Wildlife Photography Tours in Sri Lanka

Wildlife Photography Tours in Sri Lanka

Wildlife Photography Tours In Sri Lanka

Do you love wildlife? Is it your dream to go on a wildlife photography tour? Well, in that case, we know the perfect option for you to create a fantastic collection of wildlife photographs. That’s wildlife photography in Sri Lanka. Believe us when we say that this island country is every wildlife photographer’s ideal location. Prepare to find anything, from your favourite wild creatures to the rarest. Wander through the lovely green woodlands in search of previously unseen species.

Expect to witness the most fascinating animals, including leopards nesting on tree branches, monkeys bouncing around trees, wild elephants bathing, magnificent and rare bird species, and many more.

Why is Sri Lanka ideal for your wildlife photography tour?

Sri Lanka is home to some of the most enthralling wildlife photography excursions. From birds to leopards, lions, and more, you’ll witness plenty of wildlife and animals while exploring this amazing country. If you’re an adventurous traveller with a passion for animals, you should definitely schedule a Sri Lanka wildlife photography tour.

If you’re unsure about which businesses provide the best tours and allow you to shoot wildlife in their natural habitat, we’ve produced a list of the six best wildlife photography tours for you to choose from.

When is the best time for Sri Lanka wildlife photography tours?

Luckily, Sri Lanka is a wildlife-watching destination almost all year. However, we would say the ideal times to observe elephants, leopards, and buffalo are during the peak tourist season, which is from November to April.

Why book a guided tour for wildlife photography?

A wildlife photography tour in Sri Lanka is an excellent way to capture the richness of Sri Lankan wildlife. Sri Lanka consists of 92 species of mammals, 440 bird species, 242 butterfly and 117 dragonfly species, and 190 reptiles.

Booking a guided wildlife photography tour in Sri Lanka will make your work so much easier. You will be accompanied by qualified wildlife guides or naturalists who are experts at knowing the best spots and the best times for the photoshoot. They help you find the diversified animal species all around the island. With their expertise and experience, they can help you make the most of your wildlife photography tour. They will take you to the best wildlife safari parks and forest reserves.

Migrant Birds of Sri Lanka

Are you hoping to photograph different bird species on your wildlife photography tour in Sri Lanka? In that case, the beautiful island of Sri Lanka is the ideal place for you. Sri Lanka, located just south of the Indian peninsula, is one of South Asia’s most popular tourist destinations. This is owing to Sri Lanka’s rich past dating back over 2500 years, vibrant culture, magnificent beaches, numerous recreational attractions, and intriguing wildlife and bird viewing areas.

Sri Lanka, as a tropical country with high temperatures all year, provides a breeding site for many different kinds of birds. As a result, Sri Lanka has become one of the primary stops for migratory flocks of birds in the region. During the peak of the migratory season, numerous exotic bird species visit Sri Lanka, making it a popular destination for wildlife photography.

Sri Lanka’s migratory season

Sri Lanka’s migratory season runs from August to March and includes both summer and winter migratory birds. During this season, it is anticipated that at least 103 different species of avifauna will visit Sri Lanka’s forests and national parks. On rare occasions, at least another 100 migratory and nomadic birds come to this island country.

Keep in mind that only the Pink Tern enters Sri Lanka during the summer migration, while all other species visit during the winter season. Sandpipers, Philippine Shrikes, Dalmatian Pelicans, Black Storks, Great White Pelicans, Little Grebes, and a variety of other exotic birds can be seen in Sri Lanka. The best time to go bird watching is early in the season, when the birds are exhausted after long journeys and tend to stick together and move slowly.

What are the best places for wildlife photography tours in Sri Lanka?

1. Sinharaja Extension

Sinharaja’s breathtaking rainforest-clad highlands are home to some of Sri Lanka’s most magnificent bird species, including red-faced malkohas and blue magpies. The extraordinarily well-hidden Sri Lankan Frogmouth and the uncommon, extremely difficult-to-observe Serendib Scops Owl reside in these deep woodlands.

If you visit Sinharaja Forest, you will find fascinating scenes created by species of butterflies, birds, and lots more animals. The magnificent green Sri Lanka Pit Viper, as well as chequered keelbacks and the Green Vine Snake, may be found here. Curious Sri Lanka Kangaroo Lizards may look at you from the trail’s side, or a big millipede may crawl beneath your feet.

Don’t be surprised to see purple-faced leaf monkeys leaping from branch to branch or their howling calls piercing the morning air. Toque macaque troupes live in the jungle canopy as well. Three days in Sinharaja will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in this rainforest wonderland and explore a completely different side of Sri Lanka. The wildlife of Sinharaja is simply breathtaking.

2.Yala National Park 

Yala National Park is the most famous park among all the parks in Sri Lanka. There’s a variety of flora and fauna. Yala is home to many rare animal types, such as Sri Lankan leopards, sloth bears, wild elephants, and wild water buffalos. Leopards are the most notable features of the Yala National Park. So if you visit Yala National Park, you’d have a huge chance of photographing leopards. Other than that, Yala has many bird species, including those that are endemic to Sri Lanka. Catch their movements with your camera by visiting Yala during your wildlife photography tour.

