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A memorable 13-day discovery of Sri Lanka's wonderful wildlife and culture for families

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel

Every detail taken care of

What's Included

  • Privately guided family tours with local experts
  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Safaris in Yala, Gal Oya and Minneriya National Parks
  • Private transfers
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Explore the wonderful wilds of Sri Lanka on this unforgettable luxury family adventure.

Your 13 day trip begins with a night in colonial Galle Fort on the southern coast, heading into the rural hinterland for an authentic taste of everyday life here. You’ll then follow the shoreline round to Yala National Park and two days of safari in search leopard, elephants and more in this vast protected area, staying at an immersive camp with excellent guides.

Next venture inland to the rolling plantations of Sri Lanka’s Tea Country for a hike among the hills and pickers from the wonderfully relaxing Ceylon Tea Trails, before two more days safari in Gal Oya National Park, a truly off the beaten track wilderness which you’ll have virtually to yourselves.

Return to (ancient) civilisation in Kandy and the Cultural Triangle, including two nights at the eco-chic Vil Uyana, from where you can head out at night to spot wide-eyed Loris in the trees, witness the world’s largest gathering of Asian elephants in Minneriya National Park and meet the monkeys of Polonnaruwa’s 8th century ruins.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days1-2

Galle

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

VIP meet and greet at Colombo airport

Transfer

Private transfer to Galle

Accommodation in Galle

One night in Galle Fort One night in Galle Fort

Spend an evening soaking up the unique atmosphere of Galle, a stunning town at the southern edge of Sri Lanka with fascinating colonial history evident at every turn through its eclectic assemblage of architecture. It's walls and everything inside them are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with beautiful Dutch fusion architecture, a commanding Victorian lighthouse, grand churches and mosques, all in a sultry tropical setting.

Boating and biking rural Galle tour Boating and biking rural Galle tour

Experience the diversity and beauty of rural Galle. This stunning part of the island is best known for its Fort and beaches but in Galle’s hinterland areas the jungle, rice paddy, and quaint mud roads that make up the small villages surrounding the town are an attraction in their own right.

Your journey begins with a boat ride down the Kapu Ela River accompanied by a local naturalist, who will point out wildlife as you pass local village hamlets and cinnamon plantations. Next, take a leisurely 9km (5.5 mile) ride through rural Galle, its paddy fields, small villages and markets, ending with refreshing herbal tea.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Yala National Park

Days 2-4

Yala National Park

Accommodation in Yala National Park

leopard-sri-lanka
Two nights in Yala National Park Two nights in Yala National Park

Occupying the south-eastern corner of the island, the vast Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s second largest national park and also its most popular. The park itself is divided into five blocks, two of which, Ruhuna and Kumana, can be explored on guided game drives, and stretches from the sea inland, encompassing some 979 square kilometres (378 square miles) of forest, wetlands and savannah. This varied landscapes provides a vital home for hundreds of Sri Lankan elephant, sloth bear, crocodile and rare wild water buffalo, as well over 200 bird species.

But it is the leopard, found here in perhaps the highest concentration in the world, that are iconic of the park. Their secretive nature means spotting Sri Lanka’s top predator is still a challenge, but accompanied by a skilled guide and a little luck, there a few better places in the world to find these enigmatic cats.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to the Tea Country

Days 4-6

Tea Country

Accommodation in Tea Country

tea-picker-sri-lanka
Two nights in Tea Country Two nights in Tea Country

Undulating hills blanketed in green plantations, Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is the world’s fourth largest producer of tea. You'll see the hills dotted with women quickly but meticulously harvesting leaves by hand, baskets slung across their backs. Skilful workers deftly pluck the most flavoursome and aromatic parts of the bushes – the topmost leaves and buds – which are then sent to nearby factories to be dried and processed.

The first tea plantations were established in Kandy in the 1860s and now most of the scenic central region’s elevated slopes are covered in contoured rows of painstakingly maintained plants.

tea-plantations-sri-lanka-misty
Tea Country hike Tea Country hike

A leisurely walk or an adventure trek is a delightful way to experience the varied landscapes, exotic flora, abundant birdlife and the relaxed rhythm of life here. Take in vistas of mountain lakes, manicured tea gardens, forests and doll’s house villages. A guide can be provided or self walk on marked trails which are selected for varying levels of ability.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Gal Oya National Park

Days 6-8

Gal Oya National Park

Accommodation in Gal Oya National Park

elephant-gal-oya-lodge-sri-lanka
Two days on safari in Gal Oya National Park Two days on safari in Gal Oya National Park

Gal Oya National Park is something of a hidden gem, one of Sri Lanka’s least visited national parks due to its remoteness, yet it is a place of beautiful landscapes home to vibrant wildlife. Centred around the vast Senanayake Samudra reservoir, the park is covered in evergreen forest and swathes of savannah, while the lake itself is peppered with islands which were once hilltops. It is one of best places in the country to see elephants, who can sometimes be spotted swimming between the islets on boat safaris, following the routes of their traditional migration 60 years after the waters rose.

