Udawalawe National Park Walawe Reservoir and Udawalawe National Park comprise open plains and hills located in south-west Sri Lanka at the foot of the prominent Kaltota Escarpment. The park is home to many elephants with herds of 50 to 60 often being seen at one time and there are numerous sambar, chital and wild boar. There is wonderful birdlife here including grey-headed fi sh eagle, black-shouldered kite, changeable hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, white-bellied sea eagle, shikra, common kestrel, brown fi sh owl and western marsh harrier. Centauria Hotel MID This is a simple hotel that lies on the edge of Chandrika Reservoir, just south of Udawalawe National Park. The hotel has 42 rooms in its main wing and eight rooms in four lakeside cottages. Rooms are air-conditioned, with en-suite shower rooms and lake-facing balconies. There is a swimming pool, café-bar and Ayurvedic centre.Sinharaja Rainforest If you have time, a visit to Sinharaja is a must! The forest is the last remaining primary lowland tropical rainforest in Sri Lanka, and home to many endemic plants, animals and birds, including some 139 varieties of Sri Lanka's 830 endemic trees. It is one of the few places that you can see the blue-faced leaf monkey and the Sri Lanka hanging parrot, plus a wonderful diversity of butterfl ies includes the spectacular blue morpho and bird-wings. Much of the birdlife is endemic including four eagles - rufous-bellied, crested serpent, black and mountain hawk eagle. Another wildlife coup is frequent mixed species 'bird waves', a real sight to behold.Ratnaloka Hotel MID Located about eight kilometres from the town of Ratnapura, a couple of hours drive from the World Heritage Rainforest Site of Sinharaja. The hotel has 53 air-conditioned rooms with en-suite facilities surrounded by gardens and a swimming pool shaded by cardamom trees. If you'd like to stay in the park itself, we can recommend a couple of options to suit different budgets - please ask us for details.Minneriya National Park The park is located a short distance north of Dambulla in eastern Sri Lanka. Sambar and Chital are commonly seen and birding highlights include the Sri Lanka grey hornbill and Sri Lanka jungle fowl. Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Dambulla Cave Temples are also nearby. Polonnaruwa's palaces and shrines are a World Heritage Site, home to troops of monkeys, whilst Dambulla Cave Temples house spectacular ceiling paintings. Sigiriya's citadel and ruins are the remains of great civilisations and in surrounding water tanks dwell many different water-birds. Chaaya Village HIGH OUR CHOICE Chaaya Village, in nearby Habarana, reaches across 13 hectares, and borders a spectacular lake. The hotel's cottages are inspired by local designs so they blend with the beautiful natural surroundings. Its 106 superior and deluxe rooms are en-suite with TV and mini-bar. It's a good place to stay for exploring nearby national parks and cultural highlights. For ultimate privacy, choose Kingfi sher Lodge, set in secluded grounds with stunning views of the lake and your own private chef on-hand.SUGGESTED ITINERARYDay 1 Depart UK for Colombo Day 2 Habarana, 2-nights, Chaaya Village (BD) Day 3 Minneriya National Park elephant gathering, 300 elephants along with many birds (BD) Day 4 Polonnaruwa, 2-nights, Primate Research Camp. Field visits to track monkeys (BLD) Day 6 Nuwara Eliya, 1-night, Galway Forest Lodge. Tea plantation visit (BD) Day 7 Yala National Park, 2-nights, Yala Village. Jeep safaris (BD) Day 9 Colombo, 1-night, Pegasus Reef Hotel. Optional Yala jeep safari (BD) Day 10 Depart for the UK (arrive same day) (B)PRIMATES, ELEPHANTS AND WHALESHelp research scientist Dr. Wolfgang Dittus track toque macaques and purple-faced and gray langur monkeys. During your stay at the project, you'll learn about his valuable studies and community conservation efforts. From June to September, you will also see the spectacular elephant gathering at Minneriya and, during the winter months, enjoy whale-watching and a bird safari. Please ask us for details of the winter itinerary; the summer itinerary is highlighted below.TAILOR-MADE96Many airlines fl y via the Maldives, so if you fancy staying on a paradise island then please do ask for our advice and suggestions - our sister company, Dive Worldwide, can offer you a diving holiday in the Maldives.Talk to an expert 0845 130 6982Departure dates Daily, throughout the yearCost per person From £1695 (Jan - early Apr), £1495 (late Apr - Jun), £1750 (mid Jul - mid Aug), £1660 (mid Aug - Oct), £1785 (Nov - early Dec), £1985 (Christmas) Tour extension If you'd like to stay longer at the Primate Research Camp (a week, two or more) we can arrange this - please ask us for detailsWhat's included Flights, transfers, meals as indicated, six nights hotel accommodation and two nights basic camp, guided activitiesFact!Minneriya National Park is famous for its huge herds of elephants, particularly from June to September when more than 300 gather on the receding shores of the Minneriya Tank. This gathering of elephants at Minneriya is an awesome spectacle which ranks alongside some of the better known wildlife spectacles in East Africa.
