Wildlife Tour of Sri Lanka

National Parks and Wildlife

This two-week itinerary takes you on a wildlife tour to Sri Lanka’s most important National Parks culminating in the best place for spotting bears and leopards. Keep your eyes peeled, binoculars handy and your camera ready.

Highlights: Sinharaja –  Udawalawe – Bundala – Yala – Kumana – Lake Gal Oya – Kandy – Minneriya – Wilpattu – Negombo


Day 1

Arrival transfer from Colombo's Bandaranaike International airport to Sinharaja.

The journey time is approximately three and a half hours. Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 2

Excursion into Sinharaja National Park

The Sinharaja rainforest has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1989 and is home to many native birds such as the Ceylon Blue Magpie, White face Starling, Sri Lankan Yellow Eared Bulbul, Dull-Blue Flycatcher, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Hanging-Parrot, Sri Lanka Spot-Winged Thrush & Sri Lanka white-throated Flowerpecker,

Days 3-4

Transfer from Sinharaja to Udawalawe.

Udawalawe was declared a National Park in 1972. The Elephant population is believed to number about 500. It is also home to wild buffalo, various types of deer, wild boar, hares, mongoose and crocodile. Some 30 species of snakes have been recorded and 50 types of butterfly.

Wildlife excursion into Udawalawe National Park included.

Day 5

Transfer from Udawalawe to Bundala

Wildlife excursion to Bundala National Park, an area of wetlands, lagoons and mud flats which host an abundance of migratory birds during the period from August to April. Sea turtles lay their eggs in the golden sandy beaches and elephant, spotted deer, wild buffalo, wild boar, crocodiles and peacocks roam in the scrubland. More than 150 species of resident and migrant birds can be seen in the park.

Day 6

Excursion to Yala National Park.

Evening game drive included into Yala National Park.
Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands. Yala harbours 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka, 44 types of mammal and one of the highest leopard densities in the world. Elephants, Spotted Deer, Crocodiles, Mongoose, Wild Boar and Wild Buffalo can be seen.

Day 7

Transfer via Kumana to Arugambay

Birdwatching safari into Kumana National Park on the way to Arugambay.

Kumana is one of the most important bird nesting and breeding grounds in Sri Lanka. 255 species of birds have been recorded in the national park. Some 20 shallow lagoons support the extensive birdlife of the national park. The common birds found here are Spot-billed Pelicans, Cormorants, Egrets, Spoonbills, Herons, Storks, Ibises, Bitterns, Indian Moor Hens, White-breasted Waterhen and Painted Storks.

Overnight at Arugambay

Day 7

Arugambay – Gal Oya

Morning excursion to Kumana National Park for further wildlife spotting opportunities.

Continue by road to Gal Oya.

Evening excursion with night vision goggles to observe the nocturnal wildlife that roams around your lodge in Gal Oya.

Day 8

Gal Oya

Experience a Boat Safari on Gal Oya Lake, which is the biggest in Sri Lanka. A great opportunity to observe crocodiles, deer, elephants and many rare and endemic species of birds from the lake.

Jungle walk with the Vedda tribe to learn about medicinal plants, ancient hunting grounds, cave dwellings and an insight into the lives of hunter-gatherers.

The proceeds from this tour go to support the local tribe.

Day 9

Gal Oya - Kandy

A nature walk at Udawattekele Sanctuary is included. This became a Protected Forest as early as 1858 and became a Sanctuary in 1938. Although it covers only 257 acres, it is home to 33 different types of tree, 23 species of birds and 6 Mammals.

Enthusiasts of British military history might be interested to know that the Garrison Cemetery of Kandy is within the Sanctuary and has the graves of 163 British Nationals.

Day 10

Kandy - Minneriya - Habarana

On the way to Habarana there will be an excursion into Minneriya National Park, which boasts an unusually wide range of habitat types, from dry tropical forest to wetlands, grasslands and terrain previously used for slash-and-burn agriculture. For most visitors, the principal attraction here is elephants.

Overnight at a hotel near Habarana.

Day 11

Habarana - Wilpattu

Transfer to Wilpattu.

Evening jeep safari into Wilpattu National Park in search of leopards and bears.

Wilpattu has a dense jungle cover and numerous little lakes which attract leopards and sloth bears. The best time of day is either the early morning or late afternoon as these are the times when the animals are at their most active.

Leopards are amongst the most elusive and hardest to spot wildcats on the planet. As Sri Lanka has the highest density of them this is an excellent opportunity to spot these magnificent creatures.

Day 12

Wilpattu - Negombo

Early morning excursion into Wilpattu National Park in search of leopards and bears.

Continue by road to Negombo and overnight at a local hotel.

Day 13

Departure transfer to the International airport in time to check-in for your flight home.

The above tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka can be varied in any way you choose to suit your exact requirements so give us a call now on 01932 424252 to discuss any modifications.


Sri Lanka has a wide range of types & styles of hotels, at a variety of price-points to suit all budgets. Please chat to one of our Travel Consultants to get informed advice as to which hotels they would suggest for your tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka.

Included Tours, Excursions & Activities whilst on your Holiday to Sri Lanka

The tours, excursions & activities mentioned in this Sri Lanka holiday are just a selection of what is available in each location. The itinerary can be adjusted to fit your particular requirements for this holiday; please liaise with your Travel Consultant to confirm what other activities are available and what you would like to include in your tailor-made holiday.

Duration of your Sri Lanka Holiday

If you like the broad sweep of the above sample itinerary but have fewer days to spend on your trip to Sri Lanka, or wish to extend it in any way, please ask your Travel Consultant for ideas on how to shorten or lengthen the holiday, or how to reorganise the itinerary.

No-Obligation Quote

We would be delighted to email you a no-obligation, fully-detailed itinerary & quote, containing images of the hotels we suggest for your tailor-made Brazil holiday along with a link to the hotel’s website, plus details of any included tours & excursions. The quote will clearly state what is, and what is not included in the quoted price. If you thereafter wish to make any changes to the initial itinerary – be it an alternative hotel, different activities, a different duration in any location etc. – that’s not a problem and we will continue to work with you to adjust the programme until it exactly matches what you’re looking for from your tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka.