Leopards and Endemic Birds of Sri Lanka

Leopards and Endemic Birds of Sri Lanka

  • 8 Days
  • From : Colombo
  • To : Colombo
  • Tour
  • Guide : English
  • Minimum age : 10 Years Old

* This product requests separate payment. Promotion code or coupon from Ticket Here is not applicable.

Join us and explore the best of inland Sri Lanka on this fascinating eight-day round-trip starting in Colombo City. This route covers some of Sri Lanka’s most inspiring and diverse national parks, as well the beautiful Sinharaja rainforest. It is the perfect tour for nature and wildlife lovers.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Yala National Park: One of the oldest and most popular national parks in Sri Lanka, this nature reserve is home to a rich and unique collection of flora and fauna, including one of the highest densities of leopards in the world. It also houses several archaeological sites, as the region was the home to several sophisticated ancient civilisations.

The Elephant Transit Home, Udawalawe: This wildlife conservation facility within Udawalawe National Park is an ethical elephant orphanage that rehabilitates orphaned, lost or injured elephants ready for their ultimate release back into the wild.

Sinharaja Rainforest: Recognised as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Sinharaja Rainforest is quite unlike anywhere else on the island. This vast expanse of intertwined trees, ferns and lianas is one of the few virgin forests left in the world and home to a myriad of bird, reptile, insect and mammal species.

What’s included?

TOUR GUIDE: 

  • Operated with an English-speaking wildlife guide on a shared basis

ACCOMMODATION: 

  • 7 nights accommodation 

MEALS: 

  • 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners

TRANSPORT:

  • Air-conditioned transportation as stated in the programme 
  • Arrival airport transfer / Departure airport transfer
  • Jeep safari in Yala National Park 

ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:

  • Handunugoda Tea Estate (day 2), safari in Yala National Park (day 3,4), Udawalawe National Park (day 5), Elephant Transit Home (day 5), trek to Sinharaja Rain Forest (day 7)

OTHER:

  • Meet and Greet on day 1

Exclusions

  • Expenditures of a personal nature, drinks and meals or items not stated explicitly in the programme
  • Lunches throughout the tour 
  • Gratuities for drive and guide
  • Any alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, mineral water, etc
  • Video camera permits at Elephant Orphanage 
  • Travel Insurance
  • Colombo city tour with drink in Grand Oriental Hotel, Galle tour, Virgin White tips tea Factor

Please note

  • The standard hotel check-in time is from 12-2pm (depending on the hotel).
  • The standard hotel check-out is at 11am 
  • Hotel early check-in, late check-out, connecting or adjoining rooms, smoking rooms & non-smoking rooms are subject to availability and are not guaranteed
  • Please note alcohol will not be served in public areas in hotels and restaurants during religious holidays.

What do I need to bring?

Comfortable and warm clothing is the most suitable for travelling. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Shoes should be removed before entering a temple or private house. Sun protection, sunglasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.  

Accommodation options

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

Day 1 Colombo:

  • Superior Hotel Category = Cinnamon Grand 4* or similar

Day 2,3,4 Yala:

  • Superior Hotel Category = Cinnamon Wild 4* or similar

Day 5 Udawalawe:

  • Superior Hotel Category =  Grand Udawalawe 4* or similar

Day 6,7 Hikkaduwa:

  • Superior Hotel Category =  Rainforest Eco Lodge 4* or similar

Cancellation policy

    Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.

Day 1 :  ARRIVAL COLOMBO

Arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport. Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative and you will be introduced to your specialised wildlife guide. The transportation service will then transfer you from the airport to Colombo, where you will check in to your hotel and enjoy some time to relax and freshen up after your flight. If you wish you could ask your guide for a city tour of Colombo (not included) in order to uncover this vibrant city’s rich history on foot or you can stroll through the streets on your own and discovering Colombo’s historic streets, colourful back alleys and most famous landmarks. Dinner at the hotel.

  • Overnight in Colombo. Dinner included.

Day 2 :  COLOMBO — YALA (300km – 6hrs)

Start the day with breakfast at the hotel, then begin your journey towards Yala via the fortified town and World Heritage site of Galle. Once a vital trading post between the east and west, Galle was the essential port of call for Chinese, Persian, Arab and Indian traders. Later, the city was inhabited by the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British, leaving behind a combination of colonial buildings, an old fortified quarter and narrow streets which are now bursting with cool cafes and tiny bohemian boutiques. Once you have had the chance to explore the beautiful city of Galle, visit Handunugoda Tea Estate where they produce Virgin White tea, a delicate brew made from the tiniest and newest leaves. This tea has a high antioxidant content and is considered the purest tea in the world. Visitors are guided around the estate by the resident estate manager who will demonstrate how Virgin White tea is picked. After a tour around the whole plantation, step inside the factory to witness the tea manufacturing process and take advantage of the opportunity to sample the more than 20 different teas produced at the estate. After the tea plantation, continue your journey to Yala. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. 

