During this 13-day tour of Sri Lanka, you will have thousands of images of exciting wildlife encounters and plenty of delicious cuisines!
Sri Lanka is blessed with diverse and abundant wildlife throughout the island and in the seas around it. Thanks largely to the establishment of vast National Parks, the variety of wildlife encountered here is simply staggering. Leopards, Elephants, Sloth Bears and Blue Whales are just some of the more famous animals in Sri Lanka, but the island has a whole lot more to offer to all types of wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. During this tour you will visit the 05 biggest National Parks, go on multiple Private Safaris.
Your accommodation will consist of handpicked hotels and glamping campsites, designed to minimise time spent in travel. This will allow you to have the maximum time to focus on your wildlife holiday in Sri Lanka and enjoy your accommodation, destinations, and the amazing cuisine.
Ideal For – Wildlife Photographers
Highlights at a glance
- Roam in the streets of Little Rome; Negombo.
- Discover the diversity of Wilpattu National park with multiple safaris.
- Explore the world’s best park for Leopards, Yala National Park, with multiple safaris.
- Explore the Bird Paradise in Sri Lanka, Kumana National Park.
- Meet the giants of the forests - the Sri Lankan elephants - as you explore Wasgamuwa National Park.
- Less visited Bundala National Park for birds and the hidden treasures in the wild.
- Enjoy the wilderness at its best; Stay at campsites inside Wasgamuwa & Kumana National Parks wilderness around you.
- 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.
- Finally stay at Commercial City of Sri Lanka, Colombo.
Welcome to Sri Lanka! The start of many wonderful memories!
The first day of your wildlife photography expedition in Sri Lanka can be enjoyed at your own pace. On your arrival you will be picked up by our Naturalist Guide who will be with you throughout the tour. The drive to Negombo is about 25 minutes.
This coastal city is a bustling place, with historical buildings and churches reflecting colonial influences. Negombo has a canal system that weaves an interesting route around the city and a lively fisherfolk community with a daily bustling fish market that attracts people from near and far. And of course it’s an enchanting beach that will always beckon you.
After a good night’s sleep 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. After breakfast proceed to Mahoora Wilpattu campsite. The drive to Mahoora Wilpattu is about 4 ½ hours. After the lunch break you will go for an evening jeep safari and start capturing the stunning moments of wildlife. You will go for a night walk with your naturalist to explore the surroundings and click on the nocturnal animals as a kick start for the next day which is going to be more exciting!
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 focussed 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 early start today will see you taking a different direction, quite literally, this time in pursuit of the gentle giants of the forest. The North-Western regions of Wilpattu, where you will be headed today, tend to feature open plains and thinner jungles, offering easier sightings of elephants. If the time permits, your safari will also take you to Kudiramalai Point, an ancient port famed for horse trading. Kudiramalai is also attributed to being the location of the capital city of several legendary rulers such as the Amazon-like queen Alli Rani; the Tamil Chief Korran who traded with ancient Phoenicia, Rome, Serica and Egypt; and Vijaya & Kuveni – Sri Lanka’s first recorded King and Queen!
Early in the morning you will do the morning walk and after having breakfast you will proceed to Wasgamuwa for your next wild safari destination. Going on a Sri Lankan safari holiday in the wilderness is therapeutic on its own, but living in the 36,900 hectare dry evergreen forest of the Wasgamuwa National Park, is simply something out of a novel. Dip your feet into the cold stream by your tent for a wildlife ‘fish spa’ on lazy afternoons, experience a choir of birds singing your blues away, enjoy a floating breakfast on an elevated terrace, clink with pre-lunch drinks as you take a seat at your private submerged dining room, see ruins of a lost civilisation on game drives with a stop-over at warm rocks by a lake for a sunset picnic.
Get up with the chirps of birds in your campsite in Wasgamuwa National Park and get ready for a full day safari drive in search of the majestic beast elephants and other wildlife in the park. Mornings are wonderfully refreshing as sun rays creep through entwined trees. The gloomy skies too can be energising, as cool breeze flicks away fallen leaves. Afternoons are simply joyful, as the weather remains comfortable and not too humid and warm. Breaks between wildlife safaris lets you explore idyllic places to relax in; just pick up your camera, binoculars or a notepad and wander around the banks to birdwatch in seclusion. If you are in the mood for a ‘fish spa’, simply take a chilled drink along and dip your feet in clear, massaging waters, and let Mother Nature take care of you.
