Sri Lanka Wildlife and Beach Retreat is a get-away-from-it-all tour where you can relax amid quiet wildlife areas and peaceful tropical beaches. Tranquillity and the natural world is at the heart of this itinerary which deliberately avoids many of the island’s busiest spots in its determination to escape the herd. The tour begins and ends with some of Sri Lanka’s most peaceful spectacular beaches and includes visits to three quieter national parks, a trek in the Knuckles Mountain Range, an opportunity to see Sri Lanka’s marine turtles and the potential for a whale and dolphin watching expedition. It can be adjusted to suit your accommodation requirements and the time of year you wish to travel.
Sri Lanka draws in countless tourists because of its game parks and gorgeous beaches and this tour combines them both in classic fashion
- Try water-sports on Kalpitiya Lagoon on the north-west coast
- Explore peaceful Wilpattu National Park
- Visit Kandy’s renowned Temple of the Tooth
- See large herds of elephants at Uda Walawe National Park
- Enjoy water sports on the sun-drenched beaches of the south coast
- Opt for a whale and dolphin watching excursion in Mirissa
- Accommodation in a shared double / twin room
- Chauffeur-guide and vehicle for the duration of the tour (including leisure days)
- Both airport transfers
- Expert advice and support prior to and during the tour
TERMS & CONDITIONS
- Price shown is a starting price and is subject to change, depending on travel dates / the number of people travelling etc.
- Price shown is based on two people sharing a double / twin room
- See our Booking Conditions for more details
Day 1, 2 & 3 Kalpitiya, North-West Coast
From your pick up at the airport, transfer straight to Kalpitiya on the north-west coast (approximately three hours away) for the first three nights of your holiday. Kalpitiya offers beaches untouched by mass tourism, picturesque lagoons and a wide range of water-sports including kite-surfing and windsurfing. The waters around Kalpitiya are home to dolphins, whales, sting rays and marine turtles: go on a whale and dolphin watching expedition with strong ethical credentials or snorkel around the coral reefs and spot plenty of colourful tropical fish. Relax on the quiet beaches and enjoy some spectacular sunsets.
Accommodation: Khomba House
Recommended Activities: Windsurfing in Sri Lanka , Kitesurfing in Sri Lanka
Day 4 & 5 Wilpattu National Park, North-West Coast
Today you have a short journey deeper into Sri Lanka’s north-west region, moving away from the beaches towards your base for Wilpattu National Park. Wilpattu is one of Sri Lanka’s largest and oldest wildlife parks – as well as the most beautiful - and has a wide range of habitats, from the coastal belt and lakes to open grassy plains and thick forest. Spot leopards, water buffalo, crocodiles or kingfishers. As Wilpattu is positioned away from the common tourist trails, an entire day of safari can pass in splendid isolation.
Accommodation: The Ibis, Wilpattu
Recommended Activities: Wilpattu National Park
Day 6 Kandy
Spend the morning travelling to the hill country capital of Kandy. Visit Kandy’s botanical gardens, regarded as among the finest in Asia. You only have one night in Kandy but you might like to take the chance to visit its star attraction, the Temple of the Tooth, which is said to house the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha.
Accommodation: Villa Rosa
Recommended Activities: Temple of the Tooth , Royal Botanical Gardens
Day 7 Bobebilla, Kandy
A relatively short journey today takes you east into the Knuckles Mountain Range. This lightly-populated area is wonderful walking country – as good as anywhere in the world. Many walks can be devised through tea estates and woodlands and you might well have spectacular mountain views to yourself!
Accommodation: Rangala House
Recommended Activities: Hike in the Knuckles
Day 8 & 9 Gal Oya National Park, East Coast
Travel further east so you can spend two days in Gal Oya National Park. Take a boat safari across the Senanayake Samudraya reservoir, amid an orchestra of tropical bird song, where you might even thrill to the enchanting sight of a lone elephant swimming between islands at sunset. The elusive leopard, wild boar, water buffaloes, deer and crocodiles are among the inhabitants of this serenest of parks. Consider a two-hour ascent to the summit of Monkey Mountain for a spectacular vista.
Accommodation: Gal Oya Lodge
Recommended Activities: Gal Oya National Park
Day 10 Udawalawe National Park, Tissa & Kataragama
Time to head west into the southern central area of Sri Lanka to spend one night at Udawalawe National Park. Uda Walawe is undoubtedly the best place in Sri Lanka to see wild elephants throughout the year. Go on a half-day jeep safari and watch for leopard, sloth bear, water buffalo, deer and mongooses. Spend time at the Udawalawe Transit Home, an ethically sound venture where orphaned baby elephants are rehabilitated to return to the wild.
Accommodation: Kalu's Hideaway
Recommended Activities: Udawalawe National Park , Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home
Day 11, 12 & 13 Rekawa, South Coast
Spend the last few days of your holiday relaxing on Sri Lanka’s stunning south coast. If you can drag yourself away from the tranquil golden beaches, head along the coastline up to Mirissa, a lively beach town which has a beautiful bay and offers a host of water-sports including surfing, snorkelling, sailing and sea-kayaking, as well as boat excursions out into the ocean in search of whales and dolphins. Reserve one night for visiting the Turtle Conservation Project in Rekawa, where you can witness marine turtles nesting.
