9 Nights Wildlife Tour of Sri Lanka With Return Flights from £1739pp

Pinnawala/ Dambulla/ Sigiriya/ Minneriya/ Hiriwadunna/ Kandy/ Udawattakele/ Peradeniya/Nuwara Eliya/ Horton Plains/ Yala
  • Duration

    10 Days/ 9 Nights

  • Tour Type

    Guided Tour

  • Group Size

    Min 2 People

  • Languages


  • Guide Price From£1739

    Per Person With Return Flights

  • Request a Quote

    Call Expert 0115 5671 7770

  • Tour Overview

  • Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and Millennium elephant foundation

  • Jeep safari at Minneriya or Kawdulla National park

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla Golden Cave Temple

  • Village tracking at Hiriwadunna

  • Temple of the Tooth, Kandy

  • Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

  • Horton Plains

  • Yala National park

  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1-Airport/ Pinnawala/ Dambulla
  • Airport to Pinnawela Travel Time Approx: 2 – 2 1/2 HRS

  • Upon arrival at the Colombo International Airport, you will be met by a professional English Speaking Chauffeur Guide at the Arrival Lounge. After formalities at the airport, you will be escorted to your air conditioned vehicle.

    Next, transfer to your hotel in Dambulla.

    En-route you will be visiting the Millennium Elephant Foundation in Pinnawala.

    Millenium Elephant Foundation (MEF) is a family run non-governmental organization (NGO) situated in Hiriwadunna in Kegalle. Services of the Foundation include improving the condition of domestic elephants by providing them food, looking after them and medical treatments.  The Foundation extends its service to elephants all over Sri Lanka. “Elephant Walk Experience” is a program of the Foundation where visitors can get an experience in looking after, caring and feeding elephants instead of elephant rides. This is a unique concept of MEF. Visitors to the Foundation local as well as foreign can volunteer to feed or look after elephants.

    Among the activities at the Foundation:

    • Feed the baby Elephants with milk at the Orphanage
    • Experience of “How to bathe en Elephant” in a small stream near Pinnawala Orphanage. This is a private Elephant bathing experience

    On completion of the tour continue to Dambulla and check in to your hotel among the forests. You can spend the rest of the day at leisure, unwind and relax.

    (Pinnawela to Dambulla Travel Time Approximately 2 – 2 1/2 hours)

    Stay overnight at the selected hotel in Dambulla

    Day 2-Dambulla/ Sigiriya/ Minneriya/ Dambulla
  • You can start the day after an early breakfast at the hotel and proceed on an excursion to Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

    (Dambulla to Sigiriya Travel Time Approximately 30 to 45 minutes)   


    Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress which the locals call as “the Eighth wonder of the World”. Sigirya is a famous attraction among local and foreign visitors in Sri Lanka. According to chronicles, this was the Kingdom of King Kashyapa who ruled Sri Lanka in the fifth century. Top of the rock has ruins of an ancient palace complex with ruins of chambers, stairways and pools. There are ruins of a garden complex surrounding the palace complex as well as two moats and pools with water fountains which function well to date. Before and after King Kashyapa, Sigiriya has been used as a monastic complex by Buddhist monks.  After 14th century, Sigirya has been abandoned. Thereafter, it was in ruins till was discovered by British Explorer John Still.

    On completion of the tour, stop for lunch at a local restaurant (Optional)

    Afternoon you can proceed on a game drive at the Minneriya National Park.

    (Sigiriya to Minneriya Travel Time Approximately 30 to 45 minutes)  

    Minneriya National Park has the largest known elephant gathering in one place in the world. During the dry season a large number of Sri Lankan elephants gather to grass fields on the edges of Minneriya Reservoir to drink water, eat, bathe and play. Elephant gathering here ranges from 300 – 400 at one time. Sometimes, the numbers are more than 400. Minneriya is home to Sri Lankan leopards, sloth bears and many species of birds.

    On completion of the tour, return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

    Stay overnight at the selected hotel in Dambulla

    Day 3- Dambulla/ Hiriwadunna/ Dambulla
  • You can rise early, watch the sunrise and enjoy bird’s songs in the surrounding while sipping a cup of ‘Ceylon Tea’. Thereafter you can go on a nature walk around the hotel. You will be accompanied by a naturalist of the hotel who will explain you about trees, plants and birds. There are many bird nests among the floating lotus leaves and in the branches of the giant Kumbuk (terminalia arjuna) trees. There is an observation deck – a platform from where you can observe the surrounding spectacular nature with a multitude of birds that come to the area. You can spend about an hour in this blissful spot enjoying the beauty of the nature. Thereafter you can visit the farm which ends at the breathtaking Butterfly Garden.

    On completion of the tour, return to the hotel for breakfast.

    After breakfast, you can go on a village excursion to Hiriwadunna and enjoy a Sri Lankan village experience with the local community, walk around the area, observe nature, enjoy fresh air and you can have a lunch served at a village house. You can taste a Sri Lankan meal prepared by village women and experience the culinary expertise of Sri Lankan village women.

