14 NIGHTS – 16 DAYS ~ FROM £2,300
This is an exciting programme designed to give the Nature Lover an insight into the remarkable flora and fauna of this beautiful island. Of particular interest are the vast numbers of endemic species. The variety of habitat to visit ranges from the Marsh and Lagoons of the West Coast to Primeval Rain forest, Dry zone forest, Montane Rain or Cloud forest and sub-Montane forests in wet plains. Also visit the famous Peradeniya Gardens and delightful Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. Stout walking boots, binoculars and notepad are the order of the day!
Colombo • Muthurajawela Wetland Sanctuary • Kudawa/Sinharaja • Yala • Bundala • Nuwara Eliya • Horton Plains • Kandy/Peradeniya • Pinnawela • Elkaduwa • Knuckles Nature Reserve • Negombo
DAY 1 . To Colombo
Depart London for Colombo on direct scheduled SriLankan Airlines flight. Colombo
DAY 2 . Colombo
Arrive Colombo and stay two nights at the Taj Samudra Hotel. Late afternoon City tour.
DAY 3 . Excursion to Muthurajawela Wetland Sanctuary
Full day excursion to Ja-ela and visit Muthurajawela Wetland Sanctuary. Go for a boat ride to the Marsh and Lagoon area. Look out for Little Cormorants, Pond/Purple Herons and Spot-billed Pelicans. Monitor Lizards cruise through the waters.
DAY 4 . To Kudawa - Sinharaja
After breakfast leave for Sinharaja. Stop at Atweltota near the pool and waterfall frequented by a plethora of birds including Black-hooded Orioles and Red-vented Bulbul. Check in at Boulder Garden Hotel. Afternoon proceed to Kudawa Base Camp in the hotel jeep and pick up your Tracker.Then enter Sinharaja - a Primeval Rain Forest and ‘World Heritage Site’. On the “Mulawella Trail” hunt for some of the 23 (out of 27) Sri Lankan endemic bird species found at Sinharaja including Sri Lankan Rufus Babbler and Spur-Fowl
DAY 5 . To Yala
Look for Jungle Fowl, Scaly Thrush and other birds in the jungle around the hotel. After breakfast leave for Yala. En route at Kolonna visit “Maduwanwala Walauwa” – a 17th C. Sinhala Chieftains House. After checking in at the hotel afternoon safari to Yala National Park to seek out the elusive Leopard. Four nights Yala Safari Game Lodge.
DAY 6 . Excursion to Bundala
Dawn safari with picnic breakfast to Bundala National Park to see Elephants, Jackals, Wild Boar, Crocodiles and Mongoose. Keep an eye out for Fishing Eagles and Black-winged Harriers. Also see Tissa, Menik,Yatala & Sandagiriya Dagobas. Return for lunch and then walk the “Tree-trail” with the Resident Naturalist to Palatupana Bay looking at the different species of trees and plants in the dry zone forests. Evening drive to see nocturnal birds including Nightjars, Owls and Fruit Bats.
DAY 7 . Yala
Dawn jeep safari. Picnic breakfast in the park. Multitudes of birds live here including Brown-capped Babbler, Lesser Adjutant and Painted Stork. Drive to the remoter parts of the reserve seeking out large herds of Elephants led by wise old Females.Then trail Leopard - visiting their regular haunts “Koti-gala” and ”Pandi-Kema." Remainder of the day at leisure.
DAY 8 . Yala
Early morning safari to the Park with picnic breakfast accompanied by the Resident Hotel Naturalist. During the closed season in September, Udawalawe will be used as an alternative park to visit.
DAY 9 . To Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast a delightful day journeying to Nuwara Eliya. At Nugeyaya junction turn off to Buduruwagala to see the impressive 51’high rock-cut Buddha statue. En route see Ravana Falls and stop at the Ella Rest House.Visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens founded in 1861 as a Cinchona plantation to extract quinine for Malaria sufferers.Two nights the Grand Hotel
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. Bear Monkey and Sambhur live along side numerous endemic lizards and birds including Sri Lankan Hill White-Eye and Blackbird. Optional picnic lunch in the Park. After lunch, visit Totupola mountain- 3rd highest in Sri Lanka.
DAY 11 . To Kandy - Peradeniya
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. Also see the Orchid House and Palm Garden.The Herbarium contains more than 3,000 trees and plants specimens and can be visited by prior arrangement. Optional lunch at the Garden Cafeteria. Remainder of day at leisure.Two nights the Mahaweli Reach Hotel.
DAY 12 . Excursion to Pinnawela
Early depart for Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage to arrive in time for their ‘breakfast’.Then watch as they are taken to the river for bathing. Afternoon Kandy city tour including a visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Evening Kandyan dance performance.
DAY 13 . To Elkaduwa – Knuckles Nature Reserve
After breakfast leave for Knuckles Range Nature Reserve via Looluwatte.Walk through the jungle to Corbet’s Gap.Walk down hill to Karambaketiya Junction. Note the Stunted Trees, Plants and Epiphytic Orchids. Black Eagles are likely to be seen soaring over the ridge tops. Optional picnic lunch then return to Elkaduwa.Two nights Hunas Falls Hotel.
DAY 14 . Elkaduwa
Look out for White-bellied Sea Eagles, delightful otters and listen to the morning chorus of Layard’s Parakeets.Walk with the Hotel Naturalist on the “Simpson’s Trail”, surrounded by sub Montane forests. Many vividly coloured parasitic plants grow atop trees attracting a wide variety of birds. For those preferring a shorter walk take the “Shaheen Trail”.
DAY 15 . To Katunayake/Negombo
After breakfast leave for Katunayake (Negombo). Overnight at the Taj Airport Garden Hotel.
DAY 16 . To London
Transfer to airport for return to London on direct scheduled SriLankan Airlines flight.