Browsing Tag

Wildlife Sri Lanka

Birdwatching in Sri Lanka
Birding trip reports

OUT AMONGST THE BIRDS, IN SRI LANKA

An Ayu in the Wild Naturalist’s thoughts on bird watching – 12-15 Dec, 2017 in Udawalawe National Park, the Wetlands of Tissamaharama and Yala National Park

Asian Brown Flycatcher

I was on the lookout for our endemics. But, who would ever think an Asian Brown Flycatcher flitting around catching insects among rubber trees at a quarter to noon would get the cameras out?!

12 DECEMBER 2017 – Udawalawe National Park

It was their first time in Sri Lanka.

The road from Negombo to Udawalawe was a great introduction to the island with the cities, suburbs and rural villages all lined with lush green made lusher by the recent rains that lashed Sri Lanka. Rural women tapping rubber trees to extract latex was intriguing for these guests from the built up commercial hub of Singapore. It made them very excited for the island adventures that lay ahead.

The ETD for the safari at Udawalawe National Park was at 2.30 pm.

Just after we entered through the gates, the contact call of a Yellow-eyed Babbler alerted us and the short whistling notes that we first heard was the sign that it was not a Prinia.

Close by was a dead tree and on it, an uncommon breeding resident Black-winged Kite devouring a mouse, while its partner looked longingly at the meal of small prey.  Kites hover and Eagles don’t and my guests spent the next hour hoping to spot an Eagle to compare this unique behaviour of Raptors.

Black-winged Kite

Elephants never fail to excite guests. Today was no exception with a herd of around 6 feeding, leisurely. Even the solitary males were unperturbed. It was a great opportunity to explain how to identify between males and females by their body structure.

Elephants at Udawlawe National Park

The sun was casting a fabulous glow on the beautiful Udawalawe National Park and the sunbathing Buffaloes were loving it! Overhead, a flock of Rosy Starlings flew under clear skies and perched silently on a ‘Maila’ tree (Bauhinia racemosa) enjoying this warm weather open country they visit on their long winter migration season.


Sunbathing Buffalos

Comparing the footprints of Jackals and Jungle cats inside the Park was the perfect end to an evening that set the tone for three days of bird watching in Udawalawe and Yala – a lovely experience with this family from Singapore.

 

13 DECEMBER 2017 – Yala National Park

The morning’s visit to the Elephant transit home was rewarding, seeing the baby elephants being fed and fighting for more!

The guests were excited for their first visit to the famed Yala NP but couldn’t resist photographing the nomadic Sri Lankan gypsies setting up their mobile camp by a river and fortune telling around town.

Sri Lankan gypsies camping

The ‘Bat-Tree’ near the impressive Tissa Lake was another photo worthy moment.

Fruit Bats on “the bat tree”

On our way to Yala we stumbled upon the elusive Collared Scops Owl. What a terrific start to the day! Our Ayu in the Wild Logo, commonly known as the Indian Scops Owl, sleepily gazing from the hollow of a ‘Burutha’ (Chloroxyon swietenia) tree, probably after its days fill.

Collared Scops Owl

Sharp at 2.30 pm we entered the Yala NP. Have you ever heard the sound of clattering mandibles of a flock of Painted Storks fishing? Our guests said they’ve never heard such a racket, as they observed the communal feeding of these pink feather-backed Storks side by side with a flock of Eurasian Spoonbills.

Eurasian Spoonbills and Painted Storks fishing together

A Malabar Pied Hornbill’s presence was betrayed by the loud, shrill cackling call – the females could be identified by the white ring around the eyes.

Malabar Pied Hornbill

A Black-naped Hare may not be the exciting sight, a hare giving birth to its litter was a definite tick on my checklist. Wishing her well, we left the park as the sun bowed out for the day.

Hare giving birth to a litter of two

 

14 DECEMBER 2017 – Wetlands of Tissamaharama and Yala National Park

I love these wetland bird watching walks.

A female Purple-rumped Sunbird looked ready to lay its eggs in a nest hanging from an ‘Andara’ (Dichrostachys cinerea) tree. A few minutes later, a distressed call from the male confirmed this.