Other animals in the park include Sri Lankan leopard, langur, toque macaque, sloth bear, wild boar, mugger crocodile, water buffalo and deer, as well as some 150 bird species which can be seen in flocks numbering in the thousands by the water. There is also a rich cultural aspect to the region, with the ancient Brahmi inscriptions in Henebedde Cave and sacred shrine at Dighavapi, said to have been sanctified by the Buddha during his third visit to Sri Lanka, as well as being home to the indigenous Vedda people.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Kandy

Days 8-9

Kandy

Accommodation in Kandy

kandy-aerial-landscape
One night in Kandy One night in Kandy

A world of ancient kings, ornate temples, lush gardens and vibrant traditions, Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and its cultural capital. Nestled in the midst of hills and surrounded by tropical paddy fields and tea plantations, the town is the home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), the country’s most important religious shrine. Browse the bustling market places with bright, fresh produce, local delicacies and fragrant spices, or spend the day exploring the opulent temples and learning about the city’s rich history. The dense downtown area is surrounded by tropical rainforest, so look out for exotic monkeys swinging overhead.

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden tour with botanist Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden tour with botanist

The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens is the largest of the botanical gardens of Sri Lanka and one of the finest in Asia. In the Mediterranean climate of Kandy, the gateway to the central highlands, the Gardens lies at an elevation of 460 meters above sea-level, tightly bounded on three sides by the loop of the River Mahaweli. Your expert botanist guide will take you on a leisurely walk around, sharing interesting and insightful stories about this place and Sri Lanka.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to the Cultural Triangle

Days 9-12

The Cultural Triangle

Accommodation in The Cultural Triangle

dambulla-temples-sri-lanka
Three nights in the Cultural Triangle Three nights in the Cultural Triangle

Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa were the three great Sinhalese capitals, and together they form an area known as the Cultural Triangle. The heart of Sri Lanka’s ancient civilisation, this historic region is crammed full of temples and monuments and its ruined cities are fascinating places to explore.

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Vil Uyana loris spotting night walk Vil Uyana loris spotting night walk

Considered a haven for wildlife, the private nature reserve at Vil Uyana which is made up of wetlands and forest habitats is home to numerous species of birds, mammals, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians. The reserve also contains the country’s best site for Loris watching, and guests will have the rare opportunity of sighting one of the island’s elusive primates, the Grey Slender Loris, when they venture along these night trails. The Loris, with its large bulging eyes and tiny limbs, is a nocturnal primate found in India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia. Hidden in the scrub forests, this mystical creature moves slowly through the trees after dusk to feed on insects and berries.

This one hour long tour which is conducted by the resident naturalist, will take you through the forest on a trail that passes over streams which are crossed by simple bamboo bridges. You will be provided with red light emitting headlamps which prevent damage to the eyes of the Loris but assist you in your search for this elusive creature. Depending on how quiet you are, the Loris may even approach you and give you a close up view. Keep an eye out for the other nocturnal species you may encounter on the night trail – the Eurasian Otter, Mouse Deer, Palm Civet, Collared Scops Owl, Indian Nightjar and Fishing Cat.

elephant-gathering-minneriya-national-park-sri-lanka
Minneriya National Park 'Elephant Gathering' safari Minneriya National Park 'Elephant Gathering' safari

Minneriya National Park's ‘Gathering’ is the largest assembling of Asian Elephants at any given time, a unique phenomenon during the dry period from May to October when the waters of the ancient Minneriya Tank reservoir recede exposing fresh green grass which is a favourite of the elephants. Herds from all of the North Central Province head here to eat, socialize and bathe in the waters which is surrounded by varied habitats of wetlands, grasslands and scrub jungle and it is not unheard of to see hundreds of animals on a single safari. Other wildlife to be spotted here include langur, macaques, buffalo, deer, crocodiles and, if you are particularly lucky, leopard and sloth bear. Hundreds of bird species can also be seen.

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Meet the monkeys of Polonnaruwa Meet the monkeys of Polonnaruwa

Made famous by Disney’s Monkey Kingdom movie, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa is home to a vast monkey population - purple-faced leaf monkeys, toque macaque, and the grey langur - living among the impressively preserved 8th century ruins. The Smithsonian Primate Research Cente has been conducting conservation and scientific research in the area for almost half a century and a researcher will show you around the site and give you an upclose insight into the lives and social structures of these amazing primates. You have the option to continue to explore Polonnaruwa by yourself after the tour.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Colombo

Days 12-13

Colombo

Accommodation in Colombo

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Colombo airport

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A Family Wildlife Adventure to Sri Lanka

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    We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.

    Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.

    From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.