“Tailor made sounds too impersonal when describing this trip. This Anglo-Sri Lankan duo create holidays from the heart. Their passion for the country is impressive and infectious.”
HighlightsColombo | Sigiriya | Polonnaruwa | Minneriya National Park | Kandy | Temple of the Tooth | Peradeniya Botanic Gardens | Nuwara Eliya | Horton Plains National Park | Tissamaharama | Ella | Yala National Park | Tangalle | Galle
Description of Sri Lanka holidays, tailor madeEarly Arab traders named Sri Lanka “Serendib” – which is where the word serendipity comes from, meaning discovery by happy accident. It’s a verdant, tropical island, that’s both rich in culture but also in natural beauty and wildlife. Our tailor made Sri Lanka holidays can pick and mix from the best of this diverse country, which boasts nine World Heritage Sites, 14 national parks, 86 species of mammals, including elephants and leopards, lush hill country where tea is grown and an Indian Ocean coastline with sandy beaches and swaying palms. No wonder Marco Polo described Sri Lanka as “undoubtedly the finest island of its size in the world”.
For our tailor made Sri Lanka holidays we have developed a unique online holiday planner to enable visitors to create their own itinerary. Sophisticated and user-friendly, the holiday planner offers an opportunity to create individual tailor made holidays to Sri Lanka at your leisure! You are able to explore and plan your own route, excursions and activities, as well as choose the type and style of accommodation that suits you best. A 15-day sample itinerary for one of our tailor made Sri Lanka holidays is given below, but the real choice is yours and an amazing variety of tailor made Sri Lanka holidays are available.
Temperatures remain pretty much the same throughout the year in Sri Lanka, because the island sits just north of the equator, but rainfall varies widely season to season. The best time to come is between the main rainy seasons, which affect different sides of the island at different times. In the south, southwest and hill country, November to April is the best time to come, when the southwest monsoon has finished. In the north and east, October to February is when the northeast monsoon occurs. In this part of the island, it’s better to come when it's dry but hot from April to September. Throughout the year, the hill country always feels much cooler, thanks to its higher elevation.
Responsible tourism: Sri Lanka holidays, tailor made
EnvironmentWildlife Conservation and Rehabilitation
Sri Lanka has diverse habitats and a great variety of indigenous wildlife and plant life. To help maintain breeding populations of some of the more vulnerable animal species endemic to the island, conservation projects have been started. Through our tailor made Sri Lanka holidays we encourage travellers to visit some of these projects to support their conservation work.
The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. We are an active supporter of Born Free and its animal welfare campaigns, and we encourage all travellers to be aware of potential animal exploitation while on their holidays.
Elephant Transit Home
The Elephant Transit Home (ETH) in Uda Walawe National Park is an excellent way of seeing baby wild elephants at close quarters in their natural environment (supported by the Born Free Foundation - see below).
This conservation project takes in baby wild elephants that have been separated from their mothers and cares for them until they can be returned to the wild. The young animals spend their days roaming freely in a section of the park, being observed at a distance by a few members of the ETH staff. They are fed at three-hour intervals in a specially constructed feeding yard, and this is the only time that they can be seen by tourists, who watch from a viewing platform separated from the yard itself. At no point can the tourists have physical contact with the animals. The sight of feeding time is very popular with local and foreign tourists alike as the elephants are enthusiastic, relaxed and full of character, unlike the elephants at Pinnewala Elephant ‘Orphanage’ (see below).
We do not promote or visit Pinnewala Elephant ‘Orphanage’ following adverse reports from Travellers’ Animal Alert, the global animal welfare campaign of the Born Free Foundation we support, and some of our own customers. Please contact us for more details.
Born Free Foundation
The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. Born Free's Travellers’ Animal Alert campaign works around the world to generate a greater public awareness of animal suffering and exploitation, encouraging the public to report animal 'attractions' they encounter both in the UK and abroad, and to promote the philosophies of the Born Free Foundation.
Throughout the world there are hundreds of thousands of wild animals exhibited in zoological collections, performing in circuses, dolphinaria and magic shows, or used as photographic props. While some establishments do appear to provide the animals with adequate conditions, many do not and these continue to thrive due to the support of the tourism industry.
