These tours are a superb introduction to the wildlife and beautiful scenery of Sri Lanka. A treat for the animal enthusiast with the chance to see elephants, sloth bear, leopards, the blue and sperm whales.
An expert naturalist in the flora and fauna of the parks will guide you, allowing you to explore in depth the different national parks you visit.
Ayubowan! A warm welcome to our Island Nation!!!
On arrival at the Colombo Airport you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel in Colombo ( Approx. 30 minutes drive).
A dynamic capital that can vie with many a city around the world, it has evolved to be the commercial hub of the island connecting with several towns linked by a fine system of roads and railways connecting both the North, the South, the East and the hill country. A new expressway, one of many coming up, connects the international airport at Katunayake, with the capital - a 20 minute drive avoiding the busy sprawling towns on the old route. Crowded streets and peak hour traffic are the results of a long and formless urban straggle overflowing from Colombo.
Nevertheless, the city’s impressive commercial and cultural life grows apace and a heady mixture of Asian anarchy, colonial charm and modern progress defines its character. Showily opulent and shiny office blocks rub shoulders with tumbledown local cafes and shops while serene Buddhist shrines and colonial churches stand cheek-by--jowl with ornate, colourful Hindu temples - all evidence of a rich mix of races and religions, that has blossomed into this cosmopolitan city.
A rebuilt and revitalized Pettah, the more colonial styled Fort area, the renovated Dutch Hospital, the Independence Square, the Nelum Pokuna theatre hall, the Victoria Park, now ablaze with lights are all elegant architectural landmarks, that the city can justly be proud of. Not always the bustling metropolis today with its crowded bazars and tuk-tuks weaving among the kamikaze traffic of a vibrant city, Colombo developed from small beginnings as a garden city with its tranquil suburbs, when it took precedence over the ancient Kotte Kingdom. The Beira Lake in Colombo and a network of canals around the city extending to Negombo, is yet another unused Dutch legacy.
With the construction of a new harbour, Colombo builds itself as one of the vital entrepots of Asia, acquiring the sobriquet the ' Charing Cross of the East ' thanks to its location at the crossroads of Indian Ocean trade.
British legacy has undeniably come to stay in Sri Lanka. While the Sri Lankan Parliament modeled on the British system - located today in Kotte, stands like a memorial, a cross between the old and the new.
Overnight in Colombo
The very mention of Sinharaja rainforest, its air thick with humidity (approaching 90 % in places), conjures up awesome images of an utterly dense forest flush, towering trees, the incessant chatter of birds and the shrill chirping of cicadas. This is archetypal rainforest, as one could imagine it.
Sinharaja (meaning Lion King) was said to be a royal reserve in old times and was made into a forest reserve by the British in 1840.
A staggering 830 of Sri Lamka's endemic species of fauna and flora are found here, including myriad birds, reptiles and insects, while no less than 60 % of the trees are endemic. Home to one of the country's richest bird population, 21 of the country's 26 bird species are on record as being found here.
The Forest stretches for almost 30 kms across the wet zone at the southern edges of the hill country, enclosing a series of hills and valleys - the hills ranging in altitude from a low 300 m to a high of 1,170 m. A number of picturesque waterfalls are a feature of the landscape, as these rivers meander through the rich forest.
The inhabitants of the 20 or so villages which surround the reserve have the right to limited use of the forest's reserves and as such are allowed the tapping of the kitul palm for making jaggery and collecting rattan for building, as a means of livelihood.
Overnight in Sinharaja
After breakfast leave for the forest reserve for a full day of trekking accompanied by your guide.
Overnight in Sinharaja
Towards its commitment in establishing and protecting its many national parks dating back to ancient times, the Uda Walawe is one, established as recently as 1972. It is meant to provide a sanctuary for wild animals, displaced by the construction of the reservoir and to protect its catchment area.
The reservation spreads over 30,821 hectares. With its herds of wild elephants - one of the highest densities of the pachyderms anywhere in Sri Lanka - wild buffalo, sambur and leopard, it best rivals the savannah reserves of South Africa. As the predominant vegetation of this region is grassland rather than forest, it makes viewing of the animals that much easier. The drive to the park alongside the bund of the Uda Walawe reservoir is grand and so are the views from the granite outcrops in the park. The best times to visit the park are just after dawn and before dusk.
