Wildlife

Wildlife trip reports of tours in Sri Lanka operated by Walk With Jith

Andrew and Trish Forsyth's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2011 Dec 5
Tour End: 
2011 Dec 16

Trip Report Year:

Country:

December 2011

Sri Lanka is a tropical island of 430km long and 230 km wide at its widest, situated just north of the Equator. Most coastal and northern areas are low lying, with the centre of the island being very mountainous.
The ‘wet zone’ of the south-west and hills area has monsoon season in May-September, while the eastern and northern ‘dry zone’ has rain from November to February.
With over 400 bird species and 33 endemics, plus large numbers of mammals and reptiles, it is a fabulous, bio-diverse, small and easy destination for wildlife viewing.

After picking up a brochure at the British Birdfair from a small company called ‘Walk with Jith’, and hearing some great stories about birding in Sri Lanka, we took on an 11 day ‘Birding and Wildlife Budget Tour’.   www.walkwithjith.com      walkwithjith@hotmail.comMuch discussion with Prasanjith (Jith) Caldera, the owner, by both email and phone made us very confident that the tour would suit our needs.
At £900pp for 11 days – transport, driver and guide, dinner, bed and breakfast, all jeep safaris and park entries – the tour is excellent value and as a private tour (2 pax) had the flexibility we wanted.

Author/s of the report: 
Andrew Forsyth
Trish Forsyth

Tony Murray's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2012 Jan 10
Tour End: 
2012 Jan 20

Trip Report Year:

Sarah, Nandana and Tony Murray

This trip was a combined self organized trip with a tour after a weeks stay in Kalamatiya organized by Prasinjith Caldera (www.walkwithjith.com) and led by Nandana Hewagamage. My email is murraytony@hotmail.com

5th to 11th January 2012
Kalamatyia, situated just a short distance off the coastal road on the south coast of the island between Tangalle and Hambantota....

Author/s of the report: 
Tony Murray

Dr John Poyser & Mrs Jane Lloyd's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2012 Nov 11
Tour End: 
2012 Nov 29

Trip Report Year:

Dr John Poyser and Mrs Jane Lloyd
Dr John Poyser and Mrs Jane Lloyd

My partner and I were guided by Nandana for a period of 3 weeks in November 2012.

Our tour cover eight important areas of Sri Lanka with an emphasis on Birdwatching, but also including general elements of the natural world as well as important cultural sites.

Nandana has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the birds of Sri Lanka and an ability to spot different species accurately at some distance.  He is patient with his quests and always takes considerable trouble to ensure that they are able to see and identify whichever bird or animal is in view.  He clearly has a passion for ornithology and a deep desire to see the environment of Sri Lankan cared for and protected.

Throughout our trip he was courteous and discreet.  He was never critical when we showed tiredness or lack of interest, but would always do his utmost to ensure our safety and comfort at all times.  He drove us for many miles, but always with care and consideration for our comfort, we both considered his driving to be safe despite many different road and traffic conditions.  He always knew where he was and which road to take to get us to our destination.

Our experience in Sri Lanka was of the highest quality, largely due to the expert care and attention of our guide, Nandana.

Author/s of the report: 
Dr. John Poyser

Hans Westerlaken's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2012 Dec 21
Tour End: 
2013 Jan 4

Trip Report Year:

Country:

Nandana, Hans Westerlaken and Caroline

We used the services of Walk With Jith. This is one of the lesser known companies than for example Bauer or Jetwing. Walk With Jith charged us $500 less than Bauers, namely $1550/1180Euros. We managed to see all 33 endemics and more. This was mainly thanks to our excellent guide Nandana. He is a free-lance guide who also works for Bauers and other companies and his skills and determination in the field are excellent. He worked hard to show us all the required species and we actually only missed seeing one much sought-after species, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher.

Tour Categories:

Author/s of the report: 
Hans Westerlaken

John Kirman's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2013 Jan 5
Tour End: 
2013 Jan 15

Trip Report Year:

John Kirman, Ginny Smith and Jan Kirman

Very many thanks, Jith for a wonderful two weeks which surpassed our expectations in all respects; also many thanks to Dilan for his good company & careful driving which has a big significance on the enjoyment of a holiday like this –we all felt safe with him 100% of the time.

