This was a brilliant trip for seeing so much wildlife, and getting so close to it, particularly the elephants and hippopotami. Whilst we couldn’t believe how many elephants we saw, we also saw lesser numbers of lions, crocodiles, water buffalo and a miscellanea of birdlife. Insect life was also plentiful, colourful dragonflies by day and fireflies by night.
Sri Lanka Wildlife Holidays
Sri Lanka Wildlife Holidays
Top Wildlife of Sri Lanka
- Sloth Bear: These medium-sized (average 290 pounds) bears evolved during the early Pleistocene era and can be distinguished from Asian black bears by their lanky builds, shaggier coats, pale muzzles and white claws. They also have a specially adapted lower lip and palate, which the nocturnal insectivores use to feed on termites, honeybee colonies. The isolated Sri Lankan population is a subspecies, and currently classified as vulnerable by the IUCN.
- Indian Pangolin: Often referred to as “scaly anteaters” because they’re covered in a thick protective armour of overlapping scales, pangolins are among the world’s most endangered groups of mammals. Nocturnal and usually resting in deep burrows during the day, the pangolin is tough enough to curl into a ball and defend itself from a tiger or leopard attack.
- Sri Lankan Leopard: This endemic subspecies, which is smaller than the Indian leopard (average 94 pounds and around four feet body length), is currently listed as endangered by the IUCN. But the southeastern coastal arid zone of Yala National Park boasts the world’s highest density of wild leopards, with studies estimating an adult population of 18 individuals on one 39-square mile block of the park.
- Red Slender Loris: This small, nocturnal primate is a focal species of the EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) conservation project – a distinction reserved for animals with few close evolutionary relatives. Found only in Sri Lanka’s rainforests, their small size (7-10 inches tall, weighing around one pound), huge eyes and prominent ears give them an endearingly odd appearance.
- Purple-faced Langur: Once commonly found in Sri Lanka’s wet zone villages and the suburbs of Colombo (the capital city), this endemic Old World monkey is now on the IUCN’s Endangered list due to habitat loss caused by rapid urbanization. Primarily found in densely populated rainforests, their distinctive vocalizations (which include harsh barks and whoops) have been mistaken for leopards.
- Sri Lankan Elephant: Yala National Park is renowned as one of the best places to see this endangered endemic species, which can also be seen in Udawalawe, Lunugamvehera, Wilpattu and Minneriya National Parks, as well as unprotected areas. In fact, Sri Lanka is estimated to have the highest density of elephants in all of Asia, despite the population decline caused by habitat loss and fragmentation.
- Sri Lankan Jackal: This golden jackal subspecies, which is also known as the Southern Indian jackal, grows to be slightly larger than their mainland cousins (which average 28 inches long and weigh around 15 pounds). Their winter coat is also shorter, smoother and not as shaggy, with speckled black-and-white backs and colours that range from a warm tan to a rusty ochre.
Barry Holmes The Zambezi Valley
Kirsty Storr Costa Rica Adventure
Just back from this brilliant holiday – we’ve had an exceptional time exploring Costa Rica’s flora and fauna with plenty of adventure and activities to keep us entertained over the two week holiday. Our group spotted at least 125 different species of birds, animals and other creatures, from colourful butterflies and birds of every shape and size to adorable sloths, from poisonous frogs to killer tarantulas and scorpions, from humpback whales to dolphins and flying fish. Our tour of Costa Rica took in wet, dry and damp rain forests, incredible scenery, amazing sights and sounds, very rainy rain, beautiful hot sunshine, captivating night tours including a magical, breath-taking experience watching baby turtles hatching and making their first journey out to sea, wildlife walks and hikes, plus fabulous food from pineapple plantations and organic farms. Other activities included flying through the rain forest by zip line, tubing down rapids and horse riding through a wildlife rich ranch, basking in volcanic thermal springs under the stars. We added in a couple of optional adventures: surf lessons at the beach and a coffee, chocolate and sugar cane tour at the base of the Arenal volcano. Our excellent tour leader, Mayer Jimenez brought expert wildlife and bird knowledge to the holiday, a huge bonus for our group. This holiday comes highly recommended.
Sharon Caton Discover Costa Rica
Amazing trip far better than I imagined, Johnny the tour guide and Percy the bus driver went out of their way to make this trip the best one I have been on
The Adventure Begins Here
Get regular inspiration straight to your inbox from Exodus' experts.