18 day safari

Prices from

£4140

Excluding international flights

Tour Highlights

  • Extensive stays at both Wilpattu and Yala
  • Linked by including the little visited Gal Oya national park
  • Best tour for leopard and two location whale watching extensions
  • Tour can be tailored around your own requirements

Yala and Wilpattu Combined Leopard Safari

Beginning with a night in Kalpitiya, and ending with stay in Tangalle can give you that perfect combination of a relaxed beach stay with marine wildlife tours that are not overly commerical and can often deliver amazing wildlife encounters. In between you have safaris at Wilpattu, which will always be the ‘path less travelled’, and here it is more about the quality of your wildlife encounter, rather than the number of sightings (versus the very popular (and prolific) Yala national park). The real pay-off is the escape from the crowds and that more intimate connection with nature and wildlife. En route there is time for cultural diversions, with the Dambulla cave temples and Sigirya Rock fortress, and further off the beaten track safaris by boat at Gal Oya hoping photograph to ‘snorkelling’ elephants, before the highlights that only Yala can bring.

When to Go:
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Best time to visit -

MAR

Safari Style -

Bespoke Wildlife

DAY 1

PRIVATE TRANSFER FROM COLOMBO AIRPORT TO JETWING BEACH, NEGOMBO

On arrival at Colombo international airport you will be met and helped with any money exchange required, before taking a private car transfer 40 minutes to the beautiful Jetwing Beach at Negombo.

DAY 2

DRIVE FROM NEGOMBO TO KALPITIYA. HALF-DAY DOLPHIN AND WHALE WATCHING BOAT SAFARIS

After breakfast you will drive two hours north to the beautiful coastal community of Kalpitiya where you will check into the stunningly located Bar Reef resort. In the afternoon you will enjoy a dolphin spotting excursion by fishing boat (according to sea conditions), hundreds of dolphins may be seen in the same trip; species include Spinner, Rissos, Bottlenose and Indo-Pacific Humpback (‘pink’) dolphin. Though best-known as a dolphin hotspot, whales can also be encountered (seasonal) and these range from Orcas to Blue, Sperm and Minke. Afternoon free for your own activities.

DAY 3

MORNING FREE IN KALPITIYA THEN TRANSFER TO WILPATTU

We allow another free morning in Kalpitiya in case of weather disruption to your planned activity the previous day and then in the afternoon we drive 2 hours north to the ‘Big Game Camp’, located close to the entrance gate of Wilpattu National Park. You will arrive in time to settle into your accommodation and enjoy dinner.

DAYS 4-6

THREE FULL DAYS OF MORNING AND AFTERNOON SAFARI IN WILPATTU

Three full days of vehicle safaris inside Wilpattu national park. The wildlife in this park has overcome tremendous adversity caused by the civil war to once again thrive in the beautiful forests of eastern Sri Lanka. Not only are there far less vehicles here than in Yala, it also allowed wildlife lovers to link up some incredible dolphin and whale watching tours in nearby Kalpitiya.

Accommodation : Big Game Camp

DAY 7

DRIVE FROM WILPATTU TO DAMBULLA

After breakfast you will meet up again with your own private driver and he will transfer you 2-3 hours to the gorgeous Amaya Lake property, with its perfect location to explore the cultural triangle. You will stop en route to visit the stunning Aukana Budhha (entrance fees included).

DAY 8

MORNING VISIT TO SIGIRIYA FORTRESS AND AFTERNOON FREE FOR ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES

Early start to climb to the Sigiriya rock fortress, 200m above the jungle, which was the pleasure capital of a single king called Kashyapa in the 5th century A.D (avoiding the afternoon heat), also viewing the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ frescoes. The surrounding Sigiriya Sanctuary is noted as a dry zone birding location, with a chance to see the scarce Blue-eared Kingfisher. You will have plenty of time for relaxation in the afternoon by the hotels pool, or we can book further adventures for you.

Accommodation : Amaya Lake

DAY 9

TRANSFER FROM DAMBULLA TO GAL OYA

After breakfast you will visit the Buddhist cave temples at Dambulla before being driven onward by road to Gal Oya, (a journey of approximately 4 hours) passing near Wasgamuwa and Maduru Oya. Check in at the ‘Gal Oya Lodge’ and evening at leisure

DAY 10

JEEP, BOAT AND WALKING SAFARI OPTIONS IN GAL OYA

Morning and afternoon visits to Gal Oya National Park. A variety of activities are possible at this beautiful national park; choose between guided walks, and safaris by boat or jeep.

Accommodation : Gal Oya Lodge

DAY 11

DRIVE FROM GAL OYA TO YALA NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast you will be driven south to Yala (a journey of approximately 4 hours). Check in to the ‘Jetwing Yala’ alongside Yala National Park. Enjoy a beautiful lunch before heading into the jewel of Sri Lanka’s national parks with your first private jeep safari looking for Leopard, Asian elephants and Sloth Bear.

