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If you ever wonder how the life and wilderness in Sri Lanka be like, this safari tour will take you to explore this country. With Sri Lanka Travel Partner, you never have to worry about accommodation, meals, safe transportation, and security in Sri Lanka. Having hosted most different kinds of adventures, Sri Lanka Travel Partner knows where to take you and how to serve you well. Get your dream of adventure come true on this safari with Sri Lanka Travel Partner!
You will be accommodated in various accommodations provided by Sri Lanka Travel Partner during this vacation.
You will meet your driver / guide at the airport. Afterwards, you will check in at your hotel in Negombo before you start your tour program on that day. Muthurajawela Marshes are situated just south of Negombo and covering an area of approximately 6,000 hectares, inclusive of the Negombo Lagoon.
The daily high tide brings in seawater from the ocean into the wetland. Continuous mixing of these two waters for thousands of years has led to a brackish, integrated coastal ecosystem that is biologically diverse and teeming with life. A variety of mangroves and other types of flora including medicinal plants are found alongside with numerous types of birds, butterflies, and fish, some of which are endemic. Crocodiles, monitor lizards, and Sri Lanka’s largest snake, the Python, are also native here.
Negombo Fish Market is the second largest and most spectacular fish market in Sri Lanka. The local people call it Llelama. The fish market is situated near the Old Dutch Fort Gate and is held every day except on Sundays. You should not miss this impressive sight. A city tour to the most impressive sights of the town including the picturesque harbor will complete the day before you return to your hotel for a walk along the beach and a refreshing dinner. Overnight stay will be in Negombo.
After breakfast, you will visit the Sigiriya, Pidurangala Rock, and the Minneriya National Park. The Sigiriya Rock Fortress of Sri Lanka is situated in the district of Matale near Dambulla. It can be reached by following the Colombo - Habarana highway, turning east from Inamaluwa, then proceeding about 10 kilometers from Inamaluwa, and passing Kimbissa township before arriving in Sigiriya.
Before Sigiriya became a kingdom, the Sigiriya Rock base and places such as Pidurangala (where you will find many caves and a temple) were dwelling places of Buddhist monks from about the third century B.C. onwards. Pidurangala Rock is a massive rock formation located a few kilometers north of Sigiriya. It has an interesting history closely related to that of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
Being less grand and at the same time far more difficult to climb, it is often overlooked by tourists but should not be missed by more adventurous minded visitors. Minneriya National Park is situated in the north-central plains of Sri Lanka, 20 kilometers from Polonnaruwa. Even though it is one of the smallest national parks in the country, covering just about 9000 hectares, it is a paradise with many natural wonders. Overnight stay will be in Sigiriya.
Namal Uyana, the national forest reserve in Galkiriyagama, presents the largest rose quartz mountain in South Asia comprising about 1,000 hectares and includes several Ayurveda wells to be reached on foot by those ready for a bit of hiking. This national forest reserve was opened in 2005. Matale Hindu Kovil is a small town encircled by hills, a historic place during the last rebellious uprising against British rulers in 1848.
The beautiful Hindu temple, Sri Muthumariamman Thevasthanam, in the center of this lively town surprises with its countless colorful figures decorating the outside of the building. The rock temple of Dambulla, called Jumbukola Vihara in the Mahavamsa, the principal Pali Chronicle of Sri Lanka, is situated about forty-seven miles north-west of Kandy, the last capital of the Singhalese kings, on the main road to Anuradhapura.
The shortest way from Colombo to Dambulla leads via Kurunegala, one of the capitals of the medieval Singhalese kings. The other rock temple of equal fame, Aluvihare, where according to tradition the Buddhist scriptures were first written down at about the first century before the century, is situated about twenty-six miles to the south on the Kandy Dambulla road.
The famous fortress of Sigiriya with its beautiful frescoes rises aloft like a gigantic cylinder at a distance of about twelve miles to the north-east of Dambulla. The Sacred Tooth Relic (Dālada) of the Buddha is the most venerated object of worship for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. The Temple of the Tooth Relic (DāladaMāligāwa) in Kandy is even considered the foremost sacred place of worship in the Buddhist world. Overnight stay will be in Kandy.
If you have not had time enough to visit the Tooth Temple on the day before, you might do so this morning before you start the Knuckles tour. The Knuckles Mountain Range is part of the Hill Country of Sri Lanka which is above 3,000 feet or 915 square meters from sea level and covering an area of about 234 square kilometers of land.
This is also called as Knuckles Range or Knuckles Peaks or simply Knuckles. The reason to call it Knuckles is because there is a mountain with five peaks in itself that looks like the knuckles of a clenched fist when seen from the Kandy direction (or from the southwest direction of a mountain named Knuckles with a height of 6,112 feet ).
The Sri Lankan name for this mountainous area is "DumbaraMitiyawatha”, which means ”the misty valley”. Since this inner mountainous area is off the motoring roads, it remains an unspoiled nature reserve even today. You will enjoy the cool climate in that special elevated mountainous world and the woods which will remind you of European pine trees. Overnight stay will be in Kandy.