Purple-rumped Sunbird in its nest

A flock of Oriental White-eyes were seen feeding on nectar but unfortunately took flight as I rustled some leaves. An alarm call of a palm squirrel distracted me and revealed a Shikra probing over for its lunch.

Oriental White eye

Shikra

On our second safari inside Yala, the sound of a gentle whistling took us to see not one but two pairs of Lesser Whistling-ducks swimming around a water hole.

A noble doe scaring off a Crested Hawk-eagle to save a frog was quite the spectacle for our guests!

Crested Hawk – Eagle

We decide to be detectives for the day and followed the newly etched cone shaped bird prints on the sand of the beautiful Common Hoopoe and eventually the track led us to one of my favourite birds.

Common Hoopoe

The evening was exciting. A false alarm by an overzealous Deer about an imaginary lurking predator set off an entire herd of Spotted Deer on a frenzied dash. A few water holes away about 15 full grown buffalos emerged from the muddy waters paying absolutely no heed to the submerged crocodile who eyed them and wisely, moved on to something its own size.

Will keep you posted when I’m next out amongst the Birds.

Senior Naturalist –  Ayu in the Wild

 

 


FAQs about Bird Watching tours with Ayu in the Wild

  • Are the Naturalists experienced?
    • Both our main bird watching Guides have traversed the length and breadth of the island and are experienced in field and scientific research.
  • Can we speak with the Guides before booking a tour?
    • Yes, we could arrange it at a convenient time for our Guides and for you – as they are mostly on the field and not in office.
  • Is it a private tour or a group?
    • Almost all of our bird watching tours are private tours but we can organise a small group tour too. Our ratio is 1 bird watching leader to a maximum of 6-8 pax.
  • What’s included into the tour cost?
    • An English speaking experienced Naturalist to lead the tour
    • Accommodation and meals as noted on an itinerary
    • Entrance tickets to National Parks
    • Cost of safari jeeps
    • Private luxury vehicle with an English speaking Chauffeur
    • A comprehensive bird check list for each guest. 
  • On the Road
    • You will be in a comfortable luxury Vehicle (Van/Car/SUV) and your English speaking chauffeur and your Guide will coordinate everything for you
  • Food
    • All accommodation can cater to varying food allergies or special requirements (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free). You don’t need to eat curries at every meal!
  • Insects, Malaria and Vaccinations
    • Sri Lanka is malaria free. We do recommend that you consult your usual GP or Travel Clinic for up to date information on vaccinations required. Use a repellent containing 20%-30% DEET to prevent mosquito bites. Citronella Oil is a great natural remedy for preventing mosquito bites but ensure you are not allergic to it.
  • Beyond birding
    • Well the Rough Guides has described us as a tour operator that can get you under the skin of the island. With our wide network of local contacts and curated authentic local interactions, we call them our ‘immersive luxury’ experiences.
what to do in Sri Lanka

Top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka

  1. Those train rides are something else!

    Epic train rides in Sri Lanka

Reach the unreachable with an epic train journey through misty mountains, majestic waterfalls, spooky tunnels and tea swathed mountains. Be awed by the 9 arches bridge in Ella or the humble tea plucker gazing at you closer to Kandy. Or opt for the coastal route where the rhythm of the train merges with the wafting breeze of this Indian Ocean island.

  1. Visit the ancient rock citadel of Sigiriya.

Bloomberg’s latest wonder of the world is nothing short of a skyscraper. Hike up the face of the Lion Rock to see the remains of a 14th century rock palace, climb down marveling the complex irrigation and construction.

  1. Cycle ride through crumbled ancient civilizations

    The ancient library found in Polonnaruwa

Way before Machu Pichu are some curious and amazing Stupas, rock carved Buddha statues and University Complexes that housed thousands. Pedal through these historic world heritage sites and learn tales of the past with Ayu in the Wild’s knowledgeable guides.

  1. Trek the misty paths by foot

At the heart of the hill country feel the cold breeze, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the distant sound of a lapping stream, watch the creation of clouds with mist around you and find a trekking adventure tackling the steep moss laden steps of the mountain.

