Bird watching in Trincomalee

Kokkilai Bird Sanctuary

Kokkilai Bird Sanctuary Trincomalee


Kokilai Lagoon lies about 60 kilometers from Trincomalee and 30 kilometers from the Mullativu on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka.Kokkilai Lagoon is partly surrounded by mangrove swamps and sea grass beds. The surrounding area includes cultivated land, scrub and open forests. Numerous varieties of water and wader birds are found in the sanctuary including cormorants, ducks, egrets, flamingoes, herons, ibis, pelicans and storks. The sanctuary is a haven for birds migrating along Sri Lanka’s east coast. Elephants are also found in the sanctuary. The Kokkilai Bird Sanctuary as a whole contains a diverse host of bird species, with some cameo-appearances from other animal species such as Elephants. One species found in abundance in the bird sanctuary is the Commorant, one of the most symbolic birds in the world. The Commorant has been used by famed author John Milton as a holy symbol due to their wing-drying pose resembling a crucifix, and the bird was also used as a guise by Satan as he spied over Adam and Eve. Additionally, the park plays sanctuary to ducks, flamingos, herons, pelicans and much more. It is a true bird-watcher’s paradise so if you ever find yourself in Sri Lanka, be sure to visit this incredible locale


Bird watching Srilanka

Sri Lanka is widely considered to be a birder’s paradise. With numerous bird parks and nature reserves strewn across its vivid landscape, the island attracts flocks of bird enthusiasts from around the world each year.

The Kokkilai Bird Sanctuary is situated along the Kokkilai Lagoon and is home to an abundance of exotic migratory, resident, and endemic bird species. Explore this aquatic habitat for a glimpse of the rare and endangered Black-Necked Stork or the large number of pelicans that feed here regularly.

  • Time of Departure – Best time to go 3:30pm.
  • Duration – Three hours including a one-hour drive to and from Kokkilai, and a two-hour boat ride across the lagoon
  • Distance – 35 km
  • What is included – Vehicle transport to Kokkilai, water bottles, entrance fees, drinks and snacks, fresh juice, binoculars, and a cool towel upon your return
  • What to bring/wear – comfortable, cool clothes which are suitable for bird watching, a sunhat, gym shoes, your camera.
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