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Wild Sri Lanka

Tailor Made Itinerary

16 Days From £3,995

Overview

The beautiful island of Sri Lanka is blessed with a wealth of fauna, bird, amphibians and flora species. Home to the Sinhalese since the 6th century BC and steeped in the myths and legends, the island is a stunning fusion of ancient traditions and staggering natural beauty that is home to numerous species, from a high density of leopards, huge gatherings of wild elephants, incredible marine life and spectacular bird species. Beginning amongst the wetland marshes and mangroves of the Muthurajawela ...
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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Boat cruise through the mangrove forests of Muthurajawela Nature Reserve
  • Embark on expert guided jeep safaris in Wilpattu, Minneriya, Gal Oya, Udawalawe and Yala National Parks
  • Hike through the primary rainforest of Sinharaja to spot the endemic bird species
  • Explore the Primate Center at Polonnaruwa to spot primates and interact with the wildlife researchers
  • Search for blue and sperm whales on a guided whale watching boat trip
  • Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of the Horton Plains

ITINERARY

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: ARRIVE COLOMBO - NEGOMBO

DAY 1: ARRIVE COLOMBO - NEGOMBO

Flying into Colombo today you'll be collected at the airport and driven on to your hotel in Negombo, on Sri Lanka's western coastline. Located at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, the city provides the starting point for this afternoon's boat ride into the Muthurajawela Nature Reserve, where you will explore its wetland marshes and mangrove forests. Set within a rich area of tropical wetlands, the 7,000-hectare site is home to a staggering array of bird and animal life including herons, egrets, monkeys and estuary crocodiles.

Jetwing Blue
Dinner

DAY 2: NEGOMBO - KALPITIYA

DAY 2: NEGOMBO - KALPITIYA

After breakfast this morning you'll drive on Kalpitiya, located north on the coast, a journey of 3 hours. Set on a pristine and remote stretch of coastline, a marine bio diversity spot, with pristine coral reefs in the country, the region provides a rich haven for different types of coral, species of reef fish, molluscs, manta rays, sea turtles, reef sharks among others. The region has wonderful dolphin (spinner, bottlenose and Indo-pacific humpback dolphins) sightings between November and March, alongside sightings of sperm whales which are more commonly seen, and even the rare blue whales. Today take a short boat ride to one of the best snorkelling sites in Kalpitiya.

Bar Reef Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 3: KALPITIYA - WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK

DAY 3: KALPITIYA - WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK

Early this morning (depending on time of year) you will be taken for a dolphin and whale watching boat trip. Returning to the hotel for late breakfast, you'll then drive north on to Wilpattu National Park, a journey of an hour and a half. Scattered with natural, sand-rimmed watering holes, the park is home to a variety of flora and fauna including monsoon forests, salt grass, elephant, sloth bear and leopards. This afternoon you can enjoy your first safari experience in Wilpattu.

Leopard Trails
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK

DAY 4: WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK

This morning and afternoon you will be taken on a safari through the rich landscapes of the Wilpattu National Park. It is the largest national park in Sri Lanka and is mostly dry, dense forest, meaning wildlife is more elusive but you will see less jeeps than you would see in Yala or Minneriya. You will drive through the forest on dirt tracks, stopping at watering holes and lakes. Hopefully you will see the splendid sight of an elephant having a cooling dip or a leopard having a drink. The park is home to a variety of flora and fauna including sloth bear, mongoose, buffalo, crocodiles and a myriad of birdlife. Lunch can be provided back at the camp or as a picnic lunch, surrounded by nothing but nature.

Leopard Trails
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: WILPATTU - SIGIRIYA

DAY 5: WILPATTU - SIGIRIYA

Following a final jeep safari through the park, after lunch you'll continue on to Sigiriya. This afternoon visit the Primate Center in Polonnaruwa. Primates are a species that have enthralled and intrigued humans for centuries, and a trip to the ‘lost city’ of Polonnaruwa offers the chance to see the oldest primate centre in Asia, to explore the work done there in the capable hands of guides who are also wildlife biologist researchers. The colony of highly intelligent and socially active primates roam freely here. On the walk you will see three species; toque macaques, hanuman langurs, and purple-faced langurs.

Wild Grass Nature Resort
Breakfast

DAY 6: SIGIRIYA

DAY 6: SIGIRIYA

Sri Lanka is globally respected as a biodiversity ‘hotspot’, and a visit to the Sam Popham Arboretum in Dambulla is testament to this. Here you will see a fascinating array of the country’s wildlife, as well as insects, trees and plants, all on one protected and easy to access site. This is the island’s only dry zone arboretum and a source of great pride to the Sri Lankan environmentalists. Later this afternoon enjoy an afternoon's jeep safari in Minneriya National Park searching for elephants, sloth bears, leopards and some 160 species of birds.

