Recognizable photos of around 160 birds (including 26 of endemics)

Iain Maidment and Upali

Iain Maidment and Upali

Overall a very well planned tour: Upali was knowledgeable and patient as out guide. Although there was a lot of time on the road (often wind and bumpy). He drove carefully and there was time to stop when we needed or something of interest.

Kitulgala was a good place to start and although it rained some of the time, we were able to see a lot of birds. Kaudulla park was excellent both for the elephants and Roller birds and Bee-eaters.   

We enjoyed the cultural triangle, particularly Polonnaruwa (close up views of birds as well as the ruins) and Dambulla cave temple. Kandy was also enjoyable although the train ride was less scenic than expected. Horton plains was one of the highlights.

Tissamaharama and the nearby wetlands were also amazing, although there wasn’t a lot to see at Bundala park (no migrants).

Li spotted a leopard on a rock in Yala. So we had to a great view as it came down to drink. The Hibiscus Garden Hotel was an excellent base although the meal service was incredible slow.    

Sinharaja was a good place to spend the last couple of nights although we much preferred the time spend outside the actual forest park as we were able to see (and photograph) many birds, Leaf Monkeys and a bright Green Vine Snake that were invisible in the forest itself. The hotel staff at the Rock View were very helpful and the local jeep driver/ guide was excellent. We certainly liked seeing the Serendib Owl and Frogmouth that he showed us (but not the leech bite I got as a result!).      

Our final morning excursion to Talangama wetland was also worthwhile as the proximity of the birds we saw made them easier to photograph (vs.e.g at Yala)

We were able to get recognizable photos of around 160 birds (including 26 of endemics) as well as guide a few different mammals and reptiles. We felt happy overall with the opportunities for photograph which was our main objective. Sri Lanka certainly offers an excellent opportunity for photographers with an interest in birds, wildlife and cultural heritage.     

One thing we learned was that one portion of rice with curry is enough for two people for lunch! The food was generally very good. Upali took us to some excellent places along the way, particularly TJ’s near the War Cemetery in Kandy.  

Iain Maidment

14th – 28th November 2019

Name of Guest: 
Iain Maidment


Tour review date: 
14 Nov 2019