Primate Research CampThe Primate Research Camp of Dr. Wolfgang Dittus is located by the lovely Parakrama Samudraya lake. Dr. Dittus is a research scientist who carries out detailed studies on the primate population in the area. The main focus of the study is the populations of toque macaques and purple faced and grey langurs, which are considered holy by some. Purple faced langurs are endangered and a key part of the research is working with the local community to promote wildlife awareness. Dr. Dittus is happy to show visitors his work, and you will be involved in monkey tracking in the forests around Polonnaruwa, while learning about the studies. After 37 years of observing toque macaques, there's certainly lots of interest to keep you here for at least two nights, more if you have time, and we would be happy to arrange longer stays for you, so you can make a really valuable contribution to macaque and langur research.Primate Camp MID Accommodation is in basic but clean and comfortable rooms, which accommodate up to four people (sometimes dorms are used). All have attached bathrooms and a small dining room is on site, serving good local cuisine. This is an experience which will more than make up for the lack of luxury.Colombo & Beaches Colombo is the capital city of Sri Lanka, located on the west coast of the island with a large natural harbour. The city is an interesting mix of modern construction and historic colonial buildings left by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Alternatively why not stay at a lovely beach property at the end of your holiday? Sri Lanka's coastline offers some fi ne beaches and excellent opportunities for relaxing. We recommend a few nights after your wildlife journey to experience the ultimate in Asian hospitality and service, and really taking the time to rejuvenate post explorations. Call us for luxury options!Cinnamon Lakeside HIGH Cinnamon Lakeside is set on the edge of the beautiful Beira Lake, in the heart of Colombo. All rooms will have a view of the lake, perfect for birdwatchers who can enjoy sightings at dawn and dusk.Taj Exotica Resort HIGH The Taj Exotica resort is located a couple of hours south of Colombo and offers 162 air-conditioned rooms with balconies overlooking the Indian Ocean or lush tropical gardens. A large swimming pool is shaded by palms and fragrant Frangipani. The hotel has tennis courts, a gym and water sports, as well as restaurants, bars and a tea lounge From here you can visit nearby turtle projects, watching as baby turtles emerge from their protected nests and then help release them into the sea. Goldi Sands MID If you'd prefer to stay at the beach, Goldi Sands offers a good option just an hour north of Colombo in the resort of Negombo. Conveniently located for the airport, it features 75 comfortable air-conditioned rooms with balconies, TV and en-suite. 97SUGGESTED ITINERARYDay 1 Depart UK for Colombo Day 2 Habarana, 2-nights, Chaaya Village, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya visits (BD) Day 4 Kandy, 1-night, Amaya Hills. Dambulla Caves and Temple of the Tooth visits (BD) Day 5 Yala National Park, 2-nights, Yala Village Hotel. Jeep safaris and nature trails (BD) Day 7 Embilipitiya, 2-nights, Centuria Hotel. Bundala and Udawalawe National Park safaris (BD) Day 9 Colombo, 1-night, Taj Airport Garden (B) Day 10 Depart for the UK (arrive same day) (B)SRI LANKA WILDLIFE AND CULTURESri Lanka has wonderful wildlife and culture. This itinerary explores highlights of both with plenty of safaris included at three national parks; Yala, Bundala and Udawalawe. They're home to leopards, elephants and, in season, leatherback turtles. Your visits to Sri Lanka's sights will allow you a fascinating insight into the country's cultural and historical tapestry. A good introduction to the teardrop isle. TAILOR-MADEOr visit us on the web www.wildlifeworldwide.comASIA | SRI LANKADeparture dates Daily, throughout the yearCost per person From £1735 (Jan - early Apr), £1660 (late Apr - Jun), £1880 (Jul - Aug), £1760 (Sep - Oct), £1820 (Nov - Dec), £2025 (Christmas) What's included Flights, transfers, meals as indicated, eight nights hotel accommodation, guided activities