Sri Lanka: Land of elephants

During this holiday you visit a elephant shelter which was built using European aid. You make safaris in two national parks where you have more chances of spotting elephants in herds. Twice you will visit the Elephant transit center where the elephants are sheltered. Moreover, you will discover the various attractions of the old and modern Buddhist culture in the country.

Day 1

Departure for your holiday in Sri lanka.

Day 2 Airport - Negombo

Arrival and welcome at the airport, transfer and stay in Negombo. Negombo is located in the heart of the Sri Lankan fishing industry. A full sea with fishermen in catamarans is one standard morning view. We let you see the lagoon during a boat trip in this city..Furthermore, we visit the fish market, the Dutch Fort and the Old Catholic Church during a city tour.

Day 3 Negombo - Sigiriya

The "Dutch Village" is a piece of the Netherlands in Sri Lanka. This is a place created by the FHP (Family Help Program) where homeless elderly have a dignified old age. During a short tour, you can see how this process is given shape in a particular way..

Dambulla cave temples are filled with Buddha statues and imposing rock paintings. The caves are covered over 150 murals of outstanding quality, also including many Buddha images in various formats. You'll stay in Sigiriya.

The magnificent rock temple in Dambulla
The magnificent rock temple in Dambulla

Day 4 Sigiriya

Village tour with lunch and afternoon at leisure.

You make a ride on a bullock cart, which is a water buffalo-drawn cart. You drive through the countryside to a lake where you switch to a boat that you row to a peasant's house where you will receive an explanation about the way of life.By boat you go back to a village where you can stroll after feasting on anauthentic clay pot lunch. Get acquainted today with how people live in rural
areas. Stay in Sigiriya.

Day 5 Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya

Elephants in the Minneriya national park
Elephants in the Minneriya national park

Polonnaruwa was the 2nd capital of Sri Lanka. You can visit here the remains of the royal palace with a special moonstone and also the huge rock scluptured Buddha statues.

Minneriya National Park is a nature park with a large lake. It is important for the flora and fauna in this area. Wild elephants, jackals, monkeys, many varieties of birds and a variety of other animals have their habitat here. So there are about 25 species of reptiles, about 160 species of birds and 78 species of butterflies. Regularly Sri Lanka Holiday Specialist guests meet elephants here.

Day 6 Sigiriya - Kandy

We begin in Sigiriya, where there is a rock fortress from the 5th century. It was built by King Kassapa between 477-495 AD. The rock layers around the fortress are the former gardens of the king and also are the houses of the monks. Initially you climb the rock via an ancient stairway. Halfway you will find frescoes of mysterious girls and a mirror wall. Arriving on a large flat ground with two lion’s claw between two huge stones begins the most exciting part of the journey.

The spice garden of Matale are the most famous of the island. Here spices and herbs grow heavily. Visit a spice garden and learn all about the green trees around you. Matale has also an interesting Hindu temple that we can visit if time permits. Stay in Kandy.

Day 7 Kandy

Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings. Many of the old legends and customs are still kept alive here. Tooth Temple is the main temple of the island, where a tooth of Buddha is preserved. The Botanical Garden was designed as an pleasure garden for a Sinhalese king and during the British colonial era was further expanded. Along one of the avenues we see huge bat trees; These are trees where a few hundred bats hang on at daylight. These trees look black!

The always busy tooth temple in Kandy
The always busy tooth temple in Kandy

Day 8 Kandy

Free day in Kandy.

Day 9 Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

Today, at some point, the eye passes only to see tea plantations. We visit a tea factory on a plantation en route to the English village looking Nuwara Eliya. You think you are in England when you see the red post office in Nuwara Eliya.

In the evening it can be cooler because of the high altitude. Don’t forget to bring a sweater!

Post office in Nuwara Eliya
Post office in Nuwara Eliya

Day 10 Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Nuwara Eliya

We take you to the high Horton Plains. You make a long walk across the plateau. The trail leads to World's End, where suddenly the mountain edge looks at you from 800 meters straight down. You can get the most beautiful view if you leave early. The trek also passes the waterfall Bakers Fall's. In the afternoon we will bring you back to Nuwara Eliya. In the evening there is a market where they sell cheap in Sri Lanka made sportswear. Nuwara Eliya has also a beautiful golf course and there is a large lake where you can rent a boat. Also there is a lively city centre.

Day 11 Train ride to Ella

Little Adam's Peak in Ella
Little Adam's Peak in Ella

The train ride through the mountains is reckoned by many people as a highlight of their trip. You make this journey today. It is the way to make contact with the friendly locals. You pass rugged mountains, tea plantations and waterfalls. At Ella you get you out while your driver waits for you with your luggage. It is only a short drive to your lovely guesthouse overlooking Little Adam's Peak.

Day 12 Ella - Udawalawe

Transfer to Udawalawe Elephant National Park where you go on a jeep safari in the afternoon. You also visit the elephant transit home near the Udawalawe National Park where elephants are sheltered.

Day 13 Udawalawe

A second day in Udawalawe park with another visit to the transit center and a jeep safari. Udawalawe National Park is known for its many elephants who have their habitat here. Near the park is the transit center where the Sri Lankan wildlife foundation, in partnership and help of Dutch works to maintain the herds and their habitat. Regularly our guests see here a herd of several dozen elephants. You visit the transit center and the park accompanied by a ranger. In his jeep, he brings you very close to the animals.

A fairly big elephant in Udawalawe..
A fairly big elephant in Udawalawe..

Day 14 Udawalawe - Galle - Bentota

Tropical beach in Sri Lanka
Tropical beach in Sri Lanka

Transfer to the West Coast with a beautiful beach stay ending. We drive through Galle and Telwatta. In Galle we visit the Dutch star fort and the Telwatta tsunami Photo museum. It is impressive to see the pictures of this natural disaster and the rescue operations in the area where the water came further some kilometers inside land. We drive you thereafter to your beach hotel, which is located in Bentota, a lively town on the west coast.

Day 15 Bentota

A relaxing day in your beach hotel.

Day 16 Bentota - Airport

Transfer to Bandaranaike airport and return flight.