This is a short Winter Itinerary which is ideal for a quick wildlife holiday seeking the enigmatic megafauna of Sri Lanka. From the giant Blue Whale to the menacing Saltwater Crocodile and the iconic Leopard and Asian Elephant this itinerary is ideal for a first time visitor interested in seeing a vast diversity big game in a short amount of time.
Safaris in Yala and Veheragala National Parks which are world famous as one of the best places to witness Leopards in the wild. The parks are also home to Sloth Bears, Asian Elephants, Wild Asiatic Buffalo and many other enigmatic species
Cruise on the Nilwala River to come face to face with Saltwater Crocodiles.
Head into the deep blue of the Indian Ocean by beat and come face to face with the Blue Whale the largest animal on the planet
Upon arrival you will be welcomed by your naturalist guide, with a warm welcome of “Ayubowan”, which is the Sri Lankan word for “May you Live Long”, which is the universal greeting across the island. He will escort you outside where you will onboard the comfortable vehicle arranged for you.
Journey to Colombo (45 min- 1 Hour drive), and check into your hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Today once you checkout, head down towards Yala (3 hours drive),
Upon reaching Yala, check into your hotel,
In the afternoon hop on your safari jeep for your first guided game drive into Yala National Park,
The Yala National Park is the country’s premier destination for wildlife viewing. Yala’s star attraction is undoubtedly the Leopard and Yala Block I is believed to have the highest concentration of these big cats in the world. Leopards however are elusive by nature and we recommend a minimum of three to four game drives to have the best opportunities for good encounters. It is also one of the few places in the country where the endangered shaggy coated Sloth Bear can be seen. Asian Elephants are also encountered; lone bull elephants, a few iconic tuskers and small herds of females and calves maybe seen. Jackal, Sambar, Spotted Deer Buffalo, Wildboar and the Grey Langur are among the other larger mammals that may be seen.
The next two days, enjoy some spectacular game viewing during your early mornings and afternoon game drives in Yala National Park.
To mix things up, you will also visit Veheragala National Park, nearby which is a smaller but new section of the greater Yala eco system. This park is also great for its leopards, as well as other wildlife. Further its great for photographers, providing some great light for some captivating images.
Early morning head into Yala for one more game drive.
Once you checkout from the lodge afterwards, head towards the Southern Coast of Mirissa (3 hours drive).
Check into your hotel which will be your stay for the next 2 nights.
In the afternoon head out towards Matara (20 min from the hotel), where you will go on a spectacular river cruise along the Nilwala River, which is famous for its mangroves, water birds and especially its giant Saltwater Crocodiles. These remnants of the prehistoric era, these saurians are found in numerous numbers on this riverine eco system, from young hatchlings barely a few inches long to giant males who exceed 15 feet long. This river safari will get you at eye level with these majestic predators.
After you get back on land, head over to your hotel for your overnight stay.
Early morning head out towards the Mirissa Fisheries harbor with a packed breakfast, to step onboard for an unforgettable oceanic wildlife adventure. Head out in the morning from dry land into the Indian Ocean to seek the largest animal on the planet the majestic Blue Whale. These leviathans are found resident off the Southern tip of Sri Lanka. Despite their size these leviathans feed on tiny crustaceans known as krill, which they filter through their baleen plates which are long bristle like appendages they have instead of teeth. While on the cruiser also keep an eye out for pods of Spinner Dolphin. If one is truly lucky you might see a group of passing Sperm Whales and maybe even a pod of Orca or Killer Whales.
After returning back to land, return back to the hotel.
Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Today after you checkout, you will drive towards airport, where you will onboard your flight back home
Thank you so much, I appreciate all of your hard work helping us find great snakes...
Thanks for sharing your knowledge and helping us find some fantastic wildlife...
Cannot thank Rajiv and Classic Wild enough for the two trips (and more planned)...
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