9 nights/10 daysOn this wildlife tour, experience the wealth of nature that Sri Lanka has to offer 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. This holiday can be undertaken staying in a range of hotels. To make things simple initially we are giving a Luxury option and a Value option. Each combination is based on tried and tested hotels within given price ranges but any other hotels we feature in the respective regions can be included instead and of course, Luxury and Value hotels can be mixed.Click here to download a full pdf itinerary for this touring holiday.This tour takes you first from London to Bandaranaike International Airport. From here, your personal chauffeur will take you down to your choice of Colombo hotel for your first night. In the morning of your second day, continue south to Galle and spend a few hours enjoying the history of the old Dutch fort. Then, head along the south coast to Weligama, where you will stay for three nights. Here, you can enjoy the seafront and try some scuba-diving. On Day Five, travel to the edge of the Yala National Park and spend three nights at your chosen Yala hotel. This is the perfect opportunity to witness the famous Sri Lankan leopard in its natural habitat. Head back towards Galle and spend one night at the Frangipani Tree in Thalpe, before travelling north to Negombo for your final night. On your last day, enjoy a morning in the city, and then take the short journey from Jetwing Beach to the airport.DAY BY DAY ITINERARYDay 1 Arrive ColomboYou 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.Day 2 Colombo to Weligama Bay 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 three night stay. Days 3 and 4 Weligama Bay 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. Day 5 Weligama to Yala After breakfast, head eastwards to the Jetwing Yala or stay in a luxury tented camp as an alternative for three nights (approximately 3.5 hours). This nature resort is located in ten acres of jungle bordering the entrance of Yala National Park and the Indian Ocean. 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 water holes you may see mugger crocodile, painted stork, lesser whistling teal, black-headed Ibis, Eurasian spoonbill, egrets and the rare Black-necked stork. Days 6 and 7 Yala National Park 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 in particular 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! Day 8 Yala to Thalpe (near Galle) After breakfast, leave to travel along the coast to Thalpe (approximately 4 to 5 hours) for one night at the Frangipani Tree on a divine secluded stretch of sandy beach. Just 8km from Galle Fort, Thalpe is blessed with a long stretch of palm fringed golden sand and in season, sea turtles return to the beach here to lay their eggs. The coast is lined with many boutique hotels, created under the influence of Geoffrey Bawa. Geoffrey Bawa is a world renowned architect, often referred to as the father of contemporary Sri Lankan architecture, so it is not uncommon to see villas and hotels in this style. Day 9 Thalpe to Negombo Depart for Negombo (approximately 4 hours drive) for a relaxing afternoon and evening at your hotel. Negombo is actually 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. Day 10 Colombo to return homeTransfer to the airport for your departure (approximately 20 minutes drive).PRICE INFORMATIONPrices from £3,690 per person luxury option, or from £2,450 per person value option.Included in this tour:• Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room• Private English-speaking chauffeur-guide in an air-conditioned Japanese car throughout the itinerary• Entrance fees to the monuments listed above• Whale-watching and safari trips as listed above• Scheduled return flights from London Heathrow to Colombo with Sri Lankan Airways.Not included:• Visas (A visa is a requirement for entry to Sri Lanka and can be obtained on line from www.eta.gov.lk)• Meals, except as specified above • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses• Camera fees where applicable• Personal travel insurance (this is essential). Click on the 'Hotel Information' tab above to find out about the hotels featured in this itinerary.
This holiday can be undertaken staying in a range of hotels. To make things simple initially we are giving a Luxury option and a Value option. Each combination is based on tried and tested hotels within given price ranges but any other hotels we feature in the respective regions can be included instead and of course, Luxury and Value hotels can be mixed. Luxury optionColombo: The Regency at the Galle Face Hotel, its position facing the Indian Ocean on one side and Galle Face Green Park on the other, gives this magnificent colonial hotel an airy, resort feel, despite being in the heart of Colombo (Regency deluxe room on bed and breakfast) or Tintagel, a luxury small hotel in an exclusive neighbourhood (Executive suite on bed and breakfast).Weligama: Cape Weligama, offers luxurious suites and villas in a cliff-top setting, with access to two beaches. Indulgent and luxurious (Ocean view villa on bed and breakfast).Yala National Park: Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris, blends exceptional service with a uniquely indigenous and luxury touch in remote and genuine wilderness. All meals are included during your stay.Thalpe: TRI, built around an ancient Banyan tree on a promontory in Lake Koggala, treats its guests to a truly unique experience of both the natural world of Sri Lanka and luxury accommodation.Negombo: Jetwing Beach, the cool, contemporary architecture complements a charming stretch of beach. There is a lovely spa, great restaurant and a choice of water sports (Deluxe room on bed and breakfast).Prices from £3690 per person for this luxury hotel optionValue optionColombo: Mount Lavina Hotel, with a rich 200 year heritage as a British Governor’s residence and fashionable beach resort, the Mount Lavinia is an impressive resort (Direct ocean view room Bay wing on bed and breakfast).Weligama: Weligama Bay Resort, a boutique hotel set on a sandy beach in the middle of Weligama Bay on Sri Lanka’s quieter, stunning southern coast.Yala National Park: Jetwing Yala, set just on the outskirts of Yala National Park, this resort is a fantastic stay for those who want tog et unclose and personal with local wildlife. Take a dip in the huge outdoor swimming pool and relax in the scenic surroundings (Superior room on bed and breakfast).Thalpe: The Frangipani Tree, a collection of exquisitely furnished suite-villas on a sandy beach near to Galle. There is a pool, tennis court, beach spa and gourmet kitchen service (Olive Ridley Suite on bed and breakfast)Negombo: Jetwing Beach, the cool, contemporary architecture complements a charming stretch of beach. There is a lovely spa, great restaurant and a choice of water sports (Deluxe room on bed and breakfast).Prices from £2450 per person for this value hotel optionIncluded in the prices mentioned above:• Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room• Private English-speaking chauffeur-guide in an air-conditioned Japanese car throughout the itinerary• Entrance fees to the monuments listed above• Whale-watching and safari trips as listed aboveNot in the prices mentioned above:• Visas (A visa is a requirement for entry to Sri Lanka and can be obtained on line from www.eta.gov.lk)• Meals, except as specified above • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses• Camera fees where applicable• Personal travel insurance (this is essential).
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