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From the forests of Wilpattu to the open plains of Minneriya, witness Sri Lanka's never-ending array of wildlife while enjoying a thrilling adventure tour. Visit during December to March for the best chance of experiencing rare wildlife including the leopard and the tufted eagle at Yala National Park.

Then, head to Sigiriya Rock Fortress to climb one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic landmarks, before wandering through the bustling city of Colombo to immerse yourself in temples including the venerable Gangarama Vihara, or the Dehiwala Zoological Garden, and discover the ancient heritage and artefacts at the National Museum. Combine your tour with a stay on Sri Lanka’s palm-clad coastline, sampling the delicious cuisine and whale watching off the coast and you’ll soon appreciate why ‘the teardrop isle’ is such an enchanting wish-list destination.

Duration

8 Days

Guide Price

£1,999 pp

Recommended For

Safari, Wildlife

Options

Private basis

a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a beach

Trip Highlights

  • Be sure to go on every safari to maximise the chance of spotting wildlife
  • Extend your itinerary with a beach stay
  • Take binoculars for the best chance of spotting animals in the distance
  • Opt to visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress for a small supplement and climb one of Sri Lanka's most iconic landmarks

Start your Journey

Day 1

Arrival into Colombo

Arrive and transfer from Airport to Waikkal. Rest of the day at leisure.

  • Meals Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Suriya Resort or similar
Day 2

Waikkal to Wilpattu to Sigiriya

Transfer from Waikkal to Wilpattu in the late morning. Arrive early afternoon and take a safari through Wilpattu National Park. Spanning from the northwest coast inland towards the ancient capital of Anuradhapura this vast area covers an impressive 425 square miles.

The park is Sri Lanka's largest, and having reopened in March 2010 it is fast becoming one of Sri Lanka's most popular destinations for eco-tourism. It boasts an impressive variety of flora in huge expanses of forest, as well as varied wildlife, including deer, elephants, wild boars, sloth bears and leopards.

Transfer from Wilpattu to Sigiriya.

  • Meals Breakfast, Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Hotel Sigiriya or similar
Day 3

Sigiriya and Minneriya

This morning we recommend the optional trip to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Climb the 5th century fortress, one of the many World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. The 'Lion Rock' is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the jungle - truly a sight to be seen.

Transfer to Minneriya and take an evening safari through the park. Reaching about 8,889 hectares, the variety in the landscape is unrivalled. From wetlands which have international importance housing endangered animal and plant species to dry zones and dense jungle. Asian elephants, various amphibians, local and immigrant bird species are plentiful here all making for an incredibly memorable visit.

Transfer back to your hotel and relax before moving on tomorrow. 

  • Meals Breakfast, Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Hotel Sigiriya or similar
Day 4

Polonnaruwa to Batticaloa and Gal Oya

After breakfast visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa before heading to Gal Oya National Park. Established in 1954, it serves as the main catchment area for Senanayake Samudraya, the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka. An important feature of the Gal Oya National Park is its elephant herd that can be seen throughout the year. If you are lucky, you might even see them swimming between the islands.

After the safari head to your hotel for dinner. 

  • Meals Breakfast, Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Gal Oya Lodge or similar
Day 5

Gal Oya to Udawalawe

After breakfast travel south-west towards Udawalawe National Park. When you arrive, take a safari through the park that is set between the Udawalawe reservoir and the Walawe River. Take in the scenic beauty of the endlessly winding mountain ranges surrounding the park, providing endless beauty. 

  • Meals Breakfast, Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Kalu's Hideaway or similar
Day 6

Udawalawe to Yala

After an early breakfast, this morning you will visit the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe National Park. The Transit Home works to rescue injured elephants from all over Sri Lanka and nurse them back to health before releasing them to live freely in the vast spaces of the National Park.

After your morning visit, you'll make the drive to Bundala National Park for an evening safari. The park falls within the southeastern arid zone of Sri Lanka, with a general climate that can be classified as hot and dry. The terrain is generally flat with sand dunes bordering the coastline, and vegetation consisting mainly of dry thorny scrublands and lagoons. However, it has immense biodiversity with a total of 383 plant species calling this park their home, six of which are endangered and seven that are considered nationally threatened.

After your visit to Bundala, transfer to your hotel near Yala National Park. 

  • Meals Breakfast, Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Hotel Chandrika or similar
Day 7

Yala National Park

Another early rise starts your day today. To maximise the chance of seeing as much wildlife as you can, an early start is paramount. The Yala National Park is the largest National Park in Sri Lanka and home to countless mammals, reptiles and birds - especially during the migration season (Sept - April). Return to the hotel for a late breakfast and enjoy an afternoon at leisure before heading back out for your second safari later in the day. 

  • Meals Breakfast, Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Hotel Chandrika or similar
Day 8

Onward travels

Check out after breakfast and travel to the south or west coast for your beach stay, or straight back to Colombo International Airport for your onward journey. Please be advised that it is at least a six hour transfer from Yala National Park to Colombo International Airport.

  • Meals Breakfast

Includes

  • Safari in Wilpattu National Park
  • Safari in Minneriya National Park
  • Boat Safari in Gal Oya National Park
  • Safari and Elephant Transit Home visit in Udawalawe National Park
  • Two Safaris in Yala National Park
  • Half Board at all accommodations
  • All hotels (or similar standard accommodation) as mentioned in the 'Detailed Itinerary' tab
  • Entrance fees to National Parks mentioned
  • Services of an English Speaking Chauffeur Guide

Excludes

  • Lunches throughout the tour
  • Beverages throughout the tour
  • Any services not specified

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