Tour Reviews, testimonials from United Kingdom

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Fantastic trip in a fantastic, clean and picturesque country

1 Mar 2020
Darren and Paula with Hetti

Darren and Paula with Hetti

I arranged a 7-day birdwatching tour for me and my non birding wife, focusing on the endemic birds of Sri Lanka. This was to be followed by a week at our chosen beach resort. All arrangements and events were dealt with impeccably by Jith and our guide “Hetti”, a very good meet and greet,  and we were of on our tour.

Our guide Hetti was superb throughout. His knowledge of all things from butterflies, dragonflies and lizards was fantastic, his binding skills were excellent. Hetti was a joy to be with, he has 25 years as a guide and this shows, all our needs taken care of, nothing too much for him. Hetti should be very proud of the service he provides.

All in all a fantastic trip in a fantastic, clean and picturesque country.

This trip will not be forgotten. No hesitation recommending Walk With Jith.

Darran Stanyard

01/03/20

Fantastic tour! Communication excellent and prompt

24 Feb 2020
Jennifer Thomasson and Ian Billenness at Yala

Jennifer Thomasson and Ian Billenness at Yala

We have had a fantastic tour, with a great mix of birds, wildlife & cultural sites. We have seen over 220 bird species several leopard and numerous elephants. Our guide Thilli was fantastic and his ability to hear and find birds was amazing. He worked tirelessly to make our trip enjoyable.

The communication with Jith before and during the trip was excellent and prompt. The Sri Lankan people are so friendly and welcoming.

It’s unfortunate that our grip was cut short by Coronavirus before we reached Sinharaja, so we have a good reason to return and find the 7 endemics that we missed!

We would certainly recommend Walk With Jith and Thilli our brilliant guide.

Many thanks

Jennifer Thomasson and Ian Billenness
Kent
United Kingdom
15 03 2020

24th February – 19th March 2020

-----

Dear Thilli,

We have been well looked after throughout...

19 Feb 2020
Dave Cox and group with Hetti

Dave Cox and group with Hetti

We were a group of 2 couples and 4 single males. On behalf of the group I cannot fault the organization, the team, transport, or accommodation. We have been well looked after throughout seeing all the garget bird species and more, total birds seen by Group were 217 which included all 34 endemics. Jith and his team and contacts worked tirelessly to ensure our trip met all our objectives even finishing with 2 leopards at Yala and Excellent view of some buffalos.

Our flight was delayed by over 16 hours due to weather in London but this was taken in stride and did not inhibit us from getting everything from the …. The late change hote,, Hill Pride, could have done with heating as we experienced & …. Of c…. wet …… . The Rooms were good and staff and food excellent so al in all work out well.

All of the endemic species were seen in a very short time. Tx Saman!

3 Feb 2020
Wingspan Group with Saman

Wingspan Group with Saman

03rd – 16th February 2020

This was the third tour of Sri Lanka by Wingspan bird tours organized by Walk With Jith and as usual it was a resounding success. All of the endemic species were seen in a very short time. Thanks to the effort of our guide Saman.

The trip was well organized and well-coordinated, drivers and mini bus were superb and all accommodation excellent.   

Thank you Jith for another wonderful trip. Windspan Bird group will be back next year.

Bob Buckler

Birds, Wildlife And Cultural Tour

1 Feb 2020
Anny Kilbourne and Ian Dodds with Thilina

Anny Kilbourne and Ian Dodds with Thilina

We could not have enjoyed our first visit to Sri Lanka more. We came as near-beginner birders, with only four or five years' experience. We were a bit worried that since most of Jith's clients seemed to be hard-core bird-watchers, dealing with us would be like looking after the village idiots. But that fear dissipated once we met out guide, Thilina, who assumed we would have the same ambitions to see birds as any expert.  Here, I have to say this man is something of a phenomenon. His ability to find a bird simply from the reactions of other wildlife, or from the slightest, barely audible whistle (which we often couldn't detect) is little short of uncanny. Thanks to his skill, we saw all but one of Sri Lanka's endemic bird species. And the one that got away was the victim of abnormally dry conditions in his habitats, something we were forced to admit after Thilina led us in two and a half days' hunts. We knew that if he couldn't find it, it wasn't there.

