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A Sri Lankan leopard gazes back

Sri Lanka Wildlife

Example 10 Day Tour
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This 10 day wildlife tour gives you a taste of the best that Sri Lanka has to offer. Get a glimpse of city life by experiencing Negombo including the historic Hamilton Canal and fish markets. Explore Wilpattu National Park, where you can view elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and gigantic crocodiles. Spend time in Gal Oya National Park with some relaxation time and more wildlife viewing before visiting Sri Lanka's most famous national park, Yala. Finally, make your way to Galle, on the southern coast, where you can visit the historic Galle Fort and learn about the different cultural influences that have been around for more than four hundred years. Choose this wildlife tour of Sri Lanka for a fantastic introduction to the natural wonders of the country.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Colombo | Transfer to Negombo
Day 2 : Negombo to Wilpattu National Park
Day 3 : Wilpattu National Park
Day 4 : Transfer to Habarana
Day 5 : Habarana to Gal Oya
Day 6 : Gal Oya National Park
Day 7 : Transfer to Yala National Park
Day 8 : Yala National Park
Day 9 : Transfer to Galle
Day 10 : Depart for Home

Highlights

  • Visit Negombo's fish markets
  • Explore Gal Oya National Park by boat
  • Walk this historic streets of Galle and learn about the different cultural influences
  • Spot majestic elephants in their natural habitats

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Colombo
  • Gal Oya National Park
  • Galle
  • Negombo
  • Wilpattu National Park

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Group

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A Sri Lankan leopard gazes back Traditional Sri Lankan fishing poles Elephants cross a river Look for elephants and other wildlife in Wilpattu A tranquil moment overlooking Galle

Day 1 Arrive Colombo | Transfer to Negombo

  • 1 Dinner
Ayubowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival in Colombo, clear immigration and customs. Proceed to the arrival area where you will be met by your private guide and transferred you to your hotel in Negombo. Dubbed Sri Lanka’s ‘Little Rome’, Negombo is a historical beach town that is known for Dutch-influenced architecture, including the ancient Dutch Fort and several churches constructed during the Dutch Colonial era.

In the afternoon, take a boat ride in Negombo. From the historic Hamilton Canal, cruise a short distance through the heart of old Negombo before entering the Negombo lagoon. You will get a close-up view of the local fishing lifestyle as you pass by the fish markets and thousands of fishing boats – ranging from small lagoon canoes to large ocean trawlers. Your guide will share the stories of the traditional lifestyle and explain the natural environment as you drift along passing coconut palms, mangrove forests, and various birds and marine life. You will fall in love with the natural beauty of the lagoon. 

Day 2 Negombo to Wilpattu National Park

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a relaxed breakfast, you will transfer to Wilpattu. Wilpattu National Park is the largest national park and is popular for its sightings of majestic elephants, lithe leopards, spotted deer, sloth bears, and gigantic crocodiles. You may even see striking flocks of peacocks, painted storks, jungle fowls as well as mongooses.

Settle into your luxury camping site and have time to relax after the drive. Later in the afternoon, partake in a game drive for a complete safari experience.

Day 3 Wilpattu National Park

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, it’s safari time. Experience a full day game drive at Wilpattu National Park with a naturalist guide. Make sure your camera battery is charged so you don't miss some spectacular photo opportunities!

Day 4 Transfer to Habarana

  • 1 Breakfast
After a delicious breakfast, transfer by vehicle to Habarana, approximately 5 hours total. Along the way stop for an afternoon safari ride in either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park. The park you tour will be determined by the elephant herd's movements during the particular time of your visit. Both national parks are famous for observing Elephants in their natural habitat. Encountering these giants at close range is an unforgettable experience. Apart from the elephants, both parks often present sightings of birds such as painted storks, pelicans, and little cormorants. After the safari ride return to your hotel and spend the evening on leisure.

