12 Nights / 13 Days.
Depending on what time your flight departs you may need an extra night near the airport or in Colombo at the end. We will gladly advise you.
The price is available upon request. Rates vary depending on the time of the year and the number of people travelling. Email us if you are interested in this particular itinerary. Let us know when you would like to travel and how many rooms you need in each hotel. We will send you a detailed itinerary with day by day descriptions as well as lots of tips and ideas to help you make the most of your time in Sri Lanka.
Is this trip for you?
This is a trip designed with a focus on viewing and experiencing the variety of Sri Lanka’s wildlife including its flora and fauna in their natural habitat.
In this example we are using the best accommodation Sri Lanka has to offer along the way. We can create a tailor made itinerary which takes you to the same places and gives you broadly the same experiences at a lower cost as well. It is not a trip on the active-adventure side, although we have added a couple of optional bike rides. It is also not a trip designed especially for bird watching though we have done many trips for bird enthusiasts and can send you samples as well.
We designed this trip for couples, groups of friends and families with older children, we would say best kids beyond 4 or 5 years old. Hotels accept kids sure enough, however we feel someone with a very small child might find the pace of the trip a little demanding. For instance whale-watching starts at 7am – with small children sticking to demanding schedules is not easy. If you are looking for extreme tranquillity you may find that there may be families staying in the camp site at Yala, particularly during the festive season – in this respect best to consider doing this trip in the off-season. One would also have to note that each operator within Yala National Park has only two very good vehicles for game viewing, and these are shared amongst 10 people. Private game viewing is an option as well for a small supplement but it is not always possible – particularly when the camp is full.
|Pannala||Horathapola is situated in a dense coconut and spice plantation. Take a long walk through the plantation down to the paddy, you will be amazed already at the variety of bird life in Sri Lanka. The kids might enjoy a buffalo cart ride.|
|Cultural Triangle | Anuradhapura||Explore the medieval captial of Anuradhapura by bike or foot. Experience the largest gathering of elephants in the world in Minneriya National Park.|
|Kandy||Visit the UNESCO World Hertiage site – the Temple of the Tooth. Explore the Uda Wattakele Sanctuary and the Royal Botanical Gardens with an expert botanist.|
|Tea Country||Take the train to the central highlands of Sri Lanka and enjoy lunch and tea in a tea planter’s home. There are some extraordinary hikes all over the valley, for all levels of fitness. From 1 or 2 hour strolls to rigurous treks.|
|Yala National Park||Take four safari drives in Yala National Park with a good chance of seeing leopards, elephants, sloth bears, python, deer, wild boar, and a huge range of birdlife. Enjoy camping inside the park.|
|Galle||Follow the palm fringed coastline to Galle, Sri Lanka’s jewel of the south. Get lost within the ramparts of the 17th century Galle Fort, the largest living fort in Asia. Go whale and dolphin watching from Mirissa to complete your chances of spotting Sri Lanka’s “Big Five”. Enjoy kayaking up the Gin Ganga river in the early morning. Some might like to spend the afternoon on a bike riding through local villages and paddy fields inland from Galle|
|Colombo||You will spend your final night in Colombo, the urban capital of Sri Lanka. Enjoy some last minute shopping and sightseeing before settling down for sunset drinks on the famous Galle Face Hotel terrace.|
From the moment you arrive, you will be blown away by the natural beauty of Sri Lanka. Wildlife is as varied as the island itself. Wildlife in Sri Lanka includes its flora and fauna and their natural habitats. Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of biological endemism (16% of the fauna and 23% of flowering plants are endemic) in the world even though it is relatively small. Sri Lanka is home to roughly 91 species of mammals, 41 of which are threatened (9 critically). 16 of the species are endemic, of which 14 are threatened, including the large Sloth Bear, the endemic Sri Lanka Leopard and Sri Lankan Elephant and the Sambar.
Even though the focus is on wildlife we have also incorporated visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites Sigirya and the Temple of the Tooth along the way so you do not miss the opportunity to see the most important historical and cultural sites as well.
Safari parks and sanctuaries, particularly in the southern and central zones, offer the easiest way to see animals in their natural habitat. You will see Elephants in the Cultural Triangle and Yala National Park, and it is here in the south of Sri Lanka where you be able to see Sri Lanka’s Big Five: the leopard, sloth bear, elephant, sperm whale and blue whale.
You will spend your first night on a coconut and spice plantation in Kurunegala. Horathapola lies hidden in the beautifully lush landscapes of rural Sri Lanka. Its grand plantation bungalow dates from the early 1900. The estate itself with its large agricultural area invites for strolls through pepper gardens, beneath coconut trees or through paddy fields.
From here you will travel north to Thiripane, close to Anuradhapura and stay at the stunning Ulagalla. Here you can walk or bike around the ancient tank and along dust roads through local villages. We have incorporated a bike ride and an early morning nature walk. The area is a birder’s delight. There is an amazing abundance of over 400 varieties of birds in Sri Lanka. Almost 200 of them are migrant species which descend on the country every year and an estimated 33 endemic species. In the Cultural Triangle we visit UNESCO World Heritage Sigiriya Rock and we safari into Mineriya National Park. Large numbers of Sri Lankan elephants are attracted to grass fields on the edges of the reservoir during the dry season – this amazing spectacle is called “The Gathering”.
The next stop is Kandy where we visit the Temple of the Tooth, we take a long morning walk through the Uda Watakele Sanctuary overlooking Kandy Town and we visit the Royal Botanical Gardens with a professor of botany. The Gardens are renowned for their collection of a variety of orchids – more than 300 varieties – as well as spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National Herbarium.
We travel by train deep into the Tea Country to the emerald Bogalantalawa Valley which boast some stunning walks and hikes. We stay at Tientsin Bungalow which opens onto a magnificent English gardens still standing loyal to the colonial planters’ wives who created ‘a little bit of home’ in a faraway land.
From here you will take the windy hill road down to the heat of the south and Yala National Park. Yala is famed for having the highest leopard density in the world. Here you will stay in a camp in tents with proper beds, hot showers and delicious meals. Each day you will take two safari drives with the chance of seeing leopards, sloth bears, elephants, peacocks and crocodiles.
Once in Galle, based in a lovely villa within 1 km of a long beach we venture out Mirissa to go whale and dolphin watching. We have incorportated a canoe trip up the Ginganga river where you can spot crocodiles, pythons, water monitors and a range of birds. Those interested could take a day and travel inland on a day trip to visit Sinharaja rainforest, one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.
Your trip will end in Colombo where you can enjoy some of the fine restaurants, shops and galleries.
The accommodation that we have selected include some of the top places on the island, from the intimacy of Horathapola set in a coconut plantation, to the stunning and luxurious chalets at Ulagalla, the Relais Chateau Tea Trails bungalows, to a safari camp in Yala National Park where you could possibly have your best night’s sleep on comfortable beds in peace and quiet with only the sounds of geckos and frogs in the trees and then to the coast, and the beautiful Why House, which is stylish yet homely. In Colombo the Galle Face Regency is an atmospheric colonial hotel dating back to the 19th century.
How to book?
Do send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a personalized quotation and a detailed itinerary. For us to respond as quickly as possible here are a few key questions:
– Have you booked your flights?
– How many people are coming?
– What are your nationalities and ages?
– Is this a honeymoon or a special occasion?
– Do you have a budget for your holiday?
We look forward to hearing from you!