  • Overnight in Yala. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 3 :  YALA NATIONAL PARK

Wake up early and proceed to your Jeep Safari in Yala National Park with your wildlife guide. Yala National Park is one of the largest and oldest national parks in Sri Lanka and it is home to endangered animals such as the Sri Lankan sloth bear and the Sri Lankan elephant. It is also one of the best places to spot the Sri Lankan leopard in its natural habitat. Your expert wildlife guide will be on hand to give you all the information you may need on the flora and fauna and will even help you to capture the best wildlife photography possible. Return to your hotel by mid-morning for breakfast and some free time to relax and enjoy the hotel facilities. In the afternoon, enjoy your second safari around a different sector of Yala National Park, where you will have another opportunity to spot leopards and the many other species of mammals and birds that reside in the park. Return to your hotel for an early night in preparation for tomorrow’s safari.

  • Overnight in Yala. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 4 :  YALA NATIONAL PARK

Today is an early start ready for a game drive in block 1 of Yala National Park. Depart the hotel at 5:30 and prepare yourself for a day of leopard photography! The Sri Lankan leopard is a subspecies native to Sri Lanka. It has a tawny coat with dark spots and close-set rosettes, smaller than those of its Indian cousin. Being the largest cat in Sri Lanka, leopards fearlessly prowl the jungle and open areas of Yala, even in the daytime. Return to your hotel by mid-morning for breakfast and some free time in the hotel. At 14:30, set out on your final 3-hour game drive in Block 1 of Yala National Park. Take this opportunity to ask your guide about the local flora and fauna and the interesting history of the area where the modern-day national park now sits. The area around Yala has hosted several ancient civilizations and remnants of civilizations such as the Indo-Aryans can be witnessed here, as well as ancient tanks that indicate that a well-developed agricultural system existed in this region in the past. Return to the hotel in the evening for dinner and a well-deserved rest.

  • Overnight in Yala. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 5 :  YALA — UDAWALAWE (60km – 2hrs)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel then set out on the 2 hour journey to Udawalawe. Upon arrival, visit the Elephant Transit Home. Established in 1995, this wildlife conservation facility rehabilitates injured or orphaned elephants ready for release back into their natural habitat. This is a genuine rehabilitation centre, so make sure to just watch – rather than touch – these gentle giants as they feed, play and regain their confidence before their return to the wild. Meet baby Bhanu, an orphan elephant sponsored by the Travel Kindly initiative, an animal welfare project initiated by Aitken Spence Travels. Through Travel Kindly, you have the opportunity to donate to Bhanu’s care at the Elephant Transit Home until he is strong enough to be released. After lunch, drive to Udawalwe National Park. The extensive reservoir and stretches of tall grasses and trees here make it the ideal environment for elephants and, as such, it is a popular location for elephant watching. Other wildlife, such as the spotted deer, the sambar deer and many species of birds can also be observed at Udawalawe.  

  • Overnight in Udawalawe. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 6 :  UDAWALAWE — DENIYAYA (60km – 2hrs)

After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Sri Lanka’s best eco lodge, the Rainforest Eco Lodge, which has been awarded the LEED PLATINUM for Sustainable Tourism award and sits on the edge of the Sinharaja rainforest and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The Sinharaja rainforest is the last remaining lowland rainforest in Sri Lanka. It covers an area of roughly 11,187 hectares and is home to the highest concentration of endemic species of plants and animals in Sri Lanka. One of the most interesting and colourful spectacles to be found in Sinharaja is the presence of mixed-species foraging flocks of birds. Studies have revealed that some flocks contain up to 48 different species of birds, including 12 endemic species. The endemic birds in Sinharaja include the red-faced malkoha, the Sri Lanka blue magpie, the ashy-headed laughing thrush, and the white-faced starling, Sri Lanka spot-winged thrush, Serandib scops owl and the green-billed coucal. In the evening, take some time to discover the local surroundings and enjoy the cooler climate after the tropical heat of the day. 

  • Overnight in Deniyaya. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 7 :  EXPLORE SINHARAJA

Rise at 5:30 to embark on a trek through the Sinharaja Rainforest. This excursion, lasting three to four hours, will allow you to truly discover this rainforest which, according to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is the last viable area of primary tropical rainforest in Sri Lanka. A senior biologist will accompany you to talk you through the exquisite flora and fauna of one of the world’s last virgin forests. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. The wildlife you will encounter along the way includes birds; butterflies such as the Ceylon Birdwing, Blue bottle, Tree Nymph, Blue Mormon and the Red Helen; reptiles such as the endemic green pit viper and hump-nosed viper; and a large variety of amphibians, especially tree frogs. Return to the lodge by mid-morning for breakfast and a rest. After lunch, engage in a three-hour afternoon trek through the rainforest. In the evening, enjoy the sounds of the wildlife as you tuck into dinner at the Rainforest Eco Lodge.

  • Overnight in Deniyaya. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 8 :  DEPARTURE COLOMBO

After breakfast at the lodge, prepare for your departure. Check-out from the lodge latest 11am and get in the transfer to Bandaranaike International Airport in time for your onward or return flight. Although this is the last day of your journey through some of the most fascinating wildlife locations in Sri Lanka, we hope that your memories and photographs of this remarkable, colorful island nation will last a lifetime.                  

  • Breakfast included.