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This Sri Lanka tour begins in Colombo. You will be received at the airport by our representative and driven to the Galle Face Hotel (1.5 hours drive) for one night.
In the afternoon, you will be going on a half day city tour of Colombo. Colombo is the largest city and former capital of Sri Lanka. It is a modern city but still retains the old world charm due to the presence of many buildings with colonial architecture and many other ruins from the past. It has a large harbor and was an important stop in the east-west sea route trade for ancient travelers. You see several important landmarks in the city as well as visit Vihara Maha Devi Park, where you will see hundreds of roosting Fruit Bats.
After breakfast, we depart for Wasgomuwa, which is about 7 hours drive. We stay here for two nights. After checking into the hotel, you can rest or spend the day in leisure.-
Today we visit Wasgamuwa National Park. We go on game drives in the morning and in the afternoon too. Many species of mammals have been recorded in the park, However, the park is more famous for the large herds of Sri Lankan Elephants. It is also one of the important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka.
We start early morning soon after breakfast and drive for 5 hours to reach our hotel in Dambulla where we stay for two nights. In the afternoon we travel to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, an ancient rock fortress and palace ruins, to see the beautiful frescoes and other remains of prehistoric times. The fortress was the pleasure capital of a king, called Kashyapa in the 5th Century A.D. It is a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site.
In the morning, we first travel to Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which used to be the capital of Sri Lanka in the medieval period. Visit the world famous rock-cut Buddha statues of Gal Vihara and the Parakrama Samudra (‘Sea of Parakrama’), a 2500-hectare man made reservoir built by King Parakramabahu I (1153 –1186 AD) with a capacity of 134 million cubic meters. The place is also good for bird watching and species commonly sighted include Wooly-necked Stork, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Large Cuckoo Shrike and Coppersmith Barbet.
Post lunch, we go on a game drive into Minneriya National Park for Elephant sightings. During September and October, over 300 elephants gather on the receding shores of the Minneriya Tank. Witnessing ‘The Gathering’ of Elephants at Minneriya is an awesome experience.
Today after breakfast depart for Hunas Falls Hotel, Kandy, about 3 hours drive from Dambulla. En route, visit Dambulla Cave Temple, famous for its murals and statues. This Cave Temple is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. We halt for two nights here.
Today morning, we on an excursion to Knuckles Mountain range, which is one of the most rugged and picturesque terrains in Sri Lanka. The area, spread over 155 square kilometers, has five types of forest formations as well as as certain rare and endemic flora and fauna. The drive from Reverseturn to Pitawala-Patana grasslands offers panoramic views of the rugged hills. Take an evening walk in the sub montane forests and observe the natural beauty of the area.
Today morning, we drive to Nuwara Eliya (3 hours drive), where we will be spending two nights. En route, we visit the Buddhist Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy, which houses Lord Buddha's left upper canine tooth as a relic.
In the afternoon, we visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens. Established in 1860, Hakgala Botanical Gardens is the second largest garden in Sri Lanka. Here we will see the highland races of Purple-faced Leaf Monkey and Toque Macaque. The Toques brim with self-confidence and may approach the visitors! Overnight at the hotel.
Today morning, we visit Horton Plains National Park, located on the southern plateau of the central highlands of Sri Lanka. The park is known for montane endemics and offers excellent opportunities for landscape photography. You get to see the Cloud Forests and rare montane fauna, which include the endemic Rhino-horned Lizard that was featured in Charles Darwin's monumental work on evolution. Some of the mammals seen here include Bear Monkey, Giant Squirrel and Sambar. Walk though the grasslands and the Cloud Forests to a popular viewpoint known as World's End, an escarpment with an 870 m drop. In the afternoon, spend some time on the hotel's nature trail.
Today we drive for 6 hours to reach Yala and stay here for three nights. The afternoon can be spent in leisure, enjoying a dip in the pool or beach. You can also go for a walk around the hotel or have a siesta in your room.
Yala National Park, located in the southeast region, is the second largest park in Sri Lanka. It is famous for its population of Sri Lankan Elephants as well as its aquatic birds. The commonly seen mammals are the Leopard and the Sloth Bear. According to experts, Yala Block 1 has one of the highest densities of Leopards in the world. Yala, therefore, offers one of the best chances in Asia to see and photograph Leopards.
Other large animals that you may see include Mugger Crocodile, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Jackal, Grey Langur and Mongoose. Yala is also a great place for bird watching. There are about 300 species of birds residing here. Birding highlights include Malabar Pied Hornbill, Painted Stork, Lesser Adjutant and Black-necked Stork.
On Day 11 as well as on Day 12, we go for morning and afternoon safaris in the Yala National Park.
After breakfast, we depart for Embilipitiya and reach at our hotel after a drive of 3 hours. In the afternoon, we game drive in Udawalawe National Park, one of the best places in the world for sighting Asian Elephant in the wild. The park is also famous its water birds.
Today we travel to Negombo, about 5 hours drive away from Embilipitiya. After we reach our hotel, you can spend rest of the day at leisure.
The trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast. We will arrange for your transfer to the airport in time for your home bound flight.
Fitness is vital for this level of activity, as the environment traversed may be remote and challenging. These rugged experiences include long walks, trekking, cycling or rafting in isolated areas through variable weather conditions for up to eight to ten hours a day. These trips are usually 13 to 19 days in duration. Maximum altitude reached will be 4000m and you need to be very fit in order to withstand the weather conditions. Good physical condition is essential and previous hill-walking experience or preparation is advisable.
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