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Day 1


Ranweli Holiday Village, Negombo , Sri Lanka
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka transfer to Ranweli Lodge in Negombo just 30 minutes from the Airport on a coastal wetland estuary.  A short ferry ride across a scenic river glides you to the hotel situated in a peninsula surrounded by two rivers, a lagoon and the Indian Ocean. After resting, join the fisherman on a catamaran as they set sail into the seas or take a boat trip down the Dutch canals and lagoons that run along this north-west coast.

Midnight arrivals will spend first night at an Airport Hotel.

(Overnight at Ranweli Holiday Village Resort, Waikkal)

Day 2

Venture off with the in-house Naturalist who will accompany you on a guided tour to see Negombo’s colonial architectural heritage including Portuguese period Catholic Churches, ruins of the Dutch Fort and cemetery, and boat rides along the centuries old Dutch Canals.  Visit a fishing village and the early morning fish auction bustling with activity as the catamarans comes ashore with their bounty of fresh fish, prawns, crabs and lobster.  Negombo by night also has a vibrant atmosphere with a scattering of bars and restaurants. 

(Overnight at Ranweli Holiday Village Resort, Waikkal)


NatureDay2Accommodation profile: Ranweli is an eco-friendly resort situated on a coastal wetland about ten miles north of the beach resort of Negombo. This secluded holiday resort is reached via a short paddle-ferry which glides you to a peninsular surrounded by two rivers, a lagoon and the Indian Ocean - an ideal retreat for nature lovers. Ranweli's ecological commitment has been officially recognized by the World Tourist Organization. Ranweli has a loyal clientele who value its gentle adventure experience. Situated on a peninsula where mangrove forests and winding rivers converge to meet the Indian Ocean, it combines the authenticity of an eco lodge with comforts comparable to a decent hotel. Its 72 chalet-style bungalows and 12 family rooms blend sensitively with the natural environment. Ranweli has a strong commitment to the local community, in terms of employment, use of local materials and produce and encouragement of ancient crafts. Its protection of the habitat is also seen in a strong recycling philosophy, and the insistence of environmentally-friendly facilities.

Day 3


NatureDay3Your next destination is the Sabaragamuwa Province also known as the wetzone.  Located in the western foothills of the central highlands, this is an area with tropical rainforests, winding rivers and an undulating terrain. The area is also famous for its precious gemstones. Some of Sabaragamuwa’s popular destinations include Kitulgala, a hotspot for whitewater rafting and kayaking, the Sinharaja Rainforest and Ratnapura, also known as the `city of gems’.  You will be staying for two nights at the Martin’s Lodge close to the Sinharaja.  

(Overnight at Martin’s Lodge, Sinharaja)

 

Day 4


NatureDay4Morning visit the Sinharaja Rain Forest. This tropical rainforest, a UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve,  is a biological treasure trove, which provides diverse habitats for numerous species of endemic fauna and flora not found anywhere else in the world.  The reserve covers an area of about 11,000 hectares of lowland rainforest and is a valuable storehouse of scientific knowledge. Trekking through this magnificent jungle, the last surviving stretch of virgin rainforest on the island, is a magical experience.   

(Overnight at Martin’s Lodge, Sinharaja)

 

NatureDay5Accommodation profile: Martin's Lodge, a basic guesthouse, is situated 150km from Colombo, a journey that takes approximately three hours, on the edge of Sri Lanka's most famous rainforest Sinharaja, a UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site and an international Biosphere Reserve. The gates to the Sinharaja is located just 200 meteres away from Martin's Lodge which makes it ideal for environmentalists and birders who can explore this huge virgin forest reserve at leisure. Martin's Lodge used to be the only accommodation close to the park entrance, a timeless small guesthouse cut off from the rest of the world. Martin, a charming and eccentric host, is so far behind the rest of the world that reservation requests are still collected during his weekly visit to the post office. The ten- roomed property is very basic. But those not disturbed by rudimentary facilities will feel that the hospitality and stunning location both amply make up for the lack of luxury. Martin is also and expert on the forest and will talk freely about a place that he clearly loves deeply. The guesthouse is regularly visited by naturalists, ornithologists and university students who come there for research and exploration.

