Sri Lanka for animal and hiking lovers

Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka for animal and hiking lovers

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You might say Sri Lanka has been hiding in plain sight. Countless scores of travellers have passed overhead on their way to someplace else, but years of uncertainty kept Sri Lanka off many itineraries.Now, however, all that has changed.The country is moving forward quickly as more and more people discover its myriad charms. Lying between the more trodden parts of India and Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka's history, culture and natural beauty are undeniably alluring. It's the place you haven't been to yet, that you should.

This trip is self planned. I’ve booked hotels and am in the process of getting a guide cum driver for the entire trip. I’m contacting Sri Lankan tourism board certified guide/drivers. I’ve not booked my flight but will do it soon.

I’m open to sharing hotel rooms with another female, or joining me on this trip in separate rooms. 

My estimated budget:

Contact me on Whatsapp 96944203 or email if you’re interested.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Arrive in Colombo at 11pm on Singapore Airlines

1 night in Colombo (Negombo city)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Colombo to Sigiriya

Morning - 5 hours drive

Minneriya National Park or explore Sigiriya

Minneriya National Park - Minneriya National Park is a national park in North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The area was designated as a national park on 12 August 1997, having been originally declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. The reason for declaring the area as protected is to protect the catchment of Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. The tank is of historical importance, having been built by King Mahasen in third century AD. The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee districts.

Stay 1 night in Sigiriya

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Sigiriya to Nuwara Eliya

Day in Sigiriya - Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilisation, thought to be once the epicentre of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning.

Sri Lanka for animal and hiking lovers starting at Sri Lanka

Sigiriya refuses to reveal its secrets easily, and you'll have to climb a series of vertiginous staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top. On the way you'll pass a series of quite remarkable frescoes and a pair of colossal lion's paws carved into the bedrock. The surrounding landscape – lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens and cave shrines – only add to Sigiriya's rock-star appeal.

Afternoon/evening - 5 hours drive

Night in Nuwara Eliya

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Base in Nuwara Eliya

Day trip to Horton Plains National Park - Horton Plains is a beautiful, stark world with excellent hikes in the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second- and third-highest mountains, Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2357m). The ‘plains’ form an undulating plateau over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops, filigree waterfalls and misty lakes. The surprising diversity of the landscape is matched by the wide variety of wildlife, although many of the larger animals are very elusive. Birdwatchers will be well rewarded.

Sri Lanka for animal and hiking lovers starting at Sri Lanka

The plateau comes to a sudden end at World’s End, a stunning escarpment that plunges 880m.

Entrance fees for foreigners are now extremely steep. Get here for a 6am start when the paths are not too crowded with hikers.

Night in Nuwara Eliya

Monday, December 24, 2018

Nuwara Eliya to Ella

Morning - 2 hours drive

Day in Ella - Welcome to everyone’s favourite hill-country village, and the place to ease off the travel accelerator with a few leisurely days resting in your choice of some of the country’s best guesthouses. The views through Ella Gap are stunning, and on a clear night you can even spy the subtle glow of the Great Basses lighthouse on Sri Lanka’s south coast. Don’t be too laid-back though; definitely make time for easygoing walks through tea plantations to temples, waterfalls and viewpoints. After building up a hiking-inspired appetite, look forward to Sri Lanka’s best home-cooked food and a reviving cuppa.

Sri Lanka for animal and hiking lovers starting at Sri Lanka

Night in Ella

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Ella to Yala National Park

Morning - 2 hours drive

Yala National Park is divided into five blocks, with the most visited being Block I (141 sq km). Also known as Yala West, this zone was originally a reserve for hunters, but was given over to conservation in 1938. It's the closest to Tissa. The entrance fees are payable at the main office, which is near the west entrance. The only practical way to visit the park is on a tour or safari.

With over 20 leopards thought to be present in Block I alone, Yala is considered one of the world’s best parks for spotting these big cats. Panthera pardus kotiya, the subspecies you may well see, is unique to Sri Lanka. The best time to spot leopards is February to June or July, when the water levels in the park are low.