  1. Explore the wild island that’s only just over three times the size of Kruger National Park.

    Leopard at Yala national park

Easily one of the best Biodiversity Hotspots in South Asia, here’s an island where you can safari to learn about (and photograph) a myriad of wildlife from Lichens to Leopards. Trek with our Edu-Guides to see the beauty and richness of the fauna and flora at Horton Plains or enjoy a wonderful bird watching holiday. An island that’s one of the best for safaris in Asia with the many blocks of Yala National Park being billed as best game parks outside of Africa.

  1. Canoeing, Sailing or White-water rafting.

Water adventures that take you off road! Canoe gently along a river, sail in Mirissa, Paasikuda or Trincomalee or go white water rafting along the adventure packed Kitulagala area. The beauty of this islands 103 rivers and 1340 Km coastline will awe you.

  1. Chill out or go snorkeling at the tropical beaches

    Whale watching on a private yacht

Stop dreaming of spending a day by the beach and come to Sri Lanka the Island that has a beach at every end! Just do nothing or pack it all in; snorkeling, sailing, whale watching on a yacht, surfing, deep sea diving or even Ship wreck diving!

  1. Real camping deep inside a national park

Experience authentic African-styled wildlife camping. Private safari camps with full on service team in the midst of the National Park, where you are the first out on safari to spot leopards, elephants and bears. Nothing like it!

  1. Take a closer look into Sri Lanka’s traditional lifestyles

    Pottery by a local artisan

Join Ayu in the Wild to get insider access into the authentic Sri Lankan lifestyle. Meet local artisans who create wonderful things from brass and clay in their tiny villages homes. Cook-like-the-locals, enjoy a homestay, sit down to a meal with a farming family, walk through spice estates, taste the many tastes of Ceylon Tea. Oh, the list is endless!

  1. Witness the largest Asian Elephant gathering in the world

    Elephants at Asia’s largest gathering

    Witness the largest annual gathering of the Asian elephant. Ayu in the Wild’s insightful guides will tell you all about their behavior, how moms and babies interact and why they meet here on the banks of the beautiful Minneriya tank. This spectacle has put Sri Lanka on the map as one of the top safari vacations in Asia.

     


     

    Contact Ayu in the Wild holidays to add on more unique experiences or talk to us about our best tours to Sri Lanka!

     

Leopard Safaris
Wildlife Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka – best for wildlife outside Africa

Take a look at this incredible photo blog of a tiny island called Sri Lanka, just over three times the size of Kruger National Park, where some amazing wildlife safaris await you. The species diversity alone, makes Sri Lanka certainly one of the best destinations for wildlife outside Africa.

Elephants roam wild in srilanka

Safaris to spot wild Elephants can be done in several parks across Sri Lanka


ELEPHANTS

It doesn’t matter where in Sri Lanka you choose to travel, you can always fit in a safari to see Wild elephants in one of the main National Parks. And those baby Elephants can be oh so cute as they play under their mummy’s stomach.

Elephants safaris Udawalawe

Observing Baby Elephants in the wild can be so exciting

LEOPARDS

What are your chances of spotting Leopards in Sri Lanka? Quite high!! In fact, unlike in other parts of the world, the Leopard is Sri Lanka’s top predator and roams freely inside the National Parks.

Leopards in Yala

In Sri Lanka the Leopard is the top predator.

We love to visit Kumana National Park for uncrowded safaris and it’s so rich in wildlife, including some great Leopard safaris. And if camping inside a Park is your thing, there’s no better place for it.

Where to see Leopards in Sri Lanka

Leopards can be seen in Kumana, Wilpattu and Yala National Parks

SLOTH BEAR

Those cuddly creatures are so shy but let me clue you in…come during the months of May and June when the fruits they love (Palu) are in season, and you will stand quite a good chance to spot them roaming around inebriated.

