Elephant Pilgrimage Trail

Our elephant pilgrimage has been designed for nature-loving families. The Asian Elephant has been an important part of Sri Lanka’s culture and ecology for thousands of years (10% of the world’s elephant population is concentrated in this small island).
This fascinating animal provides the central focus of this holiday, but there is plenty more packed in besides including exploration of the island’s rich history and the palm-fringed south coast.

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Day 1
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer to your hotel in Negombo about 15 minutes from the international airport. Relax and unwind after your flight, preparing yourself for the adventure ahead.

Day 2 - 4
Early morning visit to the fish market, colourful harbour and to see the Dutch Canals in Negombo.  Return to your hotel for breakfast.  Drive to Dambulla and check in to hotel for a 3 night stay before having an evening game drive in the Minneriya National Park in a jeep. The next day, explore the lake by bicycle (optional) or relax by the pool before an afternoon safari in Hurulu Eco Park / Forest Reserve. A morning jeep safari in search of elephants in Minneriya National Park followed by cycling around the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.

Day 5 & 6
After breakfast checkout of the hotel and drive to Sigiriya Rock, one of Sri Lanka’s most fascinating UNESCO world heritage sites. Climb to the top of this one-time hilltop fortress built in the 5th century by King Kasyapa. Continue on your journey towards the central highlands and check into your hotel about 45 minutes south of Kandy. Explore the village of Kotmale with its village homes, terraced paddy fields, tea estates, and Buddhist temples. Go hiking, biking or bird watching in the surrounding area. Spend a morning excursion in the city of Kandy and visit the Temple of the Tooth where a sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is enshrined.

Day 7 & 8
After breakfast we transfer out of the hills and head south to Uda Walawe, one of the island’s most popular wildlife sanctuaries with open park-lands, where over 500 wild elephants roam free. Wild buffalo and deer keep them company along with mongooses, monitor lizards, crocodiles and bird life. 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 9 & 10
Journey further south east to the Yala National Park. You will stay two nights at Chaaya Wild, an eco-friendly game lodge scattered over 10 acres of scrub jungle bordering Yala National Park and the secluded Palatupana-Kirinda beaches and located just 10 minutes away from the park entrance. The next morning go for a game drive in Yala in search of leopards, elephants, langur monkeys, sambar and spotted deer, jackal, wild boar, buffaloes, sloth bears, crocodiles and over 130 bird species.

Day 11 - 14
Journey along Sri Lanka’s picturesque south coast until you reach the fishing village of Thalpe, just 15 minutes away from the historic city of Galle. Stay the next four nights at a small hotel set on an idyllic stretch of beach. Spend your days taking in the sun and sea. Plenty of water-sports including snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, sea kayaking, and sailing are on offer nearby at Unawatuna and Mirissa bays. The south of Sri Lanka is also considered one of the best locations for spotting Blue Whales, Sperm Whales and Spinner Dolphins. These gigantic marine mammals can be spotted in the deep seas off the coast of Mirissa on a whale watching trip. Explore Galle’s 17th century fort.

Day 15
Tour ends - Transfer to airport - return home or onward travel.

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