We arrived at Colombo Airport (1) on the 20th of January. From there we left straight for Kitulgala (2) in the rainforest area. A very interesting bird here is the Serendib Scops Owl. An endemic, but if you compare it with the White-fronted Scops Owl, as we photographed in Thailand, it will be hard to tell the difference
From Kitulgala we travelled to Singharaja (3) for a four days stay. This is a very wet area where we had some close encounters with the locally abundant number of Leeches. We were lucky to get superb photographic opportunities for the Sri Lanka Blue Magpie.
The next destination was Udawalawe National Park (4) where a single night only was spent before moving on to the Tissa Wetlands and Yala National Park (5). Many visitors are just coming here to see a Leopard. Happily we had a broader interest and we were able to see quite a nice selection of wildlife, but unfortunately no Leopard.
Our next stop was in the highlands of Nuwara Eliya (6), from where we visited the Horton Plain National Park, an area of great scenic impact, but with only low populations of birds and animals.
You cannot visit Sri Lanka without going to Kandy (7). We spent time in the Botanic Garden at Peradeniya, which gave us good opportunities to photograph the Pied Thrush.
For the final part of our trip, we went up north to Sigiriya and Minneriya National Park (8) and from there to Wilpattu National Park at Nochchiyagama (9). The history of the park is also of interest with ancient ruins having been discovered in Wilpattu National Park. This part of Sri Lanka is not as busy as the Yala National Park but certainly worth a visit.
Altogether a superb experience to travel for three weeks in this beautiful country. However, not enough time to get used to the dangerous traffic situation. A hint for drivers:
Simply trust your instincts, ascertain the direction, and proceed. Adherence to road rules leads to much misery and occasional fatality. Most drivers don't drive, but just aim their vehicles in the generally intended direction.