Sri Lanka Birding Tour – 10 days (Private Tour)

10 Days


This one-of-a-kind birding tour will take you across diverse climatic zones in Sri Lanka to explore and observe some of Sri Lanka’s most unique avifauna and other wonders of nature. 

Your tour begins in Kitulgala where you can encounter some fascinating species of birds including the endemic Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, the White-faced Starling and Green-billed Coucal. Then visit the virgin Sinharaja rainforest, which is considered a biodiversity hotspot where 95% of Sri Lanka’s 33 endemic bird species can be found. Udawalawe National Park has also become a popular spot for bird enthusiasts and is home to species including the Red-faced Malkoha and Crested Serpent Eagles. Here we can “bag” a good number of “dry zone” residential birds. Tour the Bundala Park, which was declared Sri Lanka’s first Ramsar site with its 197 species of birds including the migratory Greater Flamingo,and then the famous Yala National Park which is home to 215 different species of birds and Sri Lanka’s flagship mammals the Asian elephant, sloth-bears and leopards. Then en route to Nuwara Eliya you will visit Hakgala where the endemic Dull-blue Flycatcher is the star of the botanical garden. See the awe-inspiring Horton Plains and spend the night in Sri Lanka’s hill capital Kandy. We will also take you to the KuruluKele Bird Sanctuary in Kegalle to tick off anything you may have missed, before you unwind on the sandy beach of Negombo for a final day of relaxation.

Your accommodation will consist of handpicked hotels and glamping sites, designed to minimize time spent in travel. This will allow you to have the maximum time to focus on your holiday in Sri Lanka and enjoy your accommodation, destinations, and the amazing cuisine.

Ideal For – Bird lovers who are eager to explore the wilderness and admire the beauty of these creatures. Solo travellers/ couples/friends/families with kids and teenagers / small groups consisting of friends and family are welcome.

Highlights at a glance

  • Birding in Kitulgala for the endemic species and nocturnal birds.
  • Birding in a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site; Sinharaja Rainforest.
  • Capturing dry zone species in Yala, in Udawalawe and waders in Bundala National Park.
  • Birding in 1 of six Ramsar Sites in Sri Lanka; Bundala National Park.
  • Hill Country birding at Nuwara Eliya & Horton Plains National Park.
  • Learn the process of making the world's finest Ceylon Tea.
  • Get blessed with the Buddhist rituals at the most sacred Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy.
  • KuruluKele Bird Sanctuary in Kegalle for more birds plus a variety of plants.


Upon your arrival in Sri Lanka, you will be transferred to Kitulgala which was used as a location in the filming of David Lean’s award-winning film ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ and is considered one of the island’s most picturesque locations as well as a hotspot for endemic birds. Depending on your time of arrival, you can choose to rest at your hotel, or do a short bird-watching trail with your personal guide and hope to encounter some of Sri Lanka’s endemic bird species including the Orange-billed Babbler and the Chestnut-backed Owlet that have been recorded here.


After breakfast, enjoy a full-day tour of the Makandawa rain forest in Kitulgala which boasts an impressive list of endemic, migratory and resident birds. Many of the wet zone endemics such as the Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Hanging Parrot, Layard’s Parakeet, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Yellow-fronted Barbet, Black-capped Bulbul and the Spot-winged Thrush can be sighted here. Afterwards, you will spend the night close to nature at a comfortable hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast you will then be taken to the Sinharaja rainforest, which is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Another highlight of this forest is the mixed-species of bird flocks, averaging up to 42 individual species, which make this the world’s largest mixed-species bird flock. The mixed-species bird flock study of the Sinharaja forest has been continuing since 1981 and is considered the World’s longest bird flock study. Birding highlights include: the Red-faced Malkoha, Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, White-faced Starling and Scaly Thrush. After lunch, check-in to your hotel in Sinharaja before a bird-watching tour in the forest. We have also planned a night birding trail, where you may spot some of Sri Lanka’s nocturnal species including the Chestnut-backed Owlet and Serendib Scops Owl. Your overnight stay will be at a hotel selected given its close proximity to the forest.

