Wild Sri Lanka

Start: Colombo Airport Finish: Colombo Airport

Visiting: Colombo, Galle Dutch Fort, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawalawa, Udawalawe National Park Safari, Tissamaharama, Yala National Park, Dikwella, Dikwella beach, Galle


Duration: 9 Nights

Physical rating: Leisurely

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour Operator: Exodus

Group size: 4 - 16

Age range: 16 to 99

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $2638

Check Availability Ask A Question

Tour Overview

Sri Lanka is well known for its cultural heritage and picture perfect beaches, but perhaps less known is that it is also one of the best locations in Asia for wildlife. The wide range of altitudes found in this small island results in a variation of climate and diversity normal only found across a whole continent. Blue whales congregate off the southern coast of Sri Lanka, elephant herds gather in Udawalawe and the elusive leopard rules in Yala. As well as game drives in Sri Lanka’s most famous national parks we visit the steamy Sinharaja Rainforest and relax on the south coast, where the warm waters of the Indian Ocean lap the shore and days can easily drift by from the shade of a palm tree.

Highlights

  • iconFour game drives within Yala and Udawalawe National Parks
  • iconNaturalist guides throughout
  • iconSinharaja Rainforest and Dickwella beach
  • iconPrivate whale watching from a chartered boat

Places You'll See

Countries:
Wild Sri Lanka
Wild Sri Lanka
Wild Sri Lanka
Wild Sri Lanka
Wild Sri Lanka
Wild Sri Lanka
Wild Sri Lanka
Wild Sri Lanka
Wild Sri Lanka

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : Start Colombo; transfer to Ahangama beach hotel.

Location: Colombo

Accommodation: Insight Resort (or similar)

Meals: Dinner

The group flight arrives into Colombo Airport today where our local guide will be waiting to meet us. Land Only clients should be at the airport ready to join the group transfer to Ahangama on the south coast of the island - please refer to the joining instructions for further information. Sri Lanka's road network has improved greatly over the last few years, and the 'deep south' (as it is often known) is now accessible within around 3 hours from Colombo. The coastline's coconut groves and tall palms give way to magnificent views of the sea as we approach Ahangama. Accommodation: Insight Resort (or similar) *Comfortable Hotel*

icon Day 2 : Morning private whale watching excursion; afternoon visit Galle Fort.

Location: Galle Dutch Fort

Accommodation: Insight Resort (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Shortly after sunrise we depart for the harbour, where we board a small, privately chartered boat for today's whale watching excursion. Accompanied by excellent crew and a naturalist guide, we spend the morning searching the Indian Ocean for whales and other cetaceans. The vessel is fitted with radar and GPS which helps to increase our chance of success. Blue whales, the largest animals that have ever lived, typically frequent these waters between November and April. They are huge, reaching up to 30 metres in length and weighing as much as 160 tonnes. We may also be lucky enough to encounter Sperm whales, Brydes whales and large pods of Spinner or Bottlenose dolphins in the surrounding waters. After spending the morning at sea, we return to the harbour and our hotel in Ahangama. Later this afternoon we have a guided visit to Galle to discover the historical fort, a fabulous UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by the Dutch in 1663, the fort is a maze of cobbled streets crammed with cafes, boutique shops and beautifully restored colonial houses. *Comfortable Hotel*

icon Day 3 : Transfer to Sinharaja Rainforest; afternoon walk.

Location: Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Accommodation: Rainforest Eco Lodge or Sinharaja Forest Edge (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning we transfer to Sinharaja Rainforest, the last undisturbed area of rainforest in Sri Lanka. This biodiversity hotspot harbours a number of endemic species. Canopy trees reach heights of up to 45 metres and bird species number 160 and counting. Amongst the insects, amphibians and reptiles are mammals such as Sambar, Barking deer and Wild boar. Purple-faced langurs usually congregate in groups of 10 or more and are fairly common to see amongst the trees. Around 15 leopards are known in this area but sightings are very difficult to come by due to the dense vegetation. This afternoon we take a walk to discover Sinharaja and its many inhabitants, accompanied by our naturalist guide. *Comfortable Hotel*

icon Day 4 : Full day to discover Sinharaja Rainforest.

