Sri Lanka wildlife and whales tour

“Whales in Sri Lanka? Who knew? This company does. With three whale watching trips and six safaris to various national parks, this is a Sri Lankan wildlife extravaganza.”

Highlights

3 whale watching excursions | 6 game drives in Yala National Park | Expert naturalist guides

Description of Sri Lanka wildlife and whales tour

Sri Lanka is well known for its cultural heritage and gorgeous beaches, but perhaps less famous as a wildlife hotspot. But thanks to its wide range of habitats, this small island is one of the best locations in Asia for wildlife. It contains the variety of altitudes, climates and landscapes you’d typically only find across a whole continent, and all in a conveniently compact package! Blue whales congregate off the southern coast, elephant herds gather in Udawalawe and the elusive leopard rules in Yala.

This 11 day guided group tour includes four game drives within Yala and Udawalawe National Parks and a private whale watching tour from Galle. Blue whales, the largest animals that have ever lived, frequent these waters between November and April, and we may also see sperm whales, Bryde’s whales and large pods of spinner and bottlenose dolphins. In the biodiversity hotspot that is Sinharaja rainforest, look out for sambar, barking deer and wild boar, and around 160 varieties of bird.

You’ll travel by private bus, boat and 4WD, staying in comfortable hotels, beach-side cabanas and an eco lodge in Sinharaja. In between wildlife spotting, you’ll have the chance to wander through the cobbled streets of Galle Fort, built by the Dutch in 1663, and relax at Talalla, a quiet and remarkably undeveloped beach, where the warm waters of the Indian Ocean lap the shores and hammocks swing from palm trees.

Travel Team

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10 Nov 2021
£2849
including UK flights
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17 Nov 2021
£2849
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19 Jan 2022
£2849
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23 Feb 2022
£2899
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16 Mar 2022
£2899
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13 Apr 2022
£3199
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12 Oct 2022
£2999
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09 Nov 2022
£2999
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Nov 2022 departure
16 Nov 2022
£2999
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 16 Nov 2022 departure
Small group tours:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modeled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
Our top tip:
Bring travel sickness tablets if you are prone. There are long periods on the road and at sea. Also a warm fleece for early morning starts.
Trip type:
Small group tour, max 16 people, min. age 16
Accomm:
Premium hotels for 8 nights. Hotel for whale watching is standard, but great location.
Included:
Flights, all breakfasts, dinners, all transport, activities, tour leader.
Meals:
Breakfasts and dinners provided. For lunch budget £5-8 per day.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome, with surcharge for single rooms.
Vouchers
Accepted
“I would like to introduce our greeting in Sri Lanka. We say ‘Ayubowan’, meaning ‘may you have a long and happy life’.”

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Activity:
We are very conscious of the environment and try to limit our impact on our surroundings as much as possible. All of our vehicles on this tour are subject to annual eco testing and we monitor this closely in order to reduce our carbon footprint. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants and use markets to purchase traditional crafts. We also leave a positive impression by visiting important National Parks like Yala, our entrance fees to which contribute to upkeep of environment, improvement of facilities for wildlife and staff, and conservation projects.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Accommodation and Meals:
This trip offers 9 nights in comfortable hotels and eco lodges. All of the properties that we stay in are dedicated to hiring local staff and using freshly sourced produce wherever possible. This helps to benefit the surrounding community by providing employment opportunities and income alternatives where they may be otherwise hard to come by. Where meals are not provided, we suggest that clients spread their commerce to small local businesses and try some authentic food.

Local Craft and Culture:
There are plenty of opportunities to engage with local culture on the several visits to towns and villages such as Ahangama located on the south coast.

Activity:
We are very conscious of the environment and try to limit our impact on our surroundings as much as possible. All of our vehicles on this tour are subject to annual eco testing and we monitor this closely in order to reduce our carbon footprint. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants and use markets to purchase traditional crafts. We also leave a positive impression by visiting important National Parks like Yala, our entrance fees to which contribute to upkeep of environment, improvement of facilities for wildlife and staff, and conservation projects.

Charity:
We have financially co-sponsored a local Tsunami relief project, which has enabled 25 families to be rehoused and for two schools to be equipped with toilets, running water and outdoor swings. In collaboration with a German operator and the village temple, we have helped towards 10 large water tanks and an eye clinic in a remote village with a donation of 200 pairs of glasses. We also assisted a principal agent of Unicef in development of day care and education of school children of the estate sector labourers in the hill country.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Climate

4 Reviews of Sri Lanka wildlife and whales tour

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 08 Feb 2019 by

It was all great. The diversity of bird life is astonishing - we saw 85 different types of bird - Sri Lanka is wonderful for anyone who likes bird watching... the food was good, the people friendly and it was a relaxing experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Dec 2017 by

Not a good trip but good birds. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Apr 2014 by

finally seeing a Leopard in the wild, it was not without its stress as there were too many jeeps trying to populate a very small space but eventually we were lucky and had wonderful views as an adult female came down to drink at a waterhole. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Apr 2013 by

the most memorable part was seeing what I went to see - leopards and whales! Read full review

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