100% satisfaction guaranteed if you book him through WALK WITH JITH!!

12 Dec 2019
Paul Pugh and Thilina

Paul Pugh and Thilina

I guess that coming back to Sri Lanka, just 15 months after my first visit speaks volume about the place…. But the main reason I came back was that I didn’t visit the highlands on my first visit. So needed the last 4 endemics plus Bay Owl … And better view of the “bloody” Starling!!

My expert and friendly guide Thilina is simply the best birder if you want if you want to see things quickly and well… My second time with him also… 100% satisfaction guaranteed if you book him through WALK WITH JITH!!

Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Moths Mammals, and a great time with a great person…My sincere thanks THILY – you are the best – Thanks for my BAY OWL and especially for that “Bloody” Starling.

Kindest Regards

Paul Pugh

12th – 23rd December 2019

 

Best price and fast response. Highly recommend “Walk With Jith” and Sri Lanka

10 Dec 2019
Abdul Rahman,Chris Lansdell , Graham Sorrie and Hetti in Tissamaharama

Abdul Rahman,Chris Lansdell , Graham Sorrie and Hetti in Tissamaharama

It was a great tour with Jith. The logistics, transport, accommodation and places we visited were excellent.

Our guide Hetti was able to find us all the endemics, and the rare wintering birds. I do highly recommend “Walk With Jith” and Sri Lanka in general. You had the best price and fast response.

Abdul Rahman Al-Shiran Arenezi
Kuwait city
Kuwait

10th to 20th December 2019

His experience proved invaluable, especially when it comes to recognizing calls.

30 Nov 2019

A very intensive but ultimately successful tour, despite poor weather in Nuwara Eliya area. Hetti and the driver Indunil (who doubled up as a bird- spotter) worked very hard to make sure I saw as many of my targets as possible. His experience proved invaluable, especially when it comes to recognizing calls.  I usually know what I am looking at, but often not what I am hearing. So I am sure that had I been on my own, I would not have seen half of what I did.  

4. Bird watching tour

30th November – 02nd December 2019

 

Athula - amazing birder, excellent eyes and hearing, recommended

26 Nov 2019

Hi Jith, Firstly I would like to thank you for organizing a great birding and wildlife tour for me. I have given some written feedback to Athula for you but I guess I wanted to summarize my thought to you in an email.
In total I was able to see in excess of 180 birds and I realize that my focus was on the target birds I have not seen rather than seeking higher number of species. I am glad I was persuaded to change the plan from Bundala to Lunugamverah? as I had fantastic views of a leopard which I had not expected or hoped for.

You have earned our trust as a company - 5th year touring

24 Nov 2019
Exmoor Zoo group with Saman and Jith

Exmoor Zoo group with Saman and Jith

 

Thank you for all your organizational expertise for the tour. You never fail to provide a memorable experience. Your guide Saman , the driver + footman have all showed us your country, culture + wildlife. We will be back, I’m sure
Lynn Reynolds

As usual the whole experience from booking, discussing the itinerary, agreeing the standard of accommodation, provide the right standard of guide, the most beneficial transport and the length of stay at the destinations resulted in a smooth and worry free relaxing holiday. You have earned our trust as a company. Thank you!
Danny Reynolds

Fifth time and another amazing tour. Thank you Jith and your team
Pat and Tracey

First visit for us. Wonderful, good wildlife, good culture, food and a wonderful holiday
Dick and Rosie

Great time for all of us especially me, first time visit. Your team are great and thanks again for a great night on Friday 6th December
Steve

All 34 endemics seen at a tricky time of the year

14 Aug 2019

A good adventure with all endemics seen at a tricky time of the year.

Met by Jith and Upali at the agreed time and this continued to be punctual throughout the tour. The contrast between the hot, humid lowlands to the cold windy highlands, then back to the dry south and then to the wet rainforest of Sinharaja was an experience but luckily Jith prepared us by telling us to bring warm cloths.

Upali was a great driver, manage the long drives, including twisty mountain roads carefully even with challenging car conditions. He was very knowledgeable about the birds and other animals seen and knew of special locations to find more secretive birds.  

Additional guides were used in some places Bundala, Yala and Sinharaja. They were also good drivers and excellent at spotting birds and animals as we were moving along! No binoculars needed.   

