Leopards, montane cloud forest landscapes, cascading waterfalls, herds of elephants, tea plantations, aromatic dining, colonial history and stunning architecture explode in a cascade of wild culture and colour in Sri Lanka.
This remarkable 8-day tour connects you with some of the country’s unique landscapes and wildlife. Starting in Wilpattu National Park, you’ll do two safaris with the intention of seeing one of Sri Lanka’s infamous Leopards as well as a host of other wildlife and waterbirds.
You’ll visit the rainbow-coloured cliff-top Koneswaram, explore the beaches of beautiful Pigeon Island and take the chance to see whales and dolphins, over one of the finest natural deep-water harbours in the world. Sri Lanka has an abundance of wildlife and national parks including Minneriya, which from May to October, is famous for some of the biggest gatherings of wild Asian elephants in the world.
No visit would be complete without an early-morning climb of the world-famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress, one of the most awe-inspiring cultural sites in Sri Lanka. Your cultural experience continues with performances by the Kandyan Art Association & Cultural Centre showcasing the region’s rich cultural heritage and various styles of Kandyan dance.
From there your journey heads inland to the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka as you pass rolling hills and carpets of green tea fields, take a city tour and boat ride on Lake Gregory and visit the famous Hakgala Botanical Garden, founded in 1860 by eminent British botanist Dr. GHK Thwaites. The climate here is around 16 degrees Celsius, perfect for temperate plants such as the Rose Garden, where you can experience the sights and scents of glorious blooms in infinite variety, and the exotic Orchid House.
The tour concludes in the stunning Horton Plains National Park, a starkly beautiful highland plateau popular with walkers, including the fabled viewpoint World's End and fascinating Bakers Falls. Horton Plains are the habitat of Giant Rhododendron (an evergreen shrub with large clusters of trumpet shaped flowers), tree fern primrose and daffodil orchids, Shaggy Bear Monkey and the Blue Mormon butterfly. Located within the park is a sheer cliff with a drop of about 4,000 feet (1,200 m). The Indian Ocean, 81 km to the south, can be observed on clear days.
This private guided tour gives you all the best of Sri Lanka with the comfort and flexibility of your own driver and guide. No doubt it will give you plenty of memories to reflect upon, gathered throughout this exciting and colourful adventure.
- Private guided, comfortable (min 2-person) safari
- Hand-picked best nature-based locations
- Best available comfortable and affordable accommodation
- Best nature guides in Sri Lanka
- 2 safaris at Wilpattu (your best chance to see leopards)
- Horton Plains - beautiful montane grassland and cloud forest with stunning countryside
Day 1 – Arrival and drive to Wilpattu (D) Arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport and meet with local guide and driver. Transfer to Wilpattu. This is the oldest and largest National Park in Sri Lanka. In the late afternoon proceed on a jeep safari around Wilpattu to see a range of tropical water birds and wildlife.
Day 2 – Wipattu to Trincomalee (B, D) A morning visit to Wilpattu gives you a second chance of seeing some of the great animals in Wilpattu park. In the afternoon you will transfer to Trincomalee (Approximately 02 hours’ drive) which is one of the most beautiful natural harbors in the world. In the afternoon, proceed on a snorkelling session at the Pigeon Island Marine National Park (except closed season) which is a unique destination and whale and dolphin expedition. Overnight Trincomalee
Day 3 - Trincomalee (B, D) In the morning proceed on a city tour in Trincomalee which covers the visits to Kanniya Hot Water Springs, the famous Koneswaram Temple and the Lover’s Leap. Overnight Trincomalee
Day 4 Trincomalee to Habarana (B, D) After a leisurely breakfast, you will be transferred to Habarana (Approximately 01 1⁄2 hours’ drive). In the evening, take a jeep safari ride to Minneriya National Park which is one of the best places in the country to see wild elephants, which are often present in huge numbers. Overnight stay in Habarana.
Day 5 – Habarana - Kandy (B, D) After an early breakfast, climb the world-famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress which is one of the most awe-inspiring cultural sites in Sri Lanka and is worthy of being named the 8th wonder of the world. In the afternoon, travel inland to the city of Kandy (Approximately 03 hours’ drive) which is also known as the cultural capital. This ancient city revolves around a large manmade lake, set amidst a high plateau and is surrounded with a beautiful view of lush mountain ranges. In the evening, visit the sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic which houses the sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha and witness the exotic Cultural Dance Pageant. Overnight stay in Kandy.
Day 6 Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (B, D) After breakfast, you will be transferred to Nuwara Eliya (Approximately 03 hours’ drive), which is better known as Little England of Sri Lanka. The ride will take you past rolling hills and carpets of green tea fields. In the evening, take a city tour including a boat ride in the Lake Gregory and famous Hakgala Botanical Garden which is believed to be the highest set botanical garden in the world. Overnight Nuwara Eliya
Day 7 – Nuwara Eliya – Negombo (B, D) With a packed breakfast, proceed to Horton Plains National Park for an early morning game drive which is starkly beautiful highland plateau popular with walkers that includes the fabled viewpoint of the World's End and the fascinating Bakers Falls. In the late afternoon, you will be transferred to Negombo (Approximately 04 hours’ drive), which is more affectionately known as the “Little Rome” of Sri Lanka. Relax at the hotel. Horton Plains National Park Overnight stay in Negombo.
Day 8 – Transfer to airport (B) Breakfast at the hotel. Thereafter you will be transferred to Bandaranaike International Airport (Approximately 30 minutes’ drive) for your flight back home. You can reflect upon the numerous memories you would have no doubt acquired throughout this exciting tour.
- One airport transfer per couple / group
- 3 star comfortable hotels
- 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
- Air conditioned vehicle
- Bottled water (500ml per pax per day)
- Entrance and jeep fees where applicable and stated on itinerary
- English speaking driver/ guide
- Domestic and international airfares.
- Any pre/post tour accommodation and meals.
- Insurance of any kind.
- Any kind of beverages while in transit or at the lodge.
- Visa fees.
- Emergency rescue costs (local/international). • Drinks, tips and gratuities
- All expenses of personal nature like laundry, telephone bills etc.
- Bank transfer charges (directly paid to your bank).
- AU$108.00 surcharge for snorkelling at Pigeon Island Marine National Park between 1st March and 30th April 2020
- AU$95.00 room surcharge between the 5th and the 15th August 2019 during the Kandy Pageant.
- Christmas surcharge (TBA).
Style of travel
This trip is suitable for people with a basic fitness.