Wildlife safaris in Sri Lanka must be booked with responsible wildlife tour operators

The Sloth Bear of Sri Lanka

MONKEYS

You will see them everywhere in the island –  up in the hills of Kandy, throughout the cultural triangle, but inside Sri Lanka’s National Parks, especially in Yala, Udawalawe, Minneriya, Kumana, Kaudulla, Wilpattu and the rain forests of Sinharaja, you can observe different species and how they behave – we call it our Monkey Treks. It’s quite fun watching their antics even though this family of Toque Macaques are rather serious about something!

Monkey trek in Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya can be so fun

Monkeys can be seen everywhere in Sri Lanka

BIRDS

The last count of bird species was 500…and still counting! Incredible for an island this size. Every year, from November onwards, ardent bird watchers from across the world flock to Sri Lanka with their checklists, bird books, binoculars and massive zoom lenses to spot the 33 endemics.

Birding tours in srilanka

The endemic blue magpie can definitely be spotted in the Sinharaja Rainforest

WHALES AND DOLPHINS

Blue Whales the size of a bus, incredible pods of Dolphins and so much more can be spotted across the oceans of Sri Lanka, especially off the coasts of Mirissa, Kalpitiya and Trincomalee where you can do boat safaris or even stay overnight on a Yacht.

Blue Whales in Mirissa

Sri Lanka is famous for its Dolphins and Whales

CROCODILES, DEER AND MORE WILD CREATURES

If you travel with a responsible wildlife safari tour operator who does not merely chase after Leopards for the entire safari, you will truly begin to appreciate the incredibly diversity of wildlife in Sri Lanka.

Crocodiles spotting on a wildlife safari

Watching crocodiles hunt can be fascinating

Watching Crocodiles hunt inside and outside water, can be so fascinating on a wildlife safari.

Responsible wildlife tour operator srilanka

Deer gather in large numbers inside the national parks

From the Spotted Deer, to Sambur Deer to the shy and elusive Barking Deer, these creatures give the first warning sign of a predator lurking close by. Our guest’s love to learn about these alarm calls!


 

Want to book one of the most captivating wildlife safaris in Sri Lanka? Just enquire from Ayu in the Wild. Our Guides love to tell you the most amazing wildlife stories ever!

Whales and Dolphins
Blue Whales, Dolphins and Diving Sri Lanka

103 Rivers Make an Ocean – A Photo Blog

There lies a land in the Indian Ocean where 103 rivers nourish its warm tropical seas. Take a look at this photo blog of Sri Lanka, an island so bestowed by nature, that in a day you can spot Leopards, Elephants and Blue Whales.

Whale Watching Srilanka

Whales of Sri Lanka

The rich nutrients that flow from the hills through farmlands and estuaries meandering through rivers into Sri Lanka’s surrounding narrow continental shelf, make it one of the best places to observe whales and dolphins incredibly close to shore.

Dolphin watching

Dolphins of Sri Lanka

Trincomalee and Mirissa are fantastic for Blue Whales at different times of the year, while Kalpitiya is one of the best for super pods of Dolphins.

Responsible Dolphin watching

Dolphins at Kalpitiya

Dolphins of Srilanka

Dolphin Watching SriLanka

Sri Lanka is also famed for being one of the best wreck diving destinations in the world.

Shipwreck diving in Sri Lanka

Shipwreck Diving

Shipwreck diving srilanka

Lives in a Shipwreck

Incredible World War II Ship wrecks that dot the seas off Colombo, Trincomalee, Vakarai and Batticaloa make stunning homes for marine life.

Marine Life Sri Lanka

Observe the different Eco systems

Holiday Activities in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Marine Life

The seas are this beautiful island’s testimony to mysterious eco systems left to explore by our maritime heritage. Let’s preserve this experience for future generations and respect marine wildlife by booking responsible blue whale tours in Sri Lanka.

