Go wild in Sri Lanka visiting Yala, Udawalawe and Bandula National Parks. Add to this Whale Watching in Mirissa and most of the country's famed cultural triangle and you've got the best of Sri Lanka in 10 days!
Saturday. Welcome to Sri Lanka! Airport arrival transfer and remainder of the day at leisure. Our start hotel located on the seafront is a short walk from Galle Road and many of the city highlights. Choose to head out and explore, take a dip in the pool or enjoy a cocktail whilst you watch the perfect sunset over the Laccodive Sea.
Colombo - Dambulla - Sigiriya. Today we leave the capital and travel to Sigiriya. On the way we stop at a local market before arriving at one of Sri Lanka’s most impressive cave temples, the Dambulla Rock Temple. This stunning complex of 5 caves contains over 150 images of Buddha including an impressive 14 metre statue carved out of the cave rock.
The iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress is our final stop today. Rising 200 metres out of the jungle undergrowth, this impressive citadel is surrounded by a moat and extensive manicured gardens. The summit is reached via a steep staircase winding up the side of the rock and on the way up you can see the world-renowned frescos of the Heavenly Maidens.
Overnight: Sigiriya | Breakfast
Polonnaruwa & Spice Garden
Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Kandy. This morning we explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Polonnaruwa, an ancient city that was once the second capital of Sri Lanka. Some of the key sights to see here include the ruins of the Royal Palace, the four statues of Buddha at Gal Viharaya, the Audience Hall and several famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple and remains of the former Temple of the Tooth.
From Polonnaruwa we continue our journey to the rural village of Kayanwala. We take a jeep ride along the village paths to a lake which we cross by canoe before arriving at a family home. Here we’ll take part in a cookery demonstration and enjoy a freshly prepared lunch of curry, dahl, spiced rice, pickle and more.
Continuing our journey we make our way towards Kandy, stopping en route at a spice garden in Matale, before arriving in Kandy in the evening.
Overnight: Kandy | Breakfast, Lunch
This morning we take a sightseeing tour of Kandy - the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings. Our first stop will be the Temple of the Tooth Relic. Legend has it that one of Buddha's teeth was taken from him as he lay on his funeral pyre. It was then smuggled into Sri Lanka in 313AD. It now attracts daily pilgrims who come bearing lotus flowers and frangipani. After driving around the Kandy Lake - built by the last Sinhala king, visiting the local bazaar and a gem museum we take Tuk Tuk ride up into the surrounding hills. This afternoon we stop at a working tea factory at Geragama. Geragama Tea Factory is located in close proximity to the city of Kandy was established in the year 1903, manufacturing 'Low Grown' and 'Long Leaf' tea.
Overnight: Kandy | Breakfast
Kandy - Nuwara Eliya. This morning offers free time before transfering to the railway station for a scenic train trip. Passing kilometre upon kilometre of verdant tea plantations that hug the winding mountain passes, we'll see waterfalls, suspension bridges and tea pickers on our journey up to Nuwara Eliya - Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country producing a significant share of the world’s best tea.
This afternoon we take a sightseeing tour of Nuwara Eliya on a beautiful drive through 'Little England'.
Overnight: Nuwara Eliya | Breakfast
Nuwara Eliya - Udawalawe National Park. Today we head south to Embilipitiya, our base for exploring Udawalawe National Park. This national park is probably one of the best places to spot the famous Sri Lankan Elephant, the biggest of all the Asian Elephants. It is thought that there are around 400 elephants here. The park is also home to the elusive leopard, the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear and lots of types of deer. We take an afternoon game drive here before returning to the hotel for the night.
Overnight: Udawalawe National Park | Breakfast
Udawalawe National Park - Yala National Park. This morning we depart for Yala National Park - the second largest national park in Sri Lanka. This afternoon we take a jeep safari of the park. The park also has one of the highest concentrations of Asian elephants in the world - and about 350 live here. Also present are sloth bears, golden palm civets, Sri Lankan krait, crocodiles and some of the biggest numbers of leopards. The coastline around the park is visited by leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles.
Overnight: Yala National Park | Breakfast
Bundala National Park
Yala National Park - Bundala National Park - Mirissa. This morning we depart Yala for coastal Bundala National Park. This fantastic labyrinth of waterways, dunes and lagoons is the home to thousands of brightly coloured birds from over 200 species. It is also home to the magnificent greater flamingo and has a decent amount of Asian elephants that call the park home. We take a jeep safari here before transferring later on to the coastal town of Mirissa for the night.
Overnight: Mirissa | Breakfast
Mirissa - Colombo. This morning, if travelling between 01 Nov - 31 May, its an early start as we transfer to the boat pier for our Whale and Dolphin Watching boat cruise (cost approx $35). During this time of year Fin Whales, Bryde's Whales, Sperm Whales, Blue Whales - the largest creatures on earth, Whale Sharks, Orcas and dolphins are very often seen just a few kilometres off Sri Lanka's southern coast. The round trip may last anywhere between 2 - 6 hours with an average of 4 hours depending on how far out at sea the mammals are located.
If travelling between 01 Jun - 31 Oct the morning is spent visiting UNESCO World Heritage Listed Galle fortress - first constructed by the Portuguese in 1588, then expanded and extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century. Next stop, is Colombo and the bustling city centre for a guided tour. We explore the Fort area in the north of the city, famous for its government buildings and interesting shops. Taking a stroll along Galle Face Green and watching locals play cricket before heading over to stunning Gangarama Temple.
