This privately-guided safari takes you to Sri Lanka's largest wildlife reserve; lakeside rainforest; and on an east-west transect across the island to some of the country's greatest cultural highlights. Our guides are highly experienced, selected according to your priority interests; and your vehicle will be a modern saloon car, or minivan in you need more space. This is your journey, so we can plan the itinerary with you to match your needs.
For wildlife, our primary target is the Wilpattu National Park:
|Wilpattu National Park in northern Sri Lanka is the country largest national park. It closed during the civil war when it straddled the frontline between Tamil and Sinhalese held areas. It has since reopened and its wildlife recovering with sightings of leopards and elephants now quite common. Much of the park is covered by a dense tropical dry forest. There are also many lakes… more|
Of Sri Lanka's culture & scenery, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya, or Lion Rock, is considered by many as next in line as a Wonder of the World:
|Sigiriya, or Lion Rock, is a temple fortress carved literally from a solid piece of rock nearly 200m high. Lying in the north central region of Sri Lanka, this is perhaps the single most famous monument in Sri Lanka... more|
Two other key sites we will take you to are Dambulla and Polonnaruwa:
|Dambulla is most famous for its Cave Temple Complex, which is the largest and best preserved of its kind in Sri Lanka. There are more than 80 documented caves in the area, but there are five major caves which contain statues... more|
|Polonnaruwa's ancient city is a World Heritage Site and the second site ever to be declared as the capital of Sri Lanka, when King Vijaybahu I defeated Chola invaders in 1070. There are hundreds of ancient structures to visit here, including tombs, temples, stupas and statues.... more|
We will also take you to one of Sri Lanka’s ancient capitals:
|Anuradhapura is one of the world's great ancient monuments; the capital and birthplace of the Sinhalese culture and one of the Southern Asia's longest continuously inhabited cultural and sacred centres. It was once set deep in jungle, in the climatically drier northern section of Sri Lanka, beyond .… more|
.. and to the country's second city of Kandy and the famous Temple of the Tooth monument:
|The Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa) in Kandy is Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist religious monument - a symbolic, cultural centre of Sri Lankan independence and pride… more|
Kandy provides a great opportunity for us to take you on a scenic boat ride along the Mahaweli River; and get a taste of Sri Lanka's rainforests with guided walks in Kandy's lakeside forest reserve:
Udawattakele Forest borders Sri Lanka's second city of Kandy. There is a surprising variety of flora and fauna here, including several endemic species of plant. About 80 types of bird can be found here including the endemic Layard's parakeet and Sri Lanka hanging parrot. Mammals include... more
Accommodation we use is comfortable and can be upgraded in order to meet your expectations of comfort and budget.
Starting in Colombo and ending in Trincomalee, or vice versa, this is an ideal addition to our Whale & Dolphin Snorkel & Photography experiences; but can form the foundation of a fantastic experience at any time of the year. We can complete the journey for you with a one-way transfer, or take you a different route in one direction via Nuwara Eliya, Yala National Park, Udawalawe and / or the Indian Sub-Continent's biggest surviving lowland rainforest: Sinharaja.
Through the Heart of Sri Lanka
Day 1 - Trincomalee to Polonnaruwa
You will be collected from the hotel in Trincomalee after breakfast by your private driver / guide in a modern saloon car, or minivan if you need a larger vehicle.
Your guide will then drive you west to Polonnaruwa to explore the hundreds of ancient structures to be found here.
You will then continue to the small town of Sigiriya where you will stay the night.
Day 2 - Sigiriya & Dambulla
After breakfast, you will be driven to the temple fortress of Sigiriya - also know as Lion Rock. Your guide will take you to the top of the rock by means of a series of steps and Via Ferrata metal staircases. Rock paintings adorn parts of the route. From the top you will be able to see over dry forest areas preserved for elephants and other nature; distant mountains and another rock called Pidurangala.
In the afternoon, we will take you to the largest and best preserved cave temple complex of Dambulla. There are too many caves and reclining Buddhas here to study all of them, but you can at least focus on the five major caves.
From Dambulla, we will drive you to a hotel amongst regenerated woodlands and wetlands close to the Wilpattu National Park. An opportunity exists to upgrade to a tented camp here.
Days 3 & 4 - Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu covers a 1,085 square kilometre swathe of Sri Lanka's north west coast and is made up of a beautiful landscape of lakes, tropical dry forest and undeveloped coastline. Wilpattu means 'the land of lakes' and these attract a huge variety of wildlife; but it is leopards and strange, lumbering sloth-bears that many wildlife watchers journey here to see.
You will spend two days exploring the area for wildlife, with your private guide on hand to identify what you see.
Day 5 - Wilpattu & Anuradhapura to Kandy
Wildlife spotting is best early morning, so we propose an early morning visit to Wilpattu before heading to Sri Lanka's second city via domed temples of the ancient capital of Anuradhapura.
Day 6 - Kandy
In the morning, your guide will take you to Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist monument: the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa).
You will later take a scenic boat ride along the Mahaweli River; and in the afternoon trek through the forest reserve of Udawattakale which borders Kandy's central lake.
You will stay a second night in Kandy.
Day 7 - Kandy to Colombo
Today you will be driven from Kandy to the airport in Colombo for your flight home.
from US$ 1,860
7 days privately guided safari to some of Sri Lanka's best Wildlife & Cultural sites
Price per person sharing (based on 2 people travelling)
Price will be lower for 3 or more travelling together
- Expert private guide
- Private transportation - 4WD in national parks
- All accommodation 3 - 5 star (upgrades available)
- Breakfasts & Dinners
- Park entrance fees
- International flights
- Activities not included within the itinerary
- Tips & gratuities
- Video and camera permits