Sri Lanka Culture & Wildlife

The emphasis of this tour is wildlife and culture, structured at an easy pace to allow you to relax and appreciate the spectacular scenery as well. Sri Lanka is considered to be the best place in the world for seeing leopard in the wild, and is also one of the few remaining strongholds for wild asian elephant. Although sightings can never be guaranteed, our tour has been designed to maximise the chances of seeing these magnificent and elusive animals.

Cultural highlights include the rock fortress at Sigiriya and the ancient capital of Pollonnoruwa, together with the many influences of Buddhism in temples and monuments.

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart on your overnight flight to Colombo.

Day 2 Arrival in Colombo, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Negombo for an overnight stay. [D]

Day 3 In the morning, drive to the elephant orphanage at Pinnawala. The sanctuary is home to many elephants of all ages and sizes, who have been found injured or left abandoned in the wilderness.

Twice a day, they walk with their keepers down to the river to bathe, and you will arrive in time to see their morning dip. Lunch will be available at one of the restaurants overlooking the river. Afterwards you make your way to Sigiriya, where you will stay for 3 nights. [BD]

Day 4 Early morning visit to Sigiriya, the "Lion Rock". During your visit you will explore the surrounding gardens before taking the steep climb to the top of the rock to see the remains of the fortress. You then return to the hotel for breakfast and a short break. Visit Pollonnaruwa, one of Sri Lanka´s ancient capitals established in 1055AD by King Vijayabahu I. Also visit the four stone Buddhas at Gal Vihara, dating from the 12th Century. [BD]

Day 5 Today you have a full day jeep safari in search of wild asian elephants in Kaudulla or Minneriya. This is a fantastic opportunity to see large family groups at close range. You will take a break for lunch outside the park. [BLD}

Day 6 Only an hour´s drive from Sigiriya, the cave temple of Dambulla was originally a series of caves that gave refuge to King Valagamba in the 1st Century BC. Afterwards the caves were gifted to Buddhist monks and converted into temples, and over the years many more statues and murals depicting the Buddha´s life have been added.

You then proceed to Kandy, and will take a short city tour before lunch. The road from Kandy leads to the hill country through tea plantations that carpet the hills. The water falls that cascade down the hills, the misty valleys and the scenery are awe-inspiring. Rising to over 6,000 ft, the hills provide a much cooler climate than the plains, and have rain for six months of the year. The summit town of Nuwara Eliya became an important British settlement. On your journey you will visit a tea plantation and stop to admire the views at Ramboda Falls before arriving at your hotel where you will stay for 1 night. [BD]

Day 7 This morning, you leave Nuwara Eliya and begin your descent from the hills to the coast, taking lunch overlooking the spectacular Ella Gap. As you continue towards Yala you will visit the Ravana Falls and the rock carvings at Buduruwagala, which are believed to be over a thousand years old. You will arrive at your beach hotel in Yala by mid afternoon, where you will stay for 6 nights. [BD]
to

Day 8 to Day 12 Block One of Ruhuna National Park, commonly referred to as Yala, is considered to be the best place in the world for viewing leopard in the wild. Unlike Africa and India, these cats are the top predator, and as a result they have the confidence to move around in the daytime as well as at night.

You will spend five full days exploring the area by jeep to maximise your chances of seeing leopard, and allowing time to appreciate the other wildlife. This includes elephant, sloth bear, monkey, deer wild boar and many species of birds. You will use the services of local guides who have intimate knowledge of the park. [BD]

Day 13 After breakfast, take a leisurely drive along the southern coast to the city of Galle. You will have the opportunity to visit the fortress and have lunch, before continuing to Bentota. There you will visit a turtle conservation project before arriving at your hotel. You will stay here for 1 night. [BD}

Day 14 Transfer to the airport for your flight home. If time permits before your flight, you can take a city tour of Colombo en route. [B]

Rates for this Safari
Price including flights from/to UK:
until July 2014 $5500 pp min 2 guests

Price excluding international flights:
until July 2014 $4530 pp min 2 guests
Safari Summary

Notes. 
Includes

All entry fees to monuments; services of English speaking guide;
10 game drives in private jeep (two persons);
services of English speaking driver/naturalist;
all transfers in a/c vehicles;
assistance  at airports.

Excludes

Flights; visas; camera fees; lunches;
personal items such as drinks;
laundry; phone calls; insurance; tips.

