Birding FAQ

Can we visit to North and East parts of Sri Lanka?

Yes, you can visit. If you are looking to get a cultural experience both area are fine. The cultural experience in these parts are different from the South of Sri Lanka.
But if you are thinking of bird and wildlife watching, the only place I recommend is Mannar. 
This area is a paradise for birders, and I recommend to visit between November to end of March. Thousands of various species of migrant birds can be seen during this period. This area was highly affected by a three decade long civil war and birding was not done during that long period.  

I am a birder and coming with my companion who is a non-birder. We would like to visit to some cultural sites in Sri Lanka too. Can you combine cultural site visits with birding tour?

Yes, it is possible and Walk With Jith and some other companies do so. This is the most popular tour type and more visitors ask to add some cultural site visits to their birding and wildlife tours. 
In Sri Lanka there are 6 World Heritage Cultural sites declared by UNESCO. 

What Wi-Fi facilities can I expect in hotels in different locations?

Most of the hotels have free Wi-Fi facility either in room or in specific public area. Some few hotels would charge you for Wi-Fi facility in rooms. But in some isolated areas such as Sinharaja rain forests, there is no internet signals and Wi-Fi facility.

Can I combine whale watching excursion to birding, wildlife, photography, cultural or any other tour in Sri Lanka?

Yes, you can add extra days for whale watching excursion to any type of tour. This is only if you travel between November to March since it is the best time for whale watching in South coast.  

Can we camp in national parks and birding sites in Sri Lanka?

Camping inside any national park is prohibited in Sri Lanka at present. But there are some private companies that have their own camping sights, close to the national parks. The quality and conditions of these camping facilities vary. It is always better to contact camping companies directly and clarify all information before you book.

Are leeches a big problem in rainforests and birding sites?

No, leeches are not a big problem. Most of birders wear leech socks to prevent their legs from leeches. Applying some insect repellent is also useful. When the ground is wet leeches are more active. Leeches are not found in all birding sites.

But there are leeches in birding sites located in the wet zone and some highland areas of Sri Lanka. Specially Sinharaja rain forest, Kitulgala rain forest, Surrey bird sanctuary, and some areas of highlands such as certain places in Horton plains and Nuwara Eliya.

Can we watch other wildlife during a birding trip in Sri Lanka, such as leopards, elephants, sloth bears, and small mammals or butterflies and dragonflies?

Yes, you have a great chance to see other wildlife in a birding tour. This mainly depend on the sites you visit and your tour guide. In your tour itinerary, you have to include the right sites for other wildlife. And you have to have a an expert naturalist guide with an overall knowledge of wildlife. Then you can easily achieve your targets.   

Can you combine blue whale watching with a birding trip in Sri Lanka?

Yes, you can. But you have to come in the whale watching season; November to April in Mirissa or June to October in Trincomalee.

The best blue whale watching site in Sri Lanka is Mirissa in the south coast. The whale-watching season in Mirissa--the best time to whale-watch in Mirissa--is from November to April. Other than Blue whales, in Mirissa, there are chances to see Sperm whales and Bryde’s whales as well. In rare occasions, Orca Killer whales also can be seen.   

What type of birds can you see in Bundala National Park in Sri Lanka?

Bundala National Park is also known as Bundala Ramsar Wetlands. This is the very first wetland  declared  as a Ramsar Wetland under the Ramsar Convention. Here is a full list of Ramsar Wetlands in Sri Lanka:

Bundala is a famous area to watch water birds and winter migrant waders. From November to April there are thousands winter migrant birds such as plovers, sandpipers, various types terns and ducks can be seen.

What type of birds can you see in Yala National Park in Sri Lanka?

Yala National Park is very good place to watch

  1. dry zone forest birds and
  2. some water birds and
  3. Storks.

During a bird watching tour in Yala National Park, you can easily see 60 to 80 different bird species in a day.

Out of those you can expect to see some highlighted birds such as

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