A private tour of Sri Lanka with a focus on national parks, wildlife and nature-based experiences for travellers with a keen interest in wildlife.
Wildlife enthusiasts wanting to discover the best of Sri Lanka's wildlife and national parks, with unique nature-based experiences.
Welcome to Colombo. You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your accommodation set in an Estate. It is a journey of about an hour from the airport.
This morning you will head to Wilpattu from Horathapola, a journey of 3 hours and 30 minutes. Embark on a jeep safari into Wilpattu National Park in the afternoon. Wilpattu National Park is the largest and the oldest national park in Sri Lanka, popular due to the high prevalence of Sri Lankan leopards. It is regarded as one of the best places to spot a leopard in its natural habitat. The park is also home to a diverse range of other wildlife, including the highly threatened Sri Lankan sloth bear, Sri Lankan elephant, spotted deer, water buffalo, sambar and mongoose.
This morning head into Wilpattu National Park for an early morning jeep safari. Mornings are the best time to visit the parks, as animals are often more active at this time. Have a leisurely lunch and enjoy an evening walk to a nearby local lake, frequented by playful elephants looking for a drink or swim! Your journey starts from camp around 4:30pm and winds through a little village and Chena (Slash and Burn) cultivation. At the lake, enjoy quietly spying on elephants and forest birds while all the world is submerged in a vivid sunset. Experience the park up close during your stay, with your accommodation set within the buffer zone of the national park. Stay in a luxury tented accommodation complete with private facilities including a seven course candle lit dinner under the stars.
Head to Habarana this morning, a journey of 3 hours. On route visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura is known as `The City of Kings.' This ancient political and religious city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Continuously inhabited for over two millennia, Anuradhapura was the seat of power in Sri Lanka until constant invasions forced a move to Polonnaruwa further south.
Rise early to climb Pidurangala Rock before the heat of the day. A massive rock formation, Pidurangala, is said to have been the royal temple at the time when King Kashyapa was at the helm of the Sigiriya fortress. Be prepared to climb – the hike up the rock takes about one hour depending on your fitness level. Reach the top and be rewarded with views of a green carpet of forest punctuated with Sigiriya rock in the distance. Refresh and relax at the hotel. Head to Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the afternoon. Rising over the dry plains of the Sigiriya district, this marvellous rock fortress, also known as 'Lion Rock', is possibly Sri Lanka's best known attraction and one of its biggest draw cards.Today a UNESCO World Heritage site, it was the domain of King Kashyapa, whose aim was to build an impregnable fortress and within it, a heavenly abode. The skeletal layout of the ancient city within the fortress reveals the grandeur and complexity of 5th century urban-planning of Sri Lanka.
Head this morning to Maduru Oya, a journey of 2 hours and 45 minutes. Along the way stop to stretch your legs with a bike ride and sightseeing visit at Polonnaruwa. Afternoon jeep safari at Maduru Oya National Park. Just beyond the Wasgamuwa National Park, lies a jewel not quite caught in the limelight; the Maduru Oya National Park. Situated in the eastern province of Sri Lanka, it is a formidable expanse of over 58,800 hectares and home to wildlife, ruins and engineering feats. What is significant about this park is not just its biodiversity but its richness in being home to numerous endemic and endangered species, in particular. Elephants are a visible feature in the Park, and herds can be sighted quite frequently. Experience the park up close during your stay, with your own private tented accommodation set inside the national park. Enjoy your very own personal dinning experience with a five course dinner set under the stars.
Explore Maduru Oya National Park this morning on a jeep safari. Visit the unique fishing community that resides within the park. Enjoy your picnic breakfast by the side of ancient ruins.
Head to Gal Oya this morning, a journey of 1 hour and 15 minutes. Relax during the day and join one of the resident naturalists for a walk to take in the beauty of the area around the lodge and enjoy the abundant bird life, the area is known for.
Drive to Senanayaka Samudraya in Inginiyagala for a 3-hour boat safari this morning. Gal Oya is the only place in Sri Lanka where safaris can be conducted by boat, a magical experience, giving you an opportunity to observe animals as they come to the water’s edge to drink and forage along the shore. A highlight is seeing the spectacle of herds of elephants swimming from one island to another in search of greener pastures. Have a leisurely afternoon and learn about the culture and ways of the Veddah people, on a gentle forest walk led by a local Vedda chief.The Vedda are the original indigenous community of Sri Lanka, though their traditional culture and way of life is being severely impacted by Sri Lanka's rapidly modernising economy. Your lodge seeks to engage and work with them in a sensitive way.
