Loris Tour -Ancestral  Relics Under the Stars

Ancestral type from before the Age of Dinosaurs 

We offer a night-time tour of the lorises and other nocturnal animals in their forest home surrounding our Primate Center Lodge.  See bookings.

What is a loris?

The loris is classified as a “Prosimian” (Latin for pre-ape) and is a living relic representing the ancestor of all primates that, 90 million years ago (Mya) during the Age of Dinosaurs, populated tropical forests worldwide. These primate ancestors survived the global catastrophe that caused the mass extinction of dinosaurs about 65 Mya, and thereafter some of their descendants evolved into the diversity of different families of primates (monkeys, apes and humans) that we know today.  Other descendants, however, retained the ancient prosimian traits and today are found either in Madagascar as many kinds of lemurs, in Africa as bushbabies and pottos, or in Asia as lorises – having left their African roots about 40 Mya.  In Sri Lanka and southern Indian we know them as the slender loris and in south-east Asia as the slow loris.  The loris has distinct facial markings and owes its name to the Dutch term for “clown”.

Photo: Vajira Wijegunawardena

The loris is nocturnal and small in body size (180-260 g), 20-25 cm in body length.  Males are only slightly larger than females.  Their sex-life is promiscuous but they less social than monkeys.  They sleep during the day hidden among the vines in small “furry clusters” comprising 2 to 7 individuals (mother, young, and some males).  Come nightfall, however, they become active and move independently in different foraging routes or territories.  Their diet comprises insects, birds eggs, small lizards and even sleeping birds.  They utter a variety of high-pitched squeals and quiet grunts but communicate especially by leaving odor trails of urine and secretions from special glands.  They move deliberately and rarely leap.  Loris mothers have two pairs of teats and may raise twins.  About 4 weeks after birth mothers stop carrying their infants and park them safely in a tree and return only at bedtime at dawn.   The “dad” may check on parked youngsters during the night.

Photo: Sunil Rathnayaka

Other night-time wildlife

Your guides have several years of experience and you will observe wildlife with red lights.  On the tour you may also see the mouse deer (like the ancestors of all deer), a variety of civets (related to mongooses), owls. sleeping birds and lizards and, with luck, a fishing cat.

Schedule and Bookings

The “Loris tour” begins at dusk, at about 6:45 pm and last for one to two hours depending on sightings.  We offer rooms and meals for visitors; this is especially convenient for visitors that also participate in a monkey tour the following morning.

Book the loris tour directly by contacting us or though AirBnB Loris tour.