Gal Oya Lodge
Situated on the edge of Gal Oya National Park, this lodge features stunning accommodation, spectacular views and exciting safari activities.
|15 Days||£3860||Dec - Mar||Sri Lanka||Tailor-Made|
This safari combines wildlife, culture and beaches to provide you with a fantastic overview of Sri Lanka. From the ancient city of Polonnaruwa to the leopards of Wilpattu, the imposing Sigiriya Rock Fortress to the palm-fringed beaches of Galle, there is something for everyone on this beautiful isle.
Travel to some of Sri Lanka's natural and cultural highlights, from the jungles of Wilpattu and Gal Oya National Parks to the ancient Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the important pilgrimage site of the Temple of the Tooth. Journey off the beaten track as you search for leopards in Wilpattu, the largest and oldest national park on the island, before heading south to the ‘cultural triangle’ to explore the historical cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura. You will also get the chance to visit the indigenous Veddha people in the remote Gal Oya National Park, and hike through the rolling hills of Sri Lanka’s famous tea plantations.
On your arrival into Sri Lanka you will be met by your guide and transferred to your first hotel, located on a beautiful pineapple plantation an hour from the airport. The remainder of the day is yours to relax and recover from your flight. You may wish to relax by the pool or explore the plantation on a gentle hike.
This morning you will be transferred north along the coastal road to Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka’s largest and one of its oldest national parks. Wilpattu, also known as the land of lakes owing to its many ‘willus’, is one of the best locations for spotting leopard in Sri Lanka. Arrive in time for lunch at your jungle camp before heading out on your first game drive in the later afternoon. In the evening, return to camp for dinner under the stars.
Formerly the fortress palace of King Kassapa who assumed the throne in 477 AD after murdering his father, little remains of the palace itself but foundations at the summit. The climb to the summit is not difficult and there are ancient frescoes to view in a sheltered alcove midway through the climb. Later this morning continue southwards to Kandy where you spend the next two nights at The Kandy House located 30mins out of town.
This morning, head out on one last game drive in the park before you are transferred to your base in the ‘cultural triangle’. The area is home to countless historical and cultural sites, from the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, to the incredible engineering-feat of Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Buddhist temple of Dambulla, as well as many lesser known sites. In the afternoon, settle in to your new surroundings and relax before tomorrow’s adventures.
Another early start this morning as you head to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, situated atop a high limestone monolith and enjoying incredible views over the surrounding countryside. The rock is best climbed in the cool of the early morning, when you can take time to enjoy the ancient frescoes found in caves as you climb. After lunch in a local restaurant, you will be taken to the ancient site of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s second capital city. While afternoon visits can be warmer, they enjoy much smaller crowds, enhancing your visits to the many Buddha statues, stupas and monuments found across the site.
This morning, explore Sri Lanka’s first capital city, the ancient city of Anuradhapura. This well-known historical site is vast, and is home to ancient stupas, pagodas and Buddha statues, as well as a sacred Bo Tree which dates back to 245 BC.
Transfer to the mountains and Gal Oya National Park. The park is one of the few parks in Sri Lanka where you can enjoy safaris by jeep, on foot or by boat, on the largest reservoir in the country, Senanayake Samudraya. Spend the afternoon exploring the park before enjoying an evening under the stars in this remote region of the island.
Overnight: Gal Oya Lodge (B, L, D)
Spend the day exploring the park, home to elephants, birds, crocodiles and numerous reptiles. The park is also home to one of the last surviving Veddha populations, the indigenous people of Sri Lanka. Spend the afternoon learning from the elders on a fascinating bush walk.
Overnight: Gal Oya Lodge (B, L, D)
Today you will be driven out of the mountains to Sri Lanka’s second largest city, Kandy. The city is known for its beautiful botanical gardens and the famed Temple of the Tooth, a popular pilgrimage site where a relic of the Buddha’s tooth is housed.
Overnight: Elephant Stables (B, D)
Head to the Temple of the Tooth for the morning unveiling of the Buddha’s tooth before moving down to the railway station to board your train into the hills. Winding through the tea plantations, you will be able to observe a variety of wildlife from the open doors of the train. Your driver will meet you in Hatton, from where you will be transferred to your hotel.
Today you will have a full day exploring the tea plantations around Hatton. Visit a working tea factory and hike through the aromatic tea gardens, enjoying in the fresh air and stunning scenery.
Today you will be driven south to the coast near the town of Galle. With influences from Portuguese, British and Dutch architectural styles, the fort is the perfect spot to stake a stroll along the many cobbled streets or along the ramparts. Arriving into your lodge, spend the evening enjoying the fresh seafood and sea breezes.
Spend the next two days enjoying the Sri Lankan coast and exploring Galle. Take an evening walking tour of the fort, where you will get the chance to learn all about its history and seek out the hidden nooks and crannies that only the locals know about! The rest of your time is at your leisure to explore or relax as you wish.
Bid farewell to Sri Lanka as you are driven to the international airport just outside of Colombo, in time for your flight home.
This safari is tailor-made to meet your specific requirements including your preferred number of days, dates of travel, standard of lodges and budget.
A tailor-made safari is one designed specifically for you, around your taste, budget, people travelling, interests and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and changed to make it perfect for you.
Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our Sri Lanka wildlife safaris.