Location: Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Accommodation: Rainforest Eco Lodge or Sinharaja Forest Edge (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Wake up to birdsong and get ready for another day in the forest. Sinharaja covers a narrow sliver of land 21km long and 3.7km wide, covering an area of roughly 11,187 hectares. Within this area 43% of all the species recorded in Sri Lanka can be found. Our naturalist guide will take us on a wildlife walk to discover the many trails and abundant diversity here.) *Comfortable Hotel*

icon Day 5 : To Udawalawe; afternoon game drive in Udawalawe N.P.

Location: Udawalawa, Udawalawe National Park Safari

Accommodation: Nil Diya Mankada (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning we leave the rainforest and travel further inland to Udawalawe National Park, which lies on the boundary between Sri Lanka's wet and dry zones. Udawalawe is one of the best parks in Sri Lanka to see elephants with around 600 animals in the park who can be seen roaming in herds of up to 50 - the highest concentration of wild elephants anywhere in Sri Lanka. The Udawalawe Reservoir is at the centre of the park and makes a stunning backdrop amongst the otherwise lightly vegetated area. For this reason wildlife watching in the national park is relatively easy. Aside from elephant families feeding in the grasslands, we may encounter Sambar deer, Spotted deer, Water buffalo, Wild boar, jackal and mongoose on this afternoon's game drive. *Comfortable Hotel*

icon Day 6 : Morning game drive in Udawalawe N.P.; visit Elephant Transit Home at feeding time.

Location: Udawalawe National Park Safari

Accommodation: Nil Diya Mankada (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning our 4WD safari vehicles are waiting to take us back into Udawalawe for a second game drive within the park. Game drives typically last for 3 hours, depending on sightings, and are always accompanied by a naturalist guide. In the afternoon we visit Udawalawe's famous Elephant Transit Home (ETH), situated just 5km from the park entrance. The transit home is run by the department of Wildlife Conservation and supported by the Born Free Foundation. It provides a safe environment for orphaned elephants, who are typically looked after at the home until they reach the age of 4, at which point they are old enough to be released back into the wild. Our visit will co-incide with feeding time at ETH, where the juveniles are given bottled milk by a team of park rangers and the noisy specatacle can be witnessed from the viewing platform. *Comfortable Hotel*

icon Day 7 : Transfer to Tissamaharama; afternoon game drive in Yala N.P.

Location: Tissamaharama, Yala National Park

Accommodation: Kithala Resort (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we depart for Tissamaharama and Yala National Park, a drive of around 3 hours. On arrival in Yala we check into our hotel and then around 3pm head out in 4WD jeeps for our afternoon game drive. Yala is Sri Lanka's most well known national park, famous for having a higher concentration of leopard per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world. Located in Sri Lanka's lowland dry zone in the south eastern corner of the country, Yala National Park is extensive, covering some 97,881 hectares across five 'blocks'. Yala's vegetation primarily consists of dense secondary forest, semi-arid thorny scrub, brackish lagoons and mangroves since the park borders the coastline. With this diverse habitat comes a huge array of wildlife, including elephant, Sloth bear, Spotted deer, Water buffalo, Sambar deer, Wild boar, langur and macaque. Bird counts are also high, with over 215 species recorded, including thousands of migrating waterfowl. Our group will be split evenly between jeeps and will be joined by the tour leader, naturalist and tracker who will each sit in a different vehicle. The drive this afternoon will last around 3 - 4 hours, before we return to the hotel to freshen up and have dinner. *Comfortable Hotel*

icon Day 8 : Morning game drive in Yala N.P.; to Dickwella.

Location: Yala National Park, Dikwella

Accommodation: Dickwella Resort & Spa (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Wildlife tends to be at its most active during the early morning and to take advantage of this we have a morning game drive in Yala, returning to our hotel for a rest and lunch afterwards. Our naturalist guide will focus on Yala's diverse wildlife and birds, with our game drive lasting around 3 hours.  After lunch we transfer around 3.5 hours to Dickwella, a remarkable beach with clear waters and clean beaches. Traditional fishing boats rest on the sand in front of a backdrop of palm trees - this is postcard worthy, and in our opinion, one of the most picturesque beaches in Sri Lanka. Accommodation for our two night's here is at a lovely resort with direct access to the beach. The resort is set on tropical grounds and is among the top beach hotels in Sri Lanka! We have marked this property as a 'comfortable hotel' with air-conditioned rooms. You will be able to relax under swaying palms by the pool while enjoying long walks along the beach. The rooms are fitted with contemporary amenities and you could simply surrender yourself to healing Balinese rituals at the spa during your seaside getaway in paradise. *Comfortable Hotel*

icon Day 9 : Relax by the beach in Dickwella; optional whale watching excursion.

Location: Dikwella beach

Accommodation: Dickwella Resort & Spa (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today is free to enjoy all facilities at Dickwella Resort & Spa where you could swim in the sea, walk along the beach or even have a dip in the pool. Alternatively, if there are enough people interested, we can organize a second whale watching excursion to take place this morning. By having the opportunity to go whale watching again we maximize our chances of having the most favorable weather and sea conditions. Please note that this optional excursion will involve transfers to/from Mirissa where all of the whale watching boats depart. *Comfortable Hotel*

icon Day 10 : To Colombo; end Colombo.

Location: Colombo

Meals: Breakfast

This morning we check out and make our way to Colombo airport where our holiday comes to an end. Flight inclusive clients travelling with Sri Lankan airlines will usually leave Sri Lanka in the early afternoon, arriving into London this evening. Flights with Etihad Airlines tend to depart much later in the evening and won't arrive back into London until Day 12 of this itinerary. Land Only clients should check with our customer operations team before booking their own flights to ensure they can be dropped at the airport in time. Alternatively, an additional nights accommodation can be organised near to Colombo Airport if you would like to fly home on Day 12 of the itinerary. **

What's Included

  • icon
    Tour leader throughout

  • icon
    Arrival and departure transfers (if booking incl. flights)

  • icon
    All accommodation

  • icon
    Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

  • icon
    All breakfasts and 9 dinners included

  • icon
    All transport and listed activities

What's Not Included

  • icon
    Travel insurance

  • icon
    Visas or vaccinations

  • icon
    Single accommodation (available on request)

Food

All breakfasts and 9 dinners are included. These are provided at the hotels we are staying in and usually consist of a buffet with local and international options. Sri Lankan cuisine is a fascinating reflection of the island’s heritage; there is a unique fusion of fresh local produce with spices brought to the island over the centuries by Malays, Arabs, Indians as well as the Dutch, Portuguese and English. Sri Lankan cuisine is often referred to simply as ‘Rice and Curry’; this is the staple dish in most restaurants and usually consists of assorted meat and vegetable curries as well as various pickles, ‘sambols,’ and a handful of tiny poppadum’s – all using the contrasting flavours of coconut, chilli, curry leaves, cinnamon and garlic. The abundance of fresh seafood and fish will ensure that cuisine is a highlight of the trip. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in Sri Lanka the availability of certain products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat/gluten or dairy-free. Please be prepared for this as you may need to bring such supplies from home. Spicier food can be avoided and lots of the hotels will serve Western options alongside local cuisine.

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Got a question? Check out our Q&As

View Q&As Ask A Question

Reviews

Read all 11 reviews
Wonderful wildlife, great food, friendly people and a lovely group
We wanted a holiday where there was plenty of opportunity to see wildlife, and this lived up to our expectation. Whale watching (saw blue whales and pilot whales), lots ....more We wanted a holiday where there was plenty of opportunity to see wildlife, and this lived up to our expectation.

Whale watching (saw blue whales and pilot whales), lots of colourful birds, mammals and reptiles too - the bio-diversity, especially of birds, was staggering.

We had a naturalist with us who was really good at spotting and identifying birds - that really made a difference.

The hotels we stayed in were all different with their own character, and with one exception, were of a high standard.

Loved staying in the rainforest and doing yoga at the beach.

Enjoyed Sri Lankan food and especially having tropical fruit every day and fresh fruit juices.

The group of people we were with were all great.

; ....less
Wonderful
A wonderful holiday. Well paced with the right mixtures of activities. All the accommodation was well chosen. The two guides, one especially for the wildlife were exceptional. Very informative, funny ....more A wonderful holiday.

Well paced with the right mixtures of activities.

All the accommodation was well chosen.

The two guides, one especially for the wildlife were exceptional.

Very informative, funny and welcoming.

; ....less
Sri Lanka - An Experience
A wonderful country and friendly people who love their home. We got to see a variety of habitats in the south during this trip which makes for an interesting trip ....more A wonderful country and friendly people who love their home.

