Tailormade tour Wildlife of Sri Lanka tour Sri Lanka

9 nights/10 days

Colombo • Galle • Weligama • Yala National Park • Lake Koggala • Negombo

On this wildlife touring holiday, experience the wealth of nature that Sri Lanka offers and go in search of its Big Five – the blue whale, sperm whale, Asian elephant, leopard and sloth bear. Please note that this is a seasonal tour running throughout the whale-watching season from December to April.

Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £2,450 per person.

Luxury touring holiday of the wildlife of Sri Lanka with driver-guide in search of the Big Five in this seasonal tour

Highlights

Colombo • Galle • Weligama • Yala National Park • Lake Koggala • Negombo

Day by day

You will be met on arrival and driven by your English-speaking chauffeur guide who will accompany you throughout your tour of Sri Lanka. You will be driven to your hotel in in Colombo, approximately 1.5 hours' away.

After breakfast, head south along the coast road to Galle (approximately 3 hours). Take a walk around the Dutch Fort (UNESCO world heritage site) with its myriad narrow streets within the city walls. Then continue to on Weligama Bay, a small fishing town with a beautiful bay. Weligama Bay stretches all the way from Weligama to Mirissa, and is blessed with incredibly soft, sandy beaches. There are both good waves for surfing and more sheltered waters for snorkelling, and scuba divers can even discover some old shipwrecks offshore. The nearby Dondra lighthouse is Sri Lanka’s most southerly point. You will be driven to your hotel for a 3-night stay.

In the mornings, drive with your naturalist to Mirissa and embark on a sea journey in a spacious and comfortable boat.

Mirissa is the main point for deep sea fishing and whale watching trips between December and April. Look out for blue whales, spinner dolphins and sperm whales! In the afternoons, relax by the beach or enjoy a dip in the swimming pool.

After breakfast, head eastwards to Yala and stay in a luxury tented camp or in a hotel for 3 nights (approximately 3.5 hours). Yala National Park covers an area of 965 sq. kilometres and was declared a Game Park in 1938. According to research the park has one of the highest densities of leopards in the world and therefore offers one of the best chances throughout Asia to see these animals. You may also see elephant, sloth bear, sambhur, spotted deer, wild boar, stipenecked, brown and ruddy mongooses, black-naped hare and several species of civet. In the waterholes you may see mugger crocodile, painted stork, lesser whistling teal, black-headed Ibis, Eurasian spoonbill, egrets and the rare Black-necked stork.

Enjoy morning and afternoon jeep safaris in Yala National Park. You will see that Sri Lanka is blessed to have the opportunity to showcase a huge amount of fascinating wildlife, all of which you will experience during your safaris. Because of the high density of leopards in Yala, the lack of other carnivores means that the leopard is the top predator, so adults and cubs can be remarkably relaxed during the day. Young males seem to have no fear of the jeep which can lead to some excellent photographic opportunities.

Yala is also the best place in Asia for sighting the shy and usually nocturnal sloth bear. It is usually cooler in the early mornings and late afternoons, just in time for your safaris!

After breakfast, leave to travel along the coast to Lake Koggala (approximately 4 to 5 hours) for 1 night at TRI.

Depart for Negombo (approximately 4 hours’ drive) for a relaxing afternoon and evening at your hotel. Negombo is an important fishing town with Portuguese and Dutch colonial heritage. The Dutch legacy is seen in the remains of the grand Dutch Fort and the Dutch canal (now called Hamilton Canal) which runs from Colombo to Chilaw via Negombo. The canal is being revived and you can see galley-painted boats using it as a waterway. The beaches at Negombo are wide and good for beach walking. It is fascinating to see how the fishing industry dominates life in coastal Negombo - the fish market, the auctions, the stalls along the beach. As a tourist resort, Negombo caters to a wide spectrum of holidaymakers on a range of budgets. It’s lively at night and has tourist shops and restaurants.

Transfer to the airport for your departure (approximately 20 minutes’ drive).

We were incredibly impressed by our guide/driver. He helped make the trip. The holiday exceeded our expectations.
Mrs A, January 2019

Holiday price guide From about £2,450 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London.

