Trip Report List

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

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

Carsten Fog's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2013 Feb 10
Tour End: 
2013 Feb 24

Trip Report Year:

Country:

Janne Thomsen, Upali and Carsten Fog

Report of sighting of Oriental Scrub Robin in Nuawara Eliya in Gregory Park - 11 - 25 February 2013 by Carsten Fog

1. Species, including age, sex and plumage type, or whichever of these is known. The species observed was an Oriental Scrub Robin or Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas galactotes). It was..........

Places Visited in the tour:

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Author/s of the report: 
Carsten Fog

Ella Maria and Leif Bisschop-Larsen's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2013 Jan 29
Tour End: 
2013 Feb 12

Trip Report Year:

Country:

Leif, Ella Maria and Senerath

This report summarize our 15 days trip to Sri Lanka with notes on sites visited and a list of the species of birds and mammals seen.

As our first visit to South East Asia we chose Sri Lanka because of the country’s rich nature with a great biodiversity within a rather small geographic area.

The tour was planned after contact to some of Sri Lanka’s tour operators specializing in birding and wildlife tours. We chose WalkWithJith and agreed on a program staying only in 4 different lodges/hotels in order to make the tour easy without too much driving. The driver Senarath Bulathsinhala not only took us safely from place to place (from day 5), but he was also a very knowledgeable and helpful birding and wildlife guide. In some of the national parks local guides accompanied us, and they were helpful too. During the first days in Sinharaja Forest Reserve Sandun was our guide and he introduced us to many new species as well as cultural matters.

The tour introduced us to some of the main habitats of Sri Lanka: The rain forest in the south-west lowland wet zone (Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Hiyare Forest), the central highlands with montane grassland and cloud forest (Horton Plains National Park), highland tea country (e.g. Ella), freshwater wetlands (Tissamaharama tanks and paddy-fields, Yala National Park), coastal lagoons/saltpans (Bundala National Park, Yala National Park) and finally the ocean to the south with marine mammals.

Author/s of the report: 
Ella Maria
Leif Bisschop-Larsen

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

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

André Weiss Pryde's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2012 Dec 30
Tour End: 
2013 Jan 17

Trip Report Year:

Country:

André Weiss Pryde

 

 

After having explored the birds of India on several occasions, the endemic species of Sri Lanka finally called for me. I ended up seeing all of them and many other bird species and some great mammals. I can absolutely recommend this beautiful island: good birds, good food, nice people and very easy to organise.

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Author/s of the report: 
André Weiss Pryde

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

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

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

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

John Kirby's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2011 Oct 31
Tour End: 
2015 Nov 14

Trip Report Year:

Pat & Garry and Monica and John Kirby in Bundala Wetland (Beach)

This is a brief report of a trip to Sri Lanka arranged with Prasanjith Caldera (Jith) of Walk With Jith.

We met Jith at the Bird Fair and were impressed with his set up and arranged a trip. This was based on one of Jiths standard itineraries with some adjustments by us. It included birding and cultural sites.

We arranged our own flights with Etihad Airways....

Author/s of the report: 
John Kirby

Jane Dixon and Dudley Adam's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2011 May 2
Tour End: 
2011 May 9

Trip Report Year:

Jane, Nandana and Adam
Jane Dixon and Dudley Adam toured with Walk With Jith in May 2011.

This is a photo tour report with a comment on the tour.

We spent 1 week in southern Sri Lanka at Yala NP and Sinharaja Forest Reserve in May 2011. Our guide, Nandana, was wonderful - he explained the culture of Sri Lanka and was well versed in the wildlife and natural history of Sri Lanka. We spent 3 full days in Yala undertaking full days safari drives from 6.30am to 6pm in the evening. The birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies were numerous. We saw some amazing ...

Author/s of the report: 
Jane Dixon
Dudley Adam

Colin Schaverien's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2011 Mar 26
Tour End: 
2011 Apr 6

Trip Report Year:

Country:


Prasanjith n Colin Schaverien in front of Sigiriya

A great vacation thanks to Jith’s organisational skills. Before the beginning of the trip, having read the “Rough Guide to Sri Lanka” I was concerned about mosquito-borne diseases, the chaotic driving and possible stomach trouble from bacteria in water and food. None of these was an issue at all. There were very few mosquitoes; Mr Silva drove calmly and safely and the speeds anyway are low, and we were given plentiful bottled water to drink/brush our teeth with, so no stomach upsets either. In general, the more rural/isolated the lodge or accommodation is, the better the food. High point was at Mr Martin’s. In retrospect, it was also good not to have stayed in busy Colombo...

