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Wild Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s wild side, from national parks to the ocean in this tropical
paradise



At a glance

* 10 days land only / 11 days flight inclusive
* Travel by private bus, boat and 4WD
* 9 nights in comfortable hotels and eco lodges
* All breakfasts and 9 dinners are included
* Whale watching season: November to April

Sri Lanka’s wild side, from national parks to the ocean in this tropical
paradise

Sri Lanka is well known for its cultural heritage and picture perfect
beaches, but perhaps less known is that it is also one of the best locations
in Asia for wildlife. The wide range of altitudes found in this small island
results in a variation of climate and diversity normal only found across a
whole continent. Blue whales congregate off the southern coast of Sri Lanka,
elephant herds gather in Udawalawe and the elusive leopard rules in Yala. As
well as game drives in Sri Lanka’s most famous national parks we visit the
steamy Sinharaja Rainforest and relax on the south coast, where the warm
waters of the Indian Ocean lap the shore and days can easily drift by from
the shade of a palm tree.

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/wiy_0.jpg?t=1DkNng

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

* All breakfasts and 9 dinners included
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
* Arrival and departure transfers (if booking incl. flights)

Food:
All breakfasts and 9 dinners are included.

These are provided at the hotels we are staying in and usually consist of a
buffet with local and international options. Sri Lankan cuisine is a
fascinating reflection of the island’s heritage; there is a unique fusion
of fresh local produce with spices brought to the island over the centuries
by Malays, Arabs, Indians as well as the Dutch, Portuguese and English. Sri
Lankan cuisine is often referred to simply as ‘Rice and Curry’; this is
the staple dish in most restaurants and usually consists of assorted meat and
vegetable curries as well as various pickles, ‘sambols,’ and a handful of
tiny poppadum’s – all using the contrasting flavours of coconut, chilli,
curry leaves, cinnamon and garlic. The abundance of fresh seafood and fish
will ensure that cuisine is a highlight of the trip.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any
special dietary requests. Please note that in Sri Lanka the availability of
certain products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat/gluten or
dairy-free. Please be prepared for this as you may need to bring such
supplies from home. Spicier food can be avoided and lots of the hotels will
serve Western options alongside local cuisine.

Start destination: Colombo Airport

End destination: Colombo Airport

Cycling profile

Day 1

The group flight arrives into Colombo Airport today where our local guide
will be waiting to meet us. Land Only clients should be at the airport ready
to join the group transfer to Ahangama on the south coast of the island –
please refer to the joining instructions for further information. Sri Lanka’s
road network has improved greatly over the last few years, and the ‘deep
south’ (as it is often known) is now accessible within around 3 hours from
Colombo. The coastline’s coconut groves and tall palms give way to
magnificent views of the sea as we approach Ahangama.
Accommodation: Insight Resort (or similar)
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 2

Shortly after sunrise we depart for the harbour, where we board a small,
privately chartered boat for today’s whale watching excursion. Accompanied by
excellent crew and a naturalist guide, we spend the morning searching the
Indian Ocean for whales and other cetaceans. The vessel is fitted with radar
and GPS which helps to increase our chance of success. Blue whales, the
largest animals that have ever lived, typically frequent these waters between
November and April. They are huge, reaching up to 30 metres in length and
weighing as much as 160 tonnes. We may also be lucky enough to encounter
Sperm whales, Brydes whales and large pods of Spinner or Bottlenose dolphins
in the surrounding waters. After spending the morning at sea, we return to
the harbour and our hotel in Ahangama. Later this afternoon we have a guided
visit to Galle to discover the historical fort, a fabulous UNESCO World
Heritage Site. Built by the Dutch in 1663, the fort is a maze of cobbled
streets crammed with cafes, boutique shops and beautifully restored colonial
houses.
Accommodation: Insight Resort (or similar)
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 3

This morning we transfer to Sinharaja Rainforest, the last undisturbed area
of rainforest in Sri Lanka. This biodiversity hotspot harbours a number of
endemic species. Canopy trees reach heights of up to 45 metres and bird
species number 160 and counting. Amongst the insects, amphibians and reptiles
are mammals such as Sambar, Barking deer and Wild boar. Purple-faced langurs
usually congregate in groups of 10 or more and are fairly common to see
amongst the trees. Around 15 leopards are known in this area but sightings
are very difficult to come by due to the dense vegetation. This afternoon we
take a walk to discover Sinharaja and its many inhabitants, accompanied by
our naturalist guide.
Accommodation: Rainforest Eco Lodge or Sinharaja Forest Edge (or similar)
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 4