Accommodation: Buckingham Place
Recommended Activities: Bundala National Park , Surfing in Sri Lanka , Rekawa Turtle Watch , Whale Watching in Mirissa
Khomba House is a beautifully-designed two-bedroom beach villa situated within the Bar Reef Resort in Alankuda on the North West coast. The house is furnished with Dutch-period antiques, colourful soft furnishings, and opens on to the secluded sandy beaches. Dolphin spotting off the coast of Alankuda is utterly rewarding during the season from December to April.
The Ibis, Wilpattu
Wilpattu National Park, North-West
Located 20 minutes from the Wilpattu National Park, The Ibis is a rustic styled bungalow that offers comfortable accommodation in two bedrooms with all modern facilities that overlook the nearby lake.
Villa Rosa is a Red Dot favourite: an enchanting upmarket guest house which benefits from stunning views over the Mahaweli River and of the Knuckles Mountain Range beyond. This is Kandy at its most serene. No pool, but bags of atmosphere.
One of the island’s secret escapes, Rangala House is a converted tea estate bungalow in the Knuckles Mountain Range, which provides a majestic backdrop for this property. Rangala House faces the luminous, tea-covered hills of the Dukwari Estate and has a pool set amidst abundant tropical foliage and birdsong.
Gal Oya Lodge
Gal Oya, East Coast
Gal Oya Lodge is a tranquil eco retreat made up of several bungalows and villas spread across a 20-acre forest. The property is edged by Gal Oya National Park and the Senanayake Samudraya, one of Sri Lanka's largest lakes. This is an escapist choice for wildlife lovers.
Udawalawe, Tissa & Kataragama
Kalu’s Hideaway is the brain child of the former Sri Lankan cricketer Romesh Kaluwitharana. This comfortable and welcoming eco lodge sits on a five-acre garden edged by the Walawe River. Kalu’s Hideaway has 14-rooms and is an ideal, keenly-priced location from which to explore the jungles of Udawalawe.
Rekawa, South Coast
Buckingham Place is an appealing boutique hotel on a five-acre estate overlooking the tranquil Rekawa lagoon in the deep south. This is a peaceful spot in a relatively undiscovered part of Sri Lanka, a stylish 11-roomed hotel contemporary in design with tasteful interiors.
Following are recommended optional activities
Kitesurfing in Sri Lanka
Kalpitiya, West Coast
The best place to go kitesurfing in Sri Lanka is along the north-west coast, in Negombo and Kalpitiya, both of which are laidback beach towns that are also home to a vast lagoon.
Windsurfing in Sri Lanka
Negombo, North-West Coast
Windsurfing in Sri Lanka was first started in Negombo, which continues to be a popular spot for windsurfing during the season from December to April, as is Kalpitiya, another north-west coastal town.
Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu, North-West Coast
Wilpattu National Park is arguably Sri Lanka’s most beautiful park. Its varying natural habitats – coastal belt, natural lakes, scrublands, open grasslands and dense forest – house numerous animals.
Temple of the Tooth
Tradition relates that a sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka in 4th century A.D. and has been enshrined in the Dalanda Maligawa, or Temple of the Tooth, since the late 1500s.
Royal Botanical Gardens
The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens is the largest of its kind in Sri Lanka and the finest in Asia. Explore the beautiful surroundings with an expert, or simple enjoy a relaxed stroll in the sun.
Hike in the Knuckles
The Knuckles Mountain Range is perfect for hiking – a land of mystical peaks, chattering waterfalls and hidden hillside villages, with breathtaking visas and a remoteness that will appeal to experienced and novice hikers alike.
Gal Oya National Park
Gal Oya National Park, East Coast
Gal Oya is one of the most remote and stunning national parks in Sri Lanka. Inclusive of the largest reservoir in the island, take a boat safari at sunset as well as doing a morning game drive.
Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home
Udawalawe, Tissa & Kataragama
Visit the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe National Park, a rehabilitation centre for orphaned elephant calves.
Udawalawe National Park
Udawalawe, Tissa & Kataragama
Udawalawe National Park is one of the best places to see elephants in Sri Lanka – up to 500 elephants, along with other wildlife, are found here.
Whale Watching in Mirissa
Mirissa, South Coast
This modern catamaran complete with professional crew sets out from Mirissa Harbour at 6:30am, beating the other boats in order to have the best dolphin and whale sightings.
Bundala National Park
Bundala, Tissa & Kataragama
Bundala National Park, which neighbours Yala, is one of the best places for birdwatching in Sri Lanka, and is also home to sloth bears, elephants and deer.
Surfing in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a fantastic choice for a surfing holiday, and has been a popular surf destination since the 1970s.
Rekawa Turtle Watch
Rekawa, South Coast
Five of the seven species of marine turtle come ashore at Rekawa to lay their eggs. Join the night watch to observe these fascinating creatures up close.