Into the Wild: From Whales’ Tails to Elephant Trails

2-Weeks Sri Lanka Wildlife Holiday Itinerary - Wiklpattu National Park, Sinharaja Rainforest & Mirissa whalewatching

Prices from £2,045 pp

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View day-by-day

Duration15 days / 14 nights (flexible)

DepartureDaily

ItineraryColombo - Negombo - Wilpattu National Park - Ancient Capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa - Outskirts of Kandy - Ella - Sinharaja Rainforest - Mirissa - Colombo

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Overview

Immerse into the untamed world of Sri Lanka’s wildlife during this 2-weeks trip. We have selected all the must-see spots for the real nature lovers to enjoy the island’s diverse flora and fauna and mixed them up with some cultural highlights to make your experience complete. Why choose between the two? On your journey, you will seek elusive leopards and wild elephants, explore ancient temples and the last standing rainforest, enjoy the sweeping views of the tea-hills and spot blue whales off the south coast. Follow our alternative route for a real sense of wilderness and an adventure packed with authentic flavours!

What's included

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • Breakfast (full board at the homestay)
  • Transport
  • Excursions as described

Our ready-made itineraries 1. Add your favourite itinerary to your travel plan  2. Send it our way 3.Our travel specialists will get planning and send you a quote

Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

Amble along Negombo's Canals

Today you’ll arrive in Negombo, a modest beach town on the palm-fringed west coast, not far from Colombo. During your time in Negombo, you’ll stay in an elegant villa with a swimming pool and gardens. The rest of the day is free for you to do as you please; why not relax by the pool with a good book or take a stroll along the beach. Alternatively, you can soak up the sights and sounds of the town with your driver. Explore the fascinating colonial history, wander through the vibrant bazaar and get a taste of your first authentic Sri Lankan curry!

river with boats on side and palm trees

Leopards, Lakes and Royal Palaces

This bite-sized trip will take you to Wilpattu, the largest National Park in Sri Lanka. This park 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 search for leopards and sloth bears. You’ll stay in an atmospheric safari tent and enjoy and evening BBQ at the campfire. Afterwards, you’ll head to the historic city of Anuradhapura. Here you can amble through the ancient ruins and see the sacred Bodhi tree.

leopard in the wild on the island of sri lanka

Temples in Buddha's Garden

From crumbling ruins to majestic elephants, this trip will take you on a discovery of Sri Lanka’s fascinating Cultural Triangle. Your journey will begin by climbing Sigiriya’s mighty rock fortress, before you arrive at Sri Lanka’s ancient capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Polonnaruwa, where you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time as you wander, and cycle around the ancient stone city. This ancient capital is also famous for its delightful restaurants, farmers’ markets and numerous food stalls, and you’ll have plenty of time to taste all the local delicacies. You’ll spend 2 nights at a lakeside hotel, where you can relax and take in the beauty of the area.

sri lanka polonnaruwa temple

Life amongst the Rice Paddies

Although only an hour from the hustle and bustle of busy Kandy, Digana and its surrounding villages feels like a million miles away. From lush jungle to tumbling rice paddies, the only sounds you’ll hear are those of the wildlife and perhaps the occasional swish of a scythe. You’ll spend 2 nights in a basic eco-lodge and take a hearty walk through one of the nearby villages.

Local woman with tamarind in Digana

Explore the Emerald Valleys of Ella

Known for its breathtaking mountain views and endless rolling hills, Ella is a peaceful village nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka’s hill country. You’ll arrive by train as you pass scenic landscapes, and stay in a cosy hotel with sweeping views. Take a challenging four hour hike to Ella Rock, or a more gentle trek to Little Adam’s Peak.

Staff-Phoenix-Mini-Adams-Peak-Ella-Sri-Lanka

Strolling Through the Rainforest

You’ll explore the lush Sinharaja rainforest as you discover exotic plants, ribbons of green vines, a kaleidoscope of exotic birds and colourful lizards. Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, you can choose which trail you’d like to take. You’ll stay in a simple guest-house on the outskirts of the park so you can fall asleep to the sounds of the rainforest.

monkey in the trees

Whale Tails Ahoy!

Take a trip to the seaside town of Mirissa and from Nov-Apr you’ll be in one of the best places on the planet for whale watching. These mighty marine giants are drawn to the sea trench just off the coast to feed, making your chances of spotting them particularly high. In your free time you can walk along the soft sands of Mirissa’s crescent bay, crack open a coconut and let your worries drift away.

blue whale tail in the ocean, sri lanka

Just One More Thing...in Colombo!

Take a trip back in time as you journey back to Colombo via the old fortress town of Galle. Half a century ago, on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, the seafaring nations of Portugal, Great Britain and Holland landed here, bringing creature comforts to remind them of home and leaving behind traces of their colonial style. During this trip, you’ll enjoy a traditional British high tea and spend the night in a stylish hotel in Colombo. The city itself probably won’t be the highlight of your holiday, but it’s an interesting and convenient way to end your Sri Lankan adventure if you’re flying early the following day.

colobo beach Photo by Nayan Badolla
David on a rickshaw

Speak to our Sri Lanka specialist, David

“There’s nowhere like Sri Lanka. Having travelled all over the country, it wasn’t long before I fell completely in love with its beaches, tea hills, wild rainforest and national parks. Oh, and did I mention the spicy curries? They knocked my socks off!”


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