After breakfast, you will visit Kandy local market, Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, outside Kandy three different kinds of temples, Gadaladeniya Vihara, Embekka Devalaya, and Lankathilake Viharaya. During the second half of the day, you will visit a tea factory and tea plantation. Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, the finest of its kind in Asia and the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka, could not be better located. In the Mediterranean climate of Kandy, the gateway to the Central Highlands, the gardens, at an elevation of 500 meters above sea level, are tightly bound on three sides by a loop of the Mahaweli River (great sandy river), the largest river in Sri Lanka.
Gadaladeniya Rajamaha Viharaya with an ancient monastery is found on the flat rock at Diggala in the district of Kandy. According to an inscription there, this temple was built by King Buwanekabahu IV in the year 1,344 A.D. The chief architect of this temple has been a south Indian called Ganesvarachari. Therefore, this temple is essentially south Indian design.
Embekke Temple or Embekke Devale, famous for its elaborate woodcarvings, pillars, and other structures, is nestled in the Udu Nuwara. It lies close to Daulagala, about eight miles from Kandy. Because of its enticing wood carvings, the UNESCO has identified these marvelous and elaborate carvings on wooden pillars to be the finest products of woodcarving to be found in any part of the world.
Lankathila Viharaya is a Gedige type large image house built by King Parakramabahu the Great (1,153 - 1,186 A.D.). The specialties in this building are the two pylons at the entrance and the giant Buddha statue inside. This statue is 42 feet in height and the building walls are 53 feet high. Overnight stay will be in Nuwara Eliya.
In the early morning, you will proceed to Horton Plains National Park and World's End. During the afternoon, you will do the train journey from Nanuoya to Ella. Horton Plains is a beautiful, silent, and strange world with the chance of an excellent hiking tour in the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second and third highest mountains, Kirigalpotta (2,395 meters) and Totapola (2,359 meters).
The plains themselves form an undulating plateau over 2,000 meters high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops, filigree waterfalls, and misty lakes. The surprising diversity of the landscape is matched by the wide variety of wildlife. World’s End is located in Horton Plains National Park of Nuwara Eliya. It is a sheer cliff, with a drop of about 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
It is one of the most visited parts of Horton Plains National Park and a key tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. You must not miss visiting it in spite of numerous tourists you might meet there. A train trip from Kandy to Ella is considered one of the most scenic train journeys in the world.
Therefore, Sri Lanka Travel Partner facilitate you to book observation deck, a luxury air-conditioned compartment, first-class air-conditioned compartment, or second class non-air-conditioned reserved seats; just choose what you would like best. The train starts from Colombo Fort Railway station and it takes about three hours approximately to reach Kandy / Peradeniya Railway station where the scenic trip begins. Overnight stay will be in Haputale.
Lipton’s Seat is the most remarkable viewpoint in the Badulla District and a popular visiting place close to Haputale. It is an observation point and at least seven districts and sights like Land´s End or Adam´s Peak can be rediscovered from up there. On the way to Lipton's Seat, there is a popular tea factory called Dambethanna Tea Factory which is the largest tea factory in the Badulla District.
Arriving at Lipton's seat before 10:00 for a good view is recommended. Therefore, the tour on that day starts very early. Ratnapura, the gem-mining center, is also a major crossroad between the southern plains and the hill country to the east, a bustling market city servicing most of the surrounding small towns.
Many of the prominent gem dealers in Sri Lanka are operated from Ratnapura. It is literally the city of gems and it has been known as such throughout the history of the island and has been referred to in ancient texts. Gem mining is widespread throughout the region and you will see pits dug in low lying areas like valley floors, riverbeds, paddy fields, and other very damp places.
Anything worth investigating is usually found in a gravel bed and extracted using primitive methods. A unique feature of the occurrence and distribution of gemstones in Sri Lanka is that a variety of different stones are invariably found together at one site. The stones that have made the region world famous are various spinels, aquamarines, tourmalines, topaz, garnets, amethyst, cat’s eyes, zircons, and moonstones.
The mining operation is virtually the same since the days of the Alexander the Great or perhaps the Pharaohs' times, except for the modern addition of the water pumps to drain the pits. The supports for the excavations are still mostly logs.
Labour is provided as a share of the earnings as well as the equipment materials and the daily expenses for food are contributed as a share. You will have the chance to experience mining for some time to get an impression of the harsh reality of a mining life. Overnight stay will be in Ratnapura.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve, the best-known rainforest in Sri Lanka, is well worth a visit for anyone who is interested in the natural resources of this country. It has been declared a World Heritage Site because of its unique and impressive biodiversity. Sinharaja Forest Reserve is also a biosphere forest reserve, and a large proportion of the flora in this forest is endemic to the country.
Some species are endemic to the Sinharaja Forest itself. Sinharaja also has many endemic species among its fauna. Situated in the south-west lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka and falling into the Sabaragamuwa Province and Southern Province, Sinharaja is surrounded by Napola Dola, Koskulana Ganga (north), Maha Dola, Gin Ganga (south-west), the Kalukandawa Ela, Kudawa Ganga (west), Beverley Tea Estate, and Denuwa Kanda (east).
