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Wildlife & Beach Explorer

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Wildlife & Beach Explorer

Introduction

Wildlife and Beach Explorer This journey let’s you experience some of Sri Lanka’s unique destinations – the magnificent wilderness and the south coast beaches in luxurious comfort. An adventurous safari through the wilderness ends with five days of relaxation on the beautiful beaches of Thalpe on the Galle coast. We have selected unique accommodation – secluded private villas, eco-retreats, and luxury camping in the wilderness – to ensure a journey filled with memorable experiences.

Highlights
Take a trek in the Sinharaja rainforest,
Go on camping safari in Yala National Park,
Watch baby elephants at the Transit Camp in Uda Walawe,
Search for leopard in Yala National Park,
Join a whale and dolphin trip in Mirissa,
Stroll round Galle’s 17C Dutch Fort,
Go snorkelling and surfing in the south,
Roll on sun-kissed beaches and turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean,
Stay in luxurious villas, eco retreats, and boutique hotels

Day 01 & 02

Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer to Villa Talangama, a secluded and luxurious private villa located in the suburbs of the city of Colombo – an hours drive from the airport. This is an ideal haven for acclimatising to Sri Lanka’s tropical climes and relaxing after the long flight. The villa setting is best described as a ‘village in the city’ surrounded by paddy fields, a lake and birds everywhere perched on the veranda, on trees, and on the buffalo that relax on the lakeside. The surrounding Talangama wetlands is a birder’s paradise with over 45 species of birds inhabiting this area including Purple Swamp hens, Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, White-breasted Water hens and Spotted Doves, along with the endemic Purple-faced Leaf Monkeys, water monitors and numerous species of butterflies.
Accommodation
Villa Talangama
Villa Talangama is a three-bedroom villa set on the banks of the Talangama Wetlands in the outskirts of Colombo. It enjoys a quiet, unspoiled lakeside setting, seemingly a world away from the commercial heart of Colombo less than half-an-hour away. Villa Talangama is located minutes away from the Kottawa entrance to the Southern highway making it en route to the west coast and southern beaches. The journey from Colombo’s international airport will take about 1.5 hours.

Day 3 & 4

Your next destination is the Sabaragamuwa Province also known as the wet zone. Located in the western foothills of the central highlands, this is an area with tropical rainforests, winding rivers and an undulating terrain. You will be staying for two nights at the Rainforest Eco Lodge set on an extensive tea plantation in Deniyaya bordering the south-eastern side of the Sinharaja Rainforest. Take a stroll through the tea estate and learn of Sri Lanka’s precious crop. Go on a trek into the Sinharaja rainforest which is a protected International Biosphere Reserve. Sinharaja is a biological treasure trove, which provides diverse habitats for numerous species of endemic fauna and flora not found anywhere else in the world. The reserve covers an area of about 11,000 hectares of lowland rainforest and is a valuable storehouse of scientific knowledge. Trekking through this magnificent jungle, the last surviving stretch of virgin rainforest on the island, is truly a rewarding experience.

Accommodation
Polwaththa Eco Lodges
Polwaththa Eco Lodge is a rustic nature retreat situated on an 11-acre fruit and vegetable plantation in the remote village of Wepathana, which is about 45 minutes north of Kandy. This peaceful and rustic holiday retreat is a nature lover’s paradise and is reached via the Kandy – Mahiyangana road (route A26) via Digana. The journey to Kandy from Colombo’s international airport will take about 3.5 hours.

Day 5 & 6

Travel on to the foothills of Buttala in the southeastern corner of Sri Lanka, a dry zone area famous for its wide open savanna-like plains and home to some of the best national parks in the country including Yala and Uda Walalwe. We recommend Kalus’ Hideaway situated at the boarder of Uda Walawe National Park for your accommodation for the next two nights. The Uda Walawe National Park is home to over 500 Asian elephants that often roam in herds of up to 100. Leopards, buffalo, deer and sloth bears keep them company along with mongooses, bandicoots, foxes, water monitor lizards and crocodiles. Visit the Elephant Transit Camp at Uda Walawe run by Sri Lanka’s Wildlife Department. Here about 22 young elephants, mostly babies, who have been orphaned or recovering from injuries, are being rehabilitated before release into the wild. The elephant population in Sri Lanka was at one time as high as 20,000 on this island. Unfortunately, today it has come down to 3,500. Conservation efforts such as the Elephant Transit Camp in Uda Walawe are vital to the future of this endangered species. The orphaned baby elephants reside at the transit camp for about four years until they are old enough to be weaned of milk and learn to eat grass and other vegetation from the bush. Each infant has to be fed on Lactogen milk formula five times a day first the first six months. Much funding is required for this expensive feeding process. The Wild Life Department has initiated a Baby Elephant Adoption Programme where individuals can provide funding on a monthly basis and become a foster parent to a baby elephant of their choice. Support this valiant effort at conserving the dwindling elephant population of Sri Lanka.
Accommodation
Kalus Hideaway
Kalu’s Hideaway is a 14-room holiday retreat set amidst five acres of tropical gardens edged by the tranquil Walawe River. Located just 15 minutes from the gates of the Uda Walawe National Park, this is a comfortable resting point between Colombo and the South Coast or Arugam Bay; as well as from the Southern Highlands to the South coast. The Elephant Transit Home located close to the park, can also be easily accessed from here.