We got to see a variety of habitats in the south during this trip which makes for an interesting trip with great variety.

Our tour manager went out of his way to give us the best "Sri Lankan Experience".

We were able to see a wide range of wildlife.

For birders the variety seen was good.

Mammal life is restricted in what Sri Lanka has but we managed to see many of what there is, exceptions the Sloth Bear and Leopard.

The scenery was fantastic in places, loved the tea plantations and trees.

Hotels were average, clean and comfortable, what you might expect on a tour to some remote areas, this is not a 5* hotel tour.

The weather was good, tropical downpour in the rain forest and hot, dry, dusty days in the parks.

; ....less
Brilliant introduction to Sri Lankan wildlife
I’m writing this from my Sri Lankan poolside as just about to embark on a more cultural highlights tour but having completed the Wild Sri Lanka trip I’m even more ....more I’m writing this from my Sri Lankan poolside as just about to embark on a more cultural highlights tour but having completed the Wild Sri Lanka trip I’m even more excited about what’s in store, this is a wonderful country.

If you arrive with realistic expectations of hotels, food and especially wildlife sightings, you will not be disappointed.

All accommodation has been clean, tidy and comfortable.

Kithala resort was idyllic and a real treat, whilst at the other extreme Talalla retreat was eclectic and not my cup of tea but an experience none the less.

It was fun watching the monkeys in the trees while I showered in the open roofed area but I did wonder if they may come and grab my shower gel!The game drives were varied and generous, each being at least 3 hours giving as much opportunity as possible to view the animals on offer.

Being “Wild”, nothing can be guaranteed, but our trip did see a Leopard, Sloth bear, multiple close encounters of Elephant, several wild boar, hares, mouse deer, ever present displaying peacock a Civet cat and, for the bird lovers, in excess of 140 different species.

Food has been plentiful, of an acceptable standard.

Not surprisingly, curry has been a staple, but be prepared for them to be spicier than their Indian counterpart.

There are some long days of travel (as identified in some earlier reviews) but this is clearly stated in the itinerary and.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Sri Lanka is a big country and this trip sees a lot of it.

For a real taste of wildlife from the Tropical rainforest to a coastal game reserve this trip offers it all.

; ....less
Amazing holiday
I wasn't sure what to expect but wanted a holiday especially for the wildlife. I was not to be disappointed. We travelled between hotels in a large air conditioned coach. ....more I wasn't sure what to expect but wanted a holiday especially for the wildlife.

I was not to be disappointed.

We travelled between hotels in a large air conditioned coach.

The food was excellent in most of the hotels especially the Hotel Insight and Kithala resort.

I loved staying at the Eco Lodge but there was very little selection for vegetarians pasta with cheese or tomato sauce.

The standard of hotels were very good although the service level at the Nil Days Mankada was poor.

I would have preferred to stay a couple of nights at the Kithala resort instead of going to the Talalla retreat but that is just a personal preference.

The whale watching was good and we did see blue whales dolphins a turtle and a ray but felt a bit sorry for the whales being converged on by so many boats.

We had our on boat which was a lot nicer.

The game drives were fantastic and we saw lots of birds and animals (even a leopard) and great to share the adventure with a lovely group of people.

; ....less
Wonderful wildlife
This was a fantastic trip! From the whales and dolphins to the elephants and leopards (yes, we saw one!) every day had an unforgettable highlight. Sri Lanka is a beautiful ....more This was a fantastic trip! From the whales and dolphins to the elephants and leopards (yes, we saw one!) every day had an unforgettable highlight.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country of lovely welcoming people and was very well represented by our two wonderful guides.

The hotels were very varied in character but of a high standard as was the food.

I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone looking for a relaxing trip in the beautiful nature of Sri Lanka.

; ....less
Wild Sri Lanka
This was a wonderful trip that certainly lived up to its promise of plenty of wildlife encounters. Sri Lanka is stunningly beautiful and has a lovely relaxed vibe. This was a wonderful trip that certainly lived up to its promise of plenty of wildlife encounters.

Sri Lanka is stunningly beautiful and has a lovely relaxed vibe.

;
Great way to see the nature of south Sri Lanka
This was a fantastic trip which gave great opportunities to see the diverse wildlife and landscapes of Sri Lanka. It was hot / humid when we went so the ....more This was a fantastic trip which gave great opportunities to see the diverse wildlife and landscapes of Sri Lanka.