Sri Lanka for animal and hiking lovers starting at Sri Lanka

The park's estimated 300 elephants can be more elusive, although some regularly appear in the most visited areas. Other animals of note include the shaggy-coated sloth bear and fox-like jackals. Sambars, spotted deer, boars, buffaloes, mongooses and monkeys are also here, along with startlingly large crocodiles.

Over 200 species of birds have been recorded at Yala, many of which are visitors escaping the northern winter, such as white-winged black terns, curlews and pintails. Locals include jungle fowl, hornbills, orioles, and peacocks by the bucket load.

Despite the large quantity of wildlife, the light forest can make spotting animals quite hard; however, small grassy clearings and lots of waterholes offer good opportunities. The end of the dry season (March to April) is the best time to visit, as during and shortly after the rains the animals disperse over a wide area.

As well as herds of wildlife, Yala contains the remains of a once-thriving human community. A monastic settlement, Situlpahuwa, appears to have housed 12,000 inhabitants. Now restored, it’s an important pilgrimage site. A 1st-century BC vihara (Buddhist complex), Magul Maha Vihara, and a 2nd-century BC chetiya (Buddhist shrine), Akasa Chetiya, point to a well-established community, believed to have been part of the ancient Ruhunu kingdom.

Yala is a very popular park: there were over 400,000 visitors in 2016, a number which has quadrupled since 2009. At times jeeps can mimic a pack of jackals in their pursuit of wildlife. It's a good idea to discuss with your driver and/or guide where you can go to get away from the human herd. Be sure, however, to make time for the park's visitor centre at the western entrance. It has excellent displays about Yala and a good bookshop.

Stay Yala National Park

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Yala National Park

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Yala National Park to Uda Walawe National Park

Morning - 2 hours drive

Uda Walawe National Park -

With herds of elephants, wild buffalo, sambar and spotted deer, and giant squirrel, this Sri Lankan national park is one of the nation's finest. In fact, for elephant-watching, Uda Walawe often surpasses many of the most famous East African national parks. The park, which centres on the 308.2-sq-km Uda Walawe Reservoir, is lightly vegetated, but it has a stark beauty and the lack of dense vegetation makes game-watching easy.

Sri Lanka for animal and hiking lovers starting at Sri Lanka

The entrance to the park is 12km from the Ratnapura–Hambantota road turn off and 21km from Embilipitiya. Visitors buy tickets in a building a further 2km on. Most people take a tour organised by their guesthouse or hotel, but a trip with one of the 4WDs waiting outside the gate should be around Rs 3800 for a half-day for up to eight people with driver. Last tickets are usually sold at 5pm. A park guide is included in the cost of admission and these guys, who all seem to have hawklike wildlife-spotting eyes, are normally very knowledgable about the park and its animals. A tip is expected.

Besides elephants, sambar deer and wild buffalo (although most buffalo you'll see in the park are domesticated), there are also mongooses, jackals, water monitor lizards, lots of crocodiles, sloth bears and the occasional leopard. There are 30 varieties of snakes and a wealth of birdlife – 210 species at last count; northern migrants join the residents between November and April.

Stay Uda Walawe National Park

Friday, December 28, 2018

Uda Walawe National Park

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Uda Walawe National Park to Galle

Morning - 4 hours drive

Galle is a jewel. A Unesco World Heritage Site, this historic city is a delight to explore on foot, an endlessly exotic old trading port blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums. Wandering its rambling lanes you'll pass stylish cafes, quirky boutiques and impeccably restored hotels owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers and designers.

Sri Lanka for animal and hiking lovers starting at Sri Lanka

Stay in Galle

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Galle to Colombo

Either linger in Galle or go to Colombo.

Afternoon/evening - 2.5 hours

Late night flight (1 am of Dec 31)

This adventure is: #scenic
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