Trip Reports from United Kingdom

Stephen Dean's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2017 Jan 3
Tour End: 
2017 Jan 17

Trip Report Year:

2017-02-11 Stephen Dean &  Upali

Having been to several parts of the Indian Subcontinent on previous trips, Louise and I decided it was time to visit Sri Lanka.  We contacted Manoj Vardhan at Vardhan's Individual and Group Tours (VIGT), who had put five trips together for us before, and he liaised with Prasanjith (“Jith”) Caldera of 'Walk With Jith' to act as our ground agent.

Tour Categories:

Author/s of the report: 
Stephen Dean

John Diley's Trip Report 2

Tour Strat: 
2015 Mar 12
Tour End: 
2015 Mar 30

Trip Report Year:

John_and_Anne_Diley_with_Nandana_2.JPG
John and Anne Diley with Nandana

The total number of species encountered was 240 including 3 that were heard but not seen.  The total number of “lifers” seen was 34 (including Streaked Weaver which I am now convinced I did not see in 2013).  However it would be 37 if I was to include the maybe dubious sightings – Sykes`s Warbler, Saunders`s Tern and Greater Painted Snipe.  Red-faced Malkoha I am convinced I saw in 2013 and is consequently a confirmation as is Ashy Prinia.  All of the 33 endemics (one more pending) were seen except Chestnut-backed Owlet which was heard but not seen.  Best birds – Eyebrowed Thrush, Black Noddy, Serendib Scops Owl, Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush, Black-necked Stork

Author/s of the report: 
John Diley

Andrew Mears' Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2014 Dec 22
Tour End: 
2014 Dec 31

Trip Report Year:

Just back from my trip with Mark Edgeller and Ollie Wardman, and it was a good one. We had some poor weather but not enough to spoil things and it allowed us to see all 33 endemics plus take a half-day whale watching trip in just 9 days:

Author/s of the report: 
Andrew Mears

Mike Nelson's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2014 Dec 7
Tour End: 
2014 Dec 18

Trip Report Year:

Sri Lanka is recognized as an easy birding destination as the island is quite small and easy to navigate. Roads are fairly good and the birding sites are quite accessible. There are still quite large areas of forest and the current 33 endemics and many regional (southern India and Sri Lanka) make a trip here quite appealing. Sri Lanka also has quite a rich cultural history and many historical sites are well worth visiting. With that in mind my wife and I spent twelve days touring the country.

Author/s of the report: 
Mike Nelson

John Wilson's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2014 Mar 1
Tour End: 
2014 Mar 15

Trip Report Year:

John Wilson and David Bush group
Farewells and thanks were said to Jith for arranging the excellent well-balanced itinerary, to Nandana for his expert guiding and his efforts in making the trip interesting from a cultural point of view, and of course to Limal for his expert driving, and Penando for looking after us so well.

All-in-all a fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable trip, so thanks WalkWithJith.com! Overall nearly everyone saw every bird, the exception of the odd one or two. From my own personal notes I didn’t see 6 species, only 2 of which would have been lifers. And to top it all, we broke Nandana’s record for a trip list, with 239 species and all 33 endemics!

Author/s of the report: 
John Douglas Wilson

Jonathan Francis Uren's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2013 Nov 2
Tour End: 
2013 Nov 17

Trip Report Year:

We had a very enjoyable time in Sri Lanka and Nandana proved to be a superb guide for the birds, other wildlife and cultural sites. He made the holiday an excellent experience for us all and we appreciated the great efforts he made to find all the birds he possibly could for us. We only missed 3 targets and all of them were almost impossible to find, no Pied Thrushes - we were too early, Scaly Thrushes weren't calling and were impossible to find and Serendip Scops Owls did not co-operate despite great efforts by Nandana and the local guides in Sinharaja.  If we come back to Sri Lanka we will be delighted if Nandana were our guide again.
 
We will write a trip report and once it is complete we will send you a copy for your website and we look forward to meeting you again in August at the Birdfar.
 
Thanks again for organising an excellent trip for us

Author/s of the report: 
Jonathan Francis Uren

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

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

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

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

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

Barrie and Shirley Bird's Short Video Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2009 Jan 2
Tour End: 
2009 Feb 19

Trip Report Year:

group-photo-from-barrie-and-shirley-bird-tour

Barrie and Shirley Bird with Peter and Jackie Bourne from Kent, UK met Prasanjith Caldera at the British Bird Watching Fair in 2007. Subsecuently they did a wild life and culture tour in Sri Lanka in February 2009. The tour included whale watching in Mirissa. During the 3 hour boat ride, they spotted about 08 Sperm Whales.

Author/s of the report: 
Shirley Bird
Barrie Bird

Colin Scott's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2007 Feb 2
Tour End: 
2007 Mar 17

Trip Report Year:

Colin Scott - touching an elephant

This was the best trip I have been on, we managed to pack so much in over the fifteen days all thanks to the meticulous planning of our guide Prasanjith Caldera. The food, accommodation, the mix of culture, wildlife, scenery and attractions were all excellent. I would have no hesitation in recommending “Jith” as he is known to anyone wishing to visit this beautiful country.

Author/s of the report: 
Colin Scott

Brian Clasper's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2007 Jan 15
Tour End: 
2007 Jan 24

Trip Report Year:

Jim France and Brian Clasper
... Another beautiful setting on the beach we watched Terns ,gulls & sea eagles .The Icing on the cake was a boat trip at the end of the day prior to our return flight home. Through the Mangrove swamps we came close to Black bittern, Yellow bittern, Striated heron and many of the birds we had attempted to photograph this time getting excellent results. Indeed it wqs a good job we were using digital photography otherwise it would have been very expensive session. All in All a perfect trip organised at a very reasonable price by a great leader well done Jith & Sammy. ...

Author/s of the report: 
Brian Clasper

Paul Seligman's Trip Report

Tour Strat: 
2005 Feb 10
Tour End: 
2005 Feb 23

Trip Report Year:

Paul Seligman and Janet Dewes with Prasanjith
Paul Seligman and Janet Dewes with Prasanjith

This travell report is by Paul Seligman who travelled with Janet Dawes in Feruary 2005. Our sincere thanks to him for providing this report.

Nearly 200 species of birds were observed in this trip!


11/02/2005

Author/s of the report: 
Paul Seligman