As a rainforest with its rich and complex diversity of vegetation, Sinharaja provides habitats for a variety of animals. Although dependent on plants for food, animals also carry out certain functions vital to the growth of some plants. Pollination and seed dispersal are two of these. Overnight stay will be in Sinharaja.
Kataragama is a place of pilgrimage for a variety of religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam and is located in the south-eastern corner of Sri Lanka. Therefore, it is a multi-religious sacred city. Kataragama is one of the few places in Sri Lanka where religious people worship together.
According to the Buddhists, Kataragama is one of the 16 places visited by Buddha (solos mahastana) during his three visits to Sri Lanka. Yala National Park, the second largest national park in Sri Lanka, is situated in the southeastern part of the island in the dry, semi-arid climate region, bordering the Indian Ocean.
The number of mammals recorded in Yala is as high as 44 while it also boasts of one of the highest leopard densities in the world. None other than the majestic Sri Lankan elephant and the leopard are the proud heads of this amazing national park. Just finish this day with a nice and entertaining walk along the beach of Tissamaharma. Overnight stay will be in Tissamaharama.
After breakfast, you will proceed back to Negombo via the beautiful southern coastal road, visiting the Dondra Head Lighthouse, the blowhole in Dickwella, the Weligama fishing village, and the turtle hatchery in Unawatuna. You might add some days at a beach hotel in the South or even in Negombo to avoid the final long journey to Colombo airport before your return home.
In case you fly back directly after the tour program, you may enjoy some sightseeing in Colombo. If your flight starts late at night, you should stroll through Colombo´s Pettah quarter, which will offer you a final impression of the typical colorful Asian bazaar atmosphere. Just ask your driver / guide for advices on how to organize best your final day before the return flight.
This safari will take place in various locations including Negombo, Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Haputhale, Rathnapura, Kalawana, and Thissamaharama in Sri Lanka. Besides, you will enjoy game viewing and wildlife observation in Muthurajawela Marshes, Minneriya National Park, Namal Uyana, Horton Plains National Park, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Yala National Park, and turtle hatchery in Unawatuna.
Minneriya national park is located 182 kilometers away from Colombo, in the North Central Plains of Sri Lanka. The major city closest to Minneriya National Park is Polonnaruwa. The recently renovated, the ancient Minneriya rainwater reservoir irrigates a considerable area of the district of Polonnaruwa and it is the focal point of the Minneriya National Park.
May to October is the best period to visit Minneriya National Park in view of the famous gathering of the wild elephant herds. The gathering is documented as the largest known meeting place of Asian elephants in the world. During the dry season of August to September each year, herds up to 300 elephants can be seen within a few square kilometers of the vast Minneriya reservoir.
This elephant gathering is a thrilling spectacle that would be remembered for rest of the life of all those who were fortunate enough to witness it. 24 species of mammals and over 170 species of birds have been recorded here and out of the 25 species of reptiles recorded in the park, eight are endemic.
Yala Wildlife National Park or Ruhuna National Park is the second largest but most famous national park in Sri Lanka. It is located about 300 kilometers from Colombo and most diehard wildlife enthusiast will tell you that it is the best place to spot Asian elephants and leopards in Sri Lanka. Over 100 species of birds and 32 species of mammals have been recorded here and the park is considered as a large bio-diversity hotspot.
Yala National Park paths run through a spectrum of terrains from dense to scrub jungle, open savannah-type to semi-arid areas, rock pools, ravines, and freshwater lakes strewn with more than one prominent rocky outcrops. It is also run through a snaking coastline where the wildlife behaves in an unconcerned and truly wild way and has ceased to take alarm and flee at the sight of humans but by no means docile. With over one hundred and fifty square miles of territory, traversing in Yala without a wildlife department guide is prohibited.
The Asian elephant, leopard, black-bear, along with crocodiles are the most common sights. While peacocks, hornbills, and the gray languor monkeys’ may keep you company along the route with their ceaseless cries. The buffalo, another unsung denizen of Yala National Park, can be unpredictable, easily riled, and extremely dangerous with their sharp horns, which are quite common in the park.
Yala National Park east or better known as Kumana National Park is bird watchers paradise with rarities like ceylon shamas, paradise flycatchers, red-faced malkoha, great thick-knee, and not so rare peacocks adorning the paths during dawn and dusk.
You will be served breakfasts and dinners. You are allowed to bring into the country duty-free 1.5 liters of spirits, two bottles of wine, a quarter-liter of toilet water. Tap water is not safe to drink and boiling as well as filtering are sometimes done too hastily in some hotels and restaurants, so the best solution is to drink bottled water.
There are now many brands available, mostly using spring water from the highlands of the island. Please make sure that the bottle carries an SLS certification and that the seal is broken only in your presence. It is advisable that you beware of ice unless you are satisfied that it has not been made from tap water.
Please remember the tap water as you may be tempted to use to rinse out your mouth after brushing your teeth because it is unsafe. You may keep a bottle of water in your bathroom for this purpose.
If your flight starts late at night, you can manage to enjoy a sightseeing in Colombo and stroll through Colombo´s Pettah quarter after the safari.
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