Expert birding with culture - enabled us to do the impossible

12 Aug 2019

Walk with Jith did a great job of mixing specialist bird watching and cultural tourism, all packed into 8 days! The tour was very well planned to enable us to do the impossible: mix expert guided birding with visiting the main cultural centres.

The driving guide they gave us, Chamil, was superb at finding birds for us. In just 4 days of birding we saw 135 species including 26 of the 33 birds endemic to the island. It was well beyond anything I expected. He was brilliant as a bird guide and as a driver, but he also made a very good job of taking us to the key cultural sights that we could fit into the short time we had. He was very courteous and considerate throughout. 

Sad time to be in Sri Lanka. But it didn’t spoil our trip.

19 Apr 2019
Safari in Yala National Park -- Lisa Correl and Julian with Thilina

Safari in Yala National Park -- Lisa Correl and Julian with Thilina

Everything was fabulous. Great bird sightings. Great safari.

Excellent hotels (apart from Lake view) Lovely Sri Lankan people

Fabulous food.

Thilina is an amazing guide. Very knowledgeable – polite – nothing too much trouble. He made this a perfect tour. Very sad time to be in Sri Lanka with the awful troubles. But it didn’t spoil out trip. Thank you to Jith and Thilina !!!

Most well organised Birding tour we’ve ever undertaken

30 Mar 2019

Dave Tanner with Guide Athula
Dave Tanner with Guide Athula

Hi Jith​

Mary & I are now back home and fully recovered from our long flight from Colombo to Scotland via Dubai (26 hours travelling).

Firstly, we would like to thank you personally for organising a wonderful tour. We’re both of the opinion that this was the best and most well organised Birding tour we’ve ever undertaken, a credit to your planning .

We would also like to take this opportunity to once again thank Athula, who primarily was an excellent guide, driver and general all-round fixer . At a number of our hotels the staff didn’t seem to understand the concept of being vegetarian, on one occasion even thinking that Chicken soup was vegetarian . Not to worry, all sorted by Athula.

Big success due to the expertise and leadership of our guide Thilina

30 Mar 2019
Tim Snieder and Ramata Cisse with Thilina

Tim Snieder and Ramata Cisse with Thilina

Our birding trip was a big success due to the expertise and leadership of our guide Thilina Karunanayaka. His combination of passion for passion for nature, enthusiasm, resourcefulness and jovial character ensured that we found all 34 endemic species of Sri Lanka, plus a few bonuses! Thilina carried out detailed reconnaissance on the most difficult species, especially owls, seeming to have local contacts assisting him in every place we went. Lastly, we encountered a couple of tricky situations during the trip which our guide took care of in an extremely professional manner. We highly recommend Thilina of Walk With Jith tours to anyone serious about observing birds and / or wildlife in Sri Lanka.

We are birdwatchers not “twitchers”

26 Mar 2019

We are birdwatchers not “twitchers” and so were unsure what to expect. We were reassured firstly by Jith’s prompt and helpful information.

Our guide, Upali was amazing – he made us feel safe and secure, drove really carefully and carried out the itinerary to the letter. His knowledge about birds is first class. He was always polite and very helpful and never lost patience with our lack of bird watching experience. We managed to see the majority of the endemics and most of the birds shown in the bird book I had purchased. We were generally happy with our accommodation – it did vary considerably but we felt was value for money. The evening meals at Rock View motel were not to our liking. We particularly enjoyed the plantation hotel at Kithulgala and the Hibiscus hotel or Tissamaharama.

Our third trip. Guide's knowledge is astounding.

19 Mar 2019

This was our third trip and as enjoyable as the others, Our guide made it particularly enjoyable – his knowledge of the birds and wildlife generally was astounding.

His knowledge of location, habitat and calls ensured we saw more different birds than on earlier trips to Sri Lanka with “walk with jith”.

His organising and time schedules ensured we were out birding at the best/most comfortable times of the day.

Hetti’s English and sense of humour were particularly entertaining whilst driving between locations.

My wife and I thoroughly recommend “walk with jith” for birding in Sri Lanka.