Wild Grass Nature Resort
Breakfast

DAY 7: SIGIRIYA - DAMBULLA - GAL OYA NATIONAL PARK

DAY 7: SIGIRIYA - DAMBULLA - GAL OYA NATIONAL PARK

The journey to Gal Oya today takes you by way of the UNESCO caves at Dambulla, where you'll find a remarkable collection of temples and statues that date back to the 1st century BC. Filled with images of the Buddha and sculptures of the Hindu gods, the caves have become an important pilgrimage site for countless thousands of worshippers. Continuing into the mountains, our day's journey then ends in the jungles of Gal Oya National Park, a remote and beautiful wilderness area. Late today join one of the in-house naturalists on a night walk in the jungle.

Gal Oya Lodge
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8: GAL OYA NATIONAL PARK

DAY 8: GAL OYA NATIONAL PARK

Early this morning you will be taken on a boat safari to spot the unique and diverse species of birdlife and if lucky you may well see elephants swimming between islands or bathing at the lake’s edge. Return to the lodge and later this afternoon explore the park on a jeep safari to spot elephants and other species of wildlife and birds.

Gal Oya Lodge
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: GAL OYA - BANDARAWELA

DAY 9: GAL OYA - BANDARAWELA

This morning you will be taken on a walk in the forest with a Vedda as your guide. The Vedda are a forest dwelling community, indigenous to the country, and on this walk you will learn about their fascinating history and traditions and close relationship with the forest. This afternoon continue west on to Bandarawela, a journey of around 4 hours.

Bandarawela Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 10: BANDARAWELA - HORTON PLAINS - UDAWALAWE

DAY 10: BANDARAWELA - HORTON PLAINS - UDAWALAWE

This morning enjoy a visit to the misty grasslands of the Horton Plains, Sri Lanka's highest and most isolated plateau. Located some 2,000 metres above sea level, it provides an ideal spot for some captivating nature walks, with a wealth of birds and animals calling this grassland home. From here we continue to Udawalawe for the night, another 4 hour drive.

Mahoora Elite Udawalawe
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: UDAWALAWE

DAY 11: UDAWALAWE

Today go on a jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park. Situated around a reservoir in the south-central area of the island, the park is largely comprised of bush trees and grasslands, and home to wonderfully large herds of elephants, as well as several species of deer, wild boar, water buffalo and jackals. Spend the day exploring this peaceful area and admiring the array of flora and fauna, with an additional visit to the Elephant Transit Home.

Mahoora Elite Udawalawe
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: UDAWALAWE - SINHARAJA RAINFOREST

DAY 12: UDAWALAWE - SINHARAJA RAINFOREST

Early this morning you will explore Udawalawe further as you set off on a morning jeep safari. After breakfast you will be driven to the contrasting environment of Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve, a World Heritage Site and the only remaining virgin rain forest in all of Sri Lanka. The journey will take approximately 4 hours, depending on road and traffic conditions. Upon arrival check in to your hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure.

Rainforest Eco Lodge
Breakfast

DAY 13: SINHARAJA

DAY 13: SINHARAJA

Today you will explore the forest with your expert naturalist guide, seeking out the different species of flora and fauna in the rainforest. Sinharaja has a rich birdlife with over 147 species and is the only location where you can spot 21 of the 26 bird species endemic to Sri Lanka.

Rainforest Eco Lodge
Breakfast

DAY 14: SINHARAJA - GALLE

DAY 14: SINHARAJA - GALLE

Sinharaja Rainforest is a biosphere reserve that protects a vast assortment of endemic species, rare orchids and birds. A single trail leads into this primeval forest and today you'll accompany the guide on a walk through its fascinating layers. The dense vegetation hides a wealth of fauna including elephants, leopards, purple-faced langurs and all 21 species of Sri Lanka's endemic rainforest birds. After your visit you continue on to Galle this afternoon.

41 Lighthouse Street
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 15: GALLE

DAY 15: GALLE

Your final day has been left to enjoy at your leisure. You could spend a relaxing day soaking up the tranquillity of this stunning setting, or perhaps take one of the excursions on offer. There are wildlife sanctuaries, waterfalls and whale watching trips to experience or you can choose to explore the historic Galle Fort, the largest European fortress left in Asia. Colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century, it is still infused today with a graceful charm that perfectly encapsulates its European heritage and a wander through its meandering streets reveals a wealth of ageing colonial buildings.

41 Lighthouse Street
Breakfast

DAY 16: GALLE - DEPART COLOMBO

DAY 16: GALLE - DEPART COLOMBO

Drive back along the coast today towards Colombo. For those interested in Geoffrey Bawa you can stop along the way to explore his iconic country home and gardens - Lunuganga Estate. Continue on to Colombo airport in time to catch your onward flight.

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT’S INCLUDED

WILD SRI LANKA (16 DAYS) £3,995

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

If you book international flights through Wild Frontiers.

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHEN TO GO

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Shalmali

Shalmali is our Indian Subcontinent expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Shalmali by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

Early morning hike to Sigiriya rock, train journey from Kandy to Ella, walk with the Vedda in Gal Oya, visit a working tea factory, food walk in Colombo, leopard tracking in Wilpattu, visit Anuradhapura at night, best beach stay in Tangalla

OTHER ITINERARIES IN SRI LANKA