The small Island country in south of India is abundantly rich in natural treasures. Yala and Wilpattu are among the best places in world to see a wild Leopard. Yala possibly holds the highest density of Leopards out of anywhere in the world. While Leopards are one of prime attractions of Sri Lankan Wildlife, there are other mammals too including the Sri Lankan Elephant, multiple antelope species, Jackals and some small Cats. For its size, Sri Lanka has recorded over 490 bird species, out of which 26 are said to be endemic. Sinharaja is one of the best places in Sri Lanka for bird watching.
In the trip we hand pick the best natural treasures of Sri Lanka both in terms of Wildlife and Nature. We have safaris at the famous Yala and Wilpattu National parks in search of the elusive Sri Lankan Leopard and other wildlife. We also have 3 days of intensive bird watching at Sinharaja reserve and Horton plains national park. The rest of the time is for beautiful landscapes in the mountain ranges of Sri Lanka and the beaches. This trip is surely going to be a memory of lifetime for the participants.
8 Dec – Arrive at Colombo airport in the morning. Drive to Sinharaja rainforest. Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. Of Sri Lanka’s 26 endemic birds, the 20 rainforest species all occur here, including the elusive red-faced malkoha, green-billed coucal and Sri Lanka blue magpie. Checkin at resort. Afternoon birding session at Sinharaja with our expert birding guide. Overnight at Sinharaja.
9 Dec – Morning birding session at Sinharaja with our guide. Walk through this dense forest in search of hidden jewels of Sri Lankan forests. Sinharaja is also famous for its mixed flock of birds. Take a break during the day at resort. Optional trekking around the resort. In afternoon again resume birding at the forest. End up a tiring day with a sumptuous Sri Lankan cuisine served hot at the resort, as we also review the images for the day. Overnight at Sinharaja.
10 Dec -Morning birding session at Sinharaja with our guide. Today is our last birding session at Sinharaja where we look to add some more of the Sri Lankan endemic species. After breakfast checkout from resort and drive to Tissamahara through multiple beaches and seaside. Checkin at Tissamahara for night. Tissamahara or Tissa is the nearest base for world famous Yala National Park which is known for its high Leopard density. Overnight stay at Tissa.
11 & 12 Dec -Today head out for our first full day safari at Yala with one of the best naturalists in the park. We go with packed breakfast and packed lunch. In the morning hours we track the forest for Leopard activity and try to find the Big Cat of Yala. As the day progresses, we look for Sri Lankan Elephants, other mammals and birds. Prominently seen in Yala are the Golden Jackal, Water Buffalo, Black naped hare, Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl. For lunch we take rest at the beach inside Yala National Park for a hour or so. After lunch we again head out to the park to track wildlife. Evenings are also very productive for spotting Leopards so we hope to close our long day with a Leopard. Overnight at Tissa.
13 Dec – Today we take a break from Wildlife and focus on landscapes and capturing natural treasures of Sri Lanka. Morning drive to Ella and surrounding Tea Gardens including Liptons seat. In the afternoon go to Badulla. There are some beautiful Tea Gardens and waterfalls enroute. Overnight at Ella.
14 Dec – Early morning drive to Horton Plains National Park and reach before Sunrise. There is a trek today at Horton plains national park which passes through the beautiful Baker’s fall and ends at World’s end. That is what they call the last point at Horton plains national park. There is significant birding along the route with many of the 33 local endemics seen along this route. We return from Horton plains by afternoon and drive to Nuwara Eliya. Around Nuwara Eliya there are beautiful waterfalls and Tea Gardens. We shoot till Sunset and then go to Kandy which is 2 hours away. Overnight at Kandy.
Optional Trip Starts – For regular option, we would drop 15 Dec early morning to Colombo Airport.
15 Dec -Morning transfer to Wilpattu National Park. In the afternoon go for the first safari at Wilpattu National Park. At Wilpattu also the star attraction is the Leopard like in Yala, but at Wilpattu the topography is very different with white sands and greens all around. Yala is more rocky. With our expert naturalist we try for Leopards till late evening. Overnight at Wilpattu.
16 Dec – We start early morning for a full day safari with packed breakfast and lunch. In morning ours we try for the Leopard as usual. As the day progresses we look for birds and other mammals. Enjoy packed lunch amongst the Wildlife in a corner of the park. Post lunch we are back to task again and go after tracking Wildlife. In the evenings we hope to encounter a Leopard yet again. Overnight at Wilpattu.
17 Dec – Today we go for a morning safari to Wilpattu, and last safari of this trip. We track the forest with all our enthusiasm for Leopards and other wildlife. We hope that the last safari of this trip gives us some memorable sightings. We move out of the park by 11am and post breakfast drive to Colombo. Drop to airport for onward flight.
Accommodation will be at 3 star grade accommodation at all the places
All meals from Day 1 lunch to Day 10 lunch are included.
What to pack
Light tropical clothing is suitable for this time of the year. Carry some light woolens for the hilly regions.
Absolutely. One of the purpose of the trip is to enjoy the raw wilderness of Indian forests and take a chance to spot the big Cats along with other fauna.
Photography or not, you will certainly enjoy your date with the wilderness and fall in love with the forests, as we have!
There will be on-field guidance while shooting for those interested. In the evening there will be image reviews and talks on specific photography techniques and local habitat awareness. However it is expected that you are aware of the camera basics before you join the trip, to make the most of it.
We suggest a telephoto lens to capture wildlife. For Cats anything between 200mm to 400mm is good. A range of 70-200mm comes handy for capturing decent habitat photos. For birds anything above 400mm is good. After you book the tour, there will be a consultation session to plan for your photography requirements and gears for the trip.
If you are fit enough to carry your regular work and shuttle between office and home, then you can join this trip! This trip does not involve any trekking or physical activity as such and all jungle visits are in a vehicle.
Yes. Kids above 3 years of age are good to go in the jungle safari when accompanied by parents. However infants are not recommended as there can be dust and hot weather during the safari.
Check out some of the images made by our team at Sri Lankar
For every destination we offer a tour, our team has been there multiple times before and have done all the background work on the ground logistics and photography opportunities. So every trip we offer is meticulously planned to offer the best photography opportunities in that place while ensuring a safe and comfortable stay for you.
You can just wind off from your mundane world, leave the hassles of logistics to us and enjoy your date with the wilderness. All this with the company of a experienced nature photographer who is there to help you with your photography needs. Read more about us here
1. 100% advance payable for booking
1. More than 60 days before the trip – 10%
2. 30-60 days before the trip – 50%
3. Less than 30 days before the trip – 90%
1. Transportation till Colombo airport
2. Any camera charges
3. Any tips or gratuities
If you are sure of everything and wish to book the trip, please proceed for payment by clicking on the button below. After the booking is confirmed, we will reach out to you with your welcome kit and schedule a consultation with the tour skipper to plan your photography expectations from the trip.Proceed to payment