Elephants, Leopards & Ancient Cities

This 3 in one tour offered by Jetwing Eco Holidays lets you witness the much celebrated Asian Elephants, Leopards and age-old ancient cities of the country.

Day
1

Arrive in Sri Lanka & transfer to Villa Talangama, Colombo for one night. Afternoon, visit the Talangama Lake for Black and Yellow Bitterns, Watercock & other wetland specialties

Day
2

Morning, leave for Far Cry, Wasgamuwa for two nights. Spend the day at leisure with a walk in the garden and local birding.

Day
3

After breakfast, visit Wasgamuwa National Park which provides an opportunity to see diverse habitats for fauna and flora of the area. 23 species of mammals have been recorded in the park. The most important is the Asian Elephant. Afternoon, game drive to Wasgamuwa National Park.

Day
4

After breakfast, leave for Kassapa Lions Rock, Sigiriya for two nights. Visit Polonnaruwa (A UNESCO World Heritage Site), the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. Visit the world famous rock-cut Buddha statues of Gal Vihara and the Parakrama Samudra (‘Sea of Parakrama’) a 2500-hectare man made reservoir built by King Parakramabahu I (1153 –1186 AD) with a capacity of 134 million cubic metres. Birding highlights include Wooly-necked Stork, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Large Cuckoo Shrike and Coppersmith Barbet.

Day
5

Morning, visit to Minneriya National Park for Elephants and dry zone birding. Afternoon a visit to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, which was the pleasure capital of King Kashyapa in the 5th century A.D. Sigiriya Sanctuary is also fantastic for dry zone birding. We look for the scarce resident Blue-eared Kingfisher.

Day
6

Morning, leave for Jetwing St.Andrews, 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. Do the Kandy City tour. Also 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.

Day
7

Morning visit to Horton Plains National Park for its Cloud Forests and rare montane fauna and also the endemic Rhino-horned Lizard. Birding highlights include the scarce endemic Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush. Also look for Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Yellow-eared Bulbul, Sri Lanka Hill White-eye, Dull-blue Flycatcher & Sri Lanka Bush Warbler. Afternoon visit Victoria Park for Himalayan migrants Kashmir Flycatcher, Pied Thrush, Indian Pitta and Indian Blue Robin. Other highlights include Yellow-eared Bulbul, Sri Lanka Hill White-eye and Dull blue Flycatcher.

Day
8

Leave for Cinnamon Wild, Yala for four nights. After arrival, take the Tree Trail with the resident naturalist. After dinner, watch the BBC Wildlife documentary Leopard Hunters, which will provide you with an insight to Yala National Park.

Day
9

Morning, birding in the hotel’s nature trail, which winds through a mixture of habitats, comprising of sea & lagoon, mud flats, shrub jungle & bare patches that provides a sanctuary to a diversity of birds.  Afternoon, have a game drive to Yala National Park. According to the Leopard Research sponsored by Yala Safari Game Lodge, under the Jetwing Research Initiative Yala Block 1 has one of the highest densities of Leopards in the world. Yala therefore offers one of the best chances in Asia to see Leopards. Other large animals you may see include Elephant, Sloth Bear, Mugger Crocodile, Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Jackal, Grey Langur, Mongoose. Birding highlights include Malabar Pied Hornbill, Painted Stork, Lesser Adjutant and Black-necked Stork. Evening take a journey in for Indian and Jerdon’s Nightjars

Day
10

Morning visit to Palatupana Saltpans for shorebirds. Migrants include Little Stint, Greater Sand Plover and Marsh Sandpiper. Afternoon, visit Yala National Park once more, mainly to see Leopards.

Day
11

Morning and late afternoon game safari to Yala National Park.

Day
12

Beach Drop off / Departure .

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