Wake up to birdsong and get ready for another day in the forest. Sinharaja
covers a narrow sliver of land 21km long and 3.7km wide, covering an area of
roughly 11,187 hectares. Within this area 43% of all the species recorded in
Sri Lanka can be found. Our naturalist guide will take us on a wildlife walk
to discover the many trails and abundant diversity here.
Accommodation: Rainforest Eco Lodge or Sinharaja Forest Edge (or similar)
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 5

This morning we leave the rainforest and travel further inland to Udawalawe
National Park, which lies on the boundary between Sri Lanka’s wet and dry
zones. Udawalawe is one of the best parks in Sri Lanka to see elephants with
around 600 animals in the park who can be seen roaming in herds of up to 50 –
the highest concentration of wild elephants anywhere in Sri Lanka. The
Udawalawe Reservoir is at the centre of the park and makes a stunning
backdrop amongst the otherwise lightly vegetated area. For this reason
wildlife watching in the national park is relatively easy. Aside from
elephant families feeding in the grasslands, we may encounter Sambar deer,
Spotted deer, Water buffalo, Wild boar, jackal and mongoose on this
afternoon’s game drive.
Accommodation: Nil Diya Mankada (or similar)
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 6

This morning our 4WD safari vehicles are waiting to take us back into
Udawalawe for a second game drive within the park. Game drives typically last
for 3 hours, depending on sightings, and are always accompanied by a
naturalist guide. In the afternoon we visit Udawalawe’s famous Elephant
Transit Home (ETH), situated just 5km from the park entrance. The transit
home is run by the department of Wildlife Conservation and supported by the
Born Free Foundation. It provides a safe environment for orphaned elephants,
who are typically looked after at the home until they reach the age of 4, at
which point they are old enough to be released back into the wild. Our visit
will co-incide with feeding time at ETH, where the juveniles are given
bottled milk by a team of park rangers and the noisy specatacle can be
witnessed from the viewing platform.
Accommodation: Nil Diya Mankada (or similar)
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 7

After breakfast we depart for Tissamaharama and Yala National Park, a drive
of around 3 hours. On arrival in Yala we check into our hotel and then around
3pm head out in 4WD jeeps for our afternoon game drive. Yala is Sri Lanka’s
most well known national park, famous for having a higher concentration of
leopard per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world. Located in Sri
Lanka’s lowland dry zone in the south eastern corner of the country, Yala
National Park is extensive, covering some 97,881 hectares across five
‘blocks’. Yala’s vegetation primarily consists of dense secondary forest,
semi-arid thorny scrub, brackish lagoons and mangroves since the park borders
the coastline. With this diverse habitat comes a huge array of wildlife,
including elephant, Sloth bear, Spotted deer, Water buffalo, Sambar deer,
Wild boar, langur and macaque. Bird counts are also high, with over 215
species recorded, including thousands of migrating waterfowl. Our game drive
this afternoon will last around 3 – 4 hours, before we return to the hotel to
freshen up and have dinner.
Accommodation: Kithala Resort (or similar)
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 8

Wildlife tends to be at its most active during the early morning and to take
advantage of this we have a morning game drive in Yala, returning to our
hotel for a rest and lunch afterwards. Our naturalist guides will focus on
Yala’s diverse wildlife and birds, with our game drive lasting around 3
hours.
After lunch we transfer around 3.5 hours to Talalla, a quiet and remarkably
undeveloped beach. Traditional fishing boats rest on the sand in front of a
backdrop of palm trees – this is postcard worthy, and in our opinion, one of
the most picturesque beaches in Sri Lanka. Accommodation for our two night’s
here is in a lovely resort with direct access to the beach. Set in tropical
grounds with hammocks and a freshwater swimming pool, our open-sided cabanas
let you drift off to sleep listening to the waves and wake up to birdsong! We
have marked this property as a ‘comfortable hotel’ but please note the rooms
are not air conditioned. Instead our quirky cabanas – with alfresco showers –
have sides that are open to the elements, so as well as the overhead fan
there is plenty of breeze from the ocean. There is still privacy in the form
of retractable blinds and all rooms have a safe to store belongings. This
property will no doubt be a highlight of the holiday due to its lovely
setting!
Accommodation: Talalla Retreat (or similar)
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 9