3. Minneriya

If you have always wanted to photograph elephants in their natural habitat, Minneriya is a must-visit on your tour. The infamous Elephant Gathering at the Minneriya Reservoir is the most extensive collection of Asian elephants. As the sun sets, get ready to watch elephants gather from different directions, creating the most awe-striking natural sight. You will be able to capture a group of elephants bathing in streams, tossing their trunks wildly. You could opt for responsible safari drives or a nature trail among the thick green foliage of the forest.

4. Udawalawe National Park

If you love photographing elephants, you will love Udawalawe National Park. This large reserve is home to more than 400 Asian elephants. But that’s not all. If you visit between November and March, you will get a chance to photograph the incredible hawk-eagle or the serpent eagle!

5. Udawattakele Sanctuary

Udawattakele Sanctuary, often spelt Udawatta Kele, is a historic forest reserve on a hill ridge in the city of Kandy. The sanctuary is well known for its diverse birds. The reserve also has a wide range of plant species, particularly lianas, shrubs, and tiny trees, which will create the perfect background for your photographs of different bird species in Udawattakele Sanctuary.

6. Horton Place

Horton Plains National Park has 3,169 hectares of montane evergreen forests, grasslands, marshy lands, and aquatic ecosystems where you will see various endemic flora and fauna as you enjoy your wildlife photography tour. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful spots in Sri Lanka, blessed with the beautiful Baker’s Fall. This park is extremely diverse, with many species found here being endemic to the region.

12 rare bird species call Horton Plains National Park home and will surely add so much colour to your wildlife photography tour.

7. Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park is rich with 23 freshwater fish species, 57 reptile species, 17 amphibian species, 253 bird species, and 45 mammal species. Over 30 species of mammals are identified within Wilpattu National Park. Over 40 mammals are also living in the Wilpattu, including wild elephants, leopards, water buffalo,sloth bears, sambar, spotted deer, and lots more. This is what makes Wilpattu National Park an ideal place to photograph wildlife.

8. Bundala National Park

If you love photographing bird species, Bundala National Park is the place for you. This park is known among locals and foreigners for migratory and aquatic birds. Some of the most popular temporary residents are the greater flamingos that migrate from northern India, but pelicans, painted storks, and gorgeous peafowl can also be seen. Aside from birds, Bundala is home to langur monkeys, crocodiles, elephants, and wild pigs.

Other places for your wildlife photography tour in Sri Lanka

Apart from the spots we discussed above, there are more places you can visit to make your wildlife photography tour a success, including:

  •  Makandawa Rain Forest in Kitulgala
  • Anawilundawa Bird Sanctuary
  • Habarana Jungle
  • Mirissa
  • Kalpitiya Lagoon

Main highlights of wildlife photography tour in Sri Lanka

Best wildlife photography opportunities in Sri Lanka

During your wildlife photography tour in Sri Lanka, you’re guaranteed to create some photographic masterpieces as there are many wildlife photography opportunities including: 

    • Excellent leopard photography opportunity in what has to be one of the best settings in the world to see this usually reclusive animal. 
    • Minneriya is home to some of the most beautiful Asian elephants and you get the chance to witness a rare elephant gathering.
    • Possibilities to photograph other endangered animals, such as the Sloth Bear
    • On our safari-style tours in Yala National Park, we may photograph a broad variety of birds.

What are the photographic equipment to bring on your wildlife photography tour in Sri Lanka?

If you use a DSLR for wildlife photography, carry telephotos (and converters) that will cover the range 200-500mm or 600mm or more (with a full-frame body). Even a short telephoto lens of roughly 100-135mm might be useful in some situations in Sri Lanka, especially for tiny species such as snakes and lizards. A wide angle lens suitable for landscapes and historical monuments is also available. 

There will be numerous occasions to employ a macro lens.If you carry a decent quality bridge camera instead of a DSLR (which is a perfectly excellent alternative in Sri Lanka due to the wide selection of shooting topics), it should have an optical zoom of 18-20x or more, as well as a reasonable wide-angle at the opposite end of the zoom range. Make sure you pack plenty of extra batteries.

Wrapping up

There you have it! Bring your wildlife photography tour to Sri Lanka; the island country which is perfect to witness the wonders of wildlife. You can expect to be surrounded by flora and fauna, fascinating animals you love and some animals and bird species you’ve never seen before. Capture them all in your camera lens and create a wonderful collection of wildlife photography during your visit to Sri Lanka

Booking a guided tour is always recommended as you can get assistance and help for your photography tour from expert guides. Don’t wait anymore, book your wildlife photography tour in Sri Lanka.

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Negombo, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Kandy, Colombo

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Minneriya National Park, Yala National Park, Sinharaja Forest Reserve

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Wilpattu National Park, Minneriya National Park, Horton Plains National Park, Yala National Park, Sinharaja Forest Reserve

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