Wild Sri Lanka

Renowned for its charming colonial vibe, incredible tea country and plethora of beaches, Sri Lanka is also home to some great wilderness.

During this two week itinerary, you will immerse yourself in the country and encounter the exotic animals that call the Pearl of the Indian Ocean home. From elephants, to whales, the ever elusive leopard and bears, there is much to be admired in this island nation.

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred from the Colombo International Airport and head straight to your hotel, The Wallawwa, a 17-room boutique hotel, to recuperate amidst startlingly peaceful surroundings. Set in an expansive tropical garden, this former manor house indulges guests with its chic collection of guestrooms, gourmet cuisine and decadent spa.

You will have the remainder of the day at leisure to explore the surroundings or just relax.

Stay: The Wallawwa

Day 2 - 3: From Negombo to Kandy

Today you will travel into the hill via the Millennium Elephant Foundation – where the kids can enjoy watching elephants bathing in a river – to Bougainvillea Retreat, east of Kandy. This small hotel is located within reach of the stunning Knuckles Range, an area of diverse natural beauty home to much wildlife, which is a fabulous place to go trekking.

Here are just a few suggested activities for your free time:

  • Hiking at the Hantane Range, another nearby hiking destination
  • Admiring Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka’s most sacred shrine
  • Visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens and a tea museum
  • Trekking through tea estates

Stay: Bougainvillea Retreat

Day 4 - 5 Exploring Koslanda

In the morning, you will travel south from Kandy into Sri Lanka’s vertiginous Tea Country, so-named for the velveteen tea plantations that carpet the misty hills.

Then, drive through the market town of Nuwara Eliya, and continue to Koslanda, near Haputale, to stay at Living Heritage Koslanda. This secluded boutique hotel celebrates Sri Lanka’s traditional architectural design and is set in 80 acres, including a patch of forest known locally as ‘God’s Forest’, with a river and a secluded waterfall. Elephants seasonally travel through the forest and much wildlife can be seen in the hotel grounds.

Other activities suggested include guided walks, visits to tea and rubber plantations and day trips to Udawalawe National Park, famous for herds of elephants.

Stay: Living Heritage Koslanda

Day 6 - 8 Admiring wildlife at Yala National Park

Descend the hills into the low-lying southeastern plains and to the edge of Yala National Park, stopping off enroute at Buduruwagala – a series of seven well-preserved Buddhist figures carved into sheer rock.

Yala National Park is the island’s premier game reserve, home to a dense population of leopards, elephants and sloth bears. In here, you will have a wonderful time camping at the edge of the park is a magical once-in-a-lifetime experience. Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris has comfortable family and double tents, and included in the rate are two game drives per day led by experienced local guides.

Stay: Leopard Safaris

Day 9 - 10 The Last House

From Koslanda, you will descend from the hills to the island’s low-lying southern plains, and on to the south coast, to the The Last House. Located on a gorgeous two kilometre curve of bay to the west of Tangalle, a busy fishing town this hotel is a destination for relaxing in tranquility beside the sea. The Last House has body boards and surf boards that can be used, and also offers deep sea fishing trips.

In the local area you could travel to Rekawa for a night time turtle watch, or climb to the top of Mulkirigala Rock, an ancient Buddhist temple site. From here, it’s also possible to day trip to Udawalawe National Park, Bundala National Park and the Kalametiya Sanctuary, famed for migratory birds.

Stay: Last House

Day 11 - 13: Koggala Lake

Travel west along the picturesque cove-sprinkled southern coastline to Koggala Lake, a 30-minute drive from the famed UNESCO town of Galle. Here you will stay at Tri, a fantastic hotel celebrating local materials and a luxurious yet fully sustainable architectural design on the banks of Koggala Lake, one of Sri Lanka’s largest inland waterways.

During your free time here, you could take a boat trip on Koggala Lake to see birds, visit Sinharaja Rainforest, go whale or dolphin watching (in season) or simply relax on a nearby beach. Other suggested activities include guided bicycle rides, river kayaking, surfing and visits to local turtle hatcheries.

Stay: Tri Lanka

Day 14: Departure

Today, you will depart Galle and be transferred to Colombo Airport to catch your return flight home.

Itinerary

Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrival The Wallawwa
Day 2 - 3: From Negombo to Kandy Bougainvillea Retreat
Day 4 - 5 Exploring Koslanda Living Heritage Koslanda
Day 6 - 8 Admiring wildlife at Yala National Park Leopard Safaris
Day 9 - 10 The Last House Last House
Day 11 - 13: Koggala Lake Tri Lanka
Day 14: Departure

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Transfers
  • 24 hour emergency contact
  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • English speaking tour guide

Not Included

  • International and domestic airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees and/or visa authorization
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Other expenses not mentioned on the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for all Lightfoot Travel holidays)

Map

The Wallawwa Bougainvillea Retreat Living Heritage Koslanda Leopard Safaris Last House Tri Lanka

Price available upon request

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant.