Day 1. To Colombo
Fly from London on a scheduled flight to Colombo.
Day 2. Colombo - Kotugoda
Met on arrival and transfer to The Wallawwa, Kotugoda for two nights.
Day 3. To Muthurajawela Wetland Sanctuary
After breakfast visit the Muthurajawela Wetland Sanctuary. Quietly glide through the waters of the marsh and lagoon area in a boat. Look out for little cormorants, pond/purple herons and ungainly spot-billed pelicans. Monitor lizards cruise through the waters fringed by a wonderful variety of trees and wetland plants.
Day 4. To Kalawana & Sinharaja Rain Forest
After breakfast drive to Kalawana. Stop at Atweltota near the pool and waterfall frequented by a plethora of birds. Afternoon visit the pristine ecosystem of the Sinharaja Rain Forest with guide and tracker. The rain forest has been designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. Overnight at the Boulder Garden Resort.
Day 5. To Yala via Maduwanwala Walauwa
Early morning look for noisy jungle fowl, scaly thrush, spot-winged thrush and other birds feeding in the jungle around the hotel. Notice in the trees, on the forest edge, the blue magpie and red-faced malkoha. After breakfast leave for Yala. En route at Kolonna visit ‘Maduwanwala Walauwa’- a 17th C. Sinhala Chieftains House. Afternoon safari to Yala National Park to seek out the elusive leopard. Four nights at Chaaya Wild.
Day 6. Safari to Bundala National Park & Nature Walk
Dawn safari to Bundala National Park to see elephants, crocodiles, jackals, wild boar and buffalo. Afternoon nature walk with the Resident Naturalist.
Day 7. Yala National Park Safari
Dawn jeep safari to Yala National Park. The Park was declared a Game Park in 1938 and covers 377 sq. miles. Mammals to spot include elephants, leopards, mongoose and spotted deer. Multitudes of birds live here including brown-capped babbler, lesser adjutant and painted stork. Drive to the remote parts of the reserve seeking out large herds of elephants led by wise old females. Then, camera at the ready, trail leopard - visiting places where they are regularly found in caves and on rocky outcrops including - ‘Koti-gala’ and ‘Pandi-Kema’. Afternoon return to the Park.
Day 8. Yala National Park
Early morning safari to the Park, with a picnic breakfast, to catch a glimpse of the wild ‘inhabitants’ relaxing in the cool of the morning. Return to hotel for lunch.
Day 9. To Nuwara Eliya via Hakgala Gardens & Ella
After breakfast a delightful day journeying to Nuwara Eliya. At Nugeyaya junction turn off to Buduruwagala to see the impressive 51’ high rockcut Buddha statue. The lake here is a good place to spot aquatic and birds of prey. En route see Ravana Falls and stop at the Ella Rest House for a good cup of tea. The view from here is truly spectacular. Visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens, founded in 1861, as a Cinchona plantation to extract quinine for malaria sufferers. It boasts 100-year-old Monterey cypress trees from California, Japanese cedars and English oak. The Tree Fern section should not be missed. Two nights at the Heritance Tea Factory.
Day 10. Excursion to Horton Plains
Early start for Horton Plains. Walk to ‘World’s End' and ‘Little World's End’ for the fantastic view. The vegetation in Horton Plains is defined as a montane rain forest or cloud forest with gnarled and stunted growth not exceeding 15 metres in height. In season rhododendrons are a riot of colour complemented by dwarf marsh bamboo, giant tree ferns and black fern. Orchids, mosses and numerous flower species grow in profusion. Mouse deer, rusty spotted cat and sambhur live along side numerous endemic lizards and birds, including the Sri Lankan hill white eye and blackbird.
Day 11. To Kandy via Tea Factory & Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
Morning leave for Kandy visiting en route a tea factory to see the processing and selection of the tea. Stop at the Ramboda Waterfalls. Visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens with more than 5,000 species of trees and plants. Of particular interest are the Orchid House and the Palm Garden with more than 150 species. The largest tree (Ficus Benjamina) in the garden covers more than 600 sq meters. Remainder of day at leisure maybe shopping in Kandy or walking around the Lake - look out for the water monitors. Two nights at the Cinnamon Citadel.
Day 12. Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage - Temple of Tooth & Cultural Show
Early depart for Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. Arrive in time for their breakfast - perhaps help bottle-feed one of the ‘babies’. Then watch as they stroll down to the river for bathing. Afternoon Kandy city tour followed by an evening visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Later watch a Kandyan dance performance.
Day 13. To Elkaduwa - Knuckles Nature Reserve
After breakfast leave for Knuckles Range Nature Reserve via Looluwatte. Either take a jeep or walk through the jungle to Corbet’s Gap, one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka. Note the stunted trees and epiphytic orchids. Also look out for numerous reptiles and lizards including delightful tree frogs. Mammals are well represented with the Ceylon sloth bear, leaf monkey and otters. Black eagles are likely to be seen soaring over the ridge tops. Two nights at the Hunas Falls Hotel.
Day 14. Elkaduwa
Hopeful early morning encounter with the delightful otters on the artificial lake. Look out for white-bellied sea eagles and listen to the morning chorus of Layard’s parakeets. White breasted water hen, Indian pond heron and brown-capped babbler all live here. After breakfast walk with the Hotel Naturalist on the ‘Simpson’s Trail’, surrounded by sub montane forests in the wet plains of the Hunasgiriya range. Many vividly coloured parasitic plants grow atop trees; attracting a wide variety of birds including grey-headed canary flycatcher and black-napped monarch. Note the large variety of trees including the Mallotus Tectracoccus (Bukenda) and Erythrina Variegeta (Erabadu). For those preferring a shorter walk the ‘Shaheen Trail’ takes about 1-2 hours. Return to the hotel for lunch. Afternoon free to relax.
Day 15. To Kotugoda
After breakfast leave for Kotugoda. Overnight at The Wallawwa.
Day 16. To London
Transfer back to the airport for your scheduled return flight to London.
Per Person on a Double/ Twin share basis £2,670.00
Single room supplement £695.00
International flights in economy class.
Accommodation with en-suite facilities.
Daily breakfast throughout.
Services of English speaking guide during sightseeing.
Transfers as per the itinerary by air-conditioned vehicles.
Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary.
Full ATOL Bonding.
Any optional Excursions.
Any expenses of a personal nature.
Accompanied by a professional photographer learn the secrets of the trade to get those amazing wildlife shots.