Breakfast, Dinner

Following an early breakfast, enjoy a day of exploration (with packed lunches) in the beautiful Sinharaja rain forest where we will search for more wet lowland forest birds including endemics. Depending on your interest, our guide will also help you to identify many butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles, forest mammals and other wildlife. If you are feeling up to it, you could also do a night-walk along the peripheries of the reserve. At the close of the day, you will spend the night at a hotel close to Sinharaja Forest.

Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a pre-breakfast trail before you are taken to Udawalawe where you will check-in at the Glamping Tented Camp. Go on a safari at this 30,821-hectare dry zone game park in Udawalawe, where you may see an array of resident bird species including Grey Hornbills and Brown-capped Babblers, as well as birds of prey such as the White-bellied Sea Eagle and the Crested Serpent-Eagle. This Park is famous for its herds of elephants, seen feeding and bathing at watering holes with their playful calves. Among the migrant birds found here are: the Purple Kingfishers, Forest Wagtails, Indian Pittas, Whiskered Terns, Osprey Sandpipers and Terns. A night-time birding trail is also scheduled for you, after dinner, once you have settled in at the Glamping site in Udawalawe.

Breakfast, Dinner

Early in the morning you will transfer to the Bundala National Park for a special jeep safari. Bundala has been internationally recognized as an important wintering ground for migratory birds. An evening safari at the Yala National Park is organized with a night birding trail and an overnight stay at the glamping Camp in Yala. Boasting the highest leopard population density in the world, the Yala National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts while being widely noted as the best place in the world to film and photograph the Sri Lankan Leopard. At the close of your adventures for the day, you can look forward to your overnight stay at Glamping site in Yala.

Breakfast, Dinner

Venture back into the Yala National Park for a morning safari to see some of the 215 different bird species that reside within the Park. You may be able to spot species such as Barbets, Blue-Breasted Quail and Barred Buttonquail as well as mammals like the Asian elephant, sloth-bears and leopards. Then we will whisk you off to the hills of Nuwara Eliya where on the way you will visit the Hakgala Botanical Gardens, with an array of flowers and plants. You will spend the night at a Nuwara Eliya hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner

Before dawn, with packed breakfasts, you will be taken to the Horton Plains National Park in the central highlands of Sri Lanka which is recognized as an Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Horton Plains is home to several resident and endemic species of birds including: the Yellow-Eared Bulbul, Wood Pigeon, Sri Lanka Bush Warbler and most importantly, the endangered Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush and Scaly Thrush. We should also be able to sight the Sambar Deer and the endemic Purple-faced Monkey. After a late lunch, you will next proceed to the hill capital of Kandy with an overnight stay at a hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner

In the morning, after a birding trail, your next stop will be Negombo, with the option of visiting Kandy’s cultural sites en route. If there’s time, you may even visit the Kurulu Kele Bird Sanctuary in Kegalle. Kurulu Kele is a protected area of just over 113 hectares where once again you will be able to spot some of the 95 recorded bird species, including 10 endemics, such as the Spur fowl, Yellow-Fronted Barbet, Ceylon Small Barbet and the Legge’s Flowerpecker – that grace the island-paradise. Then you will spend the night at a hotel, before the final day.

Breakfast, Dinner

We’ve reached the end of your 09-night bird watching holiday to Sri Lanka and it is time to depart. Your chauffeur will take you to Colombo Airport in time to catch your departure flight.


Includes / Excludes


  • 09 nights accommodation.
  • Breakfast & Dinner basis at all hotels/ Camping sites.
  • Transportation in an air conditioned vehicle with an English Speaking Chauffeur throughout the tour including Airport Transfers.
  • Jeep Safaris in the above mentioned National Park in a Private Jeep including the entry permit costs & government tracker fees. Including 3 half day safaris at Udawalawe, Bundala & Yala.
  • Entry Permits to all the sites, temples, museums & monuments mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Costs of all experiences, community visits, hikes and village walks mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Service charges at the hotels & current applicable taxes by the Sri Lankan Government.


