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Sri Lanka, pearl in the Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka, Blue Elephant, Vogelreis

Sri Lanka, pearl  of the Indian Ocean for birdwatchers and culture lovers 


Red-vented Bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul

The wilderness of Sri Lanka, in former time Ceylon, has a great variety in vegetation from rainforest and glowing lowlands with dry brambles and cloudsforest with lichens. Along the coast you will find splendid mangroves. The inhabitants of this variety in biotops, for mammals, birds, plants and butterflies is amazing and fascinating. The  island is one of the richest island in bird species . You may see here some 425 bird species and 251 of this number are sedentary. 23 Species are endemic and another 81 are endemic subspecies. It is not only for the birds why Sri Lanka is attractive . Many birds live together with monkeys, squirrels, and lories, as well. There are big  mammals, such as Indian elephant, many species of deer, waterbuffalos, boars, jackals, sloth bears and jaguars.

Tour from sea to National Parks and Nature Parks

Paradijsvliegenvanger, Sri Lanka, Blue Elephant, Vogelreis


The size of the island of Sri Lanka is about one and a half the size of Holland. That makes it possible to visit all interesting areas within a fortnight. We will visit the coast and mainly the National Parks, where we could watch most of the bird species and where the accommodations are  good. In many parts of the island you will find authentic tropical agriculture. We will see rice fields (with birds), green waving tea-areas and plantations of coconuts and rubber trees.

From hornbill to Pallas ’ s fisheagle


Horton Plains, Sri Lanka, Blue Elephant, Vogelreis

Horton Plains

As varied as the biotops at the island of Sri Lanka, as varied is the world of birds. In the wetlands you will find different species of storks, ducks, cormorants, egrets, darters and pelicans. Also raptors are here to be seen, such as Indian short toad eagle,  the gray and Brahmanese kite , small river eagle and Pallas ’ s fisheagle. One of the less accessable and most overwhelming nature parks are the Horton Plains. A highland  with plain area and always-moisty forest wood. The most impressive bird among the number of endemic species you can find on the hills ymight be the Chestnut-bellied Hawk Eagle. The 

The Sri Lankan elephant

Indische olifant in Uda Walawe, Sri Lanka, Blue Elephant, Vogelreis

Indische olifant in Uda Walawe

Spoken in safari terms we could say that we have in Sri Lanka a “big four of mammals”: elephant, waterbuffalo, jaguar and  sloth bear. Except for the jaguar all big four are to be seen in the lower parts of the island.. The estuary of the river Mahaweli is the habitat of the Ceylonese elephant. Sri Lanka is important for many bird species, and the big four, but for the small mammals the island is very interesting as well.  We mention VARAAN (very big hagedis on land) pythons, two species of crocodiles. However the tiger is missing. The game of toppredator is played by the jaguar. Jaguars are real night animals. The chance to see a jaguar is very small.

November sad and rainy – December dryer and more sun

Calotes, Sri Lanka, Blue Elephant, Vogelreis


November is the month in Sri Lanka in between 2 monsoon periods. For bird watching November is probably the best month. Little tourist at this period and the migratory winter birds are still on the island. Sri Lanka has several climate zones. Though it could be very warm at the coastel areas and the dry areas, is November the most cold period  of the year. In the mountains it will be a bit cold and a coat or jacket will be needed. A pleasant thing is that Sri Lanka is a clean country.

Colourful people


Sri Lankan people are very friendly and most of them speak English, because of the English colonial period. Except for the culture of today we will see during our tour many boohdha statues and hindic temples and authentic ruins of bildings and temples of earlier kingdoms. At these spots we could possibly watch many birds and monkeys which are spectaculair tame. A real spectacle is the dance of the blue peacock in November. 

The Sinharaja rainforest

This Sinharaja rainforest is one of the remains of a lowland rainforest in Sri Lanka. It is more than 1000 km2. Though lions are only there in stories, this forest is in biological view a real paradise. 75% of all plant species are here in this forest. It is amazing how many endemic species of plants and animals prevail here. Of all plants 75% is endemic. With an exception of the elephant all fauna is represented here. Walking in the rainforest is an unforgettable experience. The enormous trees are full of orchids. On the mossy branches colorful lizards are watching you. Giant butterflies are everywhere. In the tops of the trees we hear noisy monkeys. Nearly all endemic species of Sri Lanka live in the rainforest of Sinharaja. 

watervaraan in Sinharadja, Sri Lanka, Blue Elephant, Vogelreis

watervaraan in Sinharadja





Praktical information
Tour price: € 2850,- £ 2260 international flights excluded. (16 days)
Guarantee: Blue Elephant is a member of GGTO
Date of tour: Sri Lanka 8th December – 22nd December (16 days)
Tour code: in 2014: 14SRI in 2015: 15SRI-dec
(Please mention code when booking)
Single room supplement: € 450,- £ 
Arrival and departure: Amsterdam – Colombo (possibly 1 stop)
Itinerary: will be sent 4 weeks before departure
Local transport: van with airco
Walking effort: Light walks on some days with some moderate walks on others; we do not walk fast. Enjoying the tour is our priority.
Participants minimum 6, maximum 10
Accommodation: comfortable and good hotels, some with swimming pool
Itinerary: English speaking tourleader and local guide
Weather: tropical, a shower is possible in the afternoon, In the mountains it will be cooler.
Itinerary round trip  
day 1: Departure from Amsterdam;
day 2: Arrival Colombo and transfer to hotel in Habarana. In the afternoon birdwatching in the surroundings;
day 3: After breakfast climbint of the Lions rock of Sigiriya and watching birds in the wetlands
day 4: In the morning bird watching and then transfer to Kandy with a visit to  the botanical garden of Peradeniya;
day 5: After breakfast bird watching in Udawattakele forest reserve and then to Kitulgala forest reserve;
day 6: All day surroundings of Kitulgala and forest reserve;
day 7: From Kitulgala to Sinharaja National Park;
day 8: All day in Sinharaja – Uda Walawe – Embilipitiya;
day 9: After morning excursion transfer to Uda Walawe and in the afternoon jeepsafari in Udawalawe National Park;
day 10: morning jeepsafari in Udawalawe N.P. with picknick breakfast, transfer to Kirinda. In the afternoon wetlands of Tissamaharama;
day 11: In the morning and in the afternoon safari in Yala NP;
day 12: Morning safari in Bundala NP and in the afternoon wetlands in the surroundig area;
day 13: Morning safari in Bandala NP and transfer to Ella Adventure Park. In the afternoon Ravana Ella Sanctuary;
day 14: Departure to Nuwara Eliya, on our way bird watching, after lunch Victoria Park;
day 15: Visit to the Horton Plains;
day 16: transfer the airport;


The locations of this tour or shown on the map below. 

Blue Elephant - Tebinckslaan 14 - 9462 PV Gasselte - Telefoon: 0599 56 51 24 - Fax: 0599 56 45 44 - KVK: 04046067