar, Red Slender Loris, Sri Lanka Spotted Chevrotain, Eurasian Otter, Leopard and Stripe Necked Mongoose.

Endemic Reptiles to Lookout for

Common Rough Sided Snake, Rhino Horned Lizard, Ceylon Tree Skink, Pygmy Lizard, Black Lipped Lizard.

Spend the remainder of the day at leisure, or you can go with your naturalist to few secret locations in the outskirts of Nuwara Eliya looking for more elusive species such as the Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush which is one of the rarest and most hard to find birds on the island.

Overnight stay at Nuwara Eliya.

Heaven Seven Hotel

  • Room Standard Room
  • Basis Full Board
6

NUWARA ELIYA / SIGIRIYA

Early morning spend one more session of birding in the highlands around Nuwara Eliya to tick off any remaining highland species.

After check-out, head towards Sigiriya in the North Central region of the country (4.5 hrs drive)

Check-in to the Pelwehera Village Hotel.

In the evening at 6.30 PM go on a night trail in Sigirya with the resident naturalist equipped with red headlamps, in search of the unique nocturnal species found in the area. This area is the best place in Sri Lanka to spot the Grey Slender Loris, which are nocturnal primates. The Loris, with its large bulging eyes and tiny limbs, is a nocturnal primate found in India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia. Hidden in the scrub forests, this mystical creature moves slowly through the trees after dusk to feed on insects and berries. Beginning at 7.00 p.m. the one hour long tour which is conducted by the resident naturalist, will take you through a forest filled with a wide range of vegetation. Preserving the natural appearance of the forest, the trail passes over streams which are crossed by simple bamboo bridges. You will be provided with red light emitting headlamps which prevent damage to the eyes of the Loris but assist you in your search for this elusive creature. When the light comes in contact with the eyes of a Loris, it gives a bright red reflection of a pair of enormous eyes. Depending on how quiet you are, the Loris may even approach you and give you a close up view. Keep an eye out for the other nocturnal species you may encounter on the night trail – the Eurasian Otter, Mouse Deer, Palm Civet, Collared Scops Owl, Indian Nightjar and Fishing Cat.

Overnight stay at Sigiriya

Pelwehera Village Hotel

  • Room Standard Room
  • Basis Full Board
7

SIGIRIYA/WILPATTU

After check-out, head towards Wilpattu (1.5 hrs drive).

Check-into Big-Game Camp in Wilpattu

In the afternoon go on a guided game drive into Wilpattu National Park. Popularly dubbed as ‘the land of the lakes’, Wilpattu National Park is famous for watching wildlife within its picturesque villus and dry evergreen forests. It is Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest national park which re-opened in 2010 after being closed for nearly three decades due to the civil war. Wilpattu is one of the top spots in Sri Lanka for watching Leopard and Sloth Bear. Other larger animals seen regularly here include Elephant, Jackal, Mugger Crocodile, Sambar, Spotted Deer and Buffalo are among the larger animals regularly encountered.

In the night after dinner you will go on a unique night safari in the outskirts of the park, where you have chances of encountering all three wild cat species – Rusty Spotted Cat, Jungle Cat and Fishing Cat. Further this gives another chance to get up close and personal with the Grey Slender Loris. If one is very lucky sightings of leopard are also possible.

Endemic Birds to lookout for

Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Swallow, Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Woodshrike and Brown-capped Babbler.

Other Birds to Lookout for

Crested Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Grey Headed Fish Eagle, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Ble Faced Malkoha, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Painted Stork, Black Headed Ibis, Yellow Wattled Lapwing, Red Wattled Lapwing, Greater Thick Knee, Pintail Snipe, Emerald Dove, Little Green Bee Eater, Blue Tailed Bee Eater, Chestnut Headed Bee Eater, Chestnut Winged Cuckoo, Jacobin’s Cuckoo, White Breasted Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Spot Bellied Eagle Owl, Indian Darter, White Rumped Shama, Indian Peafowl, Grey Heron, Lesser Whistling Duck, Alexandrene Parakeet, Little Grebe, Little Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Greater Egret, Purple Heron, Indian Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Eurasian Spoonbill, Stirated Heron, Brahminy Kite, White Breasted Waterhen, Common Moorhen, Pheasant Tailed Jacana, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt

Mammal Species to Lookout for

Leopard, Sloth Bear, Golden Jackal, Asian Elephant, Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Indian Muntjac, Mouse Deer, Grey Langur, Golden Palm Civet, Black Naped Hare, Toque Macaque, Giant Rock Squirrel, Wild Boar, Ruddy Mongoose, Grey Mongoose, Indian Pangolin, Rusty Spotted Cat.

Overnight stay at Wilpattu

Big Game Camp Tent

  • Room Standard Tent
  • Basis Full Board Basis
8

WILPATTU

Spend the morning outside the national park, souring the forest streams in search of the beautiful Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher as well as many other species like the Jacobins Cuckoo, Orange Headed Thrush, Indian Pitta and many more. Your naturalist along with local trackers will assist you in finding these rare species.

After lunch go on one more safari into wilpattu national park in search of any dry zone bird species you may have missed, as well as one last chance sighting of a leopard or sloth bear.

At night once again, engage in a night safari in the outskirts of the park in search of the creatures of the night such as the 3 species of wild cats as well as Grey Slender Loris, Eurasian Otter, Mouse Deer and if luck a leopard sighting.

Overnight stay at Wilpattu

Big Game Camp Tent

  • Room Standard Room
  • Basis Full Board
9

WILPATTU/AIRPORT

Early morning one-more game drive in Wilpattu National Park.

Thereafter back at camp after check-out head back towards Colombo where you will be dropped off back at the Bandaranaike International Airport to catch your flight back home.

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