Sri Lankan Safari Adventure
Sri Lanka is well known for its cultural heritage and picture perfect beaches, but perhaps less known is that it is also one of the best locations in Asia for wildlife. The wide range of altitudes found in this small island results in a variation of climate and diversity normal only found across a whole continent. Blue whales congregate off the southern coast of Sri Lanka, elephant herds gather in Udawalawe and the elusive leopard rules in Yala. As well as game drives in Sri Lanka’s most famous national parks, you will also visit some of Sri Lanka's many historic sites and relax on the south coast, where the warm waters of the Indian Ocean lap the shore and days can easily drift by from the shade of a palm tree.
- Economy class flights
- Accommodation & breakfast throughout
- Meals as detailed
- Local English speaking private guides throughout
PriceFrom $4,772.00 per person based on two people sharing
Best time to goNovember To April
- Minneriya National Park
- Whale watching in Mirissa
- Yala National Park
- Polonnaruwa Ancient City
Day 1: UK Departure
Depart on your overnight flight from London Heathrow to Colombo
Day 2: Negombo
On arrival in Colombo, you will be transferred by road to Negombo. After checking in at your hotel, enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
Accommodation: Jetwing Blue
Day 3: Negombo – Sigiriya – Minneriya - Sigiriya
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred by road to Sigiriya, a journey of approximately 4 hours. After arriving in Sigiriya and checking into your hotel, proceed to Minneriya National Park for a safari excursion.
If you’re up for a serious rumble in the jungle, then Minneriya is your Colosseum! Spreading over 8800 hectares, this is a sanctuary for elephants. Minneriya is home to herds of deer and ample birdlife, but its spotlight remains between swaying trunks & flapping ears. Park your jeep on the bank of the reservoir and switch off its engine. Watch carefully as herds of elephants – one by one – roll on to the grass-covered banks, to feed on tender shoots. In fact, this is the largest elephant gathering in the world – over 700 at a time – which has garnished the park to become a magnet for wildlife enthusiasts across the globe.
Evening at leisure.
Accommodation: Aliya Resort [Breakfast]
Day 4: Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Hiriwadunna - Sigiriya
After breakfast at the hotel, you will embark on a tour of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.
With the decline of Anuradhapura, the city of Polonnaruwa rose. It was the medieval capital & crown jewel of King Parakramabahu I. Till date it remains a proof of ancient culture & heritage blended with religious beliefs. Walk across the scattered walls of this World Heritage Site - blessed by stupas, resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals and fantastically carved Hindu sculptures - while observing the relic house - Watadage - which boasts of beautiful stone carvings. Take a close glance and you will realise a subtle Hindu influence on architecture and statues found in Polonnaruwa. Sit by the side of Galviharaya and observe the absolute beauty gushing out of every bend of its huge Buddhist statues. Nissankamalla Council Chamber is, however, a head-spinning beauty to just sit back and observe with its swaying pillars reminding the aesthetics of a powerful kingdom which rests beside Parakrama Samudraya - the sea of Parakramabahu & a masterpiece of irrigation!
After enjoying the city tour proceed to Hiriwadunna for your village tour.
Begin your trek along a shaded, gravel path that leads on to the bund of the reservoir, which is a stunning mixture of contrasts. The ashen trunks of long-dead trees rise up starkly against the lush, green vegetation of the wetlands in the background, their skeletal shapes the perfect spots for roosting egrets.
Thereafter, cross the overspill and make your way toward the sandy embankment, which is your pick up point for an easy crossing by Oruwa. Reach the far shore and then make your way along a narrow, shady path that cuts through a banana plantation until you reach a clearing in which stands a house of wattle and daub, the home of a chena farmer and his family. Enjoy a cool, sweet drink of king coconut before you begin the next phase of your trek, which will lead you through vegetable plots and into a scrub forest, where a waiting tuk-tuk will transport you through the jungle and past paddy fields. Thereafter join in the preparation of a simple meal followed by a typical Sri Lankan lunch.
Return to the hotel and enjoy the remaining day at leisure.
Accommodation: Aliya Resort [Breakfast]
Day 5: Sigiriya – Matale – Kandy (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, you will check out and proceed to Matale
An agricultural zone in the Central Province, Matale seldom drops off the maps due to its remarkable contribution through flagship crops of the island extending from tea, rubber & vegetables to spices. Spearheading the Rebellion back in 1848, Matale today takes immense pride in its story woven around spices. Stop by the side of a spice garden – into which you will be most welcome – and observe the therapeutic values of spices & processes over a refreshing cup of herbal tea! Or spend some time idling on the hardened streets if you want a real town adventure filled with voices and colours.
After enjoying the sights and sounds of Matale, proceed to Kandy and check in to your hotel.
Last ruled by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe – before it was brought under the British rule in 1815, Kandy – the World Heritage Site & last royal capital of Sri Lankan kings – crafts an array of culture, history and heritage in the minds of visitors across the globe. Experience an ancient Kandyan legacy engraved around its crown jewel, the temple of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. A stroll across this small lakeside town – cradled among the misty hills – will feature the Kandy City Centre – bundled with latest and world-class brands, bazaar, an arts & crafts centre, as well as a gem museum & lapidary. Drive towards the Victoria Golf Course, undoubtedly one of the best golf courses in the world for a sweep blended with class and style, or walk in colour as you glide through fresh fruits and vegetables in the Kandy market.
