Full of fascinating wildlife, dense jungle and picturesque coastline, Sri Lanka is an endlessly charming destination. While capital city Colombo is a popular tourist destination, our tour takes you to some of the best wildlife and nature destinations, so you can soak up the culture and unforgettable sights of this island nation. From elephants to leopards, flamingos to peacocks, on this holiday you will spot incredible wildlife and enjoy some of the most scenic views on the planet.
UK - Kotugoda
Upon arrival in Sri Lanka, you will be met by a Rainbow Tours representative and transferred to Kotugoda (approximately 30 minutes). Check into The Wallawwa hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying the luxury amenities at the hotel. Here you’ll find stunning gardens, beautiful interiors and attentive service, and an innovative Asian fusion menu at The Verandah restaurant.
Accommodation: The Wallawwa
Kotugoda - Batticaloa
After breakfast today, board your Cinnamon Air flight to Batticaloa (note: domestic flights have a 5kg weight limit on hand luggage – the rest of your luggage will be transferred by your chauffeur guide by road).
Upon arrival at Batticaloa, enjoy the scenic drive to Gal Oya Lodge (approximately 2.5 hours). The eco-lodge is surrounded by unspoilt wilderness, and guests here benefit from exceptional views of the neighbouring Gal Oya National Park and Senanayake Samudraya, one of the largest reservoirs on the island.
Accommodation: Gal Oya Lodge
For early-risers who are raring to go in the morning, a 1.5-hour trek up Monkey Mountain this morning is a ‘must’ – the dramatic 180-degree views over the fertile valley below are well worth the climb. Watch the sun rise over the hills in the distance, before returning to the lodge for breakfast.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the local area, or enjoy the optional afternoon discovery walk with the chief Vedda. The Vedda people are the indigenous people of Sri Lanka, and on this walk learn about their ancient culture and explore the dense jungle the Veddas call home.
Gal Oya National Park
Today you have the option to enjoy a jeep ride into the secluded Nilgala section of the Gal Oya National Park. The park is bursting with wildlife, and you’ll have the chance to spot seemingly endless species of bird, crocodiles, deer, monkeys and elephants taking a dip in the lake. You may also choose to trek through the park on a safari hike alongside expert guides who will take you to the hidden areas of the park. Gal Oya’s unique ecosystem makes this a hotspot for all kinds of wildlife, so as well as having the chance to spot Sloth bears, jackals, Wild boar and many more species of animal, you’ll learn about the medicinal plants and herbs that grow in this area.
Back at the lodge, this afternoon there is an optional cooking class, where you will join the lodge’s chef in making Sri Lankan delicacies sambol, roti and more.
Gal Oya – Yala
After breakfast, proceed to Yala (approximately 3.5-hour drive). Check into the Wild Coast Tented Lodge, and spend the rest of the day relaxing at leisure. Set on a secluded beach bordering the Yala National Park, Wild Coast is made up of 28 ‘cocoon’ tents that combine luxury and safari wilderness. Spot the abundant wildlife that lives around the lodge from the viewing deck; there are several watering holes spread around the area that attract a range of fascinating creatures.
This afternoon enjoy a game drive through Yala National Park.
Accommodation: Wild Coast
Yala National Park
For the next two days enjoy morning and evening safari drives through Yala National Park. The park is the most visited in Sri Lanka, and is famous for its resident wildlife. Home to over 40 species of mammal and over 200 varieties of bird, drives through Yala are always a fascinating experience.
Yala National Park
Another day of exploring the park. Yala is famous for its population of leopards, so keep an eye out for this majestic creature. The park, spread over about 378-square miles, has a varied landscape that consists of dense jungle forests, grassy parkland, rugged rock formations, lakes, streams and a sandy coastline.
Yala – Tangalle
This morning, enjoy a last drive around Yala National Park before heading for Tangalle (approximately 2-hour drive).
Check into the Amanwella Resort and spend the rest of the day exploring the area and enjoying the resort’s facilities. The resort is ideally located on the picturesque Indian Ocean coastline, so a range of watersports are available here. Behind the pristine beach explore the jungle that surrounds the resort, and enjoy the spectacular views.
Accommodation: Amanwella Resort
Today explore beautiful Tangalle; the area is home to some of the most outstanding beaches in the country. Adventurous guests might like to sample some of the amazing watersports on offer in the area – from surfing to snorkelling. Fishing in the clear blue water is also a popular pastime, along with relaxing on the golden sands.
Close by, the Bundala National Park is a ‘must’ for birdwatchers. Known for its vast populations of native and migratory species, the park is particularly famous for its more colourful residents – flocks of flamingos and peacocks.
Another day at leisure to explore the area. Udawalawe National Park offers a great chance to spot elephants – there are around 400 resident here and visitors often catch a glimpse of these gentle giants bathing and splashing about in the water. Water buffalo, Sambar deer, Monitor lizards and many other animals can also be spotted on trips through the park. Tangalle is home to lots of wildlife activities – you could embark on a water safari or visit a turtle conservation centre.
Tangalle – UK
Head for the Bandaranaike International Airport for your flight home (approximately 3.5 hour drive).
Pricing Information & Dates
11 day tour, from £4199 per person
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