A Wildlife Expedition of a Lifetime

Gentle giants, ocean mammals and wild cats

Engage in a face to face encounter with the elusive leopard, the majestic elephant, the indigenous sloth bear, the playful dolphins frolicking in the ocean, the blue whales breaking the water and spotted deer among many others.

What to Expect

8 Nights / 9 Days

This itinerary has been carefully designed to give you a taste of the exciting, endless possibilities and can be tailored to suit your exact preferences.

Day 1 : Route – Airport / Negombo

Drive Time          –Approximately 20 Minutes

Accommodation –Jetwing Lagoon

Meal Basis           – Bed and Breakfast Basis

Arrive in Sri Lanka in the style you deserve, greeted by your chauffeur guide and transferred directly to Negombo where you can relax and unwind on one of the island’s lagoons where you can bask in the sun, splash in the water, and let the waves wash over your feet.

Stretch back in a hammock with a drink in your hand to shake off the jetlag. A traditional Ayurvedic treatment from the spa will help you adjust to the new time zone.

Day 2 : Route – Negombo to Sinharaja - Kalawana

Accommodation – Rain Forest Edge, Sinharaja

Meal Basis            – Bed and Breakfast Basis

Drive Time            – Approx. 4 hours

Once you have gotten some sun and have adapted to Sri Lanka’s relaxing slow pace, you’ll be ready to see some of the island’s wild side.

To begin with, indulge in a diverse experience by visiting the famous fish market in Negombo known as the ‘Lellama’. Watch fishermen pull the nets, untangle their fishing nets and witness the fish being auctioned and sold to retail and direct customers alike.

Then set off from coastal Negombo and head down south to conquer the jungle. Nothing can prepare you for the awe-inspiring beauty, shrouded in a mist-filled canopy of endless trees that makes up the undisturbed rainforest of Sinharaja.

Once you’ve arrived at your very modest lodgings in Sinharaja, check-in and enjoy some down time. On most days the jungle is shrouded by copious rain clouds, which replenish its deep soils and balance water resources for much of Sri Lanka.   Enjoying your evening witnessing the rolling skies and the breath taking beauty around you.

Day 3 : Route – Sinharaja and around

Accommodation –Rain Forest Edge

Meal Basis           –Bed and Breakfast Basis

Today take part in a trekking trip of 5 hours (7 AM to noon) covering the most important areas of Sinharaja rainforest to see birds such as Jungle Fowl, Brown Capped Babbler, Spot Wing Thrush, Skaly Thrush and Malabar Trogon and many other butterflies and endemic plants. Sinharaja is a biodiversity hotspot in its own right.

During your trek, you will come across a beautiful waterfall where you can dip your feet or even enjoy a bath. The waterfall starts on top from the Gongala mountains and flowes down to Gin ganga . Hathmale Falls is the tallest fall in the area and is split into seven segments (‘hathmala’). Enjoy your picnic lunch while dipping your toes in the water.

In the afternoon engage in a village trek bordering the rainforest to see different types of birds such as Layard’s Parakeet, Hanging Parakeet, Sri Lankan Mynah, Yellow fronted Barbet and White Face Starling.

Return to the hotel, marvel at the pictures you’ve taken, and spend the rest of your evening at leisure.

Day 4 : Route – Sinharaja to Udawalawe

Drive Time          – Approx. 2 hours

Accommodation – Ruhunu Safari Camp Udawalawe

Meal Basis           – Bed & Breakfast Basis

Having sharpened your animal spotting skills on Sinharaja’s wide array of occupants, you will now be an experienced wildlife spotter. Head to Udawalawe  where you can focus on Sri Lanka’s most famous inhabitants – the elephants. Located just south of the verdant green hills of the mountains, Udawalawe offers a savanna-like environment. Surrounding a great reservoir with fantastic vantage points free of jungle and woodlands, the area will ensure that it is memorable.

Gear up for an afternoon safari at the park. Be at the park entrance on time as the safari starts at 3 pm and spans for about 2 to 3 hrs.

During a visit, it is not unusual to see whole herds of adults and young elephants – feeding, bathing and playing in the water! Even though the main attraction of the park is elephants, it is also the home for many other animals like  Water Buffalo, Water Monitor, Lizards, Sambar Deer, Monkeys. It is also an exciting palace for bid lovers as many birds resides inside the park.

Day 5 : Route – Udawalawe to Yala National Park

Drive Time – Approx. 1.5 hours

Accommodation – Jetwing Yala

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast Basis

Now that you have spent a few days in the wild, you are ready for Yala. So head east through the sandy dry-zone to Sri Lanka’s most gratifying wildlife reserve, Yala National Park.

You will be able to touch base with some of your favorite animals; watch Leopards feed, laze and play in the open, and if you’re lucky you’ll see plenty of them as Yala is known to have the highest density of Leopards in the world. Listen to the elephants trumpet, monkeys chatter, sloth bear grunts and the melodious bird song from the verdant woods. Watch out! There’s plenty more to stop you on your tracks and let your heart pound faster.

Day 6 : Route – Yala and around

Accommodation – Jetwing Yala

Meal Basis – Bed and Breakfast

Early morning enjoy a safari at Yala National Park. As you gradually continue along the winding roads you’ll witness how the nature comes to live with the first light of daylight. Remember to keep your camera ready to capture the mesmerizing events that you are about to witness.

