Sri Lanka Wildlife Tour
10 Nights / 11 Days
Arrival, welcome by a representative of Lanka Sportreizen and transfer to Hotel in Negombo
Negombo… Being one of the major tourist beach resorts of the island, this lively town is mainly inhabited by the fisher-folk. This is also one of the strongholds of the catholic community of Sri Lanka and quietly correctly considered as the “Little Rome”, located along the picturesque Negombo lagoon, along which hundreds of fishing boats and catamarans could be seen most of the time. The Town is dotted with several churches, some dating from the earliest colonial times. Sightseeing in Negombo includes the remains of the Old Dutch Fortress from 1678, the Dutch Canal constructed for the transportation of Cinnamon, St. Mary’s Church and the Old Dutch Cemetery, and naturally, the Negombo Fish Market –more famously known as the “Lellama”.
In the afternoon undertake a Boat Cruise in the Muthurajawela Nature Reserve.
Muthurajawela.… is located within the unique tropical wetlands between Colombo and Negombo with its flora and fauna of marshes, waters and mangrove forests covering an area of 7.000 hectares. This is a nature reserve where one encounters the flora and fauna confined to wetland marshes and mangrove forests. Both aquatic and marshy vegetation are. found here. You may take part in a Boat Cruise across the Nature Reserve – relax and enjoy the nature while looking out for the various waterside birds such as herons, storks, waders and brilliantly colored kingfishers – try to identify the different flora and fauna
Overnight stay and dinner at the Catamaran Beach Hotel, Negombo
After breakfast leave for Anuradhapura – 1st Capital – 5th Century BC
Anuradhapura … the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities dating back to the 5th Century BC which formed the foundation for a magnificent civilisation spanning over a few centuries. According to the Mahavamsa – the great Sinhala Chronicle, this was a model of planning with precincts set aside for different vocations as well as for foreigners. There were separate cemeteries for high and low castes, hostels and hospitals and water supply was assured by the construction of reservoirs. Its greatest treasures are its dagabos constructed of small sun-dried bricks and are hemispherical in shape two of which have been identified by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. The reservoirs used for storage of water formed the basis of the hydraulic civilisation which later on spread to the entire island .
En route visit the Wilpattu National Park and undertake a Jeep Safari
Wilpattu National Park ——–With an extent of 131,667 hectares was by far the most popular spot for Leopards in the past before it was closed down because of the uncertain security situation which lasted for almost 30 years. It gets its name because of the numerous reservoirs that are found with in its territory. It is also home to a large number of ruins which are proof of human occupation of its area by the civil society back in the early periods of Sri Lankan History.The eastern boundary formed by the sea was thought to be the point where the originators of the sinhalese who arrived from Indi ahas touched base in Sri Lankan soil , is now marked by high sand dunes and broad sandy beaches
Overnight stay and dinner at the Palm Garden Village Hotel, Anuradhapura
After breakfast leave for Polonnaruwa – the Medieval Capital of Sri Lanka- 11th Century AD
Polonnaruwa.… the island’s Medieval Capital (11th – 13th Centuries AD) which rose to fame after the decline of Anuradhapura.. The city was fortified with three concentric walls, beautified with parks and gardens and sanctified by many shrines. A unique Irrigation complex watered the city as well as the surrounding plains helping in agriculture which made the island “the Granary of the East” . The largest of the man made reservoirs, the huge Parakrama Samudra (the Sea of Parakrama), is larger in size than the Colombo Harbor. Polonnaruwa is home to two magnificent World Heritage Sites and numerous other sites of archaeological and historical interest , some of which depict the influence that Hinduism had on the Buddhist Civilization during that period of history.
In Polonnaruwa , visit the many sites of archaeological and historical interest in the Sacred City including the Grate Statue, Quadrangle, Royal Palace, Vatadage, Hatadage, Siva Devalaya, Gal Viharaya, Alahana Pirivena Complex, Kumara and Lotus Ponds, Thuparamaya , Rankoth Vehera, Pabalu Vehera , Thiwanka Image House , The Museum etc some of which depict the influence that Hinduism had on the Buddhist Civilization during that period of history.
In the afternoon visit the Minneriya National Park and undertake a Jeep Safari
Minneriya………It is situated around the reservoir of the same name in the south central area of the island. This park comprises of grasslands, thorny scrubs and many valuable species of trees. Large herds of elephants, species of deer, wild boar, water buffalo and jackals are some of the wild animals found, along with a variety of avifauna that abounds the park. Has become synonymous with the annual “Elephant Gathering”
Overnight stay and dinner at the Giritale Hotel, Giritale
After breakfast leave for Kandy – the Hill Capital.
Kandy………….literally known as the “City on the Hills” so named as it was protected by the nature – water , rocks and jungles. The last capital of the Sri Lankan kings before faling to the British in 1815AD which is a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures vision of splendour of magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. The centre of attraction is the golden roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. The Kandy Lake built by the last King Sri Wickramarajasinghe in 1806 holds a prominent view of the City. It is a City for arts and crafts as well culture and history
Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha
Overnight stay and dinner at the Topaz Hotel, Kandy
After early breakfast leave for Pinnawala.
Visit the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala
Elephant Orphanage – Located on the banks of Maha Oya , claimed as the only place in the entire planet earth where one can see such a large herd of captive elephants , established in 1975 as an effort towards education and conservation of scientific captive breeding , it provides shelter to young elephants who find themselves abandoned , displaced or lost from their natural habitats due to various reasons such as the clearance of land for development by the community.