Holiday Code SLDG10

Luxury touring holiday of the wildlife of Sri Lanka with driver-guide in search of the Big Five in this seasonal tour

We were incredibly impressed by our guide/driver. He helped make the trip. The holiday exceeded our expectations.
Mrs A, January 2019

Holiday price guide From about £2,450 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London.

Holiday Code SLDG10

Our prices include ● Scheduled return flights from London Heathrow to Colombo with Sri Lankan Airways
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in Colombo
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Weligama Bay
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Yala National Park
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast at Lake Koggala
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in Negombo
● Private English-speaking chauffeur-guide in an air-conditioned Japanese car throughout the itinerary
● Entrance fees to the monuments listed
● Whale-watching and safari trips as listed
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Visas (A visa is a requirement for entry to Sri Lanka and can be obtained on line from www.eta.gov.lk)
● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, payable locally to the hotel
● Camera fees where applicable
● Optional excursions – to be pre-booked and at a supplement

Expressions Holidays includes these hotels in this touring holiday as suggestions, but they can be substituted by others in the same region, if you have a preference to stay elsewhere.
Hotels included in this tour
Colombo
Mount Lavinia Hotel Value option

The Mount Lavinia Hotel is a 4-star colonial hotel in a beautiful beachfront location. Delicious, refined cuisine, a scenic terrace bar and comfortable accommodation afford guests a relaxing and restorative retreat, in easy reach of Colombo.

Direct ocean view room Bay wing

The Regency at The Galle Face Hotel Luxury option

The Galle Face Hotel is a 5-star hotel offering the utmost in colonial-style luxury, in an excellent beachfront location. Opulent accommodation, excellent spa facilities, delicious cuisine and exemplary service maintain the property's position as an icon of Colomban luxury.

Regency deluxe room

Weligama Bay
Casa Colombo Mirissa Value option

Casa Colombo Mirissa is an exclusive, 4-star boutique luxury hotel in a sublime coastal location. The luxury accommodation, delicious cuisine and pristine natural surrounding afford guests a truly tranquil and indulgent retreat.

Standard double room

Cape Weligama Luxury option

Cape Weligama is an exclusive luxury boutique resort in an outstanding clifftop location. The beautiful gardens and pools, excellent spa facilities and delicious cuisine offer guests a truly relaxing and idyllic experience.

Ocean view villa

Yala National Park
Jetwing Yala Value option

Jetwing Yala is a luxury 5-star boutique hotel in a beautiful coastal location. Nestled between the Yala National Park and the Indian Ocean, guests can enjoy delicious cuisine and excellent spa facilities in this sublimely secluded retreat.

Superior room

Leopard Trails Luxury option

Leopard Trails is an exclusive 5-star resort offering luxury safari camping in a beautiful rural location. A curated local dining experience, authentic accommodation and excellent guided safari experiences afford guests a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience wild nature.

Luxury tent

Lake Koggala
The Frangipani Tree Value option

The Frangipani Tree is an exclusive villa in a stunning beachfront location. Pristine grounds and luxurious accommodation with a beautiful infinity pool make this villa an excellent haven from the hustle and bustle of Galle.

Olive Ridley Suite

Tri Lanka Luxury option

Tri Lanka is an exclusive luxury boutique hotel in a beautifully secluded lakeside location. Luxurious eco-friendly accommodation, exquisite, organic, farm-to-table cuisine and indulgent spa facilities afford guests a truly relaxing and indulgent experience in the magnificent Sri Lankan countryside.

Water tower room

Negombo
Jetwing Beach

Jetwing Beach is a luxury 4-star boutique hotel in a beautiful coastal location. Excellent spa facilities and a wide variety of dining facilities - including the unmissable signature dining experiences - afford guests a relaxing and idyllic experience.

Deluxe room

We were incredibly impressed by our guide/driver. He helped make the trip. The holiday exceeded our expectations.
Mrs A, January 2019

Holiday price guide From about £2,450 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for economy flights from London.

Holiday Code SLDG10

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