Responsible Tour operators

How to choose a responsible Blue Whale watching tour in Sri Lanka

  • Above all, responsible whale watching tours in Sri Lanka are those where the animals are not spooked – either by getting too close to them nor by the noise of engines.
  • Choose Yachts and small boats steered by experienced and professional crew.
  • Check if the onboard experience is pleasant and secure for guests (vessels must be equipped with life jackets, life rings, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, GPS, toilets and provide breakfast, tea and coffee, water, sea sickness tablets).
  • Passenger numbers on each tour must be below the maximum carrying capacity on board. 
Mammals of Sri Lanka

Responsible Dolphin Watching


Let’s celebrate the enchanting oceans of Sri Lanka by booking a responsible Whale and Dolphin watching safari.

If spending 5-7 hours on a commercial whale watching boat with 40 people on board is not your thing, Ayu in the Wild offers Whale Watching on board a private catamaran yacht from Mirissa, with guiding by the acclaimed author on marine mammals). A truly unforgettable experience.

Enquire: info@ayuinthewild.com

Natural History Holidays

Natural history holidays that are so different

Sri Lanka, is where history stumbled upon nature.

A tiny Indian Ocean island, so naturally enticing, that it’s vastitude enfolds you. From the deep blue cetacean rich oceans, to the wildlife rich emerald forests and lakes mirroring fireball sunsets, Sri Lanka is the doorway to every hue of nature you could possibly imagine.

beautiful sunsets in srilanka

Fireball Sunsets

Take a journey of true discovery through some stunning Natural History Holidays that lets you rekindle an inborn connection with nature. Where a safari is not about ticking off a species list but about knowing a land called Sri Lanka, where 2500 years ago a nation was born of Kings and Royalty.

5.30 Am #Mihintale

A post shared by Otara Gunewardene (@otaradel) on

Learn how in Mihintale, just east of Anuradhapura, the implored preaching of a Buddhist Monk convinced a King in 247 BC  to renounce the pleasures of animal hunting and designate the surrounding jungles as the world’s oldest designated wildlife sanctuary, where all creatures enjoyed the right to life.

Sigiriya Srilanka

Surrounded by nature in the heart of the Cultural Triangle

Be captivated in the dry zones of the Cultural Triangle with stories of battles and legend of Hanuman tales all entrenched amidst thick jungles. You will learn about a time, long, long ago when the tree was revered as the source of life, where leaves, roots, sap and boughs were the medicine, kitchen utensils and tools for everyday life akin to today’s modern science and technology.

Local interaction

Traditional kitchens where delicious curries are cooked in Sri Lanka

Accommodation that’s so unique

Stay where the silence of nature envelopes you in an incredible selection of Eco-Lodges in Sri Lanka, built respecting vernacular architecture which let the outdoors in, but with all the right comforts you need on holiday. Where coffee and me-time in the wilderness is all you yearn for.

Tree huts Sri Lanka

Natural History for kids

Show kids the fun and nostalgic way to admire the universe. Stargazing and outdoors under dusky skies with our Guides during that time of day where everything and everyone winds down. It will illuminate their tiny minds of the enormous picture nature created with a million worlds.

camping Sri Lanka

Monkeys at night

Can you be a with-nature kind of traveler?

Our Guides are special. Their love of the island and pride in their history make them such engaging hosts, able to convey with ease their intimate knowledge of whatever their specialty may be, be it wildlife, history, geography, ecology or conservation. To experience Sri Lanka with them is to truly travel with locals, who’s deep respect for the environment and enthusiasm to leave it untouched, is infectious.

We do not promote Elephant back safaris and elephant orphanages like in Pinnawela. We believe that intrusive safaris that get too close to animals and break every rule in our National Parks to chase after Leopards, is also wildlife crime. We’ve been incredibly humbled that our guests have concurred with us and been patient safari go-ers.

Ayu for Sri Lanka is our ethos where responsible travel comes first and we believe it’s a special kind of traveler that mirrors our ethos. Those who love to travel deeper with insightful itineraries and get insider access. After all, we are all voices for wilderness and for nature.


 

Enquire about Natural History Tours curated by Ayu in the Wild Holidays Sri Lanka, for a chance to rekindle an inborn connection with our natural world. Far away from the world, as you know it. Email: info@ayuinthewild.com or WhatsApp us on +94 777 248 1100

Local Interaction SriLanka
family holidays in Sri Lanka

05 Things to do on your family holiday in Sri Lanka

Wide eyed! That’s what your kid would be on a family holiday in Sri Lanka.

Considered one of the world’s best family travel destinations, Sri Lanka ticks all the right boxes for those kids who are curious and parents who seriously need a vacation. Beach time, adventure, child friendly resorts and hotels with glorious pools, throw in a little bit of traditional magic, junior ranger games and friendly monsters!

Here are some kid-friendly activities to make your Sri Lanka tour more exciting. Check out what Rough Guides has to say about our kid-friendly activities!

1. Sunset and Kites

Things to do with kids in Colombo Galle Face,

Flying kites on Galle Face Green

After treating yourself at some of Colombo’s street food stalls or upmarket cafés, a little bit of retail therapy and maybe some downtime at a spa, the best way to treat your kids is at Galle Face Green. Visit one of the many kite vendors selling ornately decorated kites and let them enjoy the wind, the sea spray, the local kids and a spectacular sunset. Ayu in the Wild offers a great Colombo City Walk that ends with a fantastic time on the Galle Face Green and some al-fresco dining with a special menu at the Dutch Hospital Precincts

2. Monster Crocodiles and Bull Elephants
Sri Lanka wildlife safari
Take your kids on a  Sri Lanka wildlife adventure where incredibly interactive Guides keep kids enthralled. Kids will learn about everything wild – from poop to plants to wild animal calls and tracking spoor (wild animal foot prints). About nocturnal creatures who can see better than you. The different types of Crocodiles and how elephant mums protect their babies. Ask Ayu in the Wild about our unique family wildlife tours on offer in Yala, Wilpattu, Minneriya, Yala Block5 and Kumana National Parks.

Elephant safari in Sri Lanka

Kids on Safari

3. Kids under canvas – Tented Camping in Sri Lanka

Wildlife

Camping with Kids

Camping in the heart of the bush at a wilderness tented campsite set up just for you! Who doesn’t love the idea of a few nights listening to the jungle sounds at midnight , sleeping under the stars and waking up to an elephant trumpeting a good morning?   Ahh camping! Kids love it. When you leave, the camp leaves and the jungle takes over! The most eco-friendly tented campsite in Sri Lanka. Create your own ‘Jungle-Book’ of stories about Barking Deer, Sambur, the soaring Hawk Eagles, the most gigantic Crocodiles, Leopard, Sloth Bear, reading maps with the help of the sun and star and more.  ‘A true Classroom in the Wild’.

Teenagers on Holiday

Exploring

4. Cook like the locals

Kids on holiday

Making Crunchy Hoppers

Cooking with the locals for any young chefs on holiday in Sri Lanka! Learn how to make crunchy hoppers and pol sambol, a local favourite from scratch. Brownie points for guessing how to take the flesh out of a coconut and other SriLankan cooking secrets.

Cooking with kids

Pol Sambol

5. Meeting locals and rural kids

Meeting Local kids

Football with the local kids

Speak the same language! A game of Cricket or Football is a great ice breaker as your children interact with kids in rural Sri Lanka. Trust us, they will enjoy every second of it. Walk through local schools, glean insights into local education methods, how kids go to school after waking up at dawn to help their farming parents and more. Let Ayu in the Wild curate the best local experiences in Sri Lanka for your experiential family holiday.

Learning to Dance

Learning the Art of Traditional Dance in Sri Lanka

Join us on an epic child friendly Sri Lanka adventure where we help connect the “Inner you to Outdoor Sri Lanka”. Email: info@ayuinthewild.com or whatsapp us on +94 777 248 1100

We provide insider access to the best local experiences in Sri Lanka led by some of the most interesting local people you will ever meet! Each experience has been curated personally by the owners of Ayu in the Wild who also work with locals to help them become knowledgeable hosts.

Responsible travel options srilanka
what to do in Sri Lanka

Please SAY NO to elephant back safari rides in Sri Lanka

Are you a responsible traveler? You may think its fun to take a ride on an elephant but did you know that the elephants need to be ‘broken’ in spirit to tame them enough so they become docile transport providers just for your entertainment?!

