Wildlife of Sri Lanka

  • Colombo - Kalpitiya - Wilpattu National Park - Kandy - Hill Country - Udawalawe National Park - Yala National Park - Galle

    Sri Lanka can be divided climatically into the smaller wet south western and the larger dry north eastern regions. The changing climatic regions belonging to the island enable it to house many different species some of which are specific to just 1 particular zone.  Elephants can be seen in abundance throughout the island, located in most of its wildlife parks as well as the domestic elephants which take part in colourful festivals such as the Kandy Perahera. Sri Lanka is also famous for its leopard population which finds its home is both in the dry lowland hills and in the upper forested hills. Yala National Park has arguably the highest density of leopards in the world and is popular place to watch and photograph Sri Lanka's top predator.  In addition, mammals which can be found, are the fishing cat which searches for prey in marshes and on the edge of streams, the sloth bear, spotted deer, the shy barking deer and the magnificent Sambar which is seen in wooded hillsides. Sri Lanka is also now becoming known as a dolphin and whale watching destination.  As a country, it is a wildlife lover's delight.

    Highlights

    • Dolphin watching at Kalpitiya
    • Safaris into Wilpattu National Park
    • Sightseeing of Kandy, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka
    • Birdwatching on the Horton Plains
    • Udawalawe National Park - famous for its herds of elephants
    • Yala National Park - the best leopard sightseeing in the world
    • Whale watching at Mirissa

    Rating

    £££
  • 2 week itinerary exploring some of Sri Lanka's beaches and national parks

    Day 1

    Arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport and be escorted to your hotel in Colombo.

    Overnight: Colombo

    Day 2 

    After breakfast, proceed to Kalpitiya. Between November and April this is the best spot to watch dolphins in Sri Lanka, and also one of the most beautiful and least discovered coastal areas located in the Western Province. It is a marine sanctuary with a diversity of habitats ranging from bar reef, flat coastal plains, saltpans and vast sand dune beaches.

    Overnight: Kalpitiya

    Day 3-4 

    A morning boat trip will take you dolphin spotting.  The rest of the day is free to enjoy the beach and its surrounds. Visits to St Anne’s Church and Kalpitiya Fort and town can be arranged as well as tours of the nearby Puttlam Salt Pans.

    Overnight: Kalpitiya

    Day 5 

    After breakfast, proceed to Wilpattu National Park. Wilpattu meaning ‘Land of Lakes’ is a park whose unique feature is the existence of almost 60 natural, sand-rimmed depressions that fill with rainwater. Wilpattu is among the top national parks world renowned for its leopard population.  In the afternoon safari in the national park.

    Overnight: Wilpattu National Park

    Day 6 

    Morning and evening safaris will take you in search of leopard inside the Wilpattu National Park.

    Overnight: Wilpattu National Park

    Day 7 

    Today, head to Kandy, the old capital of  Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and the seat of the last Singhalese kingdom. It is a charming city with the most important Buddhist temple in the country and is set around an ancient artificial lake among rolling hills that are covered by forests and tea plantations. The main market area in the heart of the town is frequented often for its array of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meat stalls, sweets, clothes and fancy goods.

    En route, visit Peradeniya Botanical Gardens where exotic crops such as coffee, tea, nutmeg, rubber and cinchona (quinine) – all of which were to become important to the country’s economy were first tested. There is an excellent orchid house and a wide variety of plant species from all over the world.

    Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha in the late evening.

    Overnight: Kandy

    Day 8 

    After breakfast take a trip  to the Peradeniya Railway station to board the train to Badulla. You will enjoy a brief but very scenic train ride to Ambewela station. Just outside Nuwara Eliya, you will visit a tea plantation and a factory. Here you will learn the process how 2 fresh tea leaves and a bud are converted into tea.

    Overnight: Hill Country

    Day 9 

    Early morning visit Horton Plains then proceed to Udawalawe National Park. The Horton Plains are the headwaters of 3 major Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. Large herds of Sri Lankan sambar deer feature as typical mammals, and the park is also an important area for birding with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the plains. The sheer precipice of World's End and Baker's Falls are among the tourist attractions of the park. 

    Udawalawe is most famous for the many elephants that live there (about 400 in total). During a visit, it is not unusual to see whole herds of adults and young elephants– feeding or bathing and playing in the water. In addition to this main attraction, the park is home to many water buffalo, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard, as well as being an exciting location for bird enthusiasts.

    Overnight: Udawalawe National Park

    Day 10 

    Enjoy an early morning jeep safari in the park. Return to the hotel and relax. In the late afternoon enjoy another safari in the park.

    Overnight: Udawalawe National Park

    Day 11 

    Spend the day exploring Yala National Park, whose diverse range of habitats, include scrub jungle, brackish lagoons, lakes and rivers and are home to approximately 400 elephants and around 40 leopards in addition to wild buffalo, sambars deer, musk deer, black bears, macaques, jackals and a numerous variety of birds.

    Overnight: Yala National Park

    Day 12 

    Safaris into Yala National Park.

    Overnight: Yala National Park

    Day 13 

    Head to Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved colonial sea fortress in Asia. It is a cosy little town in its own right with narrow streets, churches and shuttered mansions. It has recently received a lot of investment and is now bristling with art galleries, shops, cafés and restaurants.

    Overnight: Galle

    Day 14 

    After an early breakfast, proceed to Mirissa for whale watching. Mirissa is an ideal destination for those who wish to catch a rare glimpse of these beautiful and gentle giants of the Cetacean Order as they migrate through this vast and fertile stretch of water from December to April during their annual breeding season. Mirissa itself is a quiet and peaceful coastal town boasting unspoiled beaches.

    Overnight: Galle

    Day 15 

    You will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to the airport in time for your departure.

  • From £3,685 per person

    Price is based on travel in mid season and on 2 people sharing. Includes international flights from the UK, accommodation and all transfers and excursions as listed.

    All of our itineraries are tailor-made to your specific requirements and therefore prices do vary. The above is an indication only. Prices will vary depending on the season of travel and the standard of accommodation used. Please contact us for a quotation and to discuss your holiday requirements in more detail.