Big Cats and Primates of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the best place in Asia to see and photograph Leopards. Research supported by Jetwing showed that the average density in Yala National Park is as high as one per square kilometer. The lack of other large carnivores means that the leopard is the top predator and adults and cubs are remarkably relaxed during the day, offering great opportunities for viewing and photography.

Sri Lanka has three species of diurnal primates (two are endemic) and two species of nocturnal primates (two lorises with one endemic). It is probably the best places in the world to observe the social dynamics of diunal primates. The endemic Toque monkeys have been studied in one of the longest running fields in the world

 

Day
1

Arrival in Sri Lanka and transfer to Galle Face Hotel, Colombo for one night. Afternoon, do a city tour of Colombo, visiting Vihara Maha Devi Park, where you will see hundreds of roosting Fruit Bats.

Day
2

After breakfast leave for Far Cry, Wasgomuwa for two nights. Afternoon leisure at the cottage bordering the lake.

Day
3

Morning and afternoon game drive to Wasgomuwa National Park. Twenty-three species of mammals have been recorded in the park and of these, the most important is the Elephant of which there are approximately 150 in the Park.

Day
4

After breakfast leave for Jetwing Vil Uyana, Sigiriya for two nights. Afternoon visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress, which was the pleasure capital of a single king, called Kashyapa in the 5th centuries A.D.

Day
5

Morning visit Polonnaruwa (A UNESCO World Heritage Site), the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. At Polonnaruwa we will encounter troops of Toque Macaques, who were famously featured in both the BBC’s ‘Temple Troop’ and David Attenborough’s ‘ Life of Mammals’. One will be intrigued by the power play between the Macaques and Hanuman Langur. Afternoon, visit Minneriya National Park for Elephants. During September and October, over 300 elephants gather on the receding shores of the Minneriya Tank. ‘The Gathering’ of Elephants at Minneriya is one of those awesome spectacles, which should rank alongside better-known wildlife spectacles such as the migration of wildebeest in Africa.

Day
6

After breakfast leave for Hunas Falls by Amaya, Kandy for two nights. En route, visit Dambulla Cave Temple, which is famous for its rock paintings and rock temples and is one of the most important sites for Buddhist pilgrimage. Afternoon, walk on the hotel’s nature trail.

Day
7

Morning excursion to Knuckles Wilderness Area, which is one of the most rugged and picturesque terrains in Sri Lanka. The drive from Riverseton to Pitawala-Patana grasslands offers panoramic views of rugged hills. Take a crepuscular walk in the sub montane forests.

Day
8

After breakfast leave for Jetwing St. Andrew’s, Nuwara Eliya for two nights. En route, visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Kandy, which is an object of veneration to Buddhists and the most important sacred relic in the country. Afternoon, visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens. Here we look for the highland races of Purple-faced Leaf Monkey and Toque Macaque. The Toques brim with self-confidence and may approach the visitors!

Day
9

Morning, visit Horton Plains National Park to see Cloud Forests and rare montane fauna, which include the endemic Rhino-horned Lizard, which was featured in Charles Darwin’s monumental work on evolution. Mammal highlights include Bear Monkey, Giant Squirrel and Sambhur. Walk though the grasslands and Cloud Forests to a popular viewpoint known as World’s End, which is an escarpment with an 870 m drop.

Day
10

After breakfast leave for Jetwng Yala for three nights. Afternoon, enjoy a dip in the pool/beach combing walk/siesta. You will be based in close proximity to Yala National Park, where the BBC’s famous wildlife documentary ‘Leopard Hunters’ was filmed.

Day
11

Morning and afternoon game drive to Yala National Park. Research on Leopards in Yala Block 1 has shown it has one of the highest densities of Leopards in the world. Yala is the best place in Asia to see Leopards. Other large animals you may see include Elephant, Sloth Bear, Mugger Crocodile, Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Jackal, Grey Langur and Mongoose.

Day
12

Morning and afternoon game drive to Yala National Park with the focus on Leopards.

Day
13

After breakfast leave for Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort, Udawalawe for one night. Afternoon, game drive in Udawalawe National Park. On a visit to Udawalawe National Park, Elephants are virtually guaranteed.

Day
14

After breakfast leave for Jetwing Blue, Negombo for one night.

Day
15

Transfer to International Airport for departure

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