Explore wildlife with a Sri Lanka safari itinerary
Sri Lanka is a prime destination for wildlife experiences in Asia and is probably the best apart from African destinations. When preparing your Sri Lanka itinerary, travel North, East, West or South, you are sure to capture some exciting moments as every corner of the country brings in sounds of the natural world. A specialized Sri Lanka safari itinerary would involve visiting as many locations where biological diversity can be seen. This would mean visiting all the national parks and nature reserves as a part of safari tours in Sri Lanka. Depending on the amount of time you have for your holiday in Sri Lanka, you can plan out the parks and reserves to be visited based on the route and spend a night or two at each location.
Why choose Sri Lanka for a safari tour?
- Visit some of the largest national parks in Yala, Udawalawe, Minneriya, Wilpattu, Horton Plains and Sinharaja Rainforest.
- Enjoy camping experiences and game drives at many of these National Parks in your Sri Lanka safari itinerary for an up-close-and-personal experience with the wildlife.
- Capture photographs of leopards, sloth bears, tigers, lions, elephants, unique bird species, purple faced langurs, red slender loris, and many more other interesting animals during your safari tours in Sri Lanka.
An ideal Sri Lanka safari itinerary
Day 1 & 2 – Wilpattu National Park
You can begin your safari tours in Sri Lanka by heading west towards Wilpattu National Park. Since the drive is long, it is best to stop at Anuradhapura (the closest town) and relax for your first night. Early next morning you can go to the park for a full day safari picnic with meals inclusive. While this park is open for visitors throughout the year, the best times would be from the months of February to October. The highlight of this park is the many natural lakes that are seen throughout the landscape.
While on your safari, be sure to spot Leopards, elephants, crocodiles, bears, deer, and a variety of birds such as pin tail, spoonbill, purple heron, some species of owls, kites, eagles and much more.
After your 12 hour safari at Wilpattu National Park, head back to the same hotel in Anuradhapura that you stayed the previous night.
Day 3 – Minneriya National Park
On Day 3 of your Sri Lanka safari itinerary, you can relax in the morning and then drive to Minneriya National Park (an hour’s drive) and be there in time for the afternoon safari at 3.00 p.m.
This park is a mixed landscape of evergreen forests, scrub areas and wetlands. Animals that seek shelter here are the sambar deer, crocodiles, leopards, buffalo and macaques. The ancient Minneriya Tank is the central highlight of the park which was built in 3rd century AD. The best time to visit here is during the dry season – May to September. This is when the tank attracts elephants who bathe and graze on the grass along with huge flocks of birds such as storks and cormorants who come to fish in the shallow waters.
After the safari, head back to your hotel in Anuradhapura for the night’s stay.
Day 4 & 5 – Kitulgala & Nuwara Eliya
Early next morning, prepare yourself for a four-five hours drive to Kitulgala where you will have a thrilling white water rafting experience once you get there. Later that evening, you can walk around the village and spot some unique bird species.
Stay over at a hotel in Kitulgala and early next morning you can go to Makandawa Rain Forest for a bird watching walk. After breakfast, head towards Nuwara Eliya for your next National Park visit. It is a two and a half hour drive so you have the rest of the day to explore the beautiful town of Nuwara Eliya and find a place to stay for the night.
Find out more about Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya.
Day 6 – Horton Plains National Park
Early next morning drive towards the Horton Plains National Park (one hour drive), which is the next stop on your safari tours in Sri Lanka. Upon reaching, begin the nature trail towards the world’s end point. Between 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. are the best hours of the day to visit this park because after that the clouds roll in and the picturesque view is obscured. The nature trail covers grasslands, rocky outcrops, thick forests and misty lakes. Along the way, you can take a small detour to see the beautiful Bakers waterfalls.
Once your done here, drive to Yala for a stop at the Yala National Park.
Day 6 & 7 – Yala National Park
Once in Yala, several companies have safari camping options for you to put up overnight inside the park and enjoy a unique camping experience. The next day you can go for a full day safari with meals inclusive at the Yala National Park. This is the second largest and most visited national park in Sri Lanka. Monkeys, peacocks, elephants, leopards and more are seen throughout these dry woodlands and open grassland patches.
Day 8 – Sinharaja Rain Forest (via Mirissa – optional)
It is a 3.5 hour drive from Yala To Sinharaja Rain Forest, according to your Sri Lanka safari itinerary. On your way here, you can take a slight detour to the coastal town of Mirissa for a whale watching experience.
Depending on the time you arrive in Sinharaja, take a walk the same day or the next morning in the Rain Forest to observe unique species at this biodiversity hotspot. Several endemic species of birds, animals, reptiles, mammals and more can be found here. The dense vegetation makes it difficult to spot wildlife so you have to be patient. Birds often move in mixed flocks and this is an interesting sight to capture.
Build your Sri Lanka Safari Itinerary with us
If you have a longer period of stay in Sri Lanka or if there are other things you want to do apart from safari tours in Sri Lanka, then we can create a customized Sri Lanka itinerary for you. We have clients coming from across the world such as UK, Europe, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Africa, India, Singapore Thailand and more. Along with their Sri Lanka safari itinerary, we cater to other requests such as exploring beaches, hill country, culture and other aspects of Sri Lanka tourism. We are more than glad to help you with the same if you can get in touch with us and specify your requirements.
Let us help you build the perfect Sri Lanka Itinerary
Did you know that we offer a free itinerary design service to help you make most of your holiday in Sri Lanka? Our free itinerary will include the following and much more information.
• BEST PLACES TO VISIT WITH A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EACH PLACE
• DISTANCE BETWEEN PLACES WHICH WOULD HELP YOU PLAN YOUR DAY
• HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS HAND PIACKED BY YOUR EXPERT
• COST FOR A TOUR JUST IN CASE YOU DECIDE TO BOOK A TOUR WITH US
• SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS OVER THE PHONE OR EMAIL