Today you will proceed to bird paradise Kumana National Park where you will be exploring many kinds of birds to click some good pictures. Experience life in a 35,664 hectare National Park and Bird Sanctuary. An incredible 255 species of birds have been recorded in the Kumana swamp area alone! Go ahead and enjoy a river bath before tucking into an authentic Sri Lankan hot meal, explore mysterious caves riddled with myth and folklore, and watch the stars christen the night sky as you wait for your private chef to grill up a fork-tender BBQ dinner in the wilderness.
Get excited for a full day safari at Kumana National Park to see more birds. The biodiversity of Kumana is spectacular as almost half of Sri Lanka’s bird species are found here. The Kumana sanctuary also serves as a feeding and resting ground for more than 35 species of migratory aquatic bird species. Bird lovers will enjoy the regular sightings of: Pelicans, Painted Storks, Spoonbills, White Ibis, Herons, Egrets and Little Cormorants.
The very rare Black-necked Stork has also been spotted at the swamp. While birdlife is prolific and stunning, Kumana is also home to some of the mammals found in the larger and neighbouring Yala National Park (Yala West) such as Elephants and Leopards. The landscape at this bird sanctuary comprises mainly open marsh areas, mangrove trees, majestic Kumbuk trees and the Karan fern.
It’s time to head off to the land of the leopards, Yala National Park! Although it is most famous for Leopard sightings, Yala has a fantastically diverse population of animals. Then on the way to Yala you’ll head to the famous Kataragama Temple for a pooja. In the evening you will be taken on your evening safari of Yala National Park. A delicious dinner by a roaring campfire awaits your return from the safari, and your adventures on this day are capped off with a night walk along the borders of the Park, to meet some of the nocturnal residents of the jungle.
Another day packed with wilderness experiences! You will go for a full day jeep safari with packed meals. Although it is most famous for Leopard sightings, Yala has a fantastically diverse population of animals. During your Safari in the Park you will encounter Elephants, Crocodiles, Sambar, Wild Buffalo, Eagles, Cobras, Peacocks and more. With rocky coasts, mountains, vast lakes and plains, the landscape of Yala is a treat for the eyes and is the perfect backdrop for exciting sightings! After a busy day, you will be rewarded with another night walk with your naturalist to witness the nocturnal animals in and around the campsite which is located near the park border.
Today will be an early start as you’ll be heading to Bundala National Park. The rich birdlife and serene surroundings make Bundala a real paradise for birders. These wetlands are home to nearly 200 bird species, including several species of migratory waterfowl. After returning to the campsite you’ll be taken to a cookery demonstration of a typical Sri Lankan lunch: prepared in clay pots giving it an authentic taste – followed by tucking into it for lunch! Then you will head out on an afternoon safari in a private jeep, along with a professional and experienced naturalist and tracker.
Your wildlife holiday is gradually reaching its end. You will say goodbye to your new friends, you will depart Yala after your breakfast and leave for Colombo via Galle. A walk in Galle Fort will enable you to get more insights about the colonial impact on Sri Lankan culture. Your chauffeur will be happy to accompany you and show you the Meeran Mosque, the Fort Lighthouse, the Dutch Reformed Church, restaurants, live music bars and quaint houses on cobblestone streetsYou may take your own lunch in a restaurant in Galle Fort and continue to Colombo. A short drive in the city would enable you to get more insights of the Sri Lanka urban way of life while shopping in the city might be a great opportunity for you to buy some souvenirs to take home.
We’ve reached the end of your 12-night Wildlife Photography Tour in Sri Lanka and it is time to depart. Your chauffeur will meet you at the hotel lobby and take you to Colombo Airport in time to catch your departure flight.
Includes / Excludes
- 12 nights accommodation on Double Sharing Basis.
- Full Board Meal Plan at Mahoora Tented Safari Campsites in Wilpattu, Wasgamuwa, Kumana and Yala Campsites
- Breakfast only at Villa Hundira (Negombo) and Residence by Uga Escapes in Colombo
- Transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with an English Speaking chauffeur Guide throughout the tour including Airport Transfers.
- Jeep Safaris in National Parks in private jeeps including entry permit costs & government tracker fees.
- Entry Permits to all the sites, temples, museums & monuments mentioned in the itinerary.
- Costs of all experiences, community visits, hikes and village walks mentioned in the itinerary.
- Service charges at the hotels & applicable taxes by the Sri Lankan Government at the time of booking.
- Any International or Domestic flights.
- Any Visa fee or ETA fee. (Electronic Travel Authorization)
- Christmas & New Year Eve dinner supplement. (24th & 31st December)
- 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.