Travel to Udawalawe National Park, seeing the magnificent elephants out in the wild. Yala National Park is next on your list of sights; home to many leopards, the park is famed for its magnificent bird life as well as elephants, sloth bears, water buffalo, macaques and mugger crocodiles. Next stop are the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya, where you'll be able to see the tea-making process in action. Then it's on to Kandy and the unmissable Temple of the Tooth, followed by a tour of the city, gem museum and colourful marketplace. Arrive back in Colombo where you'll have a city tour and bid farewell to your guide and return home full of memories of wildlife and curiosities.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Total meals included:
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Pass by green paddy fields, rubber plantations and lush tea estates as you make your way to Udawalawe, via Ratnapura, the location for much of the country's gem mining. Later, continue into Udawalawe National Park, which has one of the highest densities of wild elephants in Sri Lanka. Take a jeep safari around this stunning area, looking for elephants as well as other wildlife - the National Park boasts sambar deer, wild buffaloes, mongooses, bandicoots, foxes, water monitor lizards, crocodiles and sloth bears.
Journey south this morning towards Yala National Park. En-route visit the Elephant Transit Home located near Udawalawe National Park. Funded by the Born Free Foundation, ETH cares for orphaned elephants from all over Sri Lanka before releasing them back into the wild. Continue to Yala National Park and enjoy a jeep safari through the park. The park is home to a number of leopards, sights of these beautiful creatures are not uncommon. Yala is also a birdwatcher's paradise, with around 230 species recorded in the park. Also look out for elephants, sloth bears, water buffalo, macaques and mugger crocodiles - Yala really is Kipling's Jungle Book brought to life.
This morning admire the views on a scenic drive to the misty hills of Nuwara Eliya. En route stop at Ella, a small village nestled in a valley with fantastic views of the plains below. Enjoy a tour of a Ceylon tea factory, learn about the cultivation process. Later, arrive in Nuwara Eliya, otherwise known as 'Little England'. It is nearly 2,000 metres above sea level and is surrounded by rolling hills and lush tea plantations and is considered the capital of Sri Lanka's tea industry, with its cool temperatures, humidity and rainfall providing the perfect climate for tea production. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the town, which was once a favourite retreat for European planters and still contains many colonial-style buildings.
Continue north to Kandy by train. Experience one of the world's most stunning rail journeys on this quintessential Sri Lankan rail service. The train bumps and grinds through the forests and tea plantations and is a highlight of your tour. After lunch visit the Royal Botanical Gardens which are renowned for their collection of orchids, spices and medicinal plants.
A jumble of culture, history and colonial buildings, Kandy is nestled amongst forested hills and is one of Sri Lanka's most interesting cities. This morning visit the famous Temple of the Tooth, where it is said that the relic tooth of Buddha is enshrined. Later, enjoy a comprehensive tour of this green city, taking in the colourful market place, the upper lake drive and the Gem Museum. Also there is a visit to the Arts & Crafts Centre. This evening, why not take part in a cultural show where you can marvel at drummers, dancers and fire walkers?
After breakfast, drive back to Colombo for an overnight stay. Take in the many remnants of Colombo's colonial past on a sightseeing tour around the city including the Galle Face Green promenade, Dutch Hospital precinct, Fort Railway Station, a Hindu Kovil, the Beira Lake and Independence Square. If you are extending your holiday, transfer to your chosen beach resort after your city tour.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK or the Maldives if you are extending your stay.
Tour hotels will be as specified or alternatives of a similar standard.
Yala National Park is closed to visitors around September/October, during this period the Yala Safari drive will take place in the Bundala National Park.
A visa is required to travel on this tour. Please refer to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice prior to departure for the latest requirements and how to apply.
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