    During the tour, you can see mud-thatched village houses, flourishing paddy fields, streams, rivers, banana plantations, a chena cultivation (a form of primitive shifting agriculture method practiced in Sri Lanka where there is a rotation of crops) and visit Hiriwadunna Reservoir which are memorable experiences during this tour. You can see breathtaking sights of the surrounding area from a tree house built on a tree amidst the cultivations. This is a nice experience during your tour.

    On completion of the tour, return to hotel and relax or enjoy your free time at the pool observing the amazing sunset and the glow it gives to the surroundings of this area in the Paradise Isle.

    Stay overnight at the selected hotel in Dambulla

    Day 4- Dambulla/ Kandy
  • Dambulla to Kandy Travel Time Approx: 2 1/2 to 03 HRS

  • Dambulla/Kandy

    You can pack your bags and check out from the hotel as you head towards the Royal Capital Kandy. En-route you can visit the religious heritage site, Dambulla Cave Temple.

    According to chronicles, this beautiful Rock Temple had been a place of worship from first century BC. There are five separate caves in this beautiful temple. There are about 150 Buddha statues, cave paintings which have been added during the era of several kings who ruled Sri Lanka over a long period of time. King Valagamba took refuge in these caves as he had to flee from Anuradhapura due to enemy invasion. When he regained his throne, he had the interior of these caves carved as a marvelous rock temple. King Nissanka Malla had the caves gilded. Thereafter this place was known as Ran Giri (Golden Rock).

    On completion of the tour, proceed to Kandy and check-in to your hotel.

    (Dambulla to Kandy Travel Time Approximately 2 1/2 to 03 hours)

    Late afternoon visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic to observe the ritual, traditional blessings to the Sacred Tooth Relic popularly known as “Thewawa” at 1800 hours.

    Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

    Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic houses the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha. The Sacred Tooth Relic is well protected and kept in a gold casket shaped like a dagoba (stupa) with a series of six dagoba caskets of diminishing size. Kandy is the religious and cultural capital of Sri Lanka and the last kingdom of the country. Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    On completion of the tour, return to your hotel

    Stay overnight at the selected hotel in Kandy

    DAY 5- Kandy / Udawattakele / Kandy
  • Kandy to Udawattakele Travel Time Approx: 30 to 45 Mins

  • Kandy is a cultural city as well as the most beautiful city in Sri Lanka. It is the only city in Sri Lanka which has a reserved forest above it – the Udawattakele Sanctuary.

    (Kandy to Udawattakele Travel Time Approximately 30 to 45 minutes)

    Udawattekele Sanctuary also known as Royal Forest Park is situated on the hill behind the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. This forest is an important bio reserve for Kandy City. This area had been a rainforest centuries ago. During the Kandyan Kingdom, this forest was called “Uda Wasala Watte” (meaning Upper palace Garden) and visited by the Royals. During that period it had been a forbidden area to ordinary people. In 1856, it was declared a Forest Reserve and in 1938, it was made a sanctuary. The forest has rich vegetation consisting of a canopy, a sub canopy and an underground layer. There are many important places in this Forest Reserve such as the highest peak in Kandy City Kodimale, Senkada Cave (Cave of the former hermit Senkada), a pond and several hermitages.

    Udawattekele is the only forest in the world bordering a major city. When the city was expanded, it has been reduced to the present size.

    On completion of the tour, return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying the amenities of the hotel

    Stay overnight at the selected hotel in Kandy

    Day 6- Kandy / Peradeniya / Nuwara Eliya
  • After breakfast at the hotel visit the Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya, a “Must Visit” during your stay in Kandy.

    (Kandy to Peradeniya Travel Time Approximately 30 to 45 minutes)   

    Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

    Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya is where you see a wide and rare collection of tropical and temperate, exotic and indigenous flora all in one place. There is an orchid house with the largest collection of orchids in Asia.

    On completion of the tour of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, travel to Nuwara Eliya, a city among misty hills.

    (Kandy to Nuwara Eliya Travel Time Approximately 02 – 02 1/2 hours)          

    Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful town where the British created a replica of English countryside; homes in styles from King George to Queen Anne. In Nuwara Eliya, there are well-kept lawns with hedges, a famous golf course, strawberry fields, an Anglican church and beautiful parks. Situated about 6,200 feet above sea level, the air is cool and fresh – a peaceful and clam environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Pony and horse riding is available at the Turf Club of Nuwara Eliya. Feel the atmosphere of “home away from home” upon your check-in at the hotel in Nuwara Eliya popularly called “Little England”.

    Stay overnight at the selected hotel in Nuwara Eliya


    Day 07-Nuwara Eliya / Horton Plains / Yala
  • Your day will start before the sun rises among the hills, as you head towards Horton Plains National Park with a packed breakfast from the hotel.