On the return journey, visit the Udawattekelle Nature Reserve
Udawattekele …………..This nature reserve encompasses the sacred woods bordering the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. This is an interesting sanctuary where a meditation center is also located with in it.. The lush and relatively untouched vegetation of Udawattekele consists of tropical rainforest which provides a haven for fascinating flowers, birds and monkeys
In the evening watch a Cultural Performance by Kandyan Dancers and Drummers including devotional “Fire Walking “
Overnight stay and dinner at the Topaz Hotel, Kandy
After breakfast leave for Nuwara Eliya – “Little England” through the Ramboda Pass surrounded by “Green Carpets”- hills covered with Tea and cascading Water Falls amidst breathtakingly beautiful landscapes
Nuwara Eliya… nestled in a wooded basin at the foot of Mount Pidurutalagala Sri Lanka’s highest peak, this region at 6,183ft above sea-level Has a cool, crisp climate unknown elsewhere in Sri Lanka. A serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of Colombo, the town seems like a piece of the English Lake District. Unusual plants, birds and animals thrive here besides natural feature like waterfalls and caves. Tea, the glistening green leaves of this lovely shrub, along with neat rows of green, cloak ridges and valleys providing a lasting impression of Sri Lanka’s Hill Country. The Golf Course – one of the finest and picturesque in Asia – the serene Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity, beautiful parks and well kept lawns and hedges give the place an air of nostalgia.
En route visit a Tea Factory and a Plantation to witness the manufacturing process of world famous “Ceylon Tea” and to taste a pure unblended cup of factory fresh tea before being sent to the Tea Auctions in Colombo leading to Export. Evening is free for walks /tour around the city – the important places being the Victoria Park , Gregory Lake , Golf Course, Market etc.
Overnight stay and dinner at the Galway Forest Lodge, Nuwara Eliya – located with in the Galways Nature Reserve
After breakfast leave for Embilipitiya
Undertake a Jeep Safari of the Uda Walawe National Park mainly to see wild elephants. Uda Walawe National Park … It is situated around a reservoir of the same name in the south central area of the island. This park comprises grasslands, thorny scrubs and many valuable species of trees. Large herds of elephants, species of deer, wild boar, water buffalo and jackals are some of the wild animals found, along with a variety of avifauna that abounds the park.
Also visit the Elephant Transit Home. Elephant Transit Home …………..Located just outside the Uda Walawe National Park in the Southwestern Part of Sri Lanka , opened its doors to baby elephants in need in 1995. The babies are well looked after fed and groomed to integrate back into a jungle environment. After a stay of approximately four years .This has turned out o be a successful conservation exercise where interested elephant conservation enthusiasts can become foster parents for these baby pachyderms until they are weaned away from milk and learn to eat other types of food for a reasonable fee.
Overnight stay and dinner at the Centauria Hotel, Embilipitiya
After breakfast leave for Yala National Park – Best known of Sri Lanka’s National Parks , Yala (Ruhunu) National Park is located in the south east of the island bound by sea and river. A terrain of scrub jungle with stunning outcrops of rock includes many fresh water lakes and brackish lagoons. The eastern boundary formed by the sea, is marked by high sand dunes and broad sandy beaches. It is divided in to five blocks out of which Block 1 stand out as the most familiar. With a secondary forest , probably a few hundred years old where thorn-scrub is interspersed with fairly dense forest marked by many flowering trees and rare tropical woods. A large number of historic ruins with in the park indicate that the Yala Area was part of the important Ruhunu Civilization of the Sinhalese. If you are lucky you can catch a glimpse of the Big Four – Elephant , Leopard , Bear and Buffalo while sightings of other mammals such as Sambhur , Spotted Deer, Jackal , Mongoose , with several species of Monkeys will stand as a bonus. The avifauna at Yala comprises of 120 – 130 species according to latest sightings which include the endemic and migrant species , the latter coming annually to escape the northern winter.
Undertake a Jeep Safari of the Yala (Ruhunu) National Park famous for its leopard population
Overnight stay and dinner at the Mandara Rosen Hotel,Kataragama
Early morning visit the Shrine devoted to God Skanda – but visited by people of all faiths and the different shrines at Sella Kataragama
Also engage in Bird Watching in the area where there are the agricultural reservoirs. Leave for Mirissa
En route visit the Bundala National Park famous for its large populations of migratory birds
Bundala Bird Sanctuary … If you love bird watching Bundala will be the place to visit. Being Sri Lanka’s only Ramsar Wetland which plays host to over 20,000 shorebirds, at any given time. From August to April. Bundala is the end point of a vast migration of birds from the North. The lagoons and inter-tidal mud flats are nesting and feeding site for wintering birds. But birds are not the only attraction at this sanctuary. Elephants, Deer, Wild Buffalo roam free and 4 of the 5 species of endangered turtles visit this area.
Overnight stay and dinner at the Mandara Rosen Resort, Weligama
Early morning transfer to the Mirissa Fishing Harbour. Undertake a Boat Expedition to the Deep Sea to watch Dolphins/Whales. Leave for Negombo
Overnight stay and dinner at the Catamaran Beach Hotel, Negombo.
Transfer to the Airport for departure
End of Tour