 

Day 5


NatureDay6Travel on to the foothills of Buttala in the southeastern corner of Sri Lanka, a dry zone area famous for its savanna-like plains and home to some of the best national parks in the country including Yala and Uda Walalwe. To the north the area is dominated by the green foothills of the central highlands and to the south the land is flat and dry, filled with dry zone forest, thorny scrub jungle, open plains for paddy farming and gigantic sugar cane fields fed from large ancient reservoirs.  Check into the Kalu’s Hideaway in Udawalawa, located 15 minutes away from the Udawalawa National Park. 

(Overnight at Kalu’s Hideaway, Udawalawa)

 

Day 6

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Evening visit Udawalawa National park. Udawalawa National Park covering an area of 31,000 hectares of protected wilderness, Udawalawa is home to over 500 Asian elephants that often roam in herds of up to 100.  Leopards, buffalo, deer and sloth bears keep them company along with mongooses, bandicoots, foxes, water monitor lizards and crocodiles.  The Elephant Transit Camp at Udawalawa run by Sri Lanka’s Wildlife Department provides protection to about 22 young elephants, mostly babies that have been orphaned or recovering from injuries prior to releasing them back to the wild. 
(Overnight at Kalu’s Hideaway, Udawalawa)



NatureDay7Accommodation profile: Kalu’s Hideaway is the holiday home of former Sri Lankan cricketer, Romesh Kaluwitharana, a star of the 1996 World Cup win. Kalul’s is a welcoming and comfortable small hotel in the heart of Udawalawa's wilderness offering spacious and well designed rooms, comfortable beds and crisp white linen, good Sri Lankan rice and curries and welcoming smiles. Go on an adventurous wildlife safari to the Udawalawa Park and return to Kalu’s for a chilled fresh fruit juice and relaxing swim amidst overlooking the five acre gardens. Children will enjoy the play area and spotting birds from the tree house.

 

 Day 7


NatureDay8Leave first thing in the morning for Yala, the national park at Sri Lanka's southeast tip.  En route visit Buduruvagala to see Sri Lanka's tallest rock-cut Buddha statue (51 ft. in height) and other Mahayana Buddhist statues that dates back to the 8th-century AD.  Check into Chaaya Wild for the next two nights.  

 (Overnight at Chaaya Wild, Yala)

 

Day 8

Morning visit Yala National Park, a nature reserve and national park with a total protected area of 126,768 hectares, consists of scrub plains, lagoons, and rocky sections and is home to a variety of animals including Leopard, elephants, sloth bears, sambar deer, spotted deer, wild boar, crocodiles, monkeys and buffalos.
We also recommend a visit to the jungle shrine of Kataragama, an ancient sacred pilgrimage site that is venerated by people of all faiths - Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians.  It is believed that King Dutugemunu the warrior king and Sinhala folk hero built this jungle shrine for the worship of the Kataragama God in the 2nd century BC. There is also a first century BC Buddhist Dagoba - `Kirivenhera’ at this site. The `Mahadewala’, the main Hindu shrine of God Skanda, the Hindu war God, and several other adjoining Hindu shrines conducts daily religious rituals (poojas). 

 (Overnight at Chaaya Wild, Yala)

Day 9

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Accommodation Profile: Chaaya Wild, formerly known as Yala Village, has a rustic chic, contemporary ambience that blends seamlessly with the surrounding wilderness – a commendable transformation under its rebranding achieved by Sri Lankan architect Channa Daswatte. Enter through the reception and lounge pavilion designed with cinnamon wood furniture, polished cement floors, giant cinnamon stick ceiling lamps in the shape of bird nests, and dramatic photographs of Yala’s elusive leopard. Accommodation is in luxurious Jungle and Beach chalets immersed in nature. Rise at dawn and head to the jungles of Yala National Park famous for leopard, elephants, sloth bear and over 150 species of birds. Once back at the game lodge, cool off with a relaxing swim. There is much to do here by day for children and adults alike including bird watching, nature trails and walks on the nearby Kirinda beach which is remote and attractive, although swimming is not recommended. By nightfall, sink into a comfy sofa at the restaurant roof deck and star gaze with the calls of the wild all around. 

