Bird-watching Tours Near Colombo

With diverse climatic regions and natural habitats, Sri Lanka is a birder’s paradise. This tropical island on the Indian Ocean is home to over 400 species of birds, including 236 breeding residents and over 203 migrants. Seasonal migratory birds, both terrestrial and aquatic, arrive here from as far as Siberia, Scandinavia and Western Europe, to escape the Northern winter. As Sri Lanka is situated at the farthest southern point with no other landmass until the South Pole, the migrating birds end their long journey in this tear-drop island.

Needless to say, bird-watchers and nature-lovers should not miss the opportunity to spot rich and exquisite variety of bird species amid the beautiful natural surroundings when they visit Sri Lanka. Being the capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo is certain to be included in the itinerary of every traveller visiting Sri Lanka. For accommodation, the Colombo Fort hotels are great for comfortable stay in the city at reasonable prices. Listed below are some of the best spots for bird-watching tours in and around the city:

Talangama Wetlands

Located a few kilometres from the city centre, the Talangama Wetlands are an oasis of peace amid the sprawling urban jungle of Colombo. This marshland is one of the last remaining wetlands in Sri Lanka’s capital. It is extraordinarily diverse and attracts a lot of wildlife. It is home to at least 100 bird species, besides various types of butterfly and dragonfly as well as small mammals which are spotted mostly in the early mornings or late evenings. Talangama is a great place to begin your holiday in Sri Lanka or even if you’re a local seeking a peaceful, relaxing spot in the heart of the island’s capital city.


The Muthurajawela wetland is home to many species of birds, flora, fish, reptiles and mammals. It is a fabulous spot for a day excursion from both Colombo and Negombo as it is located in close proximity to both these cities. Apart from enjoying the views of various birds, flowers and animals in their natural surroundings, one also gets an opportunity to interact with the local fishing community.

Colombo Suburbs

Located in close proximity to Colombo, this is a great excursion for nature-lovers and bird-watchers. It can be visited by everyone who passes or stays in Colombo. Since it is a walking trail, there is the added bonus of getting some exercise while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. If you’re willing to avail accommodation in Colombo’s suburbs, then you may check out the Dematagoda hotels which offer great choices at affordable prices.

Udawatte Kele

This breathtakingly beautiful forest in Kandy will make your trip from Colombo to this city every bit worthwhile. It is a historic sanctuary of significant cultural and historic value. It is famous for its rich variety of avifauna and plant species including lianas, shrubs and small trees. Besides, one gets the opportunity to visit the historically important ruins and places from the Kandyan Kingdom and the Senkada Cave.

Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

Kalametiya is a coastal wetland on the picturesque south-eastern coast of Sri Lanka. It has a very rich bio-diversity which includes about 150 species of birds. Although located a bit further away some 200 kms from Colombo, the journey to this fascinating place is truly worth it. One gets the opportunity for bird-watching in the beautiful natural environment and also interact with the local community.

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