Day 1 & 2
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer to your accommodation about 15 minutes from the airport. Explore the Muthurajawela wetlands situated about 10 minutes from the hotel. These wetlands cover an area of about 6,000 hectares inclusive of the Negombo lagoon. The daily high tide brings in seawater from the ocean into the wetland. Many types of birds, butterflies and fish, some of which are endemic, are found in this habitat. Crocodiles, monitor lizards, and Sri Lanka’s largest snake – the Python, is also found here.
Day 3 – 5
Journey to Sigiriya in the north central province where you will stay three nights, just minutes from the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. En route, stop off at Ritigala and climb through the nature reserve to an ancient monastic complex. This visit will give you a satisfying feel of nature as well as history and an appreciation of the great Hindu legend of Ramayana. Many species of birds as well as a variety of plants, some of which are endemic to Ritigala Nature Reserve can be seen here. Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, se the Royal gardens and look out for numerous species of birds.
Day 6 & 7
Leave in the morning and travel to the central highlands where you will stay two nights situated among the hills of Ambewala in Nuwara Eliya. Visit Horton Plains National park, more than 7000 feet above sea level. Enjoy an early morning walk to “World’s End” and “Little Worlds End”. Horton Plains have a healthy variety of birds and mammals including Sambar Deer, monkey and occasionally leopard. This is the only national park in Sri Lanka where visitors are allowed to walk freely. Nuwara Eliya takes pride in its beautiful gardens with neatly-clipped lawns and colourful flower beds. Visit Victoria Park located in the centre of the city where you will spot numerous species of birds including the Himalayan migrants such as the Kashmir Flycatcher, Pied Thrush Indian Pitta, and the Indian Blue Robin.
Day 8 & 9
Rise early and head to Uda Walawe National Park in the south-central region and check into your hotel near the park entrance. There are about 500 elephants in the park, leopards, buffalo, deer, sloth bears, mongoose, monitor lizards and crocodiles. Visit the Elephant Transit Camp at Uda Walawe run by Sri Lanka’s Wildlife Department. Here about 22 young elephants, mostly babies, who have been orphaned or recovering from injuries are being rehabilitated before release into the wild.
Day 10 & 11
After a farewell breakfast, journey south east to the gates of Yala National Park to your permanent tented camp near the edge of the park. For quite some time, Yala National Park has been Sri Lanka’s most popular wildlife attraction. In terms of game-viewing this is probably the best place to see all of the ‘big three’ (elephant, leopard & water buffalo) as well as countless other mammals, birds and reptiles.
Day 12 & 13
Journey along Sri Lanka’s scenic southern coast up to Galle and travel inland to Deniyaya situated about 3,500 ft above sea level. Stay two nights at an Eco Lodge, a tranquil eco-retreat bordering the magnificent Sinharaja Rainforest. Do a trek into the southern side of Sinharaja that is near the Eco Lodge accompanied by a nature guide. Explore the Enselwatte tea plantation and learn of Ceylon Tea. Try you hand at picking the precious two leaves and a bud and visit a tea factory.
Day 14 – 16
Head back to Galle this morning for a three nights stay. The turquoise seas of Unawatuna, Thalpe and Habaraduwa are only 15 minutes away where swimming, surfing and snorkeling is possible during the season from December to April. Take a boat ride on Koggala Lake scattered with islands including Fish Eagle Island where hundreds Eagles come to nest at dusk. Visit Galle’s historic 17C Dutch Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hours can be spent exploring the maze of narrow streets lined with Dutch and British period buildings, the sturdy ramparts looking out to sea, the growing collection of art galleries, antique shops, cafes and restaurants.
Tour ends – transfer to airport – Return home or onward travel.