16 Day Closer to the Wild

15 Nights / 16 Days

Starting from $1,695 Per Person

*** This tour can be booked as is or alternatively used as a starting point for creating your own perfect tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka. ***

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Sri Lanka has one of the finest wildlife treasures in the South Asian region. The rich biodiversity of flora and fauna of the country is owing to its perfect location in the tropics. Sri Lanka is classified amongst the top 25 biodiversity hot spots in the world.

16 Day Closer to the Wild journeys around Sri Lanka’s most spectacular wildlife sites ranging from floral varieties such as orchids, tree ferns, bamboo and diversity of fauna ranges from 26 varieties of endemic birds, 245 varieties of butterflies, herds of elephants, deer to rare mammals such as the elusive leopard and  clumsy sloth bears.

SoulCare: Explore an Animal Monitoring Program, aiming to Conserve Endemic Species

Itinerary

DAY 1 Airport | Wilpattu

Two chickens

Welcome to Sri Lanka, the Island of Paradise!

Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, meet your chauffeur guide at the airport and embark on a 3 ½ hrs journey to Wilpattu National Park, the largest national park in Sri Lanka, famed for undisturbed sightings.

As it is your first day spend the rest of the day relaxing and revitalizing yourself.

DAY 2 Wilpattu

Dusty road

Wake up to the bird songs and invigorated by the wilderness that surrounds you.

Get on board for an early morning safari at the Wilpattu National Park. It is the ideal time to witness the habitants coming out in search of food.

Wilpattu National Park is the home for many bird species like painted stork, cattle egret, purple heron, Sri Lankan jungle fowl and mammals such as elephants, samber deer, water buffaloes, sloth bear, and leopards, which are some of the threatened species inhabiting the park. As the park spans across a 1,317 square kilometers area of land the habitants are spread widely and spotting some rare species like sloth bears and Sri Lankan leopards would require more than one visit to the park.

After a scrumptious Breakfast, explore the campsite and engage in discussions with the specialized Naturalist Guides at camp where you will have the opportunity to bond and learn more about your favourite species and their behaviour.

Head out on an Afternoon Safari and enjoy a mouthwatering dinner beside a bon fire and under star studded skies.

DAY 3 Wilpattu | Sigiriya

Paintings in Sigiriya

Enjoy a delicious breakfast and head over to Sigiriya.

En-route stop over to witness the ancient ruins of the sacred city of Anuradhapura.

The city’s ruins extend to a vast area and you could explore the magnificent stupas, temples, ponds and sculptures that portrays the rich cultural heritage of the ancient kingdom which was once the epicenter of country’s governance.

Sri Maha Bodhi, Ruwanweliseya and Isurumuniya are some of the highlights of the city of Anuradhapura.

After sightseeing, continue your journey to Sigiriya and check-in at Jetwing Vil Uyana to relax for the day.

If you have extra time to spend and want to engage yourself learning more about Sri Lanka, climbing Sigiriya Rock Fortress is worth a visit.

DAY 4 Sigiriya | Minneriya

Elephants drinking water

This morning set off on a bird watching trail at the Rangirigama Lake in Sigiriya.

Sri Lanka is home to many endemic and migratory birds and during your tour you will come across a wide range of bird species such as Fish Eagles, Jacanas, Egrets, Kingfishers and depending on your timing witnessing Black Bitterns and Fish Owls would be an added bonus.

If you’re not a keen bird watcher, how about climbing Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This could be an optional activity and if you wish to include it in your itinerary we are more than happy to accommodate your request.

Enjoy an evening safari at the Minneriya National Park.

Minneriya National Park is popular for sighting of large herds of elephants, which sometimes ranges from 100 to 200 elephants at one time. Best time to visit the park is during the months of June to September which is the dry season where elephants migrate in search of food from the adjoining national parks.

DAY 5 Sigiriya | Knuckles

Green trees with misty hills

As you discover more and more of Sri Lankas’ wilderness your holiday is getting adventurous day by day.

Start your journey towards the hills of the country.

Few optional sightseeing opportunities include the magnificent Dambulla Cave Temple complex and Spice Gardens in Matale.

You could also go on a short city tour in Kandy, a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic before you check-in for your overnight stay.

Rest well as tomorrow brings you a whole new experience of trekking at Knuckles Mountain Range.

DAY 6 Knuckles

View of the mountains from an elevated level

Start your day early with an exploration of Knuckles Mountains.

