2023 – Wildlife of Sri Lanka Photography Holiday

A Leopard asleep on rocks in Yala one of the many locations found on the NaturesLens Wildlife of Sri Lanka Photography Holiday
Join David & Pui Hang in Sri Lanka for the new 15-night Sri Lankan Wildlife Photography Safari to capture images of the diverse & varied birds, mammals & marine life of Sri Lanka. Over 60 different species of mammal call this South Asian island home, in addition, Sri Lanka currently contains 183 species of reptiles, 122 species of amphibians, 227 species of birds & the surrounding waters are home to 28 species of Cetaceans.
Sri Lanka is an island paradise lined with amazing golden sandy beaches & turquoise blue waters. The oceans are rich with life, & amazing coral reefs. The deeper waters are home to marine giants such as the Blue Whale, the largest animal to have ever lived. It is a country that boasts a rich natural heritage, with amazing wildlife & biodiversity & incredibly, for an island of its size can boast of iconic megafauna such as leopards, elephants & sloth bears. Sri Lanka is also regarded as a biodiversity hotspot teeming with endemic birds, reptiles, amphibians as well as plant species found nowhere else on earth.
Join NaturesLens to capture images of amazing wildlife of Sri Lanka, in Sri Lanka, during the Wildlife of Sri Lanka photography holiday. This photography holiday is of 15 night/16 day duration on a Full Board, Shared basis & costs £7499  £6749 per participant.

Our Sri Lankan Wildlife Photography Trip will be of 15 nights/16 days duration in order to see the best of what this incredible country has to offer, from safaris to Yala & Wilpattu for leopards & sloth bears; Udalwe for jungle cats & Asian elephants; boat trips to see the super pods of Spinner Dolphins & also pods of Sperm Whales, Orcas, Short Finned Pilot Whales, Pink Dolphins & other beautiful cetaceans. We’ve even arranged to take a floatplane out to sea to do aerial photography of blue whales!  And if this wasn’t enough, we will also spend one-night photographing sea turtles as they come ashore to lay their eggs.

This photography tour truly is the ultimate Sri Lankan Wildlife Safari experience!

We spend several days on the West Coast, the first in search of the elusive Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphin, also known as the Pink Dolphin. The following day, we set out early to sea to look for more marine mammals including the massive super pods of Spinner Dolphins. These acrobatic cetaceans are a sight to behold. Further deeper into the ocean, & you will have the opportunity to see pods of Sperm Whales & possibly Orcas, Short Finned Pilot Whales, Risso Dolphins, Brydes Whale & other species.
Over four days in Wilpattu, we will be taking jeep safaris to spot Leopard & Sloth Bear. Other larger animals seen regularly include Asian Elephant, Jackal, Mugger Crocodile, Sambar, Spotted Deer & Buffalo. A variety of raptors such as Crested Serpent, Changeable Hawk & White-Bellied Sea Eagles, Brown Fish Owl can also be seen here along with a large number of water birds & waders. Two of these days are full-day safaris.

Our lodge in Yala is located at a completely different entrance from the main entrance & so it is far less crowded. We will enter the core leopard areas first where most sightings are great with little crowds. Other residents in the park include Sloth Bear, Asian Elephant, Jackal, Sambar, Spotted Deer & Grey Langur. In Yala, we will experience some spectacular game viewing across 6 early mornings & afternoon game drives.

Upon leaving Yala, we drive to the South Coast for a spectacular river cruise where you will be able to photograph giant Saltwater Crocodiles at eye level. These saurian remnants of the prehistoric era can be found in numerous numbers on this riverine ecosystem, from young hatchlings barely a few inches long to giant males who exceed 15 feet!

Whilst the following day sees us up early for a whale watching tour in the deep ocean to look for the Blue Whale, Spinner Dolphins, Bryde’s Whale, Sperm Whale, Orca, Risso Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin & Striped Dolphin. Afterwards, we return to dry land & head back to the hotel for a late lunch.

As dusk arrives, we will head to the beach for a nighttime spotting of sea turtles. Five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles have been recorded coming ashore to lay their eggs at the beach we will be visiting. The Green & Olive Ridley Turtles are the most routinely encountered species, while the Hawksbill, Leatherback & Loggerhead Turtles are also seen intermittently.

After seeing the marine life at sea level, the next day sees you boarding a seaplane to fly over the ocean to photograph blue whales from the air. This is the best way to photograph these enormous leviathans! The flights are 45 minutes per round trip on average, & the plane can take 3 people per flight. After the whole group have taken their flights, we will get back on the road & head towards the lowland rainforests.

During our last two days, our naturalist & local tracker will show us the wide variety of endemic flora & fauna to be found in the main forest reserve. 28 of Sri Lanka’s 34 endemic species may be found here, including the recently discovered Serendib Scops Owl & other rarities such as the Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Chesnut-backed Owlet & White-faced Starling. Other species we may encounter during our rainforest walks include Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, Giant Squirrel, Kangaroo Lizard, Hump-nosed Lizard & Sri Lanka Keelback. We will also be keeping an eye out for reptiles such as Green Pit Viper & Hump Nosed Lizard.

Photographable Species: Asian Elephant, Blue Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Brydes Whale, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Chesnut-backed Owlet, Giant Squirrel, Green Pit Viper, Grey Langur, Hump-nosed Lizard, Humpbacked Dolphin, Kangaroo Lizard, Mugger Crocodile, Pink Dolphin, Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, Risso Dolphin, Saltwater Crocodile, Sea Turtle, Serendib Scops Owl, Short Finned Pilot Whale, Sperm Whale, Spinner Dolphin, Sri Lanka Keelback, Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Striped Dolphin, White-Bellied Sea Eagle, White-faced Starling, brown fish owl, buffalo, crested serpent eagle, elephant, jackal, leopard, orca, sambar, sloth bear, spotted deer

Wildlife of Sri Lanka Photography Holiday Itinerary

day 1

flight to bandaranaike international airport, colombo - transfer to katunayake - overnight in katunayake

day 2

boat trip for humpbacked dolphin - overnight in kalpitiya

day 3

boat trips for various types of whale & dolphin - transfer to wilpattu - afternoon safari in wilpattu - overnight in wilpattu

day 4

full - day safari in wilpattu - overnight in wilpattu

day 5

full - day safari in wilpattu - overnight in wilpattu

day 6

morning safari in wilpattu - transfer to katunayake - overnight in katunayake

day 7

transfer to yala - afternoon safari in yala - overnight in yala

day 8

morning & afternoon safari in yala - overnight in yala

day 9

morning & afternoon safari in yala - overnight in yala

day 10

morning safari in yala - transfer to udawalawe - afternoon safari for asian elephant & jungle cat - overnight in udawalawe

day 11

morning safari for asian elephant & jungle cat - transfer to mirissa - river cruise for saltwater crocodiles - overnight in mirissa

day 12

boat trip for various types of whale - nighttime spotting of sea turtles - overnight in mirissa

day 13

seaplane trip to photograph blue whales from the air - transfer to sinharaja - overnight in sinharaja

day 14

rainforest walks seeking a wide variety of endemic flora & fauna - overnight in sinharaja

day 15

rainforest walks seeking a wide variety of endemic flora & fauna - overnight in sinharaja

day 16

transfer to bandaranaike international airport, colombo

A pair of Mating Leopards on rocks in Yala one of the many locations found on the NaturesLens Wildlife of Sri Lanka Photography Holiday
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