This is a 7 day tour but could be customised for your requirements. (You can click on location images to see information about them)
A very warm welcome from your tour guide at the Katunayaka airport. You will be transferred to your hotel in Colombo. A city tour and shopping in Colombo in the afternoon.
Colombo – like many capital cities in developing countries, Colombo is fast changing its face. Almost overnight, skyscrapers arise from where old buildings once stood, yet in some parts, the old world charm is retained. A 100-year-old clock tower and several British built, colonial buildings are still to be seen in the city. The Pettah bazaar, where one can shop for bargains, a Hindu and a Buddhist temple, residential areas where you find the stately homes of the affluent, the Colombo museum, the Bandaranaike memorial international conference hall, an outright gift to Sri Lanka from the People’s Republic of China, the new parliament in Sri Jayawardenapura and the folk art center are some of the places of interest that one can visit.
Dinner and overnight stay at TAJ SAMUDRA HOTEL* .
After breakfast proceed to Sinharaja Rainforest. Begin your journey to Sinharaja early in the morning via Ratnapura. En route visit a gem pit & a gem museum & check in at the hotel. Sinharaja Rainforest is a world heritage site, which can also be described as a Tropical Lowland Rainforest or Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest. Whatever its ‘technical’ name, it is undoubtedly a rich treasure trove of nature with a great diversity of habitats and a vast repository of Sri Lanka ‘s endemic species found nowhere else in the world. Bird Watching in this ecosystem is particularly interesting because it is home to 95% of the endemic birds of Sri Lanka! Named as a world heritage site in 1989, this lowland evergreen rain forest is steeped in deep legend and mystery. The word ‘Sinharaja’ means, Lion (Sinha) King (Raja), and it is popular belief that the legendary origin of the Sinhala people is from the union between a princess and the lion king who once lived in the forest!
Dinner and overnight stay at Ratnaloka Tour Inn*.
Early morning proceed to Udawalawe National Park .
Udawalawe – this 30821 hectares dry zone game park was declared as a protected national park in 1972 and has an annual rainfall of 1524 mm and an average temperature of 29.4 0 C. This park is world famous for its elephants, seen in all their playfulness, whole herds of them, adults and babies bathing and playing in the water or feeding. This safari would be an unforgettable bird watching experience as “Udawalawe” is one of the best parks for bird watching too. The endemic species of bird called Red Faced Malkoha has its favorite habitat in the 192 square km parkland.
Serpent Eagles, Hawk Eagles, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Black Eagles, Black Capped Bulbuls, Racket Tailed Drongos, Malabar Pied Horn Bills, White Necked Storks, Open Bills, Ibis, Shama – The forest Nightingale, Strol Billed King Fishers and Peacocks are found in fair numbers. Among the migrant birds are the forest wagtails, Indian Pitta, Whiskered Terns, Osprey Sand Pipers and Terns.
Proceed to Bundala for a safari in the afternoon. Bundala is the only National Park in Sri Lanka where you get to observe both species of crocodiles existing in the country. A vast concentration of estuarine crocodiles live in the lagoon areas and in the estuary of the Kirindi Oya river, while the mugger or the freshwater crocodile dwells in the small freshwater lakes and in the upper regions of the Kirindi Oya river. The estuarine crocodile is the largest reptile alive today. The male of the species, grows to a length of seven metres and can weigh around 1200kg, with the emale much smaller in comparison at around three metres in length. The female crocodile digs a hole in the sand several metres away from the water, lays around fifty eggs and provides protection to the nest by ensuring she stays close to the vicinity. When its time for the eggs to hatch, she is on hand to lend a helping hand to the newborns by carrying them to the water in her mouth and also providing motherly care until they are able to fend for themselves. Despite all this attention and care by the mother, the percentage of survival of these baby crocodiles is very sparse as they not only fall prey to turtles and other large fish but also to the adult male crocodiles who hunt them down to protect their own territory.
Dinner & overnight stay at Yala Village*.
After breakfast, proceed for a morning safari at Bundala. The high species richness of birds in the Bundala National Park resulted in it being declared as Sri Lanka’s first Ramsar site in 1990, a wetland of international importance for migratory waterfowl. The park consists mainly of dry thorny scrubland and lagoons. The highlight of Bundala is the migratory Greater Flamingo, which visits in large flocks of over 1000 individuals, from Rann of Kutch in India. In particular we may find Indian Cormorant, Yellow Bittern, Black-crowned Night and Purple Herons. The area is also famous for crocodiles.
Dinner & Overnight stay at Yala Village*.
After breakfast we depart for a full day safari. Yala National Park lies 24 km northeast of Tissamaharama and 290km from Colombo on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka and spans Southern and Uva provinces. The park consists of 97,878 ha and the altitude is 90m from sea level. The vegetation in this park comprises secondary forest, possibly a few hundred years old at the most. It is predominantly semi-arid thorny-scrub, interspersed with pockets of fairly dense forest. Small patches of mangrove vegetation occur along the costal lagoons. Yala is renowned for the variety of its wildlife and its fine coastline and associated coral reefs. A large number of important cultural ruins bear testimony to earlier civilizations and indicate that, much of the area was populated and well developed. Your best chance to see a leopard is generally first thing in the morning and then again at dusk. The male leopards in Yala are very confident animals and they are often seen walking the tracks during the day. Young males in particular seem to have no fear of the jeep, which can lead to some excellent photographic opportunities. As well as leopards there are a large number of elephants living inside the park and these can be seen bathing in the numerous lakes within the park. You can also see spotted deer, sambar, wild boar, wild buffaloes, sloth bear, jackal and mongoose. The bird life is also fantastic and it is amazing how close you can get to them from the confines of the jeep, you can see Rosy Starlings, Paradise Flycatchers, Crested Hawk Eagles, Blue-Tailed Bee-Eaters and Common Iora’s.
Dinner & Overnight stay at Yala Village*.
After breakfast proceed to Colombo. Spend afternoon at leisure.
Dinner & overnight stay at Taj Samudra*.
After breakfast proceed to airport for departure.
*Hotels are subject to availability and can be arranged to suit your requirements.