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adventure travel trip to Sri Lanka
See wild Asian elephants
  • Dec 1-14, 2014
  • Feb 2-15, 2015
  • Nov 30-Dec 13, 2015
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 14 days
    Group Size 2-10
    Land Cost $4,595
    Single Supplement $1,100
    Lodging 3 stars
    Grade I-II
    Best Time

    Wild and Sacred Sanctuaries

    Deep exploration of the island nation's impressive array of national parks and reserves

    Day 1      Arrive Wattala

    You will be met on arrival at Colombo International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Wattala, where the remainder of the day is yours at leisure prior to dinner at your hotel.

    Consider arriving a day or two earlier to spend relaxing or walking along the soft, sandy beaches of your shoreline hotel.

    Meals: Dinner
    Lodging: Pegasus Reef Hotel (or similar)

    Relax at your beachfront hotel
    Day 2      Wilpattu National Park

    After breakfast, transfer to Wilpattu National Park, where you'll board a safari vehicle to travel to your campsite within the park. The unique feature of this park is the existence of "willus," natural, sandy water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. There are around 60 of these willu basins throughout the park, which is also the largest and one of the oldest national parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is also among the top national parks in the world, renowned for its leopard population. After a camp lunch and a bit of leisure time, head out on an evening game drive, then return to your quarters, a luxury mobile tented camp, your base for the next two nights.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Mahoora mobile tented camp (or similar)

    Black-winged stilt in Wilpattu National Park
    Day 3      Wilpattu National Park

    After a hearty camp breakfast, head out on a morning game drive in Wilpattu in search of some of the 31 known species of mammals in the park, including threatened species such as elephants and leopards. The park is also home to a rich variety of birdlife such as storks, owls, eagles, cormorants, egrets, and more. You'll return to camp for lunch and some leisure/relaxation time, then head out for an evening safari, looking for noctural creatures which don't come out until dusk.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Mahoora mobile tented camp (or similar)

    See elephants and other threatened species in the park
    Day 4      Habarana

    After breakfast, transfer to Habanara, a small town that's a good base for wildlife and an excursion to Minneriya National Park. In the afternoon, head out on an elephant-back safari in search of twilight and noctural wildlife.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Chaaya Village Hotel (or similar)

    Enjoy the vantage point on your elephant-back safari
    Day 5      Minneriya/Sigiriya/Habarana

    Transfer from Habanara to visit Sigiriya, where you will climb the 5th century rock fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site built by King Kashyapa in the 1st century A.D. The “Lion Rock” is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70-hectacre fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens, including the renowned water gardens, ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the “Heavenly Maidens” of Sigiriya, which are in sheltered pocket of the rock and are seen as you approach a spiral stairway.

    Afterward, head back into Minneriya National Park for a game drive in search of elephants and other wildlife. Return to Habarana for the evening.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Chaaya Village Hotel (or similar)

    Marvel at the rock fortress of Sigiriya
    Day 6      Wasgamuwa National Park

    Following breakfast, embark on a safari in Wasgamuwa National Park, located within the Matale and Polonnaruwa districts. Herds of Sri Lankan elephants are commonly encountered here, as well as various bird species unique to the island. In the evening, head back to camp for dinner.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Mahoora camping

    Day 7      Kandy

    After breakfast, head for Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendor and magnificence. Drive around Kandy Lake, built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798, visit the Kandy town, and stop at the Temple of the Tooth. Wrap up the day with a Sri Lankan cultural show!

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Amaya Hills (or similar)

    Temple of the Tooth
    Day 8      Peradeniya/Nuwara Eliya

    In the morning, set off for Peradeniya, a 147-acre garden built by the Sinhala King. The garden contains numerous pavilions, an actagon conservatory, a giant Javan fig tree, and an orchid house. After exploring the garden, transfer from Peradeniya to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka's most popular hill resort. In addition to providing brilliant mountain views, Nuwara Eliya is the core of Sri Lanka's tea country and produces a significant share of the world's best tea. You can also see Sri Lanka's highest mountain here, Pidurutalagala (8,282 ft)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Jetwing St. Andrews Hotel (or similar)

    You'll encounter smiling faces from the locals everywhere!
    Day 9      Horton Plains National Park

    Drive about two hours to Horton Plains National Park, a protected area in the central highlands of the island. Rich in biodiversity, Horton Plains is home to many species endemic to this region. The main attraction here is "World's End," a dramatic 4,000 foot drop-off that is believed to be the finest view in Sri Lanka. The seven mile hike around the park offers fantastic views and possible wildlife sightings. Return to your hotel at Nuwara Eliya.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Jetwing St. Andrews Hotel (or similar)

    "World's End" at Horton Plains National Park
    Day 10      Udawalawe National Park

    After breakfast, transfer to Udawalawe National Park, famous for spotting herds of elephant, spotted deer, sambur, barking deer, water buffalo and jackal on its 30,821 hectares of land. When you're not admiring one of these animals, appreciate the beauty of the surrounding mountain range.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Kalu S. Hideaway (or similar)

    Wild elephant and its young at Udawalawe National Park
    Day 11      Situlpahuwa/Tissamaharama

    Head to the town of Tissamaharama with a stop at Situlpahuwa, a monastic settlement that formerly housed 12,000 inhabitants. The settlement has been restored and is now an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Continue on to your lodge at Tissamaharama, your base for exploring Yala National Park.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Chaaya Wild Hotel (or similar)

    Day 12      Yala National Park

    In the morning, head to Yala National Park in search of wildlife. Get ready to see elephants, wild boars, buffaloes, leopards, bears, deer, and crocodiles. The park is located in the southeastern corner of the island, so you will also have some great ocean views! Return to your hotel, where you have the rest of the day free to relax. Afternoon safaris are available at additional cost.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Chaaya Wild Hotel (or similar)

    You're in luck if you see some of Yala's majestic leopards
    Day 13      Galle

    Depart for Galle, which was once the chief port of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was named by the British), now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also well known for its handmade lace. You'll visit Galle Fort, originally built by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch in 1663.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel and Spa (or similar)

    Visit imposing Galle Fort
    Day 14      Colombo/Onward

    Leave for Colombo. Depending on time of departure, explore the city's Hindu and Buddhist temples and British colonial buildings. Transfer to the airport for your flight.

    Meals: Breakfast

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