 
Day 10


NatureDay10After breakfast we board the train from Kandy to Nanu Oya (Railway Stopping Point in Nuwara Eliya) the tour guide will meet your train at the station upon arrival and you will be transferred to your hotel in Nuwara Eliya. This is the heart of the tea growing areas of Sri Lanka, famous for Ceylon Tea.

 
Overnight at Heritance Tea Factory, Nuwara Eliya (superior room) 

 

Day 11



NatureDay11Today we visit the Horton Plains National Park; this region was designated a national park in 1988. It is a popular tourist destination 32 kilometres from Nuwara Eliya town. A trek to the  sheer precipice of World's End lookout and Baker's waterfalls are among the main tourist attractions of the park.

Evening free back at the hotel to enjoy a cocktail in the cosy hotel bar,  
Overnight at Heritance Tea Factory Hotel, Nuwara Eliya (superior room)

 

Day 12


NatureDay12After breakfast drive south to Yala.  In the evening join a jeep safari in the Yala National Park.

Sri Lanka’s famous National Park is popular for Elephants, Leopards, Bears, Crocodiles and Wild Boar. Also a large variety of resident and migrant birds. 

Overnight at Chaaya Wild Hotel, (superior room) 

 

Day 13


The Heritance Ahungalla beach hotel in Sri Lanka
After breakfast we drive north towards Colombo but stop one last time at a coastal beach resort in Ahungalla to truly unwind, evening at the beach resort. En route we stop at Galle,  a major city, the city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle fort is a world heritage site prominent landmarks in Galle include the city's natural harbor, the National Maritime Museum, St. Mary's Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests, one of the main Shiva temples on the island, On 26 December 2004 the city was devastated by the massive Tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that occurred a thousand miles away, off the coast of Indonesia. Thousands were killed in the city alone. Galle is home to a cricket ground, the Galle International Stadium 

Overnight at Heritance Ahungalla Hotel (deluxe room) 

Day 14

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After breakfast day free at leisure at this beach resort .

 

Overnight at Heritance Ahungalla Hotel (deluxe room) 

 

 Day 15


Mount Lavinia Hotel
After breakfast we drive further north towards Colombo and check in to your hotel in Mount Lavinia. Evening those who wish can explore the city of Colombo.

 


Overnight at Mount Lavinia Hotel (direct ocean view) 

 

 

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Day 16

Day free for packing and that last minute souvenir shopping or to relax by the pool bar overlooking the city landscape. Late checkout till 06:00pm this evening you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home.

Price includes: 

■ 15 nights’ Accommodation on twin sharing basis 

■ Meals on BB basis at all hotels except for Chaaya Wild on HB basis 

■ Private air-conditioned car/mini-van with an English speaking driver for the arrival/departure and the tour (Vehicle & driver not included for beach stays in Tangalle)

■ Site entrance fees: Boat ride at Waikkal, Buduruwagala, Elephant Transit Camp Udawalawa, Turtle Farm 

■ Entrance & jeep: Sinharaja Rainforest (01 visit), Udawalawa National Park (01 safari), Yala National Park (01 safari) 

Price excludes:

■ Expenses of personal nature

■ Vehicle for the beach stays in Tangalle

■ Sites which are not mentioned on the above itinerary

■ Lunch & dinner during the tour in Sri Lanka

■ Camera & video permits at sites

■ Tipping & baggage handling

■ Return International air tickets

All prices and tour itineraries are subject to change according to price & currency  fluctuations &hotel availability, use price as a guide only and please enquire a quote for your specific itinerary.

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