    (Nuwara Eliya to Horton Plains Travel Time Approximately 45 minutes to 01 hour)

    Horton Plains

    Horton Plains National Park is situated in the Central Highland of Sri Lanka. Before British rule in Sri Lanka, this area was called Maha Eliya. This area was named as Horton Plains after the then British Governor Sir Robert Horton (who was Governor from 1832-1837). This area became a popular place because Sir Samuel Baker used it for his hunting purposes. In 1988, Horton Plains became a National Park. Vegetation of Horton Plains National Park is partly Upper Montane Rain Forests or Cloud Forest with Wet Patana Grasslands. There are around 188 varieties of plant species in Horton Plains. Of these, 63 are endemic to Sri Lanka. In addition to this, there are flowering plants, fish species, bird species, mammal species and a large number of amphibian species in Horton Plains.

    On completion of the Horton Plains tour, proceed to Yala and check into your hotel located amidst greenery.

    (Horton Plains to Yala Travel Time Approximately 05 to 06 hours)     

    It’s better to pamper yourself with a foot massage (optional) after a long drive.

    Stay overnight at the selected hotel in Yala


    Day 8-Yala
  • YALA

    This is a day to check your luck to spot the highest density of wildlife in Sri Lanka. Your chances of witnessing an “eye to eye” experience with a Spotted Wild Cat – Leopard is high at Yala National Park. You can proceed on a game drive to Yala National Park with a packed breakfast from the hotel.

    Yala National Park

    The best known attraction at Yala is the elephant. There are small and large herds of elephants. There are also herds of spotted deer over the park. Monkeys, the pinkish rhesus and the grey faced Langur monkey live and play on the tree tops as well as on the ground below at Yala National Park.

    Wild buffalo and wild boar as well as a leopard drinking water at a water hole could be a memorable experience. Peacock is the frequently seen bird at Yala. The painted stork, the spoonbill, the bee-eater, varieties of heron, parakeets and king-fisher and wood pecker are some birds that can be seen in the park. Yala National Park is a “must visit destination” in your tour to Sri Lanka.

    Return to the hotel and spend the rest of the day enjoying the amenities of the hotel.

    Stay overnight at the selected hotel in Yala

    Day 9- Yala
  • Spend the morning leisurely.

    Afternoon by 1500 hours visit the Yala National Park for your second safari where you will experience a different atmosphere of the Park and its wealth of Wild Life.

    Return to the hotel after the tour.

    Stay overnight at the selected hotel in Yala

    Day 10- Yala/ Airport or Beach Resort
  • After many memorable experiences around the country, you will be transferred to Airport or one of the hotels of your choice on the sandy golden beaches of Sri Lanka.

    Included and Excluded

    What's Included
  • Accommodation in hotels specified in the itinerary or similar hotels.
  • Flights and airport taxes
  • Meals on Bed and Breakfast Basis commencing with Breakfast on Day 02 and ending with Breakfast on Day 10
  • Entrance Fees to : Pinnawela Millennium Elephant Foundation, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Minneriya National Park, Dambulla Cave Temple, Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic Kandy, Udawattakelle Sanctuary, Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, Horton Plains National Park and Yala National Park (02 Entries)
  • 1 Nature walk excursion in Habarana
  • 1 Village Excursion at Hiriwaduuna with lunch at a local house
  • 1 jeep safari to Minneriya National Park
  • 2 Jeep safaris to Yala National Park.Optional safari at Yala National Park can be booked at an additional supplement of USD 50 Per Person/per safari
  • Private Transport throughout the tour in an air conditioned vehicle with the services of an English Speaking Chauffeur Guide
  • All applicable current local taxes, but subject to change at the time of booking
  • Cost Excludes
  • Travel insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature such as tips, drinks and gratuities, photo fees at some monuments
  • Excursions & detours beyond the itinerary
  • Compulsory Xmas & New year supplements
  • Compulsory Room Supplements for Hotels in Kandy during the Month of August
  • Tickets for the Perehara Cultural Pageant that replaces the traditional cultural show in Kandy during the month of August
  • Additional Information

  • Must apply for Visa before arrive in Srilanka. To apply go to http://www.eta.gov.lk
  • Room category can be change at additional cost subject to availability
  • Hotels standard check-in time is 1400hrs and standard check-out time is 1200hrs
  • General Information

  • Time difference GMT +5 hours 30 minutes (summer) +6 hours 30 minutes (winter time)
  • The climate is tropical and warm, due to the moderating effects of ocean winds. Mean temperatures range from 17 °C (62.6 °F) in the central highlands, where frost may occur for several days in the winter, to a maximum of 33 °C (91.4 °F) in other low-altitude areas. Average yearly temperatures range from 28 °C (82.4 °F) to nearly 31 °C (87.8 °F). Day and night temperatures may vary by 14 °C (25.2 °F) to 18 °C (32.4 °F).[186]
  • Best time to travel January - April // Mid July - September
  • Monsoon Season October - January
  • Best time for bird watching and whales watching December - April
  • Esala Perahera Festival in month of August
  • Options

  • The whole tour can be tailored to your requirement if needed.
  • Let us know if you have a special occasion
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