Author/s of the report: 
Colin Schaverien

Nicholas King's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2011 Jan 27
Tour End: 
2011 Feb 21

Trip Report Year:

Nandana, Nicholas and Carol King, Judy and Michael Bates

Nick & Carol King and Michael & Judy Bates toured with Walk With Jith in 2011. This is Nick's e-mail comment and comprehensive tour feedback.

Tour Categories:

Author/s of the report: 
Nicholas King

Ann and Roland Glifford's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2010 Dec 14
Tour End: 
2011 Nov 30

Trip Report Year:

Ann and Roland Glifford

We travelled down to London on the train. Quite an entertaining journey thanks to the lady (?) who objected to being asked to turn off her mobile phone as she was in the Quiet Zone. Much muttering, glaring, reports to the train manager ….. We then caught the tube to Heathrow and can recommend the little shop just past the platform for snacks etc. Much cheaper than at the terminal! Check-in etc went smoothly so off we went to explore the shops......

Author/s of the report: 
Ann Gilford
Roland Glifford

Ian Hillery's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2009 Mar 26
Tour End: 
2009 Apr 2

Trip Report Year:

Ian Hillary with Prasanjith Caldera

This tour contains Ian Hillery from UK did a 7 day tour with us in March 2009. He visited 3 main birding sites in Sri Lanka; 1. Sinharaja Rain Forest, 2.Nuwara-eliya highlands and 3.Kithulgala.

www.walkwithjith.com is the website of Jith, who I used as the guide and organiser of the trip. Partly because I was on my own, but mainly due to the country being difficult to negotiate, and the speciality birds even more taxing to track down without local knowledge, I broke with a birding long habit and enlisted help with my trip. My friends and I had come across Jith at the Rutland Water Bird Fair in 2006, and they had subsequently used him the January following. It is difficult to imagine that he has only been organising tours as a business since 2005, even more so when you observe his excellent local knowledge and identification skills.

One of the beauties of Jith's trips is that he will tailor them to your own needs, with a more than reasonable cost. This includes itinerary, driver, accommodation (half board), and entrance fees. He will even alter the itinerary as the trip is under way to react to local and/or bird conditions...

This tour report is taken from www.birdseen.co.uk >>

Author/s of the report: 
Ian Hillary

Martin and Mary Leathwood's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2009 Mar 8
Tour End: 
2009 Mar 27

Trip Report Year:

See more photos of the tour by Mary and Martin here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11426611@N03/

09th March – Arrival

10th March – Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Birding stops on the route to Anuradhapura – Pleasant tailed Jacanas (saw many later but never tired of watching this stunning bird), White throated Kingfisher (same), Grey...

Author/s of the report: 
Martin Leathwood
Mary Leathwood

Dave Nelson & Bob Crawford's Short Video Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2009 Feb 19
Tour End: 
2009 Mar 6

Trip Report Year:

David Nelson and Bob Crawford

Prasanjith Caldera of Walk With Jith first met David Nelson and his friend Bob Crawford from Middlesbrough, UK at the British Bird Watching Fair in 2007. Subsecuently they went on a bird watching tour in Sri Lanka in February 2009. In this very successful two weeks bird watching tour they spotted more that 230 birds including Serendib Scops Owl in Sinharaja rain forest. In Yala national park they were lucky to spot two big Leopards at very close range.

Tour Categories:

Author/s of the report: 
Dave Nelson
Bob Crawford

Julie and Terry Doman's Short Video Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2009 Jan 27
Tour End: 
2009 Jan 27

Trip Report Year:

Video Duration: 4 mins 54 sec.

Julie and Terry Doman with their friends Ian and Lynn Cowgill, Melanie and Roy Rovill from Bath, UK. met Prasanjith for the first time at the British Bird Watching Fair in 2007.

Afterwards they did a bird watching tour in January 2009 lead by Walk With Jith. In the tour they visited the Kandy Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka. In this video at that place, Mr. Palipana an expert at the garden does an excellent commentary on trees, orchids, etc.

Kandy Botanical Garden is also called as Peradeniya Botanical Garden or Royal Botanical Garden.

Places Visited in the tour:

Author/s of the report: 
Julie Doman
Terry Doman

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