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Kandy is a charming and scenic lakeside city right in the centre of Sri Lanka, located south of Udawattakele Rainforest Reserve, which is home to numerous animals and birds including mouse deer, jackals, porcupines and civets.

With luck you may encounter one of the ’bird waves’ that are a feature of tropical forests. Often the forest initially appears devoid of birds, but the arrival of a mixed species feeding flock transforms the scene, as half a dozen or more species suddenly appear in the same field of view. Udawattakele residents include white-rumped shama, Tickel’s flycatcher, emerald dove, white-bellied drongo, yellow-browed bulbul, scimitar babbler, brown, brown-breasted and grey-headed flycatchers, Indian blue robin and large-billed leaf-warbler. 

Kandy sits at an altitude of 465 metres, and is surrounded by hills, valleys, rivers, lakes, cascading waterfalls and forests which may provide an opportunity to see the endemic yellow-fronted barbet, Sri Lanka hanging parrot and Layard's parakeet. The town is steeped in history and was the capital for a succession of Kandyan Kings until its capture by the British in 1815. The Temple of the Tooth houses the sacred relic of one of Buddha's teeth, an object of veneration to Buddhists, and the most important sacred relic in the country. 

Nearby Peradiniya Botanical Gardens, in a suburb of the Kandy, boasts more than 4,000 species of plants, including 300 species of orchid.  This magnificent park is also home to 55 species of bird, including the blossom-headed parakeet, emerald dove, common hill myna and shikra. 

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: Asian palm civet, mouse deer, muntjac, porcupine, toque macaque
  • Where: Central Province, Sri Lanka

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Sri Lanka Wildlife & Culture

This trip idea uncovers some of the many wildlife, cultural and historical highlights that Sri Lanka has to offer. As well as safaris in Yala, Udawalawe and Bundala National Parks, home to leopards, elephants and leatherback turtles (seasonal), you will also visit Sigiriya Rock and the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,195 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Sri Lanka’s Wildlife Highlights

Wildlife enthusiasts! Immerse yourself completely in the stunning scenery of a variety of national parks and the heritage sites of this beautiful country. This itinerary takes in several parks, where you can spot leopard, elephant and a myriad of bird species, including some endemics.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2.595 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea