9 days Safari in Sri Lanka
Safari in Sri Lanka on this unique wildlife tour which takes in five of the beautiful Tear Drop Isle’s best national parks – Wilapattu, Wasgamuwa, Gal Oya, Udawalawe and Yala. Go in search of herds of elephants, Sri Lankan Sloth Bears and elusive leopards, explore Dambulla’s incredible cave temple, visit the Veddhas and more, in nine captivating days.
Day 1 Colombo
Colombo – Negombo. Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival at Colombo airport you will be met and transferred to our start hotel in Negombo. After you have checked in the remainder of the day is at your leisure. This evening meet your guide and the rest of the group for a tour briefing.
Overnight: Jetwing Blue Negombo, Negombo
Day 2 Wilpattu NP
Negombo – Wilpattu. After breakfast we drive along Sri Lanka’s picturesque coast to Wilpattu National Park. Located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, Wilpattu is Sri Lanka’s largest national park, covering 1085 sq km and extending inland towards the ancient city of Anuradhapura. The lakes and dense woodland of Wilpattu are home to impressive variety of flora and fauna including sloth bears, spotted deer, wild pigs, crocodiles and leopards, Sri Lanka’s top feline predator. This afternoon we go in search of wildlife on our first game drive, in a jeep. This evening we enjoy a tasty BBQ dinner at the camp which is located close to the Southern boundary of Wilpattu National Park, on the boundary of a lake, surrounded by bush forest.
Overnight: Big Game Camp, Wilpattu National Park
Day 3 Dambulla & Wasgamuwa NP
Wilpattu – Wasgamuwa. After breakfast we depart for Wasgamuwa, stopping en route to visit Sri Lanka’s most impressive cave temples, the Dambulla Rock Temple. This stunning complex of 5 caves contains over 150 images of Buddha including an impressive 14 metre statue carved out of the cave rock. We continue on to Wasgamuwa to check into our hotel before enjoying an afternoon game drive in Wasgamuwa National Park.
The evergreen forest of Wasgamuwa, with its towering trees, is home to large herds of elephants. On our game drive we may also spot wild boar, buffalo, purple faced langur monkeys, spotted deer and crocodiles basking in the sun. Not to mention up to 143 species of birds.
Overnight: FarCry Wasgamuwa, Wasgamuwa National Park
Day 4 Visit the Veddhas
Wasgamuwa – Gal Oya. Today we travel on to Gal Oya, stopping en route in Mahiyanganaya, where we get the opportunity to visit the forest dwelling Veddhas, an indigenous people of Sri Lanka. We continue on to our lodge in Gal Oya National Park where the rest of the day is free to spend at leisure.
Overnight: Gal Oya Lodge, Gal Oya National Park
Day 5 Gal Oya NP
Gal Oya is one of the best preserved and least visited national parks in Sri Lanka. It was established in 1954, primarily to protect the catchment area of the vast Senanayake Samudra Reservoir, which is the largest inland body of water in Sri Lanka. Rich in bio diversity and aquatic life, Gal Oya spans 25,000 hectares of dense evergreen forest, mountains, savannah and lake.
This morning we rise early for breakfast before embarking on a boat safari, which is the best way to spot Gal Oya’s diverse wildlife, and if we’re really lucky we might see the Asian elephant swimming in its natural habitat. We return to the hotel for lunch and to freshen up before an afternoon jeep safari.
Overnight: Gal Oya Lodge, Gal Oya National Park
Day 6 Udawalawe NP
Gal Oya – Udawalawe. This morning we travel on to Udawalawe and check into our hotel before an afternoon jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park. The park is known for its large population of elephants, there are over 400 and herds of up to 50 are commonly sighted. As well as elephants we’ll be on the look out for leopards, togue monkeys, grey langur, wild pig and sambar. Numerous bird species can also be sighted including the white bellied sea eagle and crested serpent eagle.
Overnight: Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort, Udawalawe National Park
Day 7 Yala NP
Udawalawe – Yala. Bidding farewell to Gal Oya we make our way to Yala National Park today. Checking into our hotel late morning, we enjoy an afternoon jeep safari in the park. Yala is the second largest national park in Sri Lanka and it has the highest concentration of leopards on the island. The park is also home to a large population of Asian elephants, sloth bears, golden palm civets, Sri Lankan krait and crocodiles, while the coastline around the park is visited by leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles.
Overnight: Jetwing Yala, Yala National Park
Day 8 Galle
Yala – Colombo. We travel back to Colombo today, stopping in Galle en route to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Galle fortress. The fortress was first constructed by the Portuguese in 1588, then expanded and extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century. Arriving into Colombo late this afternoon we enjoy a short tour of the city and this evening we’ll enjoy our last dinner together as a group.
Overnight: Z Max Fairway Colombo, Colombo
Day 9 Colombo
Our tour comes to an end after breakfast today, with a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
- All national park entrance fees
- 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners
- Touring of Dambulla Rock Temple, Galle and Colombo
- Boat safari in Gal Oya
- All relevant transfers in private air-conditioned vehicles
- Maximum group size: 12
- 4 nights 4 star hotels, 3 nights lodges and 1 night safari camp
- Game drives in Wilpattu, Wasgamuwa, Gal Oya, Udawalawe and Yala National Parks
- Escorted by an English speaking national guide for group 6 or more (professional chauffeur guide for groups of 5 or less)
- Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 9