Head to Kumana, a journey of 4 hours. Your stay will be inside Kumana National Park. Kumana National Park is renowned for its avifauna particularly its large flocks of migratory waterfowl and wading birds, The park is 391 kilometres southeast of Colombo on Sri Lanka's southeastern coast. Kumana is contiguous with Yala National Park. Kumana Bird Sanctuary, declared in 1938, is included within the Kumana National Park. It is one of the most important bird nesting and breeding grounds in Sri Lanka. 255 species of birds have been recorded in the national park. From April to July tens of thousands of birds migrate to the Kumana swamp area. Go on a jeep safari in the afternoon. Experience the park up close during your stay, with your accommodation set inside the national park. Stay in a tented camp complete with private facilities. Enjoy the personalised service and and sounds of nature. Let your naturalist relate amazing stories of the wilderness as you enjoy the evening seated by the camp fire.
Rise early to explore Kumana National Park this morning on a jeep safari. Return to the campsite and enjoy a leisurely lunch, Explore the rest of the park in the afternoon on a jeep safari. The game drives and living experience are unique at Kumana. You will be struck by the park's diversity and the changes in landscape; from stretches of grassland, forest patches to wetlands. The call of birds are a prelude to the mornings which are pumped by adrenaline surging jeep safaris, for you never know when you may get the exclusive viewing of an elusive leopard or a watchful sloth bear mom with her cubs.The afternoons at the campsite are all about leisure whether you may want to have a completely relaxed lunch and a dip in the river by the side of the campsite, or you may just want to relax and read a book in the hammock.
Drive to Wellawaya this morning, a journey of of 4 hours and 30 minutes. Remainder of your day at leisure in an eco - friendly accommodation in a typical Sri Lankan rural setting.
Depart to Belihuloya this morning, a journey of 2 hours and 30 minutes. Remainder of your day at leisure at your tented lodge. Enjoy the facilities that your tented Lodge offers including a private star/ day bed and a 'wild bath' in complete privacy.
Explore the bushland and forests of Belihuloya on foot. Start the day early on a bush walk. Visit an age old village in the mountains. Be at leisure for the rest of the day.
Travel to Sinharaja Rainforest this morning, a journey of 4 hours. On route you will stop at Udawalave to visit the Elephant Transit home. The Elephant Transit Home was stablished in 1995 by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation. It was created to provide care and rehabilitation to young elephant calves found abandoned or orphaned with little or no prospect of survival due to the loss of their mother and natural herd. During the last decade, over 1300 wild elephants have been killed in Sri Lanka due to gunshot wounds, poisoning, electrocution, land mines and collisions with vehicles and trains.
Wake up to the sounds of the birds. A walking trail with the in- house naturalist is for the morning. Rest of the day at leisure. Mixed species of bird wave is one of the most interesting experiences of the forest. Observations made on at least 100 such flocks of Sinharaja, reveal that over 40 species of birds including 12 endemic species, participate in flocks.
Travel to Galle this morning, a journey of 3 hours. The port city of Galle Fort in Southern Sri Lanka is a place that speaks of another era of times gone by. An impressive rampart surrounding a small peninsula jutting out to the Indian Ocean, the Fort’s cobbled streets have seen four hundred years of history from Arab merchants to the adventurous Portuguese and the industrious Dutch. Galle is a UNESCO World Heritage City and considered to be the best example of a fortified city in south and southeast Asia.
Start your day with a leisurely breakfast. Afternoon is for exploring Galle Fort on a guided tour.
Explore Galle Fort on your own today, walk into some of the amazing restaurants in town or if you are up to more adventure 'Aerial Whale Watching' is a great way to spend your morning.
Depart Colombo today. The drive to Colombo International airport is approximately 3 hours.
"We highly recommend Sri Lanka Unbound for their professional and efficient organization of our independent travel to Sri Lanka. Having a driver, itinerary and accommodation organised pre-travel ensured a totally hassle-free trip which we arranged on our terms. A perfect 3 weeks in paradise. Thank you." Brian & Margaret – April 2018
Prices are indicative only & subject to change.
The following is a list of standard inclusions and exclusions. Detailed inclusions will be provided with individual itineraries.