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Leopard in Yala National Park

Highlights of Sri Lanka

19 days from CAD8,700pp

Leopard in Yala National Park
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Tour highlights

  • Learn all about Sri Lanka's fascinating Buddhist history.

  • Enjoy a scenic train journey through tea plantations.

  • Absorb the atmosphere of quaint colonial Galle.

  • Search for leopards in Wilpattu and Yala National Park.

  • Take time out to relax on the beautiful southwest coast.

Price includes:

  • In-destination transfers
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • All accommodations
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Ask us if you would also like us to arrange your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • On arrival in Colombo, you're met by your private chauffeur-guide and driven to your hotel just outside of Colombo. Your chauffeur-guide will stay with you for the rest of your trip, acting as your private driver and guide. Depending on your flight time, you may have some time to relax this afternoon — your hotel has a wonderful pool area and a fascinating local temple a short walk away.

  • This morning, drive to Wilpattu National Park. Relax and enjoy the beautiful views on your three-hour drive with your chauffeur-guide.

  • Today, you'll enjoy a jeep safari through one of Sri Lanka's most thriving wildernesses. Wilpattu National Park is home to a growing leopard population and boasts a diversity of wildlife that rivals, if not outshines, other regions of the island.

  • Today you will visit Anuradhapura, the island's ancient capital and present-day holy city. You can visit nearby Mihintale, the birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism. You will then be driven to Sigiriya.

  • We recommend visiting Sigiriya Rock with your chauffeur-guide early to avoid the crowds and the heat. Upon reaching the top of Sigiriya, spend time taking in the exhilarating vistas which go on for miles and ponder the ancient ruins where an ancient civilization once lived. Ensure you bring water with you, as it’s difficult to find a vendor who sells it once you have begun your climb. This afternoon, continue to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa — a fascinating scattering of temples and palaces where a thriving community once lived over 800 years ago. With much of the site in ruins, your guide can explain the importance of certain temples and buildings, helping to give an idea of the collective history and importance of the site.

  • This morning is free to relax, though you may wish to view the rock from a different perspective and include a hot air balloon flight over Sigiriya. Back at the hotel, there is a wonderful pool area with views of the scrubland beyond. In the afternoon, enjoy a private evening safari to see herds of wild elephants, and hopefully, weather permitting, you will see a beautiful sunset — this is sure to be a highlight of your trip. Please be aware that in Sri Lanka there are no restrictions on the number of jeeps that enter the National Park, so sometimes this can feel quite busy.

  • Today, drive about three hours to the city of Kandy. On your way to Kandy, stop by the imposing Dambulla Caves, which contain hundreds of relics of Buddha statues. The caves are accessed by climbing a long staircase cut into the rock. If you think the climb might be unsuitable, we can suggest an alternative cave temple with fewer steps.

  • This morning, meet with your chauffeur-guide to drive to the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. Take your time to walk around and soak up the huge variety of plant life. Afterwards, visit the Temple of the Tooth. This remarkable Buddhist temple is where the relic of Buddha's Tooth is kept. Please note it can be quite busy during the evening ceremony so let your driver know if you would prefer to see it at a quieter time.

  • This morning drive to the station to catch your train to Nuwara Eliya, an incredibly scenic journey through the central hills which takes around four and a half hours. Your chauffeur-guide is there to meet you at your final stop to take you to your hotel. This afternoon visit a local tea factory to learn all about the process of making tea. Depending on the time of year and the location of your hotel, this may be a small group tour — your specialist will be able to advise you.

  • Enjoy an 8 km (5 miles) walk in Horton Plains National Park with your chauffeur-guide today. You might catch a glimpse of Adam's Peak if the weather allows. We suggest starting off early for the walk to avoid the heat of the midday sun. This afternoon is free to relax.

  • Head east today to visit the Yala National Park. This is a long but incredibly scenic journey — your chauffeur-guide can suggest places to stop along the way including some wonderful tea houses and dramatic waterfalls. With stops, the drive will take most of your day, arriving in Yala in time for dinner at your hotel.

  • Today enjoy a private morning and afternoon jeep safari. Hopefully, you can see a range of wildlife, including the elusive leopard. With a number of water holes, there is a variety of birdlife to spot too. In between your safaris, you might like to test out the hotel's pool or take in the view from the hotel's viewing tower.

  • Drive around the south coast toward Tangalle today. Depending on the traffic on the scenic coastal road, this drive will take two hours.

  • Today is free to simply relax on the beach or enjoy the facilities at your hotel.

  • Today you will drive to Galle. You may see the iconic stilt fishermen plying their trade in the surf. Your local guide will show you around the city's colonial heart and you'll have time to wander the rampart walls and enjoy the views. There are a few small museums you might like to visit as well as a number of imposing Dutch churches.

  • You have another day free to relax and explore the area. This evening, you might like to take a local tuk-tuk into Galle Fort to try one of the local restaurants for dinner. The fort is lit up at night, and many of the small boutiques stay open into the evening.

  • This morning, you're picked up and taken to your beach hotel north of Galle. You are free to relax on the beach or enjoy the hotel's facilities.

  • You are free to relax on the beach or enjoy the facilities of your hotel. The spa offers a variety of treatments inspired by Sri Lankan herbs and essential oils or try a private yoga class on the beach.

  • Today you will depart to the airport for your onward journey home.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodations, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

Audley Travel Specialist Niall
Contact a Sri Lanka specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to Sri Lanka will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Nuwara Eliya
Yala National Park

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