Accommodation: Earls Regency [Breakfast]
Day 6: Kandy – Peradeniya - Kandy (B)
After breakfast at the hotel proceed to Peradeniya Botanical Garden.
First developed as a pleasure garden under royalty and later harmonized by the British, the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya - today bundled with the most welcoming facilities located just 4 miles off Kandy - is a flourishing national asset in the Wonder of Asia. Walk into this 147 acre bliss of an experience, passing well-tended lawns, pavilions & an octagon conservatory to be greeted by the vast expanse of a magnificently landscaped lush green turf which will encourage you for an exhilarating break. Towards the north of the entrance rests a cafeteria that one might come across before stepping into some of the highlights - the orchid house & giant Javan fig tree - of this place which overflow in grace.
Return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at the Earls Regency.
Day 7: Kandy – Yala (B)
Today, after breakfast at the hotel you will be transferred by road to Yala, a journey of approximately 6 hours
On arrival in Yala, check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at Cinnamon Wild.
Day 8: Yala (B)
After breakfast, enjoy the morning at leisure before proceeding in the afternoon to Yala National park for a game drive.
Yala – with its glory spinning around vast grasslands, shrubs, tanks and dunes – rightfully is the heartland of wildlife in Sri Lanka. As your jeep rumbles through the giant gates of Yala, you are not only stepping into the most visited national park in the country, but also the lands of a civilization which thrived during the reign of Sri Lankan kings. You name it, and Yala has it! Its usual inmates cover herds of elephant, sloth bear, spotted dear, jackal, extensively populated birdlife as well as the highest density of leopards in the world that garnish the park to be one of the finest destinations in the country. Feel the rough track as your jeep thunders over rocks and swish passing narrow bends for an exhilarating experience blended with the cries of wilderness under the tropical sun.
Overnight at Cinnamon Wild
Day 9: Yala – Udawalawe (B)
After breakfast you will be transferred by road to Udawalawe, a journey of approximately 2 and a half hours.
On arrival in Udawalawe, check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at the Grand Udawalawe.
Day 10: Udawalawe (B)
After breakfast, enjoy the morning at leisure before proceeding in the afternoon to Udawalawe National Park for your safari.
Udawalawe truly is a sanctuary for the big footed & tusked. Marked by relatively large herds of elephants, the national park proves to be one of the best places one could observe them in their natural habitat. Hop into a safari jeep and head into the park, you are most likely to drive into your first herd of giants within the maiden hundred meters. Turn on your radar into other species - such as potted deer, sambur, barking deer, water buffalo and jackal - found within the park.
Meanwhile, Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home bears a different story. Established in 1995, it caters to all injured elephants found in the area before releasing them into their natural habitat. So, make sure to just watch - rather than touch - these gentle giants as they feed, play and mingle with each other, before heading into the wild with one another.
Overnight at the Grand Udawalawe.
Day 11: Udawalawe – Beruwala (B)
After breakfast you will be check out and proceed to the historic city of Galle.
Galle, the epic Southern capital, is the intersection where classic Dutch architecture meets a tropical setting creating a vivid atmosphere in beauty. Walk the Dutch-haunted streets listening to the creaks of wooden saloon doors and observe how European architecture mingles with South Asian traditions today flooding cultural enthusiasts on a global scale. Its original ramparts and bastions preserved up to date showcase evidences of a heritage preserved for more than 3 ½ centuries. Walk clockwise within the fort to observe the ‘old gate’ carrying the British coat of arms. Flanking the old gate is the Zwart bastion – the oldest of all – and the lighthouse standing 18 feet in its glory next to the Point Utretcht Bastion. This Dutch bliss is painted with streets that spread in a rectangular grid pattern pierced with houses carrying Dutch colonial style verandas. However, its hallmark stands a reality where the Dutch fort remains a working community with its usual buzz of administrative offices, court complex, commercial buildings, churches and Southern folks frequenting its streets bracing the air of the Elysium of architecture, Galle!
After stopping in Galle, you will be transferred by road to Beruwala, a resort town located on Sri Lanka's West Coast.
Witnessing a mighty development lately in tourism, Beruwala, is a bliss for sea-lovers as it sets the perfect pitch for sea bathing all year round. Drive through thick palm groves and observe how swiftly toddy-tappers move from tree to tree on swinging ropes so swift, but so free. Or step into the heated sands of the South for an enthralling dive into the blue sea. If it’s Monday, then hop across the street towards Aluthgama and watch how nothing gets busier than the weekly fair in Beruwala.
Day 12: Beruwala – Mirissa –Beruwala (B)
Get up early this morning and proceed to Mirissa for a whale watching excursion.
Overnight at Cinnamon Bay.
Days 13 and 14: Beruwala (B)
There are no activities scheduled for the next two days.
Overnight at Cinnamon Bay
Day 15: Departure
Today you will be transferred by road to Colombo Airport for your overnight flight to London Heathrow.
Day 16: UK Arrival
Early morning arrival into London Heathrow.
Visas, meals not mentioned in the programme, drinks, overweight luggage, personal expenses, travel insurance, tips & gratuities
These itineraries are samples itineraries for previous clients. Speak to one of our travel experts at 020 7843 3531 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements.
* This is a guide price, based on travel in low season