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Sri Lanka safari visiting the famous Wilpattu and Yala.

16 days from £3240*

Sri Lanka Yala leopard safari wild elephant photo

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Overview

Sri Lanka safari visiting the 'two jewels' of Wilpattu and Yala

​Sri Lanka safari off the beaten track as you explore some of the regions most unique but little visited National Parks and wilderness areas. We start with a trip up the coast to Kalapitiya for a chance to view 4 different species of Dolphin, Orcas, Fin Whale, Blue Whale and Sperm Whale. Then to the legendary Wilpattu National Park; this was famous on the island for Leopards, back in the day when people only thought Yala was only good for Elephant. The civil war extracted a heavy toll on Wilpattu, but like many wilderness areas, when the fighting stops and it is allowed to recover, the wildlife returns. From here your Sri Lanka Wildlife Holiday continues to the cultural triangle and the hill country; but there is a focus on undiscovered gems such as ‘Ravana’s Secret’ deep in the mountains with stunning views and a sense of tranquility. There is finally time to enjoy a Leopard Safari in Yala before returning to Colombo with a stop in Galle en route; to bring you to the end of your bespoke Sri Lanka safari.

Yala will hopefully provide your wildlife highlights, with a good chance of multiple leopard sightings given a reasonable length of stay.  Generally we recommend spending a minimum of three to four days on safari here to maximise your chances; it always remains a matter of luck.  In addition to leopards (hopefully!), you will see a good number of elephant, also spotted deer and sambar, wild boar, buffalo, jackal, crocodiles, the odd sloth bear (more common during May/ June when the trees are fruiting) and a huge variety of resident and migratory birds.  Yala in particular can get quite busy at weekends with visitors coming from Colombo (Fri-Sun), so it is worth starting your days early and timing your visit to avoid any crowds as much as possible. 

As a start point, travelling with a dedicated driver/ guide in Sri Lanka is definitely a huge bonus and, as with our tours in India, getting to know each other allows the flexibility to make suggestions and include additional sites en route, or between safaris, of particular interest to you.  Because the National Park rangers often speak little or no English, your driver is also available to accompany you on safari to act as interpreter and an extra pair of keen eyes to ensure that you get the best possible experience in all the National Parks and locations you visit

On a Sri Lanka safari virtually all safari jeeps are land-rover type vehicles with hard tops for protection from showers but with open sides for ease of viewing and photography.  We can provide the upgrade cost for the more deluxe safari jeeps options at Yala national park, these have better sprung individual seats and a more elevated forward facing viewing position with greater space for you to move around with your cameras (based around Tata or Toyota pickup bodies). 

Itinerary

This is a Private Tour

  1. 1

    Your Sri Lanka safari starts with a pick up from Colombo international airport and transfer 2 hours north to the ‘Bar Reef Resort’ at Kalpitiya

  2. 2

    Dependng on sea conditons, you will enjoy a whale and dolphin spotting excursion by fishing boat

  3. 3

    Transfer to a boundary camp close to Wilpattu National Park, afternoon private jeep safari

  4. 4

    Morning and afternoon private jeep safaris in Wilpattu

  5. 5

    Early morning jeep safari in Wilpattu NP.  Later transfer to ‘Amaya Lake’ at Dambulla, visiting the Aukana Buddha en route

  6. 6

    Early start to climb to the Sigiriya rock fortress. Afternoon free for your own activities with private car and driver

  7. 7

    Visit the Buddhist cave temples at Dambulla before being driven onward to Kandy. Afternoon guided tour of the ancient citadel, including the lakeshore and the temple of the tooth relic. Overnight at ‘Rangala House’ in Udispattuwa

  8. 8

    Full day free to explore the surrounding Knuckles Range of mountains and neighbouring tea plantation trails

  9. 9

    Leisurely start for the drive onward to ‘Ravana’s Secret’ near Ella/ Demodara, breaking the journey to enjoy inceasingly stunning mountain views

  10. 10

    Take a drive to the Ravana Ella Falls taking a picnic lunch, great views of the waterfalls and cliffs.

  11. 11

    Visit to the Tangamalai bird sanctuary on the way to Yala. Afternoon private jeep safari in Yala. Overnight at ‘The Safari’.

  12. 12-14

    Three days of morning and afternoon private jeep safaris inside Yala.

  13. 15

    Morning safari to Bundala National Park, later transfer to the ‘Ladyhill’ overlooking the Dutch fort and harbour

  14. 16

    When appropriate transfer to Colombo to connect with your flight home.

Meals

Cost: from £3240 per person based on two sharing or from £2790 per person based on four travelling, (excludes international flights)

Accommodation: a private tour throughout, tried and tested hotels and lodges, with upgrade options on request. All meals are included at the wildlife lodges, breakfast and dinner elsewhere.

AC car and driver for round trip transfers.  Private standard safari jeep with local park guide.  It possible to upgrade to a deluxe jeep at Yala, and/ or to be accompanied throughout by a specialist naturalist.

For a full tour description email Wildlife Trails and include the trip title, or for a different combination we are happy to help design your ideal tour.

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* Based on 2 persons and not including flights

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