This tour is a true adventure that will give you an insight into the country’s beautiful wilderness. After the first night in a beach hotel, we drive to the mountains where your local guide will reveal the secrets of the jungle and the way of life of villagers. More excitement follows with white water rafting and an overnight climb to the summit of the iconic Adam’s Peak, plus a jeep safari to see wildlife including elephants. Finally, the reward you deserve, a night at a comfortable beach resort. Note: Adam’s Peak is 1000m ascent/descent and is outside the grade for this holiday. However, the terrain is straightforward and this part of the holiday is optional.
Price includes: 8 nights accommodation (2 nights full board camping/ 6 nights b/fast and dinner – hotels); all transport; game drive. Single rooms available if you book early – £20 per night supplement. Not included: flight to Colombo; 6 lunches; visa; tips.
Itinerary (subject to change)
DAY 01 Head off on your overnight flight to Colombo.
DAY 02 Upon your arrival at Colombo Airport, you will be welcomed by your guide and transfer to the fishing capital of the country – Negombo. Arrive at your hotel and spend your first day at leisure. Overnight – Jetwing Sea, Negombo on HB basis (www.jetwinghotels.com/jetwingsea)
DAY 03 In the morning, we make a brief visit to the fish market in Negombo and then leave for our campsite in the pristine Knuckles Range of mountains (App. 4 hours drive). The camp is located high on a mountain slope overlooking the Knuckles Valley. After settling in at the campsite and a good lunch, we take a 03 – 04 hour trek through the villages which surround Corberts Rest . This trek on forest paths and village tracks is through the rich foliage of the Knuckles range with a breathtaking view of the valley as the backdrop. We return to our campsite for a hot meal and rest for the night. Overnight – Coberts Rest on FB basis (www.corbertsrest.com)
DAY 04 After breakfast, we set out on a trek around the village of Meemure. The day’s trek will take you to a small village which is only accessible by foot. A trek of approximately 03 – 04 hours through scrub jungle and forests will bring you to the little farming village of Meemure, deep in the Knuckles Valley. The trek is on rough trails and a few streams need to be forded en route. Enjoy a packed lunch and later take a break at the little village shop for a cup of hot tea, sweetened with “juggery”, made of coconut sap. See and appreciate the simplicity of life enjoyed by the local people and perhaps swim in the cool mountain water of a nearby stream. In the afternoon we continue trekking (Approximately 03 hours); climb out of the valley from Meemure Village back to our campsite. Overnight – Coberts Rest on FB basis (www.corbertsrest.com)
DAY 05 After breakfast we transfer to Kitulgala, the the film location of David Lean’s masterpiece “ Bridge Over The River Kwai”. Today Kitulgala is an excellent area for adventure activities. After lunch embark on an adrenaline fuelled adventure down the rapids of the Kelani River. This short but exhilarating excursion is level 03 rafting and is suitable for most people. We return to our hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight – Kithulgala Rest House on HB basis (www.chcresthouses.com/kithulgala)
DAY 06 In the afternoon trek through the Kelani Valley Forest Reserve. Cross a suspension bridge and enter the forest. Proceed through the dense forest cover emerging for short spells to walk along the bank of the Kelani River. Enjoy the rainforest foliage and amazing birdlife and butterflies. After our lunch, we then leave in the afternoon for Maskeliya and check in to a roadside guest house at the base of Adam’s Peak for dinner and a few hours rest. Overnight – Punsisi Rest House on Half board basis
DAY 07 Begin the climb of Adam’s Peak at approximately 0200 hrs. Climb through the night in order to reach the summit by dawn to witness a once in a lifetime sunrise. (If not cloudy….!)
Descend peak and return to the guest house for a hot meal. After a short rest and once refreshed, proceed to Udawalawe, Sri Lanka’s hot spot for elephant watching. We check in to the and spend the rest of the day at leisure after our climb. Overnight – Kalu’s Hideaway, Udawalawe on HB basis (www.kalushideaway.com)
DAY 08 This morning, along with a packed breakfast. We take a game drive at the Udawalawe national Park, Sri Lanka’s only national park that guarantees elephants sighting year around. Udawalewe National Park – an area of 31,800 hectares, which was declared a protected sanctuary with full National Park status in 1972. Surrounded by mountain ranges, the terrain of the park is a mixture of grassland, shrub jungle, wild teak plantations and two important factors which make this park special – the large Udawalewe Reservoir and the Walewe River, which ensure a supply of water for the fauna within. Internationally renowned for its large herd of elephants, the park is also known for several species of Deer, Wild Boar, the dangerous Wild Buffalo, Jackal and rare sightings of Leopard.
Soon after our return from the safari, we visit the Elephant transit home which is just a 5 minute drive away from our hotel. The Elephant Transit Home is an admirable initiative which is sponsored by the Born Free Trust. Baby elephants that are injured or orphaned in the wild are brought to the Transit Home where they are cared for and rehabilitated in a natural setting. Once the elephants are old enough and strong enough they are radio collared and released into the National Park in small groups. The first group to be released into the park successfully reproduced in the wild in 2008!
We return to the hotel for lunch and proceed to Hikkaduwa for our beach stay. On our way we make a stop in Galle, the southern capital of the island, for a city tour to admire many colonial and historical sites. Galle – said to be the famous Tarshish of the Bible where King Solomon obtained gems and spices, this “Living” UNESCO World Heritage Site is the port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka in 1505. Captured and fortified by the Dutch who ruled maritime Sri Lanka in the 17th and 18th centuries, the city still retains the air of old Holland. Within the well preserved 90 acre fort and ramparts built in 1663 are old Dutch churches and monuments with armorial bearings, an imposing crested and monogrammed gateway dated 1669, many well preserved old Dutch houses and narrow alleys still bearing Dutch names. The New Oriental Hotel, built for a Dutch governor in 1684, a colonial gem now converted to the internationally renowned Amangalle Hotel and several other excellent boutique hotels are testimony to the importance of this location. Arrive at your hotel for a good rest after your drive. Overnight – Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon on HB basis (www.cinnamonhotels.com/hikkatranzbycinnamon)
DAY 09 Relax by the pool or beach and spend your day at leisure taking in the sun. Overnight – Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon on HB basis (www.cinnamonhotels.com/hikkatranzbycinnamon)
DAY 10 Depart the hotel and travel to the airport in time to catch your flight back home.