Ultimate Wilderness Sri Lanka - 7 nights 8 days
Discover wilderness Sri Lanka as you travel through Kumana National Park, Hortan Plains
National Park and the Ritigala Sanctuary.
Starting February 2019. Book by November 2018
All transportation, accommodation,
meals, entrance fees and workshops.
Luxury tented camps in the park.
Photographic expedition led by Luxshman Nadaraja
DAY 1: COLOMBO
We will pick you up from your home or hotel and drive you to Kumana. This will take about 8 hours. Breakfast on the way included.
Relax at your tented camp by the kumbukkan oya. You can have a refreshing river swim before lunch.
3.30 pm: Afternoon game round where you may see the Sri Lankan leopard, elephant and great many birds. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
This 357-sq-km park, is much less frequently visited than its busy neighbour, Yala National Park. Consequently, it’s a far less zoo-like experience and it never feels too crowded here, even during high season. You can spot leopard and the sloth bear, along with elephants, crocodiles, turtles, wild buffalo and a great variety of birds. The park’s best-known feature is the 200-hectare Kumana bird reserve, an ornithologically rich mangrove swamp 22km beyond Okanda. May to June is nesting season. There have been sightings of Sri Lanka’s very rare black-necked stork, but more commonly spotted, even outside the bird reserve, are Malabar pied hornbills, green bee-eaters, blade-headed orioles and painted storks, among others. Watchtowers provide a terrific perspective for birdwatchers.
DAY 2: KUMBUKKAN CAMP SITE
6.00 am: This is one of the best game drives of the day.
After a hot cup of tea or coffee head into the park for our first game drive of the day.
10.30 am: Back to camp for breakfast and either you can go for another round or relax by the river.
3.30 pm: After lunch we head back into the park.
6.00 pm: Back to the camp site after watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean.
DAY 3: KUMBUKKAN CAMP SITE
6.00 am: The cool early morning weather is excellent for spotting Leopard we leave for the round.
10.30 am: Back to camp for breakfast and river swim after which we will take a pic-nic lunch and spend the day by the sea or in the interior of the park.
3.30 pm: After lunch we go out on the evening round.
6.00 pm: For dinner and overnight.
DAY 4: KUMBUKKAN CAMP SITE/ HORTON PLAINS BUNGALOW
5.30 am: Early morning walk along the river bank looking for the red faced mal koha and another endemic birds.
8.00 am: Breakfast and one last river swim.
9.00am: Leave for Horton Plains with lunch on the way.
DAY 5: HORTON PLAINS BUNGALOW
6.30 am: Trek to Bakers Falls and the World’s End carrying a picnic breakfast.
1.00 am: Back to the bungalow for lunch and some rest and recuperation after your long walk.
4.00 pm: A drive around the National Park, watching the sambar and bear monkeys and hopefully catch a glimpse of a leopard.
6.00 pm: Dinner and overnight.
The gently rolling plateau of Horton Plains at the southern end of the central Montane massif of Sri Lanka is interspersed with net work of streams and channels. The Montane forest is also the source of three major rivers of Sri Lanka: River Mahaweli-the longest river of Sri Lanka, River Walave and River Kelani. Still more, Horton Plains is bounded by the country’s second and third highest mountain peaks of Sri Lanka: Mount Kirigalpotta Kanda (2389 m) and Mount Thotupola Kanda (2357 m).
The escarpment with a depth of 900 meters called World’s End and Baker’s Falls is one of the highlights of the Horton Plains.
DAY 6: HORTON PLAINS BUNGALOW/ GALKADAWALA FOREST LODGE
8.00 am: After breakfast walk along the forest trails looking for beautiful mushrooms and flowers and photographing birds and sambar.
10.00 am: Leave for Galkadawala, Habarana, lunch on the way at the tea plantations.
5.00 pm: Arrive at Galkadawala and relax. 50 of the 230 species of butterflies of Sri Lanka are recorded at Galkadawala. The network of tanks (lakes), with the special emphasis to the lake by which the lodge is sited, irrigation canals, village roads and foot-paths are “veins” along which you may stroll at leisure or trek with purpose, and so enjoy the natural habitat.
9.00 pm: Dinner and overnight.
DAY 7: GALKADAWALA FOREST LODGE
8.30 am: After breakfast leave for the Ritigala Sanctuary.
Ritigala monastery where Pansakulikas monks dwelled has no stupas, no image houses or temples. The long meditational pathway which branches out to the buildings while climbing up the mountain brings tranquility in a jungle setting. The architecture is similar to forest monasteries of Pansakulikas: certain mysterious features unique in Sri Lankan monastic architecture; long paved paths often with roundabouts in them; large stone-lined and stepped reservoirs; and unique double platforms.
1.00 pm: Relax with a long lunch.
The evening is yours to spend as you like.
We could also organize a trip to the Minneriya National Park this afternoon.
9.00 pm: Dinner and overnight.
DAY 8: GALKADAWALA FOREST LODGE/ COLOMBO
10.30 am: After breakfast leave for Colombo with lunch on the way.