Day 7 & 8

Leave first thing in the morning for Yala, the national park at Sri Lanka’s southeast tip. En route visit Buduruvagala to see Sri Lanka’s tallest rock-cut Buddha statue (51 ft. in height) and other Mahayana Buddhist statues that dates back to the 8th-century AD. For your two nights stay, we recommend a unique camping experience in Yala National Park with Leopard Safaris. Yala, a nature reserve and national park with a total protected area of 126,768 hectares, consists of scrub plains, lagoons, and rocky sections and is home to a variety of animals including Leopard, elephants, sloth bears, sambar deer, spotted deer, wild boar, crocodiles, monkeys and buffalos. If time permits, we also recommend a visit to the jungle shrine of Kataragama, an ancient sacred pilgrimage site that is venerated by people of all faiths – Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians. It is believed that King Dutugemunu the warrior king and Sinhala folk hero built this jungle shrine for the worship of the Kataragama God in the 2nd century BC. There is also an ancient Buddhist Dagoba – `Kirivenhera’ at this site. The `Mahadewala’ – main Hindu shrine of God Skanda, the Hindu war God, and several other adjoining Hindu shrines conducts daily religious rituals (poojas).
Accommodation
Leopard Safaris – National Parks
Leopard Safaris offers a genuine eco-friendly mobile camping experience just outside of Sri Lanka’s three major National Parks – Yala, Wilpattu and the Knuckles Mountain Range in Kandy. The campsites are located within the buffer zone bordering the National parks and are immersed in nature. The Wilpattu campsite is located about 3.5 kms from the park entrance and is accessed via the Puttalam to Anuradhapura road. In Yala, the campsite is located 4 kms away from the Katagamuva
the Puttalam to Anuradhapura road. In Yala, the campsite is located 4 kms away from the Katagamuva entrance which is …(More)
Leopard Safaris – National Parks

Day 9,10,11,12 & 13

Today you journey along the southern coast and check into the luxurious Frangipani Tree, a beachside boutique hotel set on an idyllic stretch of beach in Thalpe just 15 minutes away from Galle’s 17C Dutch Fort. Experience the beautiful sandy beaches, turquoise seas, rural fishing villages and the southern heritage. Scuba diving is immensely rewarding in Sri Lanka and around Galle there are some of the country’s best dive spots. Run by PADI centers, based in Unawatuna diving is suitable for beginners to advanced. Spotting bright corals and exotic fish is easy and there is the opportunity to go both cave diving and wreck diving. Based at Mirissa Harbour, Mirissa Water Sports also offers exciting water sports activities such as sailing, fishing, coastal cruises, river trips, sea kayaking, snorkeling and boating activities. The south of Sri Lanka beyond Dondra is considered one of the best locations in the world for spotting Blue Whales, Sperm Whales and Spinner Dolphins. These gigantic marine mammals can be spotted in the deep seas off the southern coastal towns of Galle, Mirissa and Kirinda. Whale watching excursions into the deep seas is organised by Mirissa Water Sports during the season from December to April when the seas are calm. Galle offers so much more than a beach holiday. Explore Galle’s Dutch Fort, a UNESCO-protected World Heritage site and a melting pot of cultural influences. Much of the old Fort, a small walled city with about 300 homes and an old-world feel, still remain with its well preserved bastions, public buildings, churches, lighthouse and a maze of narrow streets. Several hours can be spent wandering through the narrow streets and along the ramparts, browsing through art galleries and sipping lime sodas on the verandah of Galle Fort hotel.

Accommodation
Frangipani Tree
Frangipani Tree is a stylish, nine-bedroom boutique hotel set at the edge of a secluded beach in the fishing village of Thalpe. Situated just 15 minutes from the historic city of Galle, Frangipani Tree is ideally located to explore the diverse southern heritage and the sun-kissed beaches of the south coast. The journey from Colombo’s International Airport will take about three hours via the Southern highway. Avoid road travel and take the air taxi to nearby Koggala

No of Nights Hotels Price
1 Villa Talangama £106
2 Polwasththa ECO Lodge £60
Earls regency (can choose polwaththa eco lodge or earls regency) £210
2 Kalus hideaway £250
2 Leopard safari £500
Jetwing Yala (can choose leopard safari or jetwing yala) £150
5 Frangipani tree £625
13 Total £1191

Tickets

Place Description Price
Sinharaja Adult/child Rs 644(£3)/325(£2), compulsory guide per person from Rs 1,000 (£5), video Cameras Rs 560 (£2.5) £12
Yala Safari Rs5,934 (£28) for 2 (Safari 1x Jeep Rs5,000[£25])( uda walawa safari optinal) £52
Eliphant transit camp Transit Camp Rs 500 (£2.5) £2.5
Buduruwagala Entrance Fee Rs. 750 £3.5
Total £70

Wale watching dolphin spotting &water sports depending on customer interest