Wild Animals belong in the wild!

Wild elephants in Sri Lanka

Wild elephants in Sri Lanka

Did you know that baby elephants generally nurse for about two years, consuming about six gallons of milk a day? And in the wild, the calves tend to stay with their mothers until they are around 5 years! The trauma these calves go through when separated from their mothers who are taken away for entertaining us humans, is truly unbelievable. Many calves do not survive.

An advocacy group is fast gaining momentum in banning elephants rides in Sri Lanka and we at Ayu in the Wild Holidays completely endorse this effort. Could we please ask that you do too?

A responsible safari is where you see elephants in the wild, in their natural habitats playing, feeding, bathing without inhibitions.

Sri Lanka elephants

Elephants in the wild Sri Lanka

Many tour operators and hotels including 5 star lodges do promote elephant back safaris and rides in many parts of Sri Lanka. Many irresponsible options are offered in Habarana and Sigiriya, at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and near the Minneriya National Park where some operators even advertise ‘the best period for elephant back safaris’. Did you know that the elephants are tamed by being beaten, stung repeatedly by the ankus mahouts hook, have all four legs tied on a short rope for days on end and even starved – until they submit to orders! What you choose to ride on is not an elephant but a soul broken in spirit!

Please do not book elephant back rides in Habarana or elsewhere in Sri Lanka.sri lanka minneriya, habarana

Responsible Travel in Sri Lanka means booking experiences that respect the wildlife, culture and environment of this Biodiversity Hot Spot

Let them roam wild and free!

elephants of srilanka

Elephants of SriLanka


WILDLIFE – NOT ENTERTAINERS!

World Animal Protection is an organisation that is changing the world, together – with you!

Petitions take just seconds to support and can be incredibly powerful. Last year nearly 175,000 of you signed our (World Animal Protection) petition telling travel company Thomas Cook Group plc to end the sale and promotion of elephant rides and shows. The company listened, removing elephant rides and shows from its promotional materials, proving that together, we have the power to move global companies to protect animals.


Ask Ayu in the Wild Holidays about How You can be a Responsible Traveler in Sri Lanka 

Email: info@ayuinthewild.com or whatsapp us on +94 777 248 1100

Wildlife Safari in Sri Lanka
what to do in Sri Lanka

10 Photos that will inspire you to visit Sri Lanka

There’s definitely more than beaches and temples to Sri Lanka. Ayu in the Wild has curated 10 photos that we think will inspire you to visit Sri Lanka soon!

1
It’s no secret that Sri Lanka is one of the top places to see wildlife outside of Africa! An amazing diversity of species, phenomenally high numbers of endemic species for an island this small and, get this, the two largest mammals on earth, the Elephant and the Blue Whale. So we never get tired of saying “In a tiny island called Sri Lanka, just over three times the size of Kruger National Park, some amazing wildlife awaits you”.
srilanka wildlife safari

2
Its an island of colour. From spices to sarees to Handwoven fabrics, the vivid colours of Sri Lanka is one thing you will never forget.

Any more colour in this shot of goods for sale in #BarefootCeylon #GalleFort and my iPhone camera might have melted.

A post shared by J U L I E T K I N S M A N (@julietkinsman) on

3
A train ride like never before through the misty hills of Sri Lanka will take you back to the times of old-fashioned train travel. Carriages that chug along, colonial styled railway stations, travelers milling around with gram sellers as if time must stand still. One of the world’s most scenic train rides from Ella to Kandy Sri Lanka connects our guests with a hotspot for Leopards and the revered Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Ask us about this tour.

Going around the bend in hill country. Train travel in #srilanka is the best way to see the country.

A post shared by Sherry Ott (@ottsworld) on

4
It’s in their smiles. You will always find a Sri Lankan in any part of the island who will look you in the eye and give their warmest smile like you are a long lost friend, even though you just met.

Sri Lanka smiles. #SL

A post shared by Sherry Ott (@ottsworld) on

5
Batiks have really come of age. See Fashion in a new light with the timeless Sri Lankan Batiks! Ask us Ayu in the Wild where you can be a proud owner of an authentic one of a kind batik clothing made just for you and even visit the artisans behind the fabrics.