DAYS 12-14

THREE FULL DAYS OF JEEP SAFARIS IN YALA NATIONAL PARK

There are three essential ingredients to a world class Leopard safari in Yala national park. The location of your lodge or tented camp, the quality of your guide and the decision to take a packed lunch into the park. The amount of visitors who spend wasted hours driving in and out of the park for lunch is incredible and although Leopards are the big draw, there is so much more to see in this world famous wildlife sanctuary. You are here on a wildlife safari after all, so let’s at least maximize your time in the park and avoid the crowds where possible.

Accommodation : Jetwing Yala

Leopard safari Yala national park backlit male leopard

DAY 15

FINAL MORNING SAFARI AND THEN DRIVE TO TANGALLE

Final morning private jeep safari in Yala National Park. Immediately after your safari you will be driven to Tangalle on the southern coast (a journey of approximately 2-3 hours), consider a visit en route to nearby Bundala National Park looking for a wide variety of resident and migratory waders and shore birds, which include Red-necked Phalarope, Great Thick-knee and hundreds of Greater Flamingo. Check in to the ‘Palm Paradise Cabanas’ for your overnight accommodation.

DAY 16

MORNING SMALL BOAT WHALE WATCHING SAFARI FROM MIRISSA

After an early breakfast you will be transferred to Mirissa Harbour for your morning whale watching excursion, travelling towards the deeper waters off Dondra Point – held to be one of the best locations Worldwide for the chance of seeing Blue and Sperm whales, also smaller whales and 3 dolphin species may be encountered. Rest of the day free for your own activities

Accommodation : Palm Paradise Cabanas

DAY 17

FULL DAY FREE FOR YOUR OWN ACTIVITIES IN MIRISSA

Tangalle is a beautiful, colourful seaside town, with lots of excellent local restuarants and markets to visit. You can easily spend a fun filled morning exploring locally and then relax at the beach, or by the pool, as the heat of the day builds.

Accommodation : Palm Paradise Cabanas

DAY 18

DRIVE BACK FROM TANGALLE TO COLOMBO AIRPORT

When appropriate you will drive 4-5 hour west back to Colombo airport. We can easily add in a stop en route if required, or have you stay at an airport hotel if your flight home is in the morning

Pricing Info & Dates

Costs £4140 based on two people sharing and not including flights. Travel from December 2020 to July 2021 (excludes 20 Dec to 10 Jan)

Includes:

  • £100 donation to the Tiger Trails Foundation
  • A private vehicle and driver throughout
  • Private safaris in Wilpattu and Yala
  • All activities and transfers as shown

Excludes:

  • Cost of international flights (we can quote on request)
  • Costs associated with applicable visas
  • Lunches in Negombo, Kalpitiya, Dambulla and Tangalle
  • Gratuities for your driver and wildlife guides

Tour Route Map

Animals in sri-lanka

What

Our Clients Say About Us

★★★★★
More stunning wildlife encounters

Recently returned from a trip to Sri Lanka & India. As always, our jointly planned adventures with Wildlife Trails produced another raft of good memories to enjoy. Whilst we have been to both ntries several times, all wildlife trips are uniquely unpredictable & different. It was our first time visiting Wilpatu NP in NW Sri Lanka and would recommend it. It is beautiful forest with plenty of lakes, so very picturesque. Great sightings of leopard, sloth bear, many prey animals & fabulous birds. We were also able to enjoy the company of our regular driver (who has become a good friend), thanks to the efforts of Wildlife Trails. In India we revisited Kanha NP & were rewarded with fantastic tiger sightings; the stuff of dreams. We never tire of these two amazing countries. It is always a pleasure to plan & fulfil our travel arrangements with Wildlife Trails. Satisfaction guaranteed for us through our shared wildlife interests, understanding of our preferences, incredible attention to detail & feeling like we are discussing it with friends rather that a travel company, making hopes become reality.

ByAvril and Brian
★★★★★
Great Wildlife holiday in a beautiful country

We did a wildlife and cultural tour of Sri Lanka. We visited Uda Walawe, Yala, Mirissa, buduruwagala, dickwella, Rekawa Turtle Sanctuary, Galle, Kottawa Rainforest and Negombo. The wildlife htings were awesome, we saw everything we were looking for (leopards, whales, elephants, turtles) and one big plus - a Sloth Bear! The Buddhist sites were also really interesting as was the Fort at Galle. The weather was great, the people were really friendly and the accomodation was very nice. We had a really good holiday and we were sorry to have to leave Sri Lanka! I have used Wildlife Trails many times, every holiday has been great and we have always been priveleged to find the Wildlife we have been looking for. I will continue to use Wildlife Trails as they work hard to make the itinerary the customer wants happen, at a good price and in the time you have available for the holiday.

ByTony