Overnight in Uda Walawe
With an area covering 1260 square kilometers, of which only one-fifth of the area is open to visitors, Yala not surprisingly, is still the most visited reserve located in the deep south. The rest of the Park is a strict natural reserve, and you are only allowed entry into the park in a vehicle.
Its charm lies in its unspoilt dry zone landscape, dotted by low scrub; rocky outcrops, lush green trees and its serene lakes are particularly magical. The views from Sithulpahuwa are special!
The main attraction and thrill in Yala is to spot leopard and perhaps the cubs too, the largest population of leopard in a natural environment – approximately 40 in Block 1. The park is home to 44 species of mammals including elephants and the sloth bear, and an incredible 215 bird species; Huddles of colorful painted storks among many a species of waders found feeding on the edge of the water holes, the sight of dozing crocodiles, elephants cooling off in the water or quenching their thirst, or a glimpse of the elusive sloth bear, leave an indelible mark on any nature lover.
Evening at leisure and overnight in Yala
Ready for a different experience today?
Perhaps you want to take a picnic and spend the whole day in the park or set off on an early morning game drive popular among bird lovers; the best time to spot the sloth bear, elephant and the many other smaller mammals and reptiles that venture out at this time.
The evening safari is your best opportunity to spot the shy leopard, elephants and experience a spectacular sunset as a backdrop to this lush and rugged landscape!
Evening at leisure and overnight in Yala
After breakfast wend your way to Mirissa (Approx. 3 Hrs drive).
Looking for the right kind of place for rest and relaxation, combined with all the attractions a beach holiday can provide? Mirissa’s pretty bay and wide stretch of coast, backed by dense thickets of coconut palms, is the place to be. The beach transforms into a charmed web of fairytale lights at night from the boats out at sea, the lights off the fishermen's dwellings and the scattered little restaurants and bars on its beaches.
Still a relatively quiet stretch, Mirissa has not seen a great deal of development, despite its popularity as the ideal location for whale watching tours. Try some of the popular activities in the area like sport fishing, snorkeling, sea kayaking, water sports activities and cruises around the bay.
Spend a leisurely evening on the beach!
Overnight in Mirissa
This morning you will set off on your whale watching expedition to spot whales and large schools of dolphins.
Late afternoon you may visit Galle and explore the Galle Fort. Followed by dinner in one of its many trendy restaurants.
The Port city of Galle has grown from its ancient origins into Sri Lanka's 5th largest city, but it differs from the rest in terms of character & atmosphere. Its sea front gives it a languid air. At the heart of the city - but strangely detached from it - lies the Old Dutch Quarter known as the Fort. Dutch administrators and those in their service lived within the Fort protected by its city walls and the ramparts by the sea. Its entrance, a massive archway gives it a medieval air and appears magically time warped, with its red tiled Dutch period villas, their open verandahs facing the narrow streets, bearing names like Church Street, Leyban Street and such like.
A well-preserved townscape with a number of imposing churches, Dutch period storehouses, a courthouse and a lighthouse jutting out to sea, it has lasted through the centuries. A stroll on its lengthy ramparts overlooking a natural harbour at sunset is a must. Other places to visit include a marine museum, the St. Mary’s Church and thoughtfully restored Amangalle, a historic luxury hotel.
Life moves at an easy pace within the Fort. Visitors may relax at any of its several arty restaurants and watering holes. The Galle Literary Festival is a much sought after annual event that has secured its place on the cultural calendar." The Festival throws, people, cultures, hot ideas, hot food, laughter, poetry and arrack together in a beautiful country. Pointless to resist," Sebstian Faulks a participant had this to say of the event.
Outside the Fort, Galle has a cricket stadium and a string of resort hotels along its coast; a favourite for visitors, has been the beautiful stretch at Unawatuna beach.
Overnight in Galle
Depending on your time of departure, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward destination.