The island of Sri Lanka features a remarkable wealth of wildlife, with many endemic species and subspecies and a range of beautiful tropical landscapes. From Leopard and Asian Elephant to a spectacular variety of endemic birds, the forests and jungles of the Emerald Island offer rewarding experiences for all wildlife enthusiasts.   

This ten night itinerary includes exclusive activities and specialist guides to give you in-depth knowledge of Sri Lanka's stunning wilderness and diverse wildlife. 

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MTM-Journeys-black-(1).pngThe TreadRight Foundation is proud to endorse our inaugural series of MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Journeys. These meticulously crafted itineraries are designed for curious travelers who share our passion for protecting people, wildlife and planet.
 

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What you will do

  • Stay in unique, hand-picked accommodations that are evocative of your destination

  • Enjoy jeep and boat safaris in some of Sri Lanka’s premier wildlife destinations

  • Each day you will be led by experienced guides to make the most of your experience

  • Discover the unique culture of this fascinating country.
     

Back to Sri Lanka Tours

Why We Love It

Join the Association of the Conservation of Primate Diversity at the Polonnaruwa Nature Sanctuary for an informative tour of their jungle reserve project which focuses on the behaviours of three local species of primate.

Stay at the Rainforest Eco-lodge, a key partner in the Model Eco-lodge initiative which is central to Sri Lanka’s sustainable tourism strategy. During our stay we will visit some of the projects that the activities at the lodge supports.

Recognized by UNESCO as part of the International Network of Biosphere Reserves, Sinharaja encompasses the last extensive primary lowland rainforest in Sri Lanka.

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Day by day Itinerary

Wild Sri Lanka

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Day 1

Colombo - Negombo

On arrival in Colombo we will be met and driven to our nearby hotel at Negombo Lagoon. The remainder of our first day is at leisure.

Day 2

Negombo - Wilpattu National Park

Today we will head north to Wilpattu National Park, taking in our first views of the verdant Sri Lankan countryside. Upon arrival at the park, we’ll have our first afternoon safari. Later, enjoy drinks and dinner at our comfortable tented camp, which features fully powered en suite tents. (B)(L)(D)

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Day 3

Wilpattu National Park

Today is devoted to exploring the National Park.

With shady forests and lagoons, Wilpattu offers beautiful scenery and rich habitats for a range of wildlife. Leopard and bear may be encountered, and waterbirds including - sea eagles, darters and painted, adjutant and black-necked storks are all found here. Reptiles abound and with luck we may encounter python or viper. The area is rich in birdlife, with over 200 species recorded. (B)(L)(D)

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Day 4

Wilpattu - Habarana

Rise early for our final safari in Wilpattu. Afterwards, we will make our way to the Cultural Triangle.

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This famous region was home to Sri Lanka’s great Buddhist capitals, including Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Our base is in nearby Habarana.

In the afternoon, we will visit the Polonnaruwa Nature Sanctuary, where we will observe and learn about the different behaviours of three local species of primate.

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In the early evening, join the Primate Research Program. Our “Loris Tour” begins at dusk and lasts for one to two hours depending on sightings. Nocturnal, slow-moving and totally endearing, these magnificent creatures are victims of trafficking for the pet trade and Sri Lanka is one of their last remaining strongholds. We may also encounter the tiny chevrotain - the world’s smallest deer, one of the local civet cat species or even a fishing cat if we are fortunate. (B)

Day 5

Sigiriya - Gal Oya

This morning we visit the rock fortress of Sigiryia, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Asia’s finest monuments of art and culture.

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Step through the gigantic ‘Lion Paws’ that overlook the symmetrical royal gardens below. Upon reaching the summit, we will be rewarded with sweeping views of tropical forests and little farming settlements on all sides.

Later we continue to Gal Oya Lodge, arriving for dinner and a leisurely evening. (B)(D)

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Day 6

Gal Oya National Park

Rise early for our exploration of Gal Oya National Park.  Home to Sri Lanka’s largest lake, Senanayake Samudraya, the lake is rich in birdlife, particularly between October and March. During this time migrants from the northern hemisphere add to the local residents - including storks, pelicans, jacanas, cormorants, lapwings and terns. White-bellied sea eagles may be seen patrolling the waters, and watch for crocodiles along the banks.  We will travel by jeep into the Nigala section of the park, once the protectorate of ancient royalty for the abundant medicinal plants and birdlife unique to this ecosystem.

Although shy and sometimes hard to spot, the park hosts most of the animals found on the island including elephant, four species of deer and myriad birdlife.

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Later in the day we embark on a boat safari. Gal Oya is one of the few locations in the world where elephants are frequently seen swimming. (B)(D)

Day 7

Gal Oya - Yala

After breakfast we join a resident naturalist for a short walk from the lodge. The walk offers a number of possible routes to observe a wide range of bird species including kingfishers, grey hornbill and woodpeckers. We also visit one of the local community projects supported by the activities of Gal Oya Lodge. Later, we depart for the east coast of Sri Lanka, to Yala National Park. (B)

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Day 8

Yala National Park

Taking a packed breakfast, we depart early for our first safari in Yala National Park.

An abundance of wildlife calls this park home, including herds of Asian elephant, golden jackal, mongoose, cobra, sloth bear, water buffalo, various deer and over 200 species of birds. The leopard is the most iconic park resident, and is regularly encountered close to the rugged rocky outcrops which provide it with shelter and vantage points.

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After lunch, we will enjoy a second safari into Yala before relaxing at our lodge in the evening. (B)(L)

Day 9

Yala - Sinharaja Forest

Today we make our way to Sinharaja Rainforest, and settle in for our stay at the Forest Eco-lodge.  The lodge is proud to support community outreach programs focusing on sustainable development and conservation activity in the area.

In the afternoon, enjoy a forest walk from the lodge, before relaxing over an evening meal looking out over the rainforest. (B)(D)

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Day 10

Sinharaja Forest

Recognized by UNESCO as part of the International Network of Biosphere Reserves, Sinharaja encompasses the last extensive primary lowland rainforest in Sri Lanka. It is home to many of the island’s endemic species – including nearly all of its 36 endemic birds. These include the spectacular Sri Lankan blue magpie and the tiny and only recently discovered Serendip scops owl. The reserve is also rich in reptiles and rainforest flora.

Spend the day seeking out some of the forest’s more unique inhabitants. The paths we take will vary and take us through the forest and tea estate. (B)(D)

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Day 11

Sinharaja - Negombo

After breakfast we depart for Negombo, where we have day rooms until it is time to transfer to the airport.

If you would like to extend your journey, please speak with one of our destination specialists. (B)

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