Waikkal | Kitulgala | Nuwara Eliya | Yala | Weligama
Waikkal | Kitulgala | Nuwara Eliya | Yala | Weligama
Starting out at the National Aquatic Resources Agency as a research assistant, engaged in cetaceans and the nesting behaviour of marine turtles, Lester has been leading birding and wildlife tours in Sri Lanka and India since 2001. A fanatical birder and naturalist, Lester has authored and co-authored many articles and several papers as well. As well as a naturalist, he is a very talented artist and for over three decades has produced more than a dozen painting solo exhibitions in Sri Lanka and collective exhibitions in the UK and France.
Ramani comes with a BA Major in Biology from Smith College in Massachusetts USA, and is passionate about the world of the wild. Working as a research officer at the National Aquatic Resources Agency on the documentation and identification of Sri Lankan corals and fish life of the Bar Reef off the North Western coast, she has also carried out a survey of whales and dolphins in Bangladesh as well as in the Myeik Archipelago and Burma under Brian D. Smith of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), UK. She also ran a dedicated marine mammal survey of the Bar Reef, Mirissa and Beruwala under Anouk Ilangakoon for the Coast Conservation Department of Sri Lanka.
What better way to enjoy a prized birding expedition than with the opportunity to use one of the world’s most sought-after pairs of binoculars? Enjoy the use of a pair of SWAROVSKI OPTIK binoculars, which will allow you to view the most intricate of details.
You will have the opportunity to choose your favourite SWAROVSKI OPTIK product, which will be sent to your home prior to departure, so that you can familiarise yourself with the equipment beforehand, trial it for the duration of your journey and have the option to purchase it on your return if you would like to keep it.
Groundbreaking optical performance – packed into the smallest possible package: the NL Pure 32 accompanies you wherever you may go for unprecedented viewing experiences.
Keep the overview. The 8x magnification in combination with the enormous field of view lets you completely immerse yourself in nature – even during the late hours of the night.
You’ll never miss out with the new CL Companion. These elegant binoculars with impressive optics fit perfectly in your hand. They are always with you to ensure you make the most of every sighting.
A must for avid birders (and their not-so-birding-specific partners); this adventure-filled journey explores some of the country’s fascinating habitats, which are ready to unveil a kaleidoscope of species. What’s more, this itinerary also offers memorable wildlife sightings and a host of cultural immersions. Join &Beyond specialist birding guides, Lester Perera and Ramani Jayewardene, on this captivating 11-day &Beyond 30 year Limited Edition itinerary.
Your journey begins in Waikkal, a charming beach resort with access to forests, shimmering waterways, sun-kissed beaches and carved out colonial canals.
Explore the Gin Oya River and part of an 18th-century Dutch canal, lined with patches of mangrove forests and riverine forest which, together with the Gin Oya estuary, provide a variety of habitats for a range of birds. Non-birders can venture to the bustling fish market and discover the old Dutch fort of Negombo. Your exciting tour continues to Kitulgala to a private woodland retreat.
Traverse the Kelani Valley Forest Reserve, established to protect the watershed of the Kelani River, where many of Sri Lanka’s endemic birds and amphibians are found. Non-birders can be brave on a white water rafting trip on the Kelani River, the spot where David Lean’s Oscar-winning Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed.
Continue to Nuwara Eliya and explore the unique bird diversity and varied habitats at Victoria Park and Horton Plains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With your naturalist guide, stroll through the Hakgala Botanical Gardens, abundant with thousands of flora varieties, including various orchids and roses, but also a great birding spot. Non-birders can learn the art of tea cultivation on a guided tour at a nearby tea estate and factory to see how Ceylon Tea, regarded as the world’s finest, is grown.
A veritable paradise for birdwatchers, enjoy Yala National Park with close to 300 species recorded. Visit Bundala National Park, Sri Lanka’s first RAMSAR (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance) declared wetland; consisting of brackish lagoons, salt pans and scrub jungle, and an important destination for migrant species.
Your itinerary culminates at Cape Weligama, overlooking the Indian Ocean. Here you will find pelagic birds, magnificent blue whales, and dolphins. Lastly, be sure to explore the labyrinth of narrow streets and atmospheric alleyways of Galle’s 18th century Dutch Fort.
Be sure to peruse through the day-by-day highlights below, which documents the avian species you may encounter as well as a host of activities for both you and your non-birding partner to enjoy.
2 nights Waikkal | 2 nights Kitulgala | 2 nights Nuwara Eliya | 2 nights Yala National Park | 2 nights Weligama
Talk to one of our travel specialists to tailormake you stay to any of our destinations
Today, birders and non-birders go off on different adventures depending on your interests for the day. Birders set off early with a packed breakfast, while non-birders enjoy a scrumptious breakfast overlooking the magnificent pool area of your resort’s deck, before setting off with the group on an adventure through Negombo.
Colombo is the largest city on the island and is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Teeming with a vibrant and intoxicating mix of cultures, incredibly deep historic and religious diversity, Colombo is in many ways the melting pot that best reflects a modernised Sri Lanka. The main streets, lined with colonial buildings and ancient trees, the 17th century Dutch canal system and lakes interwoven between grand houses and high-rise buildings are the landscape of the city. The famous Galle Road, which leads to the southern city of Galle along the south-west coast, is a neon pathway lined with shops and buildings and just a stone’s throw away from the Indian Ocean.
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