Rusty-spotted Cat by Uditha Hettige

Tour Dates: Friday 15th – Wednesday 27h November 2024 (Colombo to Colombo)
Tour Price: £3,999pp plus flights
Estimated International Flight Price: London to Colombo approx. £600 return
Deposit: £700 per person
Conservation Donation from Wise Birding: £200 – £300
Minimum Number: 4 people
Maximum Group Size: 6 people

Target Species:
Mammals: Rusty-spotted Cat, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Leopard, Asian Elephant, Golden Jackal, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Red Muntjac, White-spotted Chevrotain, Grey Slender Loris, Red Slender Loris, Tufted Grey Langur, Toque Macaque, Small Indian Civet, common Palm Civet, Indian Crested Porcupine, Ruddy Mongoose, Indian Grey Mongoose, Indian Pangolin and much more!
Birds: A good selection of the commoner species including Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Indian Peafowl, Crested Serpent Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Orange-breasted Green-pigeon, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Indian Roller, Indian Pitta, Yellow-eared Bulbul, Sri Lanka White-eye, Indian Blackbird, Spot-billed Pelican, Lesser Adjutant, Indian Nightjar and Jerdon’s Nightjar.

Tour Summary
This tour has a clear focus on looking for mammals and two cats in particular, the Fishing Cat and the Rusty-spotted Cat.
This itinerary is planned to provide you with the best possible chance for seeing a great selection of Sri Lanka’s most sought after 
mammals. In addition to the the two small cats, we have also included sites  for another mythical species, the Indian (Thick-tailed) Pangolin. Of course, this tour also provides great opportunities  to see many other exciting nocturnal mammals, e.g. Lorises, Civets, and Bats too. Finally, we are also sure to see a great selection of birds, but we will not be specifically targeting the endemic birds on this particular tour.

Fishing Cat by Uditha Hettige

ACCOMMODATION: 12 nights in Sri Lanka
3 nights Wilpattu, 4 nights Sigiriya, 1 night Nuwara Eliya, 3 nights Tissa and 1 night at Airport Hotel
Inclusive Meals: Breakfasts, lunches & dinners

DAY 1: Arrival Day
Early morning arrival and proceed to Wilpattu directly from the airport (about 4 hour drive).
We will then check into our lodge near the Wilpattu National Park and after some rest we will meet for dinner and take our first night drive outside the park to search for nocturnal mammals. Overnight Wilpattu

DAYS 2 – 3 Full days and nights exploring Wilpattu NP
We will spend the days exploring Wilpattu National Park for birds and mammals and then take time to rest during the hottest part of the day. By night we will spotlight suitable areas outside the park for nocturnal mammals. The night drives are likely to go on until the early hours of the morning and our finish time will be entirely dependent on what species we encounter! Aside from the two smaller cats, some of the other species we might see here include Leopard, Jungle Cat, Grey Slender Loris and Sloth Bear. Overnight Wilpattu

Jungle Cat, Sri Lanka by Chris Townend

DAY 4: Travel to Sigiriya
After breakfast we will take the 3 hour journey to Sigiriya. On arrival at our accommodation we will have lunch and then relax before starting another night looking for mammals.
Just some of the species we will be searching for include Rusty-spotted Cat, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Purple-faced Langur (dry zone race), Sri Lanka Giant Squirrel (dry zone race), Ruddy and Indian Grey Mongoose, Grey Slender Loris, White-spotted Chevrotain, Golden Palm Civet (dry zone race), Common Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet and Indian Crested Porcupine. Overnight Sigiriya.

DAYS 5 – 7: Exploring Sigiriya
We will get into the routine of resting in the morning after a long night of spotlighting and then head out after lunch where we will be looking for both birds and mammals. Then after dinner we will, once again, spotlight for mammals. Overnight Sigiriya.

Sloth Bear, Yala NP by Chris Townend

DAY 8: Travel to Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast we will travel into the Highlands, a journey of around 6 hours.
Once checked into our Nuwara Eliya hotel we will explore selected sites in Nuwara Eliya for mammals. Possible mammals may include, Purple-faced Langur (highland race), Toque Macaque (highland race), Sambar, Dusky-striped Jungle Squirrel, Giant Squirrel (highland race), Striped-necked Mongoose and Indian Brown Mongoose. Overnight Nuwara Eliya

DAY 9: Horton Plain NP
This morning we will take an early morning excursion (about 1 hour drive) to the Horton Plains National Park for birds and mammals. Here we have another chance of Leopard and a good selection of birds too.
After our early morning drive for mammals, we will then proceed  to Tissa, stopping en route for lunch. After dinner we will start our usual routine with another full night drive for nocturnal mammals. Overnight  Tissa.

DAYS 10 – 11: Yala NP
During the next couple of days we will take private jeep drives into Yala National Park for mammal and bird watching. After dinner we will explore suitable areas outside the park for nocturnal mammals. The mammals we are looking for are similar to those throughout the tour with the exception of having maybe better chances for seeing Leopard and Sloth Bear.
Birds that we may find around Yala include species such as Lesser Adjutant, Indian Nightjar, Jerdon’s Nightjar, Blue-faced Malkoha, White-naped Flameback, Sri Lanka Woodshrike and many more. Overnight  Tissa.

DAY 12: Tisa to Colombo
After a morning of leisure we will then have lunch and travel to our hotel near the airport. Although it will be the final night of the tour, we will still have a final night spotlighting session and we have excellent chances to see new mammals too! Not far from our hotel we will explore new areas where we will be looking for Red Slender Loris, Golden Palm Civet (wet zone race), Common Palm Civet and Indian Crested Porcupine. Overnight near Colombo

DAY 13: Transfer to airport

Please note this is a flexible itinerary which may need to be adjusted slightly dependent on arrival / departure times, weather conditions and the most recent information from our local guides

Leaders: Wise Birding Leader and local guides throughout
Included in cost: Accommodation, all meals, all transport, all entrance fees, drinking water, plus services of the local guides and leader
Not included in cost: International airfare, internal flights, travel insurance, alcoholic drinks and any airport/visa fees
Single Supplement: £299
Transport: A mix of minibus travelling to sites and jeeps when visiting National Parks and spotlighting.
Difficulty: Easy The vast majority of wildlife watching is done in close proximity to the vehicle and from the vehicle when spotlighting. Some walking on flat trails in gallery forest / grassland.
Climate: Hot and humid
Tour Start Point: Colombo airport, Sri Lanka 
Tour End Point: Colombo airport, Sri Lanka
Suggested Airlines: Sri Lanka Airlines 

Yellow-eared Bulbul, Sri Lanka by Chris Townend