Day 5 Habarana to Gal Oya

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, transfer to Gal Oya National Park. The drive is long (approximately 4 hours) but it's a good time to take the book out of your backpack and catch up on some reading. Gal Oya is an unexplored treasure in Sri Lanka. A National Park surrounded by water and Islands. 

Accommodations may be rustic, but the lodges have all you need, including an excellent team of local guides and some of the best food to be found in the country. This afternoon, take a jeep safari through the park. Within the park exist herds of elephants, wild boar, four species of deer, jackals, sloth bears, marsh mugger crocodiles and an array of rare exotic birds. Your driver will take you to the forgotten Nilgala section of the park, once protected by ancient royalty for the abundant medicinal plants and endemic birdlife in this unique ecosystem. More intrepid guests can couple the drive with a safari on foot. Hiking through the park with the expert naturalists offers a chance to see wildlife up close and to explore hidden corners of the park.

Day 6 Gal Oya National Park

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up early today to ride through the national park and embark on a boat safari on Gal Oya Lake, the biggest in Sri Lanka. This presents a great opportunity to observe the wildlife from the lake: including crocodiles, deer, elephants and many rare and endemic species of birds. Stop at a small Island in the middle of the lake to enjoy a scrumptious picnic breakfast. This experience is the only one in Sri Lanka that enables you to spot wildlife from the water and to truly immerse yourself in the animals’ habitats. You may be lucky enough to see elephants swimming between islands or bathing at the lake’s edge.

This evening it’s time for a jungle night walk. Join one of the resident naturalists for a night walk in the forests surrounding the lodge, and have a chance to see some nocturnal neighbors as they emerge from their daily resting spots. Use a flashlight to spot eyes peering back at you that could belong to a number of different animals including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds. One of the highlights is a chance to spot the bizarre-looking frogmouth bird or if you are really lucky the endangered thick-tailored Pangolin.

Day 7 Transfer to Yala National Park

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a relaxed breakfast transfer to Yala, where another unique experience awaits you (approximately 3 hours). Avoid the crowds by entering Yala through the Kataragama entrance - there may be some jeeps around but nothing like in the main gate area. There is a chance to explore the more remote areas of the National Park such as Yala block 3 and 5 where there are hardly any visitors! After relaxing a bit and settling into your tent proceed to the first game drive in Yala National Park.

Day 8 Yala National Park

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early this morning, set out on a safari. Yala National Park is Sri Lanka's most famous National Park and with good reason, it is home to an amazing range of wildlife. Magnificent sights of majestic elephants, fine-feathered peacocks, great black bears and agile leopards that steal away into the shadows of the thick foliage are unparalleled to any of the national parks in the country. After the safari ride, spend the rest of the day at your own leisure. If you choose, you can set out for an afternoon safari ride as well.

Day 9 Transfer to Galle

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast transfer to Galle, along the southern coastline (approximately 4 hours). In the afternoon, take a walking tour around the Galle Fort with your guide. There are places in the world that speak of another era of times gone by, the Galle Fort is one of them. Imagine cobbled streets that have seen four hundred years of history from Arab merchants to the adventurous Portuguese and the industrious Dutch, with colonial homes complete with their red-tiled roofs, an impressive rampart surrounding a small peninsula jutting out to the Indian Ocean and you begin to get an idea of the Fort in Galle. Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about the Fort is that it is a living monument, families that have lived for generations continue to inhabit the fortified streets. You might stop for some thambili from a local vendor or some crispy vaddais.

Day 10 Depart for Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Sadly, it's time to leave the isle of Serendipity! Transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.
Per person starting at
$3,929

Notes

Select a Date

Included

  • 9 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
    • 3 Nights Hotel
    • 2 Nights Lodge
    • 4 Nights Camping
  • 9 Days Guide Service
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are included.
  • Park Entrance Fee

Excluded

  • International Flights
  • Optional Excursions

Budgeting

  • $70 Meals not Included
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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