 

Exceptionally positive experience

19 Mar 2019
Linda Lennon and Clive Duncon

Linda Lennon and Clive Duncon

This has been an exceptionally positive experience from our initial enquiry and creation of a bespoke itinerary to Jith personally meeting us at the airport and introducing us to our superb guide Susa.

Guide Dhammika - very knowledgeable, affable and fun to be with

18 Feb 2019

Jon Wilson - Lynne Martin
Jon Wilson - Lynne Martin

We had an excellent trip.

Our guide Dhammika was very knowledgeable, affable and fun to be with.

The care and attention and emphasis on meeting our individual needs was always a priority. Sri Lanka is a treasure house for birding, and we were guided wonderfully well to see all we wanted to see. In addition, the driving, drivers, tracker, hotels and extra activities were fabulous. Overall, we would highly recommend walk with Jith and Dhammika.

Thank you.

Jon Wilson - Lynne Martin
Jon Wilson - Lynne Martin

 

Jon Wilson - Lynne Martin
Jon Wilson - Lynne Martin

Excellent bird knowledge

16 Feb 2019
DOF group with Ingelise Petarsen 2019

DOF group with Ingelise Petarsen 2019

Hotels nice and comfortable. Good standard. All situated nice.

Bus: Very nice with space for everyone.

Bus helper: Helps with all things like water, food etc.

Sightings: Birds here there and everywhere. So nice. The guide is excellent finding them, pointing every bird out of us. Has an excellent bird knowledge.  

Bus driver: Fantastic. Very nice. Always smiling – always very careful

In all: Everybody helpful and friendly

Love some more birding – even when we have seen them all.

Such a well-organized tour and most excellent guide

12 Feb 2019
Helen and Mike Boothman with Senerath

Helen and Mike Boothman with Senerath

This was our first experience of wildlife guided tour, and overall it was very positive.

Jith kept in touch with us and responded to our questions both promptly and clearly before we set off for Sri Lanka. Also, As we organised some days on our own doing culture, history and relaxation, both at the beginning of our trip and at the end, the arrangements for meeting us and dropping us were both flexible and worked well.

Our guide, Senerath, was excellent, knowledgeable, committed and excellent at finding birds that we would have had no chance of finding on our own. He was also good at other wildlife also – butterflies, reptiles, mammals, plants etc. He also

shared with us on general culture and life in Sri Lanka generally, which we really appreciated.

Upali was determined, 34 endemics birds seen, 29 photographed! total 230+

9 Feb 2019

Bill Rowe
Bill Rowe with Upali

My initial contact was with Jith at the Rutland Birdfair. I was impressed by his knowledge and enthusiasm – so did not look at any other company in detail. All communication has been very prompt, all questions answered to my satisfaction and all printed material very clear (really liked the photos)

Jith promptly met me at the airport and introduced us me to Upali, my guide/ driver.

Happily personalized the itinerary to suit our requirements

1 Feb 2019

Liz Pierce 1 with Chameera
Liz Pierce 1 with Chameera

We are so pleased we booked with “Walk With Jith” from our first enquiry, the company was professional and responsive, and happy to design our personal itinerary to suit our requirements. Our guide Chameera was very knowledgeable and worked very hard to make our bird watching holiday so enjoyable.

We have seen a total of 186 birds, of which 29 were endemics. Of those we saw 180 and 26 endemics during the tour with Chameera of walkwithjith. We have had a thoroughly enjoyable holiday with Chameera. We saw the 26 endemics in just 2 days.

We will be happy to recommend walkwithjith to our friends and family.

Regards,

Simon and Liz Pierce
London, UK

Recommended for anybody wanting the very best of birding in Sri Lanka

25 Jan 2019
Alan Wall with Thilina

Allan Wall with Thilina

This tour has been very successful in every way. The number of species seen in seven days exceeded my expectations. The total being 121. my guide Thilina was experienced at finding the endemic birds we were focusing on together with his knowledge of all things about the natural world.
The accommodation was very good and had been well selected. I rate Thilina as the very best guide one could have in Sri Lanka.
On general issues I found walk with Jith easy to work with and recommend them to anybody wanting the very best of birding in Sri Lanka.