It was hot / humid when we went so the air con on the bus and the majority of the hotels was welcome.

It was nice to have a couple of nights in most hotels.

The stay in the rainforest lodge was incredible, and the rooms in the Talalla hotel were unusual and enjoyable.

The bus journeys between accommodations were not too long, and the scenery was very enjoyable.

There is so much birdlife and wildlife to see here.

; ....less
Wildlife Sri Lanka
Thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Sri Lanka, the hotels are all unique, really enjoyed the container accommodation in the rainforest. The people all seemed very friendly. The Whale watching was ....more Thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Sri Lanka, the hotels are all unique, really enjoyed the container accommodation in the rainforest.

The people all seemed very friendly.

The Whale watching was a little disappointing as we only saw the one Blue Whale and it felt a little as if we were chasing after it when it breached, on the plus side we had the boat to ourselves.

The driving is pretty interesting but we had total confidence in our coach driver.

The food was very good, but you probably need to like curries!The game parks are good, initially i thought they were going to be really busy with all the jeeps queuing to get their permits, but it was surprising where they all disappeared to within the parks.

Downside was when we found a leopard all the drivers communicate this to each other and everybody descends on the spot.

; ....less
The tour was good, Exodus UK repsonse to critical incident was poor
i returned from Wild Sri Lanka, the tour was good. If your a birder you will love the trip but you will need to take binoculars. I did not take ....more i returned from Wild Sri Lanka, the tour was good.

If your a birder you will love the trip but you will need to take binoculars.

I did not take mine as prior the trip did another trip to the Ancient cities and Jaffna.

The accommodation is ok , although the last hotel was really hot and is the one that is not air conditioned.

The heat made it quite uncomfortable.

The tour guide, driver and assistant were excellent.

The naturalist seemed more interested in talking to people with big cameras, chatting to the two young women and at times taking pics for InstagramOn the trip you will see a great variety of birds and some mammals.

On this trip we saw Blue Whale, Pilot Whale, Spinner Dolphin, Bottle nose Dolphin.

Elephant, Mongoose, Purple faced Leaf Monkey, Macaque Giant Squirrel , another type of squirrel, water buffalo, Hare, Wild Pig.

Alas no Leopard or Sloth Bear.

I think it was the wrong time of year to see Leopard.

Unfortunately i was assaulted by another member of the tour group and it took Exodus UK more than 24 hours to remove the person.

The guide and country rep have no power to take action.

Exodus UK dealt with the issue during UK business hours.

It was a very scary 24 hours having to be around the perpetrator for 3 meal and 2 activities.

I chose not to do the extra safari and the perpetrator was going on it.

After the removal of the person , no contact from Exodus UK about how i was.

IT is only on my return to Australia and after complaining in writing and then to my travel agent that a company representative did contact me.

I found there response to my concerns not satisfactory, they were really defensive.

So if you do go on this tour , i really hope nothing bad happens and you wont get a prompt response.

; ....less

Travel, Your Way

Good reasons for travelling privately

  • icon
    Personalise your trip

    Make changes to the itinerary, accommodation, or transport method

  • icon
    Increased safety during COVID

    Spend the majority of time amongst your group to reduce exposure to others

  • icon
    Travel more exclusively

    Your tour guide can focus all their attention on your group

  • icon
    Travel for a special occasion

    Celebrate an important event by only travelling with your friends or family

Learn more

Dates & Availability

Select departure month

Thursday Oct 14, 2021

Nights

9

Available

8

$2707.68

Thursday Nov 11, 2021

Nights

9

Available

8

$2707.68

Thursday Nov 18, 2021

Nights

9

Available

8

$2707.68

Thursday Jan 20, 2022

Nights

9

Available

8

$2777.14

Thursday Feb 24, 2022

Nights

9

Available

8

$2707.68

Thursday Mar 17, 2022

Nights

9

Available

8

$2707.68

Thursday Apr 14, 2022

Nights

9

Available

8

$2638.21

Thursday Oct 13, 2022

Nights

9

Available

8

$2777.14

Thursday Nov 10, 2022

Nights

9

Available

8

$2777.14

Thursday Nov 17, 2022

Nights

9

Available

8

$2777.14