See elephants & ruins in the Cultural Triangle
If you’re a culture and wildlife buff, this 3-day trip through Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle is just the ticket. Start by climbing Sigiriya’s Rock Fortress– a landmark that inspired the Lion King’s Pride Rock (hakuna matata!), then it’s time to whip out the binoculars on a private jeep safari in Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park.
Here, you’ll come face-to-trunk with herds of wild elephants- an awesome sight to behold! Top it all off with a day spent ambling around the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa. Elephantastic!
Go dolphin-spotting on the Dutch Bay
Marine lover? Happy days! Sri Lanka is home to an incredibly diverse marine ecosystem, and Kalpitiya is the place to go if you want to go dolphin spotting! You’ll have an early start on our 3-day trip in Kalpitiya, as you head out by boat in search of Spinners and Bottlenoses- you might even spot a whale too (if you’re lucky!)
During your stay in Kalpitiya, you’ll also get the chance to visit Kalpitiya Lagoon; the second largest lagoon in Sri Lanka. If you’re into bird-watching, keep your eyes peeled as there are a few species to be spotted here too.
Go on safari in Yala National Park
Yala is the most well-known and visited National Park in Sri Lanka. No surprise really, as it’s a haven for wildlife. During our 2-day Yala National Park trip, you’ll start with a short visit first to the Elephant Transit Home in Udalawawe. The Elephant Transit Home is an elephant orphanage dedicated to caring for and rehabilitating injured or orphaned elephants. You’ll get to observe the nellies from a respectful distance, watching as the babies jostle their way to the front of the queue for feeding time.
Then it’s time to go in search of elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles, and more colourful birds than you can shake a stick at (but, er… we don’t recommend doing that!). Oh and if you’re really lucky, you might even spot a leopard (pardon the pun).To top it all off, in the evening you’ll spend the night in a safari tent on the edge of the park. After an adventurous day exploring Yala, you’ll drift off to the sounds of nature- bliss!
Spot exotic birds of Sinharaja's rainforest
Attention twitchers! Sinharaja National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s last remaining rainforests and home to a wealth of animals, in particular, its exotic birdlife where over 160 species of birds have been recorded. Keep your eyes peeled on our 3-day Sinharaja rainforest trip as you follow trails through the thick undergrowth- and keep an eye out for giant centipedes, colourful lizards and screeching monkeys high up in the trees.
In the evening, you’ll sleep in a simple guesthouse on the edge of the park and wake up to views of the lush vegetation. This trip is a real adventure for nature lovers and bird watchers.
See leopards at Wilpattu National Park
The largest National Park in Sri Lanka, Wilpattu was closed for a long time during the civil war, but reopened to tourists in 2010. It’s the perfect place to head out on an adventurous jeep safari and our 3-day Wilpattu trip will take you in search of leopards, sloth bears and elephants hiding in the park’s dense jungle.
In the evening you’ll bed down in your own atmospheric safari tent, where you can enjoy a BBQ at the campfire. At the end of this trip, you’ll head to the historic city of Anuradhapura, where you can amble through the ancient ruins and see the sacred Bodhi tree.
Whale watching at Mirissa
Mirissa beach may be inviting, with its soft wide crescent of peach sand, lapped by a deep blue sea. But there’s so much more going on beneath the surface! From November to April it’s one of the best spots in the world for whale watching and dolphin spotting. These mighty marine giants are drawn to the sea trench just off the coast to feed, making your chances of spotting them particularly high.
Grab your binoculars and jump aboard on our 2-day Mirissa whale-watching trip, as you go in search of Humpbacks, Sperm Whales and even the largest mammal on the planet, the Blue Whale.
Suggested Bite-Sized Trips & Itineraries for Wildlife Watching
|Duration:||14 days / 13 nights (flexible)|
|Itinerary:||Colombo - Negombo - Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Minneriya/Kaudulla National Park - Dambulla - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Ella - Unawatuna - Galle - Colombo|
|Duration:||14 days / 13 nights (flexible)|
|Itinerary:||Colombo - Negombo - Polonnaruwa - Trincomalee - Kandy - Digana - Ella - Colombo|
We're a passionate bunch here at Rickshaw. Find out why we said 'no' to elephant riding & take a gander at our elephant-friendly trips
8 min readRead More - Why We've Said 'No' To Elephant Riding