Alan Wall
Bristol, UK

Our guide, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, looked after us very well

20 Jan 2019
David and Crhis Evans with Athula

David and Crhis Evans with Athula

The trip was very well organised, and we travelled in a comfortable, air-conditioned van. Athula, our guide, was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and looked after us very well, even giving us an insight into Sri Lankan life and its culture, along with plants and their uses. We saw 238 birds on our trip- an excellent total, including nearby all the endemics (or all, depending on which list) with plenty of time for photography.

The hotels were of a good standard.

Tamarind Tree Hotel – very convenient for airport food buffet. Style – ok

Plantation hotel – Quirky and interesting good food and service. Nice location.

Glenfall Reach – Standard hotel room, comfortable staff, very attentive, but food could be poor.

Hibiscus Garden – Good hotel, nice garden good for birds. Excellent staff and very good food. Only problem - hot water had run out by the time we got back from safari.

Thilina - hearing and ability to spot birds is just amazing

12 Jan 2019
Manda and Spencer Simmons with Thilina

Manda and Spencer Simmons with Thilina

Thilina was a great driver and excellent guide. He is very knowledgeable about birds, animals, vegetation etc. His hearing and ability to spot birds is just amazing. He is very courteous at all times and listened and took on our suggestions.

Your next visitors will benefit from hot tea/ coffee from his newly acquired flask.

We had an amazing luck with 33/34 endemics spotted.

Thilina spilt us with additional snacks and treats on the journey and always made sure we were ok.

Manda and Spencer Simmons

London, UK

Excellent to enjoy, learn and fully inspired

12 Jan 2019

Overall this is a lovely trip with Walk With Jith, very clear briefing upon arrival with detailed booklet, the success of this trip cannot be without our guide Mr. Senerath, who is very knowledgeable about Sri Lanka birds in all the areas that we visited, he has impressive eyesight.
All accommodations are comfortable, excellent Sri Lankan food and fresh fruit juice during our visit in 11 days.
For natural birds, wildlife lovers, advanced ones or beginners this program will be excellent to enjoy, learn and fully inspired. Again, thanks to the arrangement by Walk With Jith, and special thanks to the guide. Mr. Senerath.

Sincerely,
Mr. and Mrs. Graham

Upali: excellent care, 215 species & all endemics. Fantastic service!

8 Jan 2019

We have had the best possible birding holiday. Our guide (Upali) has taken excellent care of us throughout and found 215 species, including all the endemics. We have been able to relax totally, knowing that our guide (driver too) would take care of everything, whilst not being intrusive. We had great views of all the species. Upali has also been passionate about the cultural sites.
Jith engaged with our ideas prior to the trip and organised our tailor – made itinerary. All was so easy. At the beginning of the holiday, Walk With Jith drove us to our Air BnB accommodation near Matara, which we had arranged ourselves. The accommodation wasn’t easy to find, but the drives helped locate it and would not leave until we had checked the accommodation and were happy- even though it was our own booking. Fantastic service!    

 8-24/ 01/ 2019

Name: Alison and Nick Blinston

Excellent job of finding lots of birds!

5 Dec 2018
Chris Cowell and Carol Palmer

Chris Cowell and Carol Palmer

LOGISTICS

Our choice of Kithulvilla in Kitulgala was excellent even though A/C was not functioning. Food + service were brilliant although a few miles out of village this was not an issue. Scenery/ setting fabulous and birds in the garden.

Nuwara-Eliya hotel was not so good with few facilities. There must be better hotels in this area for the price. I would recommend trying some other options.

Tissa hotel (Hibiscus Garden) was excellent with good facilities, great setting and good food.

Sinharaja- Jansen’s Bungalow. Stunning setting and excellent accommodation and food.

Drivers/ Guides were excellent, friendly and knowledgeable and were always there on time.

BIRDING

Birds we would have never found ourselves!

1 Dec 2018
Pete Hughes and Alice Parfitt with Thilina break at Safari

Pete Hughes and Alice Parfitt with Thilina break at Safari

12/2018

Name: Pete Hughes + Alice Parfitt​

Thilina is an outstanding guide – he looked after us very well and made sure we saw all the birds and other wildlife. Many of the birds we would have never found ourselves! The whole tour was really well organized, good accommodation and great food along the way. Can thoroughly recommend to others.

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