Overnight: Colombo | Breakfast
Monday. Our tour concludes today with an onward departure transfer to the airport.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
OZO Colombo, Colombo
OZO Colombo is a modern and stylish hotel, with sweeping Indian Ocean views from its rooftop infinity pool and many of its rooms. There's free WIFI access throughout the hotel and the guestrooms are bright and airy with all modern amenities. OZO is centrally located on Marine Drive, near Galle Road and just a 10 minute drive from the city centre.
The Paradise Resort & Spa, Sigiriya
An eco-friendly resort surrounded by the lush foliage of Sigiriya, this comfortable and conveniently located hotel is just a short distance from the sights of Sigiriya and Dambulla. The resort itself boasts an outdoor swimming pool and four dining options, there is complimentary WiFi, spa facilities and even bicycle rental available to guests.
OZO Kandy Hotel, Kandy
The stylish OZO Kandy prides itself on its smart facilities from a rooftop pool & lounge with views of the surrounding mountains to comfortable beds designed to give clients a night of sublime sleep. Guests can enjoy local flavours and international delights at the EAT2GO restaurant.
Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya
Once the residence of the former Governor of Sri Lanka, Sir Edward Barnes, the Grand Hotel is a colonial style property set amongst very picturesque grounds. Guest rooms are large, traditionally designed with very comfortable beds. Free Wi-fi is available in the lobby and restaurants and the underground bar serves up a superb array of cocktails. Be sure to try the traditional Sri Lankan hoppers as part of the breakfast buffet. Well located in the high elms of Nuwara Eliya just a short walk from town.
Jetwing St Andrew's, Nuwara Eliya
Jetwing St. Andrew's is a unique colonial retreat set in a former country house converted into a Jetwing Hotel. All the rooms are classically furnished with elegant wood and are spacious and bright. The grounds of the hotel give a great feel of colonial splendour and guests can wake up to a typical English breakfast and enjoy a stiff brandy at the bar later in the day. Fine dining is offered at the Old Course Restaurant and the hotel also boasts an antique snooker table, the oldest in Sri Lanka.
Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort, Udawalawe National Park and Embilipitiya
Situated on 7 acres of land, the Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort is the only hotel of its class in the area. Rooms are spacious with beautiful hard wood flooring and artwork depicting the wildlife of Udawalawe. Food here is delicious and plentiful with an extensive breakfast menu. The outdoor pool is a great place to relax by and enjoy a refreshing splash in after a good day on safari. Well located just a few minutes drive from Udawalawe National Park.
Jetwing Yala, Yala National Park
Right next to Yala National Park, Jetwing Yala offers superb accommodation in a spectacular location. Guest rooms are beautifully decorated and all come with private balconies and contemporary en suites. The hotel also benefits from a stunning out door pool, a desirable beachside location and a number of excellent restaurants. Choose from elegant dining at the Dining Room or tapas at the Lounge. Perfectly located on the outskirts of Yala National Park.
Mandara Resort, Weligama & Mirissa
Overlooking the famous Red Cliff Mountains, Mandara Resort is one of Sri Lanka's newest boutique hotels. Guest rooms are spacious and well presented with beautiful wooden flooring and idyllic seaside views. Guests can take advantage of a stunning out door pool, full gym facilities and an on site ayurveda spa. Meals are served at the main restaurant, which dishes up a fantastic array of local and international cuisine. The resort is well located on the beach front of Mirissa and Weligama.
Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.8 out of 5 based on 5 recent reviews
Akthur was great and highly professional and the tour was outstanding.”
We are just wild about Wild in Sri Lanka.
We truly had the best guide, Akthar Mohamed. He was knowledgeable, funny, accommodating, interesting and easy to like. The hotels were great and the food was unreal. We felt that there were few changes that should be done....honestly the only thing that we were NOT happy with were the mini bars in the room. None of them were big enough to store a bottle of wine and none of them kept cold. We would go on another On the Go Tour in a minute. PS Our guide was the best and we wish to nominate him as Guide of the Year. Highly recommended company.”
The tour was absolutely fantastic, accommodation exceeded expectations and despite the early morning starts everything was brilliant. A special thank you to our guide Akthar who was friendly, knowledgeable and genuinely cared about our wellness and comfort throughout the entire tour.
Regarding the second part of our tour (the "Go Wild" part) our second guide Farzan was friendly and knowledgable about the animal species in the second park but did not seem as 'on the ball' as Akthar did. We were left mainly to our own devices in Galle and not accompanied in the final Flamingo National Park which was fine but having had such a great guide at the beginning of the week it was a slight come down, however this did not spoil the enjoyment of the holiday and I would most definitely recommend this tour to my friends.
Stay awesome Akthar! ”
The tour war arranged really good. Akthar is a perfect tour guide. The tour chauffeur guide from day 8-10 was not as helpfull as expected, but polite.”
Tour guide was fantastic. He went out of his way to make sure everyone was happy and had what they needed. He was very informative and interesting. He was accomdating and made sure everyone was informed and comfortable with the elephant orphanage decision.
Highlights of the tour were the safaris, sigiriya, and polonnaruwa. ”
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons
Extra Tour Info
Akthur was great and highly professional and the tour was outstanding.”