Travellers’ Animal Alert is about being a compassionate traveller, alerting Born Free of captive animal suffering around the world. Incorporating complaints received from concerned members of the public returning from holidays in both the UK and abroad, Born Free hopes to tackle the growing problems associated with captive wild animal welfare.
We are an active supporter of Travellers’ Animal Alert and we encourage all travellers to be aware of potential animal exploitation while on their holidays. In order to help Travellers’ Animal Alert, we will promote the following guidelines as a provider of responsible tourism:
• Promote Travellers’ Animal Alert in our customer travel documents and on our website
• Pledge not to promote any exploitative animal 'attraction' through our company literature or website
• Encourage all our holiday service providers not to promote any activity that involves animal exploitation
• Encourage our staff and customers to look out for captive animal exploitation and report any suffering to Travellers’ Animal Alert
• Actively encourage compassionate and responsible tourism.
Reducing water consumption
Sri Lanka, like many countries around the world, suffers from acute water shortages at certain times of the year. Even though the island experiences two monsoons a year, the reservoirs and tanks are not of sufficient capacity to supply the country’s requirements. This not only causes water shortages in villages and towns – in some areas they are limited to only one hour’s supply a day during these periods – but also contributes to power cuts since much of Sri Lanka’s electricity is generated by hydroelectric power. Reducing water consumption while travelling in Sri Lanka will contribute directly to conserving essential water supplies. Much of the Sri Lankan population wash in rivers and lakes and so supplied fresh water is used mainly for cooking and drinking.
Please share our concern for the environment - SAVE WATER.
• Less than 20% of the world's water is fresh water.
• Acute water shortage has become a recurring problem in many parts of Sri Lanka and the rest of the world.
• Conservation is the greatest resource when it comes to water supply.
Limiting non-degradable waste production
In previous times many of the goods and products sold in Sri Lanka were packaged in natural biodegradable materials. Today, however, much of the packaging is non-degradable and this waste pollutes the environment, particularly when it is not disposed of correctly. Limiting the amount of non-degradable waste generated helps to preserve the environment and reduces the potential negative impact on wildlife.
• Try to buy goods and products in biodegradable packaging. For example, many pharmacies in Sri Lanka dispense medicines in paper bags rather than plastic bags.
• Limit the number of plastic carrier bags acquired when shopping by putting your purchases directly into your own bag without extra packaging.
• Reduce the number of plastic water bottles used by storing your drinking water in a re-usable water container. (Bringing a water filter, potable iodine solution or water purification tablets with you will help limit the number of water bottles required.)
• Always dispose of non-degradable waste carefully since it can have a detrimental effect on the environment and wildlife.CommunityThrough our tailor made Sri Lanka holidays we actively encourage responsible and sustainable travel to Sri Lanka. By working on our Sri Lanka holidays closely with our associate company in Sri Lanka and other partner organisations, we are endeavouring to promote cultural exchange, social awareness, self-employment and self-development.
Sri Lanka holidays guides
We only employ English-speaking Sri Lankan chauffeur guides who are all licensed by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. Experienced guides for trekking, safaris and other specialist activities are hired locally and have extensive knowledge of their chosen area of expertise.
Sri Lanka holidays accommodation
We actively promote small family-run guesthouses that employ local workers, or in the case of larger hotels, locally owned establishments.
Sri Lanka holidays restaurants
We encourage travellers to eat at traditional restaurants, roadside eateries, street vendors and market stalls in order for them to enjoy and experience authentic Sri Lankan food.
Sri Lanka community-led projects
The Asian Tsunami highlighted the plight of coastal communities in Sri Lanka and our initial projects were targeted at Sri Lankan individuals and communities devastated by the tsunami (please ask us for details). However, many other communities away from the coast also lack essential materials and services and our objective is to offer long-term support to such Sri Lankan individuals and communities. By channelling all donations received by Forgotten Village Sri Lanka (an independent charitable organisation) into community-based projects on the island, we hope to provide sustained assistance to these communities in their endeavour to improve their lives. We make a contribution to Forgotten Village Sri Lanka for every holiday booked.
