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Birding & Wildlife Tour in Sri Lanka – 13 Nights / 14 Days

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival / Negombo

On arrival at the Bandaranayke International Airport, you will get your first taste of warm Sri Lankan hospitality. Representative from Seerock Holidays will welcome you at the airport and proceed to Negombo. (Approx.: travel time 20 min)

Dinner & overnight stay at a hotel in Negombo.

Day 2Negombo / Wilpattu

After breakfast, proceed to Wilpattu. (Approx: 04 Hrs)

En-route visit Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary.

Anawilundawa is generally unknown of outside of bird watching circles. Indeed, driving past the sanctuary along the main road you would have no idea it was there if you were not pre-informed, despite the fact that it is technically a National Park protected by the Wildlife Department.

Dinner & overnight stay at a tented camp in Wilpattu.

Day 3Wilpattu

Early morning proceed to Wilpattu National Park for a full day Safari game drive.

Wilpattu National Park is among the oldest and most important of protected areas in Sri lanka. Its flora and fauna is representative of the dry lowland zone. The main topographical feature in this park is the concentration of “villus” or ‘lakes within it. Though looking like lakes, these “villus” are in flat basin like, fault depressions on the earth surface containing purely rain water.

Proceed back to the hotel.

Dinner & overnight stay at a tented camp in Wilpattu.

Day 4Wilpattu / Sigiriya

After breakfast, proceed to Sigiriya. (Approx: 02 Hrs)

In the afternoon birding around Sigiriya Archaeological sites.

Thereafter climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Sigiriya – the 5th Century Sigiriya Rock Fortress which is a world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A Moat, Rampart, and extensive Gardens including the renowned Water Gardens ring the base of the Rock.

Visit the world-renowned Frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the Rock approached by a Spiral Stairway. These Frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster.

Dinner & overnight stay at a hotel in Sigiriya.

Day 5Sigiriya / Polonnaruwa / Minneriya

After breakfast, proceed to Polonnaruwa. (Approx: 01 Hr)

Visit Polonnaruwa Archilogical site.

Polonnaruwa , the capital from 11th -13th Century A.D. Here the monuments are better preserved. The circular Relic House (Vata-da-ge) Lankathilaka, Thuparama, Royal Palace,Rankoth Vihara and Galvihara with the beautiful rock cut Buddha statues are the most interesting.

Bird watching around the archeological site.

In the evening do a half day safari game drive at Minneriya National Park by jeep.

Minneriya National Park is an ideal eco-tourism location in Sri Lanka. The park consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to Sri Lanka’s favourites such as sambar deer, leopards and elephants.

Do birding in Minneriya National Park.

Dinner & overnight stay at a hotel in Sigiriya.

Day 06 Sigiriya / Dambulla / Kandy

After breakfast, proceed to Dambulla and visit Dambulla Rock Cave Temple.
(Travel time – Approx: 30 mints)

Dambulla is a large town, situated in the Matale District, Central Province of Sri Lanka, situated 72 km (45 mi) north of Kandy. Due to its location at a major junction, it’s the centre of vegetable distribution in the country. The temple is composed of five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, Dambulla Rock, offering a panoramic view of the surrounding flat lands, which includes the rock fortress Sigiriya.

Continue the journey to Kandy via Matale. (Approx: 03 Hrs)

In the evening, visit Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha, is the major tourist attraction in Kandy and is located spectacularly against a vast serene lake. The Tooth Relic is a symbol of sovereignty and receives state protection.

Dinner & overnight stay at a hotel in Kandy.

Day 07 Kandy / Kitulgala

Do birding around the hotel.

After breakfast, visit Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden.

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya, was started as a pleasure Garden by a Sinhala King, with it’s amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. Sixty-Seven hectares of exquisite beauty and botanical treasurers containing more than 4,000 species, this is heaven, not only for Scientists but to every nature lover as well.

Continue the journey to Kitulgala . (Approx: travel time 01 ½ hrs)

Kitulgala had a brush with fame when it was chosen as the location for David Lean’s 1957 epic, Bridge on the River Kwai. Kitulgala is one of the few remaining lowland rain forest in Sri Lanka and the traditional home gardens gives a higher bio-diversity in both fauna and flora.

Bird watching around the hotel.

Dinner & overnight stay at a hotel in Kitulgala.

Day 08 Kitulgala / Nuwara Eliya

Early morning birding around Kitulgala area.

In completion, continue your journey to Nuwara Eliya. (Approx.: 02 hrs)

Nuwara Eliya – The ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, is set against beautiful backdrops of Mountains, Valleys, Waterfalls and Tea Plantations. It is supposed to be one of the coldest places on the Island, but it is really just like an English spring day, although the temperature does drop at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence. Houses are like Country Cottages or Queen Ann style Mansions.

Sri Lankan Tea – Tea was first planted in Sri Lanka in 1824 at the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, when a few plants were brought from China. More were introduced from Assam in 1839. In 1867, a Scottish Planter named James Taylor planted Tea Seedlings on 8 hectares of forest land, in the Loolkandura Estate. In 1873, the Tea export industry of Sri Lanka began with a modest 23lbs being shipped to London. Tea will grow only on rolling terrain. It is classified into 3 main groups as Low Grown, Medium Grown, and High Grown.

Enroute do birding at Victoria park in Nuwara Eliya .

Dinner & overnight stay at a hotel in Nuwaraeliya.

Day 09 Nuwara Eliya / Horton Plain / Tissamaharama

Early morning visit Horton Plains National Park, with a picnic breakfast.

Horton Plain is a gently undulating highland plateau at 2,100m, lying at the south and of the Central Highlands, its surroundings forests and the adjoining Peak Wilderness, constitute Sri Lanka’s most important catchment area of almost all major rivers. The plains are also of outstanding scenic beauty and conservation importance, containing most of the habitats and endemic fauna and flora representatives of the country’s wet and montane zones. The western slops support the most extensive area of montane cloud forest surviving in the country.

Witness the Baker’s Falls and World’s End during your trekking excursion at Horton plains. Baker’s Falls is a famous waterfall in Sri Lanka. It is situated in Horton Plains National Park on a tributary of the Belihul Oya. The height of the Baker’s waterfalls is 20 metres (66 ft). The falls were named after Sir Samuel Baker, who was a famous explorer.

Do birding at Horton Plain.

Continue the journey to Tissamaharama. (Approx.: 05 hrs)

Dinner & Overnight stay at a hotel in Tissamaharama.

Day 10 Tissamaharama / Yala

Early morning proceed to Yala National Park & do a half day Safari game drive.

Yala National Park is the second largest and most visited in Sri Lanka. Yala is situated in the Southeast region of the Country. The Park covers 979 square kilometres .It originally had been designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1900. The Park is best known for its variety of itsWildAnimals.Yala is one of the 7th important Bird areas in Sri Lanka. Yala harbours 215 Bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. The number of Mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44, and it has one of the highest Leopard densities in the world.

In the afternoon birding around Thissamaharama wetland.

Proceed back to the hotel.

Dinner & Overnight stay at a hotel in Tissamaharama.

Day 11 Tissamaharama / Bundala / Sinharaja

Early morning proceed for a half day safari game drive at Bundala National Park.

This is the first Ramsar site in Sri Lanka and it is the most important wetland for birds in Sri Lanka outside the Northern Province. The lagoons of the park are among the most important wintering areas for migratory shore birds in the country. The Park contains five shallow, brackish lagoons, with saltpans in three interconnecting channels and marshes including the adjacent coast. This unique area of picturesque lagoons and inter tidal mud flats where the wintering birds rest and feed, golden beaches and sand dunes frequented by nesting sea turtles and the thorny scrub jungle where Elephant, spotted deer and wild buffalo are found.

Continue the journey to Sinharaja. (Approx.: 04 hrs)

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests ecoregion, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve’s name translates as Lion Kingdom.

Dinner & overnight stay at a hotel in Sinharaja.

Day 12 Sinharaja

Early morning visit Sinharaja World Heritage Wildernes for birding.

Full day bird watching in Sinharaja Rainforest.

Dinner & Overnight stay at a hotel in Sinharaja.

Day 13 Sinharaja / Colombo

Early morning do birding around the hotel in Sinharaja.

In the afternoon proceed to Colombo. (Approx.: 04 hrs)

Dinner & overnight stay at a hotel in Colombo.

Day 14 Colombo / Airport

Transfer to the Airport on time to connect with the departure flight.

(Travel time – Approx.: 01 Hr)