With the exception of a sloth bear which we didn't set eyes upon. I think we had good sightings of all the animals we thought we might see; also many species of wonderfully colored butterflies and such a wide variety too of botanical interest Last but not least, the birds of which we saw around 190 species & many of which provided excellent scope – and /or binocular – felling sightings. The hotels were all five, even if varying somewhat in quality, but the main thing was the fascinatingly wide variety variety of character they offered from the fine colonial Hotel Suisse in Kandy to the relatively primitive but highly characterful & peaceful Martin's Lodge (No traffic and associated noise – only the sound of waterbirds) in the heart of Sinharaja Rain Forest. Food was fine too throughout – a plethora of cuisines which is what we expected & enjoy. Finally another BIG THANK YOU to Jith – his arrangement & planning worked seamlessly & he is the ideal guide – not overbearing but always humorous, eagle-eyed &, not least, knowledgeable – an excellent ambassador for Sri Lanka! The local guides in in various places were very good too. All-in-all a truly memorable experience! We will recommend you to our trading native-loving friends without hesitation.

Author/s of the report: 
John Kirman

John Diley's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2013 Mar 18
Tour End: 
2013 Apr 3

Trip Report Year:

Jhon and Anne Diley

A keen birder of over 50 years & wife Anne, a non-birder...

"For me, this was one of the best holidays we have ever had.  After the initial deep reluctance & reservations on Anne`s part, having read on the inter-net the horror stories as regards the many potential safety hazzards, she enjoyed the whole experience immensely & I`m sure would not have missed it for the world.  The people were lovely & friendly without exception.  The flights with Emirates were first class as was the hotel accommodation [with one big exception – Martin`s Lodge!]  The food was on the whole good, often really good.  The travel company “Walks with Jith” under the umbrella organisation of  “Responsible Travel”, could not be faulted.  We were well looked after at every step of the way & their initial organisation was first rate without a single glitch.  Our driver/guide ...

Places Visited in the tour:

Author/s of the report: 
John Diley

Keith Pigdon's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2013 Mar 31
Tour End: 
2013 Apr 15

Trip Report Year:

Country:

Nancye, Manju, Upali and Margaret

Keith Pigdon, Nancye Pigdon  and Margaret Wilson, from Melbourne, Australia

Three retired adults were met at the airport on arrival in Sri Lanka and driven to our hotel in the wee small hours of the morning by our careful and very pleasant trip driver Manju. A great way to start a visit to a new country! We had been well prepared for the visit through numerous email contacts with Jith and the detailed information he provided on currency, tipping, food, health, clothing etc.

We met our very knowledgeable and friendly guide Upali on the first day and were each presented with a great little package containing an excellent map of Sri Lanka, a pocket bird book and a tally list to keep records of what we were to see. All of these were of great use to us throughout the trip. Nice touch Jith. Our vehicle was a new A/C comfortable van. Given the problems we had had with a poor quality vehicle on a previous trip to Africa we were well pleased with the van.....

Author/s of the report: 
Keith Pigdon

David Hill & Chris Hill's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2013 Jan 24
Tour End: 
2013 Feb 8

Trip Report Year:

Chris Hill, Upali and Dave Hill

David Hill & Chris Hill toured with Walk With Jith from 25 January 2013 to 09 February 2013.

SUMMARY: 15 night trip to Sri Lanka between 25th January 2013 and 9th February 2013 - Key objectives were to see all the Sri Lankan endemic birds and also enjoy whale watching and leopard spotting - All objectives were met with all 33 of the possible endemics seen and 32 photographed; 3 separate leopard sightings and over 10 Blue Whales seen during the relevant excursions - Local guide provided was excellent in terms of birding as well as looking after us fantastically well during our trip - Sri Lanka was a delightful place to visit with good accommodation, food and infrastructure.

This trip report consists of four parts:

Author/s of the report: 
David Hill
Chris Hill

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