|Day 1:||Fly to Colombo|
|Day 2:||Arrive Colombo. Drive into the island’s Cultural Triangle (ancient cities’ area). Night stay at Sigiriya.|
|Day 3:||Head to the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa for a guided tour of its historic temples and exquisitely carved statues. In the afternoon, a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park, which forms an ‘elephant corridor’ for the vast herds roaming the eastern region of the country from Trincomalee through to Wasgamuwa, Maduru Oya and Gal Oya National Parks further south. The park is home to a variety of animals such as elephants, leopards, toque macaques, purple faced langurs, sloth bears, sambar and spotted deer, and about 160 bird species, including many endemics. IMPORTANT – Minneriya is home to the ‘gathering’ between August and October, when large herds of elephants congregate around Minneriya Lake to seek the last available water at the end of the dry season. Return to Sigiriya. Night stay at Sigiriya.|
|Day 4:||Early morning (07.00) ascent of the rock fortress of Sigiriya to view the surrounding countryside at dawn – a very special experience indeed. Guided tour of Sigiriya's rock palace and ornamental gardens before heading to Dambulla to climb gently up the granite massif to visit Sri Lanka's finest cave temples, which date back to the 1st century BC. Continue to Kandy, one of the principal points of the Cultural Triangle. The second city of Sri Lanka has a picturesque setting around its lake, a rich historical and cultural heritage, a comfortable Mediterranean-type climate, and World Heritage Site status. Night stay at Kandy.|
|Day 5:||After an early breakfast, experience the Buddhist puja (blessing ceremony) at the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka’s most revered religious relic. Kandy is the perfect size to be explored on foot, since the altitude (500 m above sea level) makes the climate conducive to long and leisurely strolls. A guided walking tour of the city will take in the Hindu devales (temples), the lake and the municipal market. After lunch, visit the beautifully kept and well presented Peradeniya Botanic Gardens on the outskirts of Kandy. In the early evening, enjoy a performance of the famous Kandyan Dancers and Drummers, with a fire-walking finale. Night stay at Kandy.|
|Day 6:||Leave Kandy and head into the upper Hill Country, passing through verdant tea plantations and past spectacular waterfalls on your way to Nuwara Eliya, the British colonial capital of the Hill Country and the highest city in Sri Lanka at 1900 m above sea level. On the way, take a tour of a working tea factory at Labookellie to see how ‘two-leaves-and-a-bud’ turns into your daily cuppa. Enjoy a cup of Broken Orange Pekoe and a slice of delicious homemade chocolate cake! On arrival, amble around ‘The City of Light’ and enjoy a little piece of England in the tropics! Night stay at Nuwara Eliya.|
|Day 7:||Drive to Horton Plains for an early morning (07.00) trek through the heath and forest of Horton Plains National Park, via Baker’s Falls, in time to see the awe-inspiring views at World's End before the cloud sets in (circuit is approximately 9 km). Horton Plains is a particularly good area for spotting endemics, including: Sri Lankan Whistling Thrush (endangered), Sri Lankan Bush Warbler, Sri Lankan Blue Magpie, Black-throated Munia, Orange-billed Babbler and
Dull-blue Flycatcher. Continue to Ella in the southern Hill Country. Night stay at Ella.|
|Day 8||At leisure, relaxing or trekking. Night stay at Ella.|
|Day 9:||Drop down to the southern plain through Ella Gap before continuing south across the hot and dry southern plain to Tissamaharama. Night stay at Tissamaharama.|
|Day 10:||Drive to Yala for an early morning (06.00) jeep safari in Yala West National Park, Sri Lanka’s principal wildlife reserve, which has the highest density of leopards in the world. Other inhabitants include elephants, sloth bears, sambars, spotted deer, wild boars, crocodiles, wild buffaloes, mongooses, jackals, monkeys, and over 150 species of birds. Leave the park and enjoy a leisurely drive west along the picturesque southern coastline to Tangalle. Night stay at Tangalle.|
|Day 11-12:||At leisure, sunbathing or sightseeing. Night stay at Tangalle.|
|Day 13:||Continue along the southern coastline to Galle for a guided tour of the Old Dutch Fort, a World Heritage Site. Amble around the ramparts and stroll through the Arab Quarter. Night stay at Galle.|
|Day 14:||After a leisurely morning, head north to the airport, via the Southern Expressway. Night stay near the airport.|
|Day 15:||Fly to UK.|
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Responsible Travel