Accommodation

Bentota Beach Hotel
Negombo Beach
Sigiriya Village
Nuwara Eliya
Yala - Chaaya Wild Yala

We can offer a cheaper accommodation packages saving approx  £200 pp

Full Safari Details
Sri Lanka Culture & Wildlife

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart on your overnight flight to Colombo.

Day 2 Arrival in Colombo, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Negombo for an overnight stay. [D]

Day 3 In the morning, drive to the elephant orphanage at Pinnawala. The sanctuary is home to many elephants of all ages and sizes, who have been found injured or left abandoned in the wilderness.

Twice a day, they walk with their keepers down to the river to bathe, and you will arrive in time to see their morning dip. Lunch will be available at one of the restaurants overlooking the river. Afterwards you make your way to Sigiriya, where you will stay for 3 nights. [BD]

Day 4 Early morning visit to Sigiriya, the "Lion Rock". During your visit you will explore the surrounding gardens before taking the steep climb to the top of the rock to see the remains of the fortress. You then return to the hotel for breakfast and a short break. Visit Pollonnaruwa, one of Sri Lanka´s ancient capitals established in 1055AD by King Vijayabahu I. Also visit the four stone Buddhas at Gal Vihara, dating from the 12th Century. [BD]

Day 5 Today you have a full day jeep safari in search of wild asian elephants in Kaudulla or Minneriya. This is a fantastic opportunity to see large family groups at close range. You will take a break for lunch outside the park. [BLD}

Day 6 Only an hour´s drive from Sigiriya, the cave temple of Dambulla was originally a series of caves that gave refuge to King Valagamba in the 1st Century BC. Afterwards the caves were gifted to Buddhist monks and converted into temples, and over the years many more statues and murals depicting the Buddha´s life have been added.

You then proceed to Kandy, and will take a short city tour before lunch. The road from Kandy leads to the hill country through tea plantations that carpet the hills. The water falls that cascade down the hills, the misty valleys and the scenery are awe-inspiring. Rising to over 6,000 ft, the hills provide a much cooler climate than the plains, and have rain for six months of the year. The summit town of Nuwara Eliya became an important British settlement. On your journey you will visit a tea plantation and stop to admire the views at Ramboda Falls before arriving at your hotel where you will stay for 1 night. [BD]

Day 7 This morning, you leave Nuwara Eliya and begin your descent from the hills to the coast, taking lunch overlooking the spectacular Ella Gap. As you continue towards Yala you will visit the Ravana Falls and the rock carvings at Buduruwagala, which are believed to be over a thousand years old. You will arrive at your beach hotel in Yala by mid afternoon, where you will stay for 6 nights. [BD]
to

Day 8 to Day 12 Block One of Ruhuna National Park, commonly referred to as Yala, is considered to be the best place in the world for viewing leopard in the wild. Unlike Africa and India, these cats are the top predator, and as a result they have the confidence to move around in the daytime as well as at night.

You will spend five full days exploring the area by jeep to maximise your chances of seeing leopard, and allowing time to appreciate the other wildlife. This includes elephant, sloth bear, monkey, deer wild boar and many species of birds. You will use the services of local guides who have intimate knowledge of the park. [BD]

Day 13 After breakfast, take a leisurely drive along the southern coast to the city of Galle. You will have the opportunity to visit the fortress and have lunch, before continuing to Bentota. There you will visit a turtle conservation project before arriving at your hotel. You will stay here for 1 night. [BD}

Day 14 Transfer to the airport for your flight home. If time permits before your flight, you can take a city tour of Colombo en route. [B]

Rates for this Safari
Price including flights from/to UK:
until July 2014 $5500 pp min 2 guests

Price excluding international flights:
until July 2014 $4530 pp min 2 guests
Book this safari
Safari Summary

Notes. 
Includes

All entry fees to monuments; services of English speaking guide;
10 game drives in private jeep (two persons);
services of English speaking driver/naturalist;
all transfers in a/c vehicles;
assistance  at airports.

Excludes

Flights; visas; camera fees; lunches;
personal items such as drinks;
laundry; phone calls; insurance; tips.

Accommodation

Bentota Beach Hotel
Negombo Beach
Sigiriya Village
Nuwara Eliya
Yala - Chaaya Wild Yala

We can offer a cheaper accommodation packages saving approx  £200 pp