6
Have you got what it takes to stay in a tree hut in Sri Lanka, a totally unique way to spend a few days on your holiday! Feel (and hear) the wind whistling around you as you sleep alfresco. Well not quite alfresco but it does feel like it when you see the stars, moon, the night crickets, and all those trees from your bed. Its the next best thing to tented camping on safari. Think glamping. Oh so exciting!

Eco Lodges Sri Lanka

Tree huts accommodation in Sri Lanka – a lovely escape into the wilderness

7
Kids know no boundaries! Meeting Sri Lankan kids has really touched the guests of Ayu in the Wild. No matter where our guests have interacted with kids, be it in their local schools, village, the family farm, their humble homes or a cricket ground, the Classrooms in the Wild initiative has been the highlight of their holiday in Sri Lanka.
Interaction with the locals in srilanka

8
There’s a drummer in all of us. Who wouldn’t get swayed by the vibrant rhythms of the traditional Kandyan drummer especially when you are on holiday with Ayu in the Wild and one of the most sought after drumming and dance teachers in the island is ready to teach you the art on a one-to-one session!
The Art of Drumming in srilanka

9
The silence of the rainforest. A tiny tract of land, Sinharaja the Biodiversity Hotspot, Sri Lanka’s most valuable piece of the island is home to some of the greatest diversity and endemic species on the planet. If you ever plan to visit Sri Lanka during your Christmas Holidays, count a birding trek in Sinharaja as a must-do!
Sinharaja Rainforest in srilanka

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Show us one traveler to Sri Lanka who has not LOVED (and I mean mouthwatering, oh I can’t wait to eat another kind of loved) the famous Sri Lankan Hoppers for breakfast)?! Travel with Ayu in the Wild and you just may be lucky enough to have a cook-like-the-locals culinary experience to learn the art of making hoppers. Tailor-made holidays in Sri Lanka are what we do best!


Ask Ayu in the Wild Holidays about an experiential holiday where you leave feeling part of the culture and not just a visitor.

Sigiriya Lion Rock Sri Lanka
Highlights of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka among the world’s 2.3%. A biodiversity hotspot!

Why did we choose to call our Blog ‘ the 40 Miles’?

A papal legate once said six centuries ago, that “From Ceylon to Paradise, according to Native Legend is forty miles, there may be heard the sound of fountains of Paradise.”
From the Handbook for the Ceylon Traveler – A Studio Times Publication

And so, the inspiration for our our new Blog, ‘The Forty Miles’. As a whole this tiny Indian Ocean Island 23,332 square miles to be precise, but let’s not digress!

What could he have meant? Is it the mountains that reach the clouds? The jungles that shroud the rivers? The sacred cities maybe? The reefs with its mysteries miles deep? When we first began to travel across Sri Lanka, decades before we even thought of something called Ayu in the Wild Holidays, we found that the outdoors on our beautiful island wove a kind of spell on us. It’s an island after all. In fact, the legendary Cricketer Sir Ian Botham has called it an Island Country with an enormous soul.

All islands have that something special. Something that draws you. But Sri Lanka is also one of the world’s biodiversity hot spots. A small band of select countries that make up just 2.3% of the earth’s surface. It has 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including a Rain forest, a 432 Km long coastline with all year sunshine, is one of the best destinations outside Africa for Wildlife and it has a deep rooted multicultural heritage that goes back 2500 years. How lucky are we to call it home? It’s not surprising that Sri Lanka is billed by Telegraph Travel among the 20 destinations for 2015.

Some of our travel stories from the wilderness in Sri Lanka are already on our Blogger page www.ayuinthewild.blogspot.com (…did you also know our island is great for wildlife?)

‘Forty Miles’ will be an album about little stories from all over our island. Stories about people and places that we have come to know as only an insider can. And how you can discover Sri Lanka through our bespoke experiential holidays to create your own story with Ayu in the Wild Holidays Sri Lanka.