Sri Lanka wildlife holiday

A great value private tour to see Sri Lanka’s wildlife – whales, dolphins and elephants are almost guaranteed – with some key cultural sights, too.
Colombo Galle boat trips to see dolphins and whales lake boat trip guided tour of Dutch fort Uda Walawe National Park safari guided climb of Sigiriya optional: Dambulla cave complex Anuradhapura Kalpitiya Peninsula wildlife spotting
£2195 including UK flights
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14 Days
Tailor made
More info
This private tour usually costs from £1,645 pp excl flights and from £2,195 pp including flights from the UK.
Make enquiry

Description of Sri Lanka wildlife holiday

Elephant frolicking in the wild on this Sri Lanka wildlife holiday, along with an almost-guaranteed chance to encounter whales and dolphins (those in different areas to boot) and lots lots more. We're a UK operator with people in Sri Lanka. We have a unique network of local people we know on a first-name basis.

This carefully-put together wildlife tour with a twist is private, for you and whoever you're travelling with, yes it is great value we know! This is a private tour. You can take it as couple, or a pair of friends, and it can also be taken as a family. (If you're a solo traveller, make an enquiry for information on our special departures.)

Now onto the itinerary!

You'll start with an overnight flight from the UK (or just be picked up in Colombo - did you know it's not the capital of Sri Lanka?).
First you'll head to Galle on the south west coast, home to a historic Dutch fort our expert guide will show you around. Not before a boat trip from nearby Mirissa, it is an almost-guaranteed viewing of whales. It's thought to be the only place where there aren't just whales migrating, but blue whales that hang around all year around! You'll also see dolphins. Our favourites are spinners though they may go into hiding if any killer whales/orcas (the largest of dolphins) are around.

Onto Uda Walawe national park, an excellent place to see herds of elephants. You'll also make a stop at the Elephant Transit Home, an initiative to reintroduce orphaned elephants into the national park.

Then it's time for some classic sightseeing at the 'lion rock' of Sigiriya and ancient Anuradhapura, home to a sacred tree.

You'll round off the trip with more wildlife experiences, including a boat trip on the edge of Wilpattu national park and boating amongst spinner dolphins. You'll soon lose count!

Relax by the pool, you'll definitely come home refreshed as well as full of the stories our trips are famed for.

Photo credits - thank you to our customers G Baxter & F Barrington


Day 1:Fly from the UK to Colombo with a choice of airports including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Day 2:You'll be met at Colombo airport and whisked away to Galle on the south west coast. Time to settle in and enjoy the pool.
Day 3:Boat trip for a chance to see dolphins and whales. Blue whales live in this area all year around. Then it's time to relax. Later on, you'll have a boat trip on a lake, perfectly timed so you can interact with local culture before catching the beautiful birds (not literally catching of course).
Day 4This morning, a personally-guided visit around the historic Dutch fort of Galle. We recommend exploring on your steam afterwards (your driver will wait for you) but you can head to a beach or back to your accommodation as you wish.
Day 5:Pack up and head to Uda Walawe national park, a great place for elephants. Today you'll visit the Elephant Transit home, an initiative for orphan elephants, before settling in at your hotel.
Day 6:Full day safari in Uda Walawe park, arguably the best park to see elephants most of the year.
Day 7:Pack up and move on to Sigiriya where you'll be staying where wild elephants sometimes pass. Recover from your journey by settling in and enjoying the pool.
Day 8:A break from the wildlife with some classical sightseeing. Explore Sigiriya rock fortress with our local guide, we recommend an early start to climb the rock, worth it for the spectacular views.
Day 9:Day at leisure or visit the Dambulla cave complex, and/or a reforestation project we like to support, where slow loris can be spotted.
Day 10:This morning, you'll pack up and head to the UNESCO site of Anuradhapura, home to temples and a sacred tree. It's said to be the oldest recorded tree in the word. Then it's onwards. The Kalpitiya penisula is off the tourist trail and the island you're staying on certainly is, but it was much more inhabited during the times of Dutch rule, a fact which even many in Sri Lanka didn't realise. Relax in your room, spot the birds in the garden, have a swim in the pool (watch out for the monkeys!) or walk along the beach.
Day 11:Up early for a boat trip to see dolphins, watch the spinner dolphins go! Jumping up in the air, they are a delight. You may also be lucky enough to see whales who migrate through this area.
Day 12:Boat trip through the islands and lagoon. Moving from migratory whales to migratory people! The fishermen camping around are full of useful information, like the best times and places to see elephants crossing the water. You'll head on through the edges of Wilpattu forest reserve and national park.
Day 13:Free day to relax, float around the beautiful pool and spot wildlife. It's also possible to arrange activities locally, including more wildlife watching.
Day 14:Pack up. Depending on flight timings, you may have time to stop in a village to buy some last minute souvenirs (locally-produced batik) if you wish before you head to the airport for your flight home.

Price information

£2195 including UK flights
Convert currency:
This private tour usually costs from £1,645 pp excl flights and from £2,195 pp including flights from the UK.
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Travel guides

Sri Lanka wildlife
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2 Reviews of Sri Lanka wildlife holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 06 Feb 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Seeing a leopard walk by, less than 10 meters away at Yala National Park.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

This was a customised itinerary that gave a really good balance of activity and leisure time to do as we pleased.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes as we stayed in small hotels and used our tour operator's local guides and experts. For example Mr Situde who had spent many years working for the archeological museum in Galle before his retirement. He gave as an great tour of the fort and old town.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Our holiday exceeded our expectations. Due to the knowledge of our guide we saw so many species of animals and birds, giving my husband many opportunities to practice his photography.

Reviewed on 29 Jan 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Safari at Uda Walawe National Park.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take insect repellent lots of it!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


Wildlife - This trip includes national wildlife parks including Uda Walawe, notable for its herds of wild elephants as well as Elephant Transit Home, an initiative by the Sri Lanka wildlife department to introduced orphaned baby elephants into a wild herd.

The trip includes a different way of spotting animals in Wilpattu national park, by boating through the lagoon rather than driving around in a jeep.

Forests - This trip supports a reforestation project, the Popham arboretum in Dambulla. Not only can you find native species growing in the wild, it provides a model for reforestation in other countries.

Accommodation - We use accommodation from refurbished existing buildings where possible. Whilst this particular itinerary also uses luxury accommodation which has been built recently, they have both been built to high environmental standards. One is located in a dry area and it has invested in a state of the art filtration system of sea water and reuse.

Energy - as well as the water, the same hotel uses solar heating, in fact providing the hottest showers we've ever had in Sri Lanka!


We work with and support a wide range of local people. When we say local, we mean local, not just companies or people from the big city.

We know the people we work with personally. We are always on the look out for local initiatives that will improve the experiences of our customers, and support people, particularly those who do not work in the tourism industry.

The hotel in the final part of this itinerary is in an area which has not benefitted from tourism and is pioneering it, providing employment opportunities for people in this area. This has an extra benefit as it is an area where women would go to the Middle East to work as domestic servants. By giving them opportunities and paying them well, they can have good jobs and training, but best of all go home to their families every night.

Whilst we have a 'trade over aid' approach, we do donate as well. This is often something personal e.g. buying English-language books for very local guides. However, as a company we support 'Project Colombo' an initiative to provide children living in rural areas with computer equipment and know how, as well as registered charities.

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