Explore the lush tea plantations, cascading waterfalls, paddy fields, dense forest and discover the beautiful flora and fauna through the mountain trails of Knuckles.

DAY 7 Knuckles |Gal Oya

threewheel going along the twisty roads

After breakfast proceed to explore the rich wildlife of Gal Oya, one of Sri Lanka’s most remote and least visited wilderness areas.

An interesting drive via 18 scenic hairpin bends will take you to Gal Oya Lodge, an eco- friendly bungalow set amidst the wilderness of Gal Oya National Park.

In the afternoon join on a leisurely bicycle ride exploring the pristine surroundings.

DAY 8 Gal Oya

Tourists on a safari jeep

For the adventurous early risers, a 1.5 hour uphill trek first thing in the morning is a must.

Up top, dramatic 180 degree views over the large forested valley await. An early start allows you to watch the sun rise over the hills in the distance, observing the never ending forest canopy below.

After you’ve finished, return for a well-earned breakfast and enjoy the rest of your day.

Enjoy a picnic lunch next to the river, waterfall or overlooking one of the park’s many breathtaking views.

Later take a jeep ride to the Gal Oya National Park. The park’s unique ecosystem is home to herds of elephants, wild boar, four species of deer, jackals, sloth bears, marsh mugger crocodiles and an array of rare exotic birds.

DAY 9 Gal Oya | Ella

Elephants in the water

In the morning head out on a boat safari of the largest lake of Sri Lanka.

This is a unique way to immerse yourself in the animals’ habitats. With a little luck you could spot elephants swimming between islands or bathing at the lake’s edge. A 2-3 hour safari by boat, and a scenic 40 minute drive from the lodge to the lake is perfect to explore the national park and surrounding villages.

Head off to Ella another hot spot for adventure seekers.

DAY 10 Ella

98 acres resort

A full day to explore Ella at you’re your pace.

Make the most of the endless opportunities to explore waterfalls and mountain treks including the Mini Adams Peak, Ravana Falls & Nine Arch Bridge.

DAY 11 Ella | Yala

National park in Yala

This morning proceed to Yala.

Yala, famous for the Yala National Park is the second largest national park in Sri Lanka. It is the home to many wild flora and fauna which thrives in this dry zone….

Optional: You can have an en-route stop at Wellawaya to visit the Buduruwagala Temple depicting the existence of the Mahayana teaching in Sri Lanka. The temple has its unique beauty and is situated in off the beaten track hence it’s not a touristic site which enables you to explore the site peacefully.

Check-in at Chena huts for lunch.

Nestled among dunes and trees at the ocean’s edge, you will find Chena Huts, which is the latest addition to Uga Escapes’ world-renowned portfolio of luxury boutique hotels.

After lunch spend some time relaxing and set out on an Afternoon Jeep safari.

DAY 12 Yala

Calm ocean and clean beach

Set off on a morning and evening safari on this day.

Enjoy the adventure and click many shots to take back home and the stories to share with your friends.

DAY 13 Yala |Tangalle

Turtle hatchery in Koggala

Before you leave Yala you can enjoy one last morning safari and head off to the sleepy southern coastal village of Tangalle.

Make a quick stop over at the Mulkirigala Temple, a Buddhist monastery complex comprising ancient murals, Buddha statues and cave temples scattered in different levels of a large rock.

DAY 14 Tangalle | Mirissa | Galle

Watching whales swim from a boat

Early morning head off to Mirissa to on a Whale & Dolphin Watching tour, making the most of the close proximity to the nutrient rich ocean at edge of the continental shelf, making Sri Lanka one of the best locations to observe 26 species of cetacean species.

Then continue your journey to the World Heritage City of Galle and stroll through the ancient cobbled streets which will take you back in time to another era.

DAY 15 Galle

Lady carrying an umbrella

Spend the day at leisure, relaxing and enjoying the array of activities available at the resort.

DAY 16 Galle | Airport

Stationary blue plane

Hope you enjoyed your holiday in our paradise island and returning home with many memories and adventurous stories to share with family and friends.

Transfer to airport to catch your connecting flight.

Nemanika

Travel Designer

Travel Designer Recommendation

16 Day Closer to the Wild is recommended for travellers who wish to discover the spectacular wildlife in Sri Lanka coupled up with adventures in hiking and trekking in some of the incredible locations such as Wilpattu , Yala, Gal Oya , Knuckles, and Ella. Dive deep into the wilderness in thick jungles and observe many endemic species and make your holiday more and more adventurous day by day.

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