Jungle to coastline with memories to last a lifetime.

Unearth a region of wild delights on this expedition through the depths of Sri Lanka’s forests and national parks. Spend 12 days from Negombo traversing the thickets of Kumuna National Park to the dry evergreen forests of elephant-rich Wasgamuwa National Park. Discover the lofty mountains of Gal Oya National Park and the misty Sinharaja Forest Reserve, and on the way, gain an insight into local farming industries before lazing on the shores of Arugam Bay. Delight on a wildlife-focused and nature-filled itinerary in one of Asia’s best selections of jungle and forest – thank ya for Sri Lanka!


Start
Negombo, Sri Lanka
Finish
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination
Sri Lanka
Style
Original
Theme
Expedition, Wildlife
Code
HPSV
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 4, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Head out on a morning and evening safari in the Kumuna National Park, to give you the best chance to search for the abundance of wildlife that live along the park’s many waterways.

  • Visit Project Orange Elephant, run by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society. Supported by the Intrepid Foundation, this organisation is dedicated to ensuring both sustainable farming practice and wildlife conservation.

  • Spend some time soaking up laid-back surf vibes in Arugam Bay – a beachside haven that’s ideal to just sit back and watch the waves roll in after a long day of exploring.

  • Stay in a well-situated eco-lodge in the Sinharaja Forest Reseve – a World Heritage-listed tropical rainforest that’s home to jackals, big cats, wild boars and Toque monkeys – to name a few.

  • Discover the Portuguese and Dutch influence in Galle Fort. After nearly a week in the wild, wind down in this colonial town, with varied cuisine and eclectic bars perfect for a crew outing.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The April 2019 terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka were a tragic event and have had a serious impact on tourism in the country. Intrepid has a strong commitment to our local staff and the communities we visit and are continuing to operate all our trips in Sri Lanka. We continue to follow government travel advisories and local authorities in operating our trips in Sri Lanka. The security situation is now much more stable, and we don't anticipate major changes to your itinerary at this time. We continue to follow government travel advisories and local authorities in operating our trips in Sri Lanka. We don't anticipate major changes to your itinerary at this time, however it’s important to be aware that the country is still recovering and things like travel times between destinations and time taken to go through security at the airport may be affected.

  • Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people and environments. Any temple visit in Sri Lanka requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and trousers/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

Itinerary

Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo, located close to Bandaranaike International Airport. You can arrive at any time today as there are no activities planned until an important welcome meeting at 5.30 pm. Those arriving early can get into the spirit of seaside Sri Lanka by observing the local fishing craft and perhaps feasting on fresh seafood. The beautiful surrounding countryside is also ideal to be explored on a bicycle, which you can rent with help from the hotel reception. Better yet, book into a local Urban Adventure like Spirit of Negombo. First check out the sights on foot and then take a leisurely boat tour, all while soaking up some epic views and learning all about the history and culture of Negombo.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Negombo - Spirit of Negombo Urban Adventure - USD60
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
An early start is necessary this morning to catch some animal action later in the day. Check-out of the hotel at 8 am and transfer to Wasgamuwa National Park via Kandy (approximately 7 hours). Home to wild Asian elephants, sloth bears, leopards, peafowl and more, the park is one of the most biodiverse protected areas in Sri Lanka. Spend some time settling into your accommodation and perhaps exploring the area around the hotel. In the evening, climb up into basic 'tree houses' situated just outside of the park to observe wild elephants lumbering back into the forest to sleep for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wasgamuwa National Park - Project Orange Elephant visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note that this itinerary stays on the fringe of Wasgomuwa National Park. The important research being done by Project Orange Elephant and the elephant observation tree houses are located just outside the borders of the park as that is where human and elephant conflicts begin to arise.
Spend the day learning about the complex relationship between some farmers and wild elephants in Sri Lanka, and what one organisation is doing to ease the conflict. Project Orange Elephant is run by Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, a local non-government organisation. For Sri Lankans who rely on subsistence or commercial farming, elephant populations can be incredibly destructive. Crop raiding by elephants is commonplace, and farmers who have had their livelihood destroyed often retaliate with violence. With support from The Intrepid Foundation, SLWCS encourages more sustainable farming practices – particularly of crops like oranges that elephants do not eat – to help wildlife and humans coexist peacefully. Take the opportunity to meet some the local farmers and learn about life for both the elephant and human inhabitants that live in the area.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wasgamuwa National Park - Project Orange Elephant visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Make the 4-hour drive to Ampara and enter the unspoiled splendour of Gal Oya National Park, home to elephants, axis deer, muntjacs, water buffalo, mugger crocodiles and more than 150 species of birds. Unlike the dry forest and low mountain ranges of Wasgamuwa National Park, Gal Oya is set against the massive Senanayake Samudraya Lake and is framed by mountains that reach an elevation of over 900 metres. Arrive and spend some time exploring this lush environment, and in the evening, take a cruise to a part of the lake where elephants come for their nightly splash.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gal Oya National Park - Senanayake Samudraya Lake boat trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Rise and shine for a morning boat ride on Senanayake Samudraya Lake – Sri Lanka’s largest reservoir. Cruise over serene waters, watching morning light illuminate the tiny islands that dot the water and keep an eye out for elephants, storks and horn bills. Get back on land and transfer to Arugam Bay (approximately 2 hours). After three days in the wilderness, the sight of palm-lined beaches is a welcome change of scenery! Spend some time soaking up the laid-back vibes of this surf town and, in the evening, embark on a jeep safari through nearby Kumana National Park (formerly known as Yala East National Park). With fewer crowds than some of Sri Lanka’s other parks and a diverse range of wildlife, Kumana is the perfect place to search for leopards, elephants, crocodiles and white cobras. Bird enthusiasts will be happy to know it's common to spot wild peacocks and a wide variety of storks.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gal Oya National Park - Senanayake Samudraya Lake boat trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, you’ve got planned a morning and evening safari drive through Kumuna National Park – both chances to spot animals along the many waterways that thread through the landscape. You’ll even have the chance to stop by Arugam Bay Lagoon or Panama Lake to spot some crocodiles! During the middle of the day, you can do as you please. Perhaps soak up some sunshine along the sandy coast or stroll through this quaint town. There are plenty of local restaurants serving up both Sri Lankan and international cuisine – your group leader will have some delicious recommendations.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Transfer to Udawalawe (approximately 3.5 hours). Spend some time relaxing in Udawalawe town before an evening safari, where you’re bound to spot elephant families on the move. Udawalawe National Park has an amazing array of animal and birdlife, with more herds of wild elephant than anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Other wildlife regularly spotted here include macaques, monkeys, spotted deer, crocodiles and sometimes even leopards!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Udewalawe National Park - Wildlife safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Make the 2-hour drive to Sinharaja Forest Reserve and settle into the Rainforest Eco Lodge – your accommodation for this evening. Set among the misty rainforest, these eco-lodges are set on stilts for optimum harmony with the natural environment. Spend the day as you please, either getting a feel for the grounds of the lodge with a walk, or simply relaxing at the bar or restaurant on site. In the evening, enjoy a nature walk through the World Heritage-listed forest, enjoying the tropical surrounds and looking out for beasts like jackals, big cats, wild boars and toque monkeys.
Accommodation
  • Eco Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve - Rainforest nature walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Wake up with a morning walk through the rainforest, keeping a look out for butterflies, multi-coloured blue magpies, squirrels, mongoose and more! Afterwards, make the 2.5-hour drive to Galle. Head to Galle Fort – the fortified city of with plenty of Portuguese and Dutch colonial charm, narrow laneways and stunning promenades. Galle Fort is a wanderer's paradise, and you’ll spend some time exploring it on foot and taking in structures that date from between the 16th and 19th century. With plenty of eclectic cafes and bars, Galle Fort is also the perfect place to grab a Sri Lankan meal with a contemporary twist.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve - Rainforest nature walk
  • Galle - Dutch Fort
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
From November to April, there will be the opportunity to join a morning whale watching tour. In the off-season – or if you simply prefer to stay close to shore – perhaps begin your day with a dip in the ocean. There is plenty to occupy you in this charming town, from historical sites like the 17th-century Dutch Reformed Church and the Fort Gates to cute vintage shops, quirky boutiques and art galleries. In the evening, why not grab a beer and a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants and watch the sunset over the ocean.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend another day at your leisure in Galle Fort before transferring to Colombo (approximately 3 hours). For your evening, perhaps head out to sample some of the city's renowned street food. Local delicacies include crispy vegetable samosas, hoppers and kotthu – a tasty dish of sliced roti, vegetables and eggs or meat. It’s cause for celebration with your travel crew to reminisce on the wildlife expeditions you’ve enjoyed the most.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today your Sri Lankan Wilderness and Wildlife trip comes to an end. But it doesn’t have to be the end of your adventure! A great way to see the city is by tuk-tuk tour such as the one offered by Urban Adventures, which gives you the chance to navigate narrow streets and hit the mains sights with a local guide. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Colombo-tours.
Optional Activities
  • Colombo - Colombo by Tuk Tuk Urban Adventure - USD55
  • Colombo - Eat, Eat, Repeat Urban Adventure - USD55
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

10 breakfasts, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Jeep, Boat

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights)

Included activities

  • Wasgamuwa National Park - Project Orange Elephant visit
  • Gal Oya National Park - Senanayake Samudraya Lake boat trip
  • Udewalawe National Park - Wildlife safari
  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve - Rainforest nature walk
  • Galle - Dutch Fort

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip and is applicable for all nights on tour.

Essential trip information

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