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I spent 4 nights in Sri Lanka en route from Australia to Europe in 2000 for a tour organise through A. Baur & Co. Back then I described it as a pleasant country, with friendly people (barring some of the park staff) – a sort of less intense and less chaotic version of India. There are some nice national parks too, though – like India – their management can be frustratingly bureaucratic.
I was back in 2010 for just over a week, including 3 days mammal watching with the excellent Udithe from Bird and Wildlife Team. My assessment remains the same though the bureaucracy seemed better (or perhaps we were lucky).
Colombo, 1 night, December 2010 - Indian Palm Squirrel, Indian Brown Mongoose.
Kandalama Hotel/ Dambulla, 1 night, August 2000 – Sri Lankan Giant Squirrel, Indian Giant Flying Squirrel, Tufted Grey Langur, Toque Macaque, White-spotted Chevrotain (mouse deer).
Sigiriya, 3 nights December 2010 - Indian Palm Squirrel, Sri Lankan Giant Squirrel, Indian Giant Flying Squirrel, Tufted Grey Langur, Toque Macaque, White-spotted Chevrotain, Golden Palm Civet, Common Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet, Grey Slender Loris, Asian Elephant, Rusty-Spotted Cat, Chital, Sambar, Black-naped Hare, Indian Flying fox, Lesser False Vampire Bat, Painted Bat, Least Pipistrelle, Black-bearded Tomb Bat, Rufous Horseshoe Bat, Indian Woolly Horseshoe Bat, Cantor's Leafnosed Bat, Schneider's Leafnosed Bat, Blanford's Rat, Asiatic Climbing Rat, Eurasian Otter, Golden Jackal, Indian Gerbil, Ruddy Mongoose, Small Indian Grey Mongoose. See the 2010 trip report.
Sinharajah National Park, 1 night August 2000 – Sri Lankan Giant Squirrel, Layard’s Palm Squirrel (near the research station), Indian Palm Squirrel, Asian Palm Civet, Purple-faced Leaf Monkey (on the road up to the park).
Yala National Park, 2 nights in August 2000 – Indian Hare, Indian Palm Squirrel (common everywhere), Small Indian Civet, Asian Palm Civet (outside the park), Ruddy Mongoose, Stripe-necked Mongoose (quite lucky with this one, though the ranger knew a good spot), Golden Jackal, Sloth Bear (an unusual sighting), Indian Flying Fox, Tufted Grey Langur, Toque Macaque, Wild Boar, Indian Muntjac, Sambar, Chital, Domestic (feral) Water Buffalo, Asian Elephant.
My More Detailed trip reports
Other People's Trip Reports
Sri Lanka, 2012: Fiona Reid, 2 weeks & 61 species! A record breaking trip which had both Rusty Spotted and Fishing Cats, all the squirrels, Porcupine, Sloth Bear and Bryde's and Dwarf Sperm Whales.
Sri Lanka, 2012: Rauno Väisänen, 1 week & 41 species including Rusty-spotted Cats, Leopard, Grey Slender Loris, Indian Porcupine and lots of bats.
Sri Lanka, 2012: Steve Davis, 3 weeks & an impressive 50+ species including Fishing and Rusty-spotted Cats, all the squirrels and lots of bats.
Sri Lanka, 2010: Uffe Gjøl Sørensen, 3 weeks & 32 species including Red Slender Loris, Spinner Dolphins and Sloth Bears.
Sri Lanka, 2009: Ann Lawson and Andrew Duff, 2 weeks & 26 species including Golden Palm Civet, Travancore Flying Squirrel and Red Slender Loris.
Sri Lanka, 2009: Curtis Hart, 2 weeks and 20 species including five Leopards in Yala.
Sri Lanka, 2008: Steve Morgan and Phil Telfer, 10 days and 34 species including Fishing and Rusty Spotted Cats, Grey Slender Loris and a Golden Palm Civet.
Sri Lanka, 2007: Richard Webb, 10 days and 23 species including Fishing and Rusty Spotted Cats, Slender Loris, Indian Chevrotain and a Travancore Flying Squirrel.
Sri Lanka, 2002: Susan Myers, 2 weeks, and 16 species.