The park is the habitat for many endemic and migratory birds, majestic elephants, fine-feathered peacocks, deer, buffaloes, crocodiles. After the safari head back to the resort and relax.

Gear up for an afternoon safari at Bundala National Park. Bundala National Park is a fantastic maze of water channels, lagoons that sparkle like gold within the passing on evening sun.       The National park is home to thousands of birds including  flamingos , Petite Blue Tailed bee-eaters , Barn Swallow , Brahminiy Kite and many more.  It is also home to nearly 200 species of birds who are travelling  from Siberia and the Rann of Kutch in India to spend the winter here.

Bundala also has civets, giant squirrels and lots of crocodiles. If you visit during the months of  October and January you can witness four types of Sri Lanka’s marine turtles laying eggs on the coast.

Day 7 : Route – Yala to Galle

Drive Time – Approx. 4 hours

Accommodation – Arabella on Boossa

Meal Basis – Bed and Breakfast

After your days in the Wild, proceed to Galle to spend some days by the beach.

On the way in Tissamaharama, you’re sure to see wayside stalls with stacks of clay pots on display. Sometimes these pots, strung together, hang from the branches of trees. These stalls are selling a local delicacy: buffalo curd. Enjoy a cup of curd with locally made treacle. Sri Lankans call curd “Meekiri” and it’s so delicious it makes mass produced yoghurt forever seem insipid.

En route make a stop at the blowhole in Tangalle named Hummanaya, one of the very few in South Asia.  This is a natural wonder in the middle of a rocky cliff and it shoots seawater in the air with a loud whooshing audible from far away. Enjoy a relaxed afternoon by the beach in Galle.

In the afternoon explore the beautiful Galle Fort and its rich history. Cycle through the cobblestone streets and markets to experience the quiet lifestyle of Sri Lanka’s southern coast.

When in Galle Fort, do not forget to stop and witness the amazing cliff jumpers who jump from ramparts of the Galle Fort to the deep sea. The most adventurous part about it is that they do not have a safe landing place as the sea surrounding the fort has a lot of rocks. But those adrenaline junkies run to the edge and dive head first in to the sea! It is definitely not a sight to be missed.

In the evening do not miss to watch the sunset from the fort ramparts over the Indian Ocean. It’s a festive and happy affair; cricket games are played on the grass below, whole families gather to see off the last of the day, and travelers mingle and chat while Mother Nature streaks the sky with all shades of blue, orange, pink and purple.

Day 8 : Route – Galle to Colombo

Drive Time – Approx. 2.5 hours

Accommodation – Galle Face Hotel

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast Basis

 In the early morning, go on a whale and dolphin watching expedition in Mirissa. You can do whale watching all year around in Sri Lanka. These charming giants in the deep blue waters come under the category of marine mammals. Mirissa, specially the Dondra point, is a remarkable location to spot several species of Whales such as the Blue Whale, Bryde’s Whale, Fin Whale and the Sperm Whale. In addition to these marvelous Whales, you would also spot the lovable and smart Dolphins. The Bottle nosed Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins & even Stripped Dolphins could be seen generally.

After seven days in the wild, you may be ready to head back to the city for a change of pace. Once in Colombo, your chauffeur guide will introduce you to some of Colombo’s curious sites such as the vibrant markets of Pettah, old city of Fort, the Hindu Temple at Sea Street and the Dutch Church at Wolfendal or alternatively you can indulge in some great dining.

One of the best ways to connect with a country’s history, culture and people is through its local cuisine. In the evening dig into Colombo’s street food scene and eat, eat, eat your way through the city like a local! Explore the busy streets of Pettah and witness the hustle and bustle of the local markets. See iconic sites like Fort Station, the Red Mosque, and the Khan clock tower. Hang out on the strip where locals like to chill out after a busy day – at Galle Face Green or a rooftop pub. As an added treat dine at the world famous Ministry of Crab restaurant!

Day 9 : Route – Colombo to Airport

Drive Time – Approx. 1 hour

Though it will be difficult to say goodbye, all good things come to an end. Your chauffeur guide will meet you on time at the hotel lobby to return you by way of a scenic drive to the international airport for your departing flight and a safe journey home.

Where to Stay

Learn more about the properties available for your trip.

Enjoy the hospitality of the village folks (who have a lifestyle of self sufficiency), in a natural setting ideal for nature lovers.

Jetwing Lagoon

Located between the Indian Ocean and the Negombo lagoon, Jetwing Lagoon offers a blendn of rejuvenation and relaxation with a unique restaurant called Geoffrey’s by the Lagoon, offering Geoffrey Bawa’s favourites.

Ruhunu Safari Camping

Ruhunu Safari Camping has been running safaris since 2009 in Yala, Udawalawe & Bundala national parks. Our owners are Sri Lankan & British both with a long pedigree in wildlife adventure.

Add-on Experiences

We have many activities to keep you busy during your stay. See our destination pages for more information.

Take up water activities, including kayaking, skiing, boat excursions and jet skis with Jet Watersports.

There are many beach stretched around, with the Yala beaches being a key experience.

Catch the waves in the Southern Coastlines of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Tailor-made