Today is free to enjoy all of the facilities at Talalla Retreat – swim in the
sea, walk on the beach, take a dip in the pool, drink a fresh coconut juice,
swing in a hammock or join one of the daily yoga lessons (at extra cost).
Alternatively if there are enough people interested we can organise a second
whale watching excursion to take place this morning. By having the
opportunity to go whale watching again we maximise our chances of having the
most favourable weather and sea conditions. Please note that this optional
excursion will involve transfers to/from Mirissa where all of the whale
watching boats depart.
Accommodation: Talalla Retreat (or similar)
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 10

This morning we check out and make our way to Colombo airport where our
holiday comes to an end. Flight inclusive clients travelling with Sri Lankan
airlines will usually leave Sri Lanka in the early afternoon, arriving into
London this evening. Flights with Etihad Airlines tend to depart much later
in the evening and won’t arrive back into London until Day 12 of this
itinerary. Land Only clients should check with our customer operations team
before booking their own flights to ensure they can be dropped at the airport
in time. Alternatively, an additional nights accommodation can be organised
near to Colombo Airport if you would like to fly home on Day 12 of the
itinerary.
**

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-11-082018-11-17

Trip code: WIYA181108

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2065

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Date: 2018-11-222018-12-01

Trip code: WIYA181122

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2095

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Date: 2019-01-242019-02-02

Trip code: WIYA190124

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2205

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Date: 2019-02-142019-02-23

Trip code: WIYA190214

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2205

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Date: 2019-02-212019-03-02

Trip code: WIYA190221

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €2205

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Date: 2019-03-072019-03-16

Trip code: WIYA190307

Availability: Available

Price: €2205

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Date: 2019-03-212019-03-30

Trip code: WIYA190321

Availability: Available

Price: €2205

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Date: 2019-04-112019-04-20

Trip code: WIYA190411

Availability: Available

Price: €2205

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Date: 2019-10-172019-10-26

Trip code: WIYA191017

Availability: Available

Price: €2195

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Date: 2019-11-072019-11-16

Trip code: WIYA191107

Availability: Available

Price: €2195

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Date: 2019-11-142019-11-23

Trip code: WIYA191114

Availability: Available

Price: €2235

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Date: 2019-11-212019-11-30

Trip code: WIYA191121

Availability: Available

Price: €2235

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Customer Feedback

Wildlife Sri Lanka

Summary:
Thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Sri Lanka, the hotels are all unique, really
enjoyed the container accommodation in the rainforest. The people all seemed
very friendly. The Whale watching was a little disappointing as we only saw
the one Blue Whale and it felt a little as if we were chasing after it when
it breached, on the plus side we had the boat to ourselves.
The driving is pretty interesting but we had total confidence in our coach
driver.
The food was very good, but you probably need to like curries!
The game parks are good, initially i thought they were going to be really
busy with all the jeeps queuing to get their permits, but it was surprising
where they all disappeared to within the parks. Downside was when we found a
leopard all the drivers communicate this to each other and everybody descends
on the spot.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
hard to say which was most inspirational, all very good.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Nakala was lovely, very passionate about sharing his country and culture with
us.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
A fantastic trip, although leisurely, 2 days at each hotel, there was enough
to keep you entertained from morning til evening.

Read full review

Great way to see the nature of south Sri Lanka

Summary:
This was a fantastic trip which gave great opportunities to see the diverse
wildlife and landscapes of Sri Lanka. It was hot / humid when we went so the
air con on the bus and the majority of the hotels was welcome. It was nice
to have a couple of nights in most hotels. The stay in the rainforest lodge
was incredible, and the rooms in the Talalla hotel were unusual and
enjoyable. The bus journeys between accommodations were not too long, and
the scenery was very enjoyable. There is so much birdlife and wildlife to
see here.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Seeing a blue whale. We also loved seeing the fireflies in the rainforest
and at Tallala. There is not much light pollution there so the stars were
incredible.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Dilshan was fantastic. He was so engaging, knowledgeable and well organised.
The naturalist on the trip, Devaka, was enthusiastic and highly skilled.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Many of the plug sockets accommodate do UK plugs. Where they did not, we
were glad to have purchased an adaptor as our multi adaptor did not cater for
Sri Lanka plug sockets. We did not see many mosquitoes, but were careful
with using deet and covering up. The sun is very strong as well. The
rainforest lodge provided leech socks, which seemed to work very well. There
were only a couple of times where we encountered small leeches and the guide
removed them easily.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
The food is fantastic, a lot of choice in the buffets.