Sri Lanka is a wildlife-lover’s paradise. While the bigger animals may take centre stage, don’t let the bird safari flutter away. With 435 resident species and 26 endemic birds, there are many bird sanctuaries across this little Indian Ocean island with winter migrants coming from distant Siberia and western Europe.
Bundala National Park, a 40-kilometre drive from Yala National Park, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is internationally significant as a winter home to thousands of migratory birds. Sheltering almost 200 colourful species within its 62-square-kilometre area, the park’s network of marshes, lagoons and waterways provide the perfect environment for birds, ranging from the pocket-size kingfisher to the greater flamingo.
Chena Huts by Uga Escapes on the coast, nestled among dunes and trees at the ocean’s edge, is a 45-minute drive from Bundala National Park, meaning early-morning safaris as well as night drives are possible. The 14 cabins at Chena Huts offer après-safari luxury. Taking inspiration from traditional dwellings of the region, the thatched huts contain a living room, bedroom, ensuite bathroom and shaded outdoor deck with built-in five-metre plunge pool. Facilities for guests in the 2.8-hectare property include a decked pool area and Basses, a fine dining restaurant offering traditional Sri Lankan dishes under the stars.
For the bird safari stay at Chena Huts, the latest boutique hotel in Uga Escapes’ portfolio. Nationally recognised Sri Lankan ornithologists, exclusively available to Chena Huts guests, lead guests through the Bundala landscape helping them to spot the island’s exotic birdlife.
Time of departure: 5.30am leave Chena Huts for Bundala National Park
Duration: Arrive at Bundala National Park entrance at 6.15am
What is included:
Game drive on Bird Watching. Some elephants can also be seen
Stop at the beach inside the park for some snacks and drinks.
Return to Chena Huts by 11.30am (Depending on guests)