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Red-backed Flameback © Kit Day

Sri Lanka

Endemic Birds and Mammals

A 13-day, small group birding tour covering all of Sri Lanka's distinct climatic zones in search of the island's considerable number of endemic birds and equally impressive array of iconic large mammals.

Our tour of Sri Lanka, a global biodiversity hotspot, is a thorough exploration of the southern half of the island.  Our itinerary takes us through all of Sri Lanka's distinct climatic zones as we search for the impressive 34 endemic birds found here among a rich avian diversity and accompanied by a selection of mammals that include a number of endemics and some of Asia's most iconic species. We make our way up into the plateau grasslands of the central highlands before descending to the southwest through the lush tropical forests of the island's wet zone, and finally into the scrub jungle of the dry zone in the island's southeastern corner. Among others, we'll look for Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, Crimson-backed Flameback, Ashy-headed Laughingthrush, Sri Lanka Bush Warbler, Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush, Chestnut-backed Owlet and Serendib Scops Owl, plus Leopard, Asian Elephant and endemic mammals including Toque Macaque. We visit in the northern winter, when  the climate is comfortable in the tropical lowlands and when Sri Lanka's resident birds are accompanied by some enticing winter migrants, in particular Kashmir Flycatcher and Pied Thrush.

Our post-tour extension visits the fishing port of Weligama on the island's southern shore. The narrow continental shelf here allows easy access to deep water, making this one of the best places in the world to see Blue Whale. This will be our focus during daily pelagic excursions where we'll also be looking for a host of other possible cetaceans and a small selection of seabirds. 

Tuesday 5 December - Saturday 16 December 2023 (Blue Whale post-tour extension to Monday 18 December)

with Dulan Vidanapathiranga

Sunday 21 January - Thursday 1 February 2024 (Blue Whale post-tour extension to Saturday 3 February)

with Dulan Vidanapathiranga

Monday 2 December - Friday 13 December 2024 (Blue Whale post-tour extension to Sunday 15 December)

with Dulan Vidanapathiranga

2024: $ 2980 / £ 2345 / € 2730 (Colombo/Colombo)

Duration: 12 nights/13 days

Group size: min. 6 / max. 8 with 1 leader

Single room supplement: $ 495 / £ 390 / € 455

Deposit: $ 595 / £ 470 / € 545 (20% of the tour price)

Pre-tour extension / Linked tour (South India: The Western Ghats & Endemics of the Andaman Islands):

This tour can be combined with our tour of India - south: The Western Ghats, and its linked extension Endemics of the Andaman Islands to create a comprehensive tour that covers all Western Ghats and Sri Lanka endemics together with all accessible Andaman & Nicobar endemics. Discount applicable when purchasing both tours.

Post-tour extension (Blue Whale):

2024: $ 600 / £ 470 / € 550 (Colombo/Colombo)

Duration: 2 nights/2 days (total 14 nights/15 days)

Group size: min. 6 / max. 8 with 1 leader

Single room supplement: $ 180 / £ 140 / € 165


The tour is priced in US Dollars ($). Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

The tour price includes:

  • Accommodation

  • All meals and drinking water

  • Ground transportation

  • Services of a guide throughout

  • All birding and wildlife activities

  • Reserve entry fees

  • Tour info, pre-travel notes and checklists

Estimated flight costs: $ 760 / £ 600 / € 700 (to/from Colombo)

Estimated visa costs: $ 50 / £ 40 / € 45*

*Estimated visa costs shown here are for a 30-day e-visa (ETA) for Sri Lanka.

More information on what's included

Read about our small group surcharges

more tropical / Asia tours...

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India - south

The Western Ghats

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India - south

The Andaman Islands

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India - Goa

Sunbirds, Sea-Eagles, Sandplovers

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Malaysian Borneo

Rainforest Endemics of Sabah

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