Kalametiya Bird SanctuaryPrivate lagoon safari mission: identify 150 birds – Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

Scour the hidden wetlands of the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary with a naturalist, on private dugout canoes, and spot over 150 species of bucket list birds.



Why should you book this trip?

  • It is a fascinating activity for those who love nature in general and bird watching in a wondrous environment, at an impressive frequency and at times, unbelievable proximity.

  • Kalametiya is a coastal wetland area that is situated on the picturesque south eastern coast of Sri Lanka with a very rich biodiversity of avifauna.

  • The Kalametiya Lagoon Safari is considered to be amongst the top 5 activities to do in Tangalle short excursion and number 1 activity to do in Kalametiya. 

  • The Kalametiya area records about 150 species of birds, of which 54 are migratory. There are four nationally threatened birds found within the sanctuary – Indian Reef Heron, Glossy Ibis, Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl and Black-capped Purple Kingfisher, with Jungle Fowl being the only endemic species.

  • Our Kalametiya Lagoon Safari is not only designed for serious birders but for all those like and appreciate nature. There are many other species such as water monitors, porcupines, monkeys and land monitors you can see catch sight of during this day excursion. 

  • An experienced local guide accompanying you makes this bird watching  excursion in Sri Lanka, even more special and inspiring.

  • Logistically situated on your way to the famous Yala National Park, visiting the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary can easily be included in your itinerary.

  • The Kalametiya Birding Safari could be easily done from the hotels in Tangalle/ Ranna / Rekawa areas. 

  • Avail yourself the opportunity to interact with the local community who are engaged in traditional fishing and witness their way of life. 

  • Our Kalametiya Lagoon Safari is conducted in a very sustainable manner without the use of any motorised boats. We care and respect the local way of life and the tours are done without causing any disturbance to their livelihood. 

  • Fascinating sights and scenery to be experienced while birding in Sri Lanka.  

  • Sri Lanka Day Tours, Eco Team’s specialised birding arm, offers professional and quality birding tours in Sri Lanka since year 2000 for the birding community around the world, accommodating different levels of birding interests and is geared to ensuring a satisfying and unique experience.




+94 70 222 8222




Included in the price

  • Services of a local birding guide

  • Canoe fee

  • Bottled drinking water

  • Life Vests 

  • All applicable Govt. taxes



  • Arrival and departure transportation to and from the starting point [ this could be arranged separately and upon request ] 

  • Any extra beverages or food consumed

  • Any tips to the staff. 

  • Any personal effects not mentioned in this description


Tour in brief

  • This two and a half birding excursion into the heart of the sanctuary will begin at 6 a.m. (for morning tours) or 3.30 p.m. You will first be met by our team at the designated location, where you will be warmly greeted by your naturalist/guide. You will then set out on an adventurous journey through the beautiful bird sanctuary.

  • You will be on a floating device, made by combining 2 traditional dugout canoes used for fishing. Though they are made out of fiber now, just about 10 years back the majority of these canoes were dugout out of large tree trunks.This will be skillfully steered by your guide using a long stick with our any motors being used.  The entire vessel is exclusively for you / your group only. 

  • Though most of the Kalametiya Lagoon Safari will be in shallow waters of Kalametiya Sanctuary, you will be advised to wear a life vest for your own safety.  

  • Your guide will first take you to one end of the Kalametiya Sanctuary which has more forest cover and features a bigger concentration of eagles and owls. Brahminy Kites and White Bellied Fish Eagles are very common in this area.    

  • Enroute, you will be meeting a few locals who engage in daily fishing activities - something different in things to do in Tangalle. Your guide will make a stop to have a word with them and to show you the catch they have got.  

  • Your next stop on your birding excursion will be a little peninsula, where we get down and do a little walk up to a hillock with ruins of a water storage complex of an ancient monastery. You may encounter monkeys, porcupines, land monitors and peacocks, on this forest trail. From the top, other than enjoying the nice scenery you will see the remains of a village that was impacted by the devastating tsunami in 2004.

  • We come back to the starting point after another 45 minutes on the lagoon safari.         

  • Birding & nature enthusiasts will love exploring Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary. Known as the hidden gem as it is the Sri Lanka’s oldest bird sanctuary - this birding paradise is home to numerous exotic species of birds and pristine nature.

  • The Sri Lanka Day Tours Team is geared to providing the best nature experience available in the area.

Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

Located in southern Sri Lanka, Kalametiya Sanctuary is considered the island’s oldest bird sanctuary. First established in 1938, the birding haven is nestled in a beautiful area between two salt water lagoons, bordering a mangrove swamp and open plains. 

A Lagoon Safari will take you through mangroves and scrublands which are the main habitat types found in this sanctuary. The unique environment plays a key role in supporting breeding colonies of pelicans, herons, egrets and open-billed stork and large wintering populations of migratory ducks and shorebirds - a spectacle to be relished whilst on day tour.

Kalametiya is one of Sri Lanka’s most secluded yet richly blessed nature reserves - that can only be truly enjoyed with a Bird Watching Safari. Though situated in a dry zone, it is one of the most richly endowed bird habitats in the country. This sanctuary is home to several species of birds including: Black-capped Purple Kingfisher, Indian Reef Heron, Jungle Fowls and Glossy Ibis - undoubtedly a place to include in things to do in Tangalle. Additionally, several species of mammals, reptiles and insects have also made their home in the Kalametiya bird sanctuary - lending to the rich and varied biodiversity of this land.