During this 10-day Wildlife Holiday of Sri Lanka, you will have loads of nature with so many different landscapes, beautiful wildlife, history etched into so many ancient ruins, beaches stretching forever, mesmerizing mountains, and multicultural people with their spicy and colorful cuisine. And we haven’t even mentioned the adventures you can have in water sports, train rides and much more.
The tour starts in Chilaw, known for its beautiful lagoon and sunsets. Then, you’ll visit Wilpattu National Park for exciting leopard safaris. Polonnaruwa offers exploration of Ritigala Mountain Range. At Minneriya National Park, you’ll see the largest congregation of elephants in Sri Lanka. Wasgamuwa and Maduru Oya National Parks are home to diverse wildlife. The Knuckles range showcases different climates and forests. Finally, the tour ends in Kandy, a city rich in culture, religion, and architecture.
Your accommodation will consist of handpicked hotels and campsites, designed to minimize time spent in travel, so that you can have the maximum time to focus on your Sri Lankan cultural holiday and enjoy your hotel, destinations, and the amazing cuisine in the area.
Highlights at a glance
- Discover the diversity of Wilpattu National park with multiple safaris.
- Visit to less visited Ritigala archaeological site.
- Then off to visit the 13th century mediaeval capital Polonnaruwa and discover the ruins of palaces and temples.
- You will also be witnessing the biggest Asian Elephant gathering.
- Safaris at lesser known national parks of Wasgamuwa & Maduru Oya.
- The Knuckles range showcases different climates and forests.
- Stay in the historic city of Kandy, a Unesco World Heritage site, and witness age-old Buddhist rituals.
- Stay at Tented Safari Camps bordering the National Parks in Sri Lanka and experience guided safaris, candlelight dinners under the stars, night walks and delicious BBQ served by roaring campfires.
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Your first destination – Chilaw. This will take about 90 minutes and depending on your arrival time, you can decide how you want to spend the rest of the day.
Chilaw is home to a beautiful lagoon, mangrove-fringed lakes and endless sandy beaches. It is the perfect destination to relax and unwind after a long flight. You may even be able to catch a breathtaking sunset if you arrive towards dusk. You can spend your day in the hotel and prepare for the exciting days ahead.
Carolina Beach Hotel
An early morning start will see you heading to the fish market to watch the day’s catch coming in, experience the process of wholesale fish trading and also to learn about the process of drying fish. Afterwards you’ll be heading to Wilpattu.
Among things to do in Sri Lanka, Wilpattu National Park is a multi-faceted treasure: on your afternoon jeep safari, you will get a sense of this sprawling landscape: from low scrub forests, wetlands to tall ebony and milla trees, and its iconic lakes – getting its vernacular name which means ten lakes. “The Land of Lakes” is the biggest and 2nd oldest Wildlife Park of Sri Lanka. Look out for its wildlife, especially the elusive Sri Lankan leopard and numerous birds.
An early morning start on your wildlife tour of Sri Lanka will see you set off on a full-day safari with packed breakfasts, lunches, and refreshments. This excursion is focused on visiting the numerous lakes in this Park, as they afford the best sightings of Leopards, Sloth Bears and other inhabitants of the jungle. At the end of the safari, a delicious BBQ dinner under the stars awaits you at the campsite. After dinner, you will set off on an exciting night walk where you will get to know the nocturnal wildlife and even possibly catch sight of the elusive Slender Loris!
The following day, you will travel to Polonnaruwa, a magnificent cultural destination in Sri Lanka. On your way, you will have the opportunity to explore the Ritigala mountain range, one of the country’s three strict nature reserves. This mountain range is home to three distinct types of forests – tropical montane, dry mixed evergreen, and montane forests. The diverse ecosystems found here contribute to its remarkable biodiversity. Once you have finished exploring Ritigala, you will proceed to Polonnaruwa and settle into your hotel for the night.
We’ll drive you to Polonnaruwa which is a UNESCO Heritage Site. The Gal Vihara temple cut from one slab of granite stone possesses a jewel of Sri Lankan art: the statues of Buddha in the recumbent, seated and standing positions.
Then, we’ll head for the Minneriya National Park. Annually, in August/ September during the dry season, wild elephants migrate from Wasgamuwa National Park to Minneriya National Park in search of food and shelter. It’s a wanderlust dream to see over 350 majestic mammals, migrate across the expansive parks.
On your sixth day in Sri Lanka, you will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful destination of Wasgamuwa, known for its abundant wildlife, particularly elephants. Upon arrival in Wasgamuwa, you will check into your hotel before embarking on a late afternoon safari at the renowned Wasgamuwa National Park. This park boasts a diverse range of forest birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, offering you a chance to witness the rich biodiversity of the area. Interestingly, the name “Wasgamuwa” originates from the local word for sloth bear, a species that can also be spotted in the park.
After the thrilling safari experience, you will return to your hotel to unwind and prepare for the adventures that await you on the following day.
The following day, you will have the opportunity to visit the Maduru Oya National Park, another incredible wildlife destination. This park is known for its elusive and nocturnal species, such as the slender Loris, as well as a variety of other fascinating animals. During your safari, you may spot leopards, sloth bears, purple faced leaf monkeys, and over 100 species of birds, including the Racket tailed Drongo, Yellow fronted barbet, Sri Lanka Jungle fowl, and Spur fowl. After your exploration, you will return to your hotel in Wasgamuwa for the night.
After experiencing the excitement of Wasgamuwa, you will head towards the stunning Knuckles. Upon arrival, you will check into a hotel and have the opportunity to enjoy a late evening nature walk through the Knuckles Forest Reserve. This reserve is truly special as it encompasses all of Sri Lanka’s climatic zones and forest types. During the walk, you will be able to witness a wide array of plant and animal species, as well as breathtaking views. Once the walk is over, you can relax and unwind in the comfort of your hotel. the Pigeon Island, it’s a wanderlust for families with long stretches of beach and warm blue waters to revel in!
A scenic drive will get you to Kandy. When you reach Kandy, your first port of call will be the Temple of the Tooth built in the 16th century, a prominent temple where Lord Buddha’s tooth lies; surrounded by artistic murals and paintings capturing the journey of Buddhism. You will find the daily rituals ‘pooja’ held amidst drumming and chanting, very intense and colourful – attracting many worshippers daily.
We’ve reached the end of your 09-night holiday to Sri Lanka and it is time to depart. Your chauffeur will take you to Colombo Airport in time to catch your departure flight.
Includes / Excludes
- 9 nights accommodation.
- Breakfast & Dinner meal plan at all hotels/ Big Game Campsite.
- Transportation in an air conditioned vehicle with an English Speaking Guide throughout the tour including Airport Transfers.
- Jeep Safaris in the above mentioned National Park in a Shared Jeep including the entry permit costs & government tracker fees. Including 01 half day safari at Wilpattu, Minneriya, Wasgamuwa & Maduru Oya;. 01 full day safari at Wilpattu.
- Service charges at the hotels & current applicable taxes by the Sri Lankan Government.
- Any International or Domestic flights.
- Any Visa fee or ETA fee. (Electronic Travel Authorisation)
- Christmas & New Year Eve dinner supplement. (24th & 31st December)
- Entry permits to all the sites, temples, museums & monuments.
- Any additional beverage or food.
- Early Check-in or Late Checkout Charges at Hotels.
- Any tips to the staff.
- Any expense of personal requirements telephone, laundry, hotel extra bills etc.)
- Any additional expenses , other than mentioned in the inclusions list above.
When it comes to the accommodation, all the reservations are subject to availability at the time of confirmation, and as soon as we have received the payment, our Tour Operations Team will take in charge of your tour and proceed with the reservations. In case a hotel mentioned in your itinerary has no availability, we will find you an alternative. No changes will be done without your approval!
We will make a rough day-by-day schedule for your tour, but won’t set you exact timings for each and every activity – unless there is a an activity which start at a specific time. Since you will be traveling by private vehicle, with a knowledgeable driver-guide, we want you to have your part in decision making. With the help from him, you may tune the schedule to your rhythm.
Along the destinations included in your itinerary, you are free to take as many stops as you want to. When it comes to additional visits and destinations that are located out of the original route, the extra kilometers will be taken in consideration. For your journey, we will calculate a total mileage that is sufficient for the whole tour and mentioned in your itinerary. If this limit is exceeded, we will charge a supplement according the extra mileage.
We’ll do our best to accommodate the programme in your needs and wishes, if something urgent occurs during your tour. In a situation that requires changing the accommodation, the cancellation policies of the hotels concerned are to be taken on account.
Since the 1st of January 2012, all travelers must be in possession of a visa when arriving in Sri Lanka. Citizens from Singapore and The Maldives are the only exempt. Visitors can apply for the official Electronic Travel Authorization (visa) via www.eta.gov.lk, or upon arrival at the airport. There is a small fee to pay, and you must have at least six months left on your passport at the time of travel to obtain one.
MasterCard and Visa are widely used and accepted by many local shops, restaurants and hotels, but it’s always better to double check. Other major cards such as AmEx and DinersClub are accepted often also.
The Important Stuff
Sri Lanka is a nation where religion and culture occupy an important place in the day-to-day lives of the local people. It is important to be aware of the customs and practices that are particular to the location you are visiting, so here are a few general tips to keep in mind during your travels. Your chauffeur will assist you with more detailed information.
- If you plan on visiting any temples, ancient or current, you should wear clothing that covers your body from your shoulders down to your knees. Head coverings such as caps or helmets should be removed and shoes must be taken off at the entrance. White coloured clothing is generally a good choice to go with here.
- Some religious places do not allow photography or videography without prior permission and some may not allow it at all. Refer to signage or ask your chauffeur guide about the policy or protocol. Don’t try to photograph or take videos without permission.
- If you have any tattoos associated with Buddhism, Hinduism or Islamism, it’s best that you cover them completely in public places.
- Smoking is prohibited in indoor public places, workplaces and on public transport.