  • Any International or Domestic flights.
  • Any Visa fee or ETA fee. (Electronic Travel Authorization)
  • Christmas & New Year Eve dinner supplement. (24th & 31st December)
  • Perahera Supplement at Kandy Hotel during the Perahera Period.
  • Any additional beverage or food.
  • Early Check-in or Late Checkout Charges at Hotels.
  • Any tips to the staff.
  • Any expense of personal requirements telephone, laundry, hotel extra bills etc.)
  • Any additional expenses , other than mentioned in the inclusions list above.
What happens after I confirm the tour?

When it comes to the accommodation, all the reservations are subject to availability at the time of confirmation, and as soon as we have received the payment, our Tour Operations Team will take in charge of your tour and proceed with the reservations. In case a hotel mentioned in your itinerary has no availability, we will find you an alternative. No changes will be done without your approval!

Will I receive a schedule with exact timings for my tour?

We will make a rough day-by-day schedule for your tour, but won’t set you exact timings for each and every activity – unless there is a an activity which start at a specific time. Since you will be traveling by private vehicle, with a knowledgeable driver-guide, we want you to have your part in decision making. With the help from him, you may tune the schedule to your rhythm.

Am I allowed to do any extra stops or visits?

Along the destinations included in your itinerary, you are free to take as many stops as you want to. When it comes to additional visits and destinations that are located out of the original route, the extra kilometers will be taken in consideration. For your journey, we will calculate a total mileage that is sufficient for the whole tour and mentioned in your itinerary. If this limit is exceeded, we will charge a supplement according the extra mileage.

Am I allowed to do any changes to my itinerary during the tour?

We’ll do our best to accommodate the programme in your needs and wishes, if something urgent occurs during your tour. In a situation that requires changing the accommodation, the cancellation policies of the hotels concerned are to be taken on account.

Will I need a visa?

Since the 1st of January 2012, all travelers must be in possession of a visa when arriving in Sri Lanka. Citizens from Singapore and The Maldives are the only exempt. Visitors can apply for the official Electronic Travel Authorization (visa) via, or upon arrival at the airport. There is a small fee to pay, and you must have at least six months left on your passport at the time of travel to obtain one.

Are credit cards widely accepted?

MasterCard and Visa are widely used and accepted by many local shops, restaurants and hotels, but it’s always better to double check. Other major cards such as AmEx and DinersClub are accepted often also.

The Important Stuff

Sri Lanka is a nation where religion and culture occupy an important place in the day-to-day lives of the local people. It is important to be aware of the customs and practices that are particular to the location you are visiting, so here are a few general tips to keep in mind during your travels. Your chauffeur will assist you with more detailed information.

  • If you plan on visiting any temples, ancient or current, you should wear clothing that covers your body from your shoulders down to your knees. Head coverings such as caps or helmets should be removed and shoes must be taken off at the entrance. White coloured clothing is generally a good choice to go with here.
  • Some religious places do not allow photography or videography without prior permission and some may not allow it at all. Refer to signage or ask your chauffeur guide about the policy or protocol. Don’t try to photograph or take videos without permission.
  • If you have any tattoos associated with Buddhism, Hinduism or Islamism, it’s best that you cover them completely in public places. 
  • Smoking is prohibited in indoor public places, workplaces and on public transport.

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Sri Lanka Birding Tour – 10 days (Private Tour)
From USD1,423
/ Adult (Double/ Per Person)
  • Private Departure
  • Specialist Birding Chauffeur Guide supplement - 185 USD
  • We've taken every possible measure to ensure your safety and comfort during this tour.

    The hotels, tours, add-ons, and guides who are part of this programs are carefully vetted, so that you enjoy the highest quality standards and enjoy your tour with peace of mind. At any given point of the tour you will always be within reach of your guide, either physically or via phone (e. G: when you are out exploring on your own), for any assistance.
  • Pre-Tour additional dates in Kitulgala.
    Post-Tour additional dates in Yala, Nuwara Eliya & Kandy.