The Wilderness Experience in Sri Lanka

10 Nights & 11 Days, Period: All Year

1

Arrival and transfer to Villa Talangama in the outskirts of Colombo. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

Time permitting, go birding in the Talangama weltands. A great place to start ones birding experience of Sri Lanka, Talangama is great for most of the common waterbirds of Sri Lanka such as the Purple Coot, White Breasted Water Hen, Purple Heron and many more.

Spend 01 night in Villa Talangama.

Villa Talangama. Colombo

  • Room King’s Suite
  • Basis Half Board
2

Early morning, go birding in the Talangama weltands. Looking out for the very rare and elusive Eurasian Otter who is seen by a lucky few. Further note the endemic Purple Face Leaf Monkey found in the wetlands.

After breakfast, leave for Sinharaja. Late afternoon, go on a guided nature walk exploring the endemic flora and fauna found in the lowland rainforest. Regarded as a world heritage site Sinharaja is one of the best places to see many of the rare endemic bird species found no-where else on earth. Lookout for the Red Faced Malkoha, White Faced Starling, Chestnut Backed Owlet and the Green Billed Coucal.

Spend 02 nights in Sinharaja.

Blue Magpie Lodge, Sinharaja

  • Room Standard Room
  • Basis Half Board
3

Full day to explore Sinharaja. Late afternoon, go on a guided nature walk exploring the endemic flora and fauna found in the lowland rainforest. If you are lucky you will witness one of the hidden gems of the Sri Lankan rainforest. The rare and endemic Serendib Scops Owl, discovered by science in 2001. Also keep a lookout for the shy Sri Lanka Spur Fowl.

Blue Magpie Lodge, Sinharaja

  • Room Standard Room
  • Basis Half Board
4

Morning, leave for the caves at Waulpanne (2 ½ hour drive) near Uda Walawe which has limestone structures and large colonies of fruit bats. These caves have six species of bats, with five being insect eaters and one a fruit eater.

Afterwards, proceed to Tamarind Lake in Kataragama (2 ½ hour drive). This is a good location to venture out into a different part of Yala away from the crowds. Yala Block V is 20 min drive from the hotel and a great place for a more exclusive safari. A variety of birds including raptors such as the Brown Fish Owl, Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the rare Osprey maybe seen. Spotted Deer and troops of Hanuman Langurs are aplenty. Leopard and Sloth Bear may also be encountered here especially in the early mornings and late afternoons.

Spend 01 night at Tamarind Lake, Kataragama.

Tamarind Lake, Kataragama

  • Room Deluxe Room
  • Basis Half Board
5

Early morning, go on a guided safari in Yala Block V in search of Leopard, Sloth Bear and other wildlife.

After breakfast, leave for Kumana National Park (4 ½ hour drive).

Afternoon safari at Kumana National Park. The Kumana National Park lies north of the Kumbukkan Oya and is referred to as Yala-East. Kumana comprises of scrub jungle, brackish lagoons, rocky outcrops and numerous waterholes and is regarded as one of the best national parks for birders where a variety of water birds, dry-zone resident species, waders including rare winter migrants can be seen. Kumana Villu in the centre of the national park is a rookery were thousands of water birds such as Cormorants, Painted Storks and Open-billed Storks nest. Wildlife encountered here includes small herds of Asian Elephant along with Leopard, Sloth Bear, Jackal, Sambar, Spotted Deer and Buffalo. Mugger Crocodiles are seen regularly while the larger and more endangered Estuarine Crocodile is also present in this region.

Spend 02 nights in Kumana.

Xtreme Nature Tours, Kumana

  • Room Tented Camp
  • Basis All Inclusive
6 - 7

Early morning and afternoon safaris at Kumana National Park in search of Elephants, Leopard, Sloth Bear and other wildlife.

Xtreme Nature Tours, Kumana

  • Room Tented Camp
  • Basis All Inclusive
8

Early morning, one last guided safari at Kumana National Park.

Late morning, leave for Gal Oya Lodge (4 ½ hour drive). Afternoon at leisure.

Spend 02 nights in Gal Oya.

Gal Oya Lodge, Gal Oya

  • Room Bungalow
  • Basis Full Board
9

Early morning, visit the Nilgala Forest Reserve and go on a guided nature walk. Enjoy a picnic breakfast inside the forest reserve. Nilgala is a dry evergreen forest which is a part of Gal Oya National Park that comprises of tall grasses, scrub jungle with some rocky outcrops, wines and some very large trees such as Aralu, Bulu, Belli, Waa, and Kahata. Nilgala. The forest also contains some important indigenous medicinal plant species which are found in the grassland habitats. Small herds of Elephants can be seen here and the other animals encountered include Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Jackal, Wild Boar, Giant Squirrel, Toque Macaques and Grey Langur. Nilgala is also abundant in birdlife with a variety of forest and dry-zone species encountered with the highlight for birders being the presence of rarities such as the Painted Francolin and the Yellow-footed Green Pigeon.

Nilgala is accessed by jeep however there are also a number of walking trails available within the national park. The Makara trek is about an hour long walk through the jungle passing through a series of rocky outcrops and caves. The trail leads to a viewpoint known as the Dragon’s mouth along the Nilgala River, where the river flows under a layer of boulders and emerges from the other side.

Late morning, return to the Gal Oya Lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon, go on a scenic boat ride at Gal Oya National Park. One of the least explored locations due to its remoteness is the Gal Oya National Park that serves as the main catchment area for Senanayake Samudraya, the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka from where you go on a boat safari to explore the area’s wildlife. The boat ride takes you through some stunning landscapes comprising of grasslands, rocky escarpments on the banks of the reservoir and provides panoramic views of the Danigala, Nilgala, and Ulpotha mountains ranges in the backdrop. The birdlife is excellent here and Gal Oya is a key nesting location for large congregations of water birds in their thousands which include species such as the Greater Cormorants, Indian Cormorant, Little Cormorant Grey Heron, Spot-billed Pelican, Indian Darter and Asian Openbil. The highlight at Gal Oya however is the opportunity to encounter large numbers of Asian Elephant which are occasionally known to swim across the reservoir to get across to different parts of the reserve. Spotted Deer and Mugger Crocodile are some of the other animals seen.

Gal Oya Lodge, Gal Oya

  • Room Bungalow
  • Basis Full Board
10

Early morning, go on the walk of discovery with the local Veddah chief. Meet the chief of the indigenous Veddah tribe, who will guide you through a walk in the jungle where you can learn how the Veddahs lived in harmony with nature. You can see how their tribe made use of the bounty found within these forests and how they made use of medicinal plants and herbs to treat their illnesses. Walk through their ancient hunting grounds, visit the cave dwellings and gain an insight on how the hunter gatherers lived in the jungles of Gal Oya.

After breakfast, leave for Horathapola Estate (6 hour drive). Remainder of the day at leisure.

Spend 01 night at Kulliyapitiya.

Horathapola Estate, Kulliyapitiya

  • Room Standard Room
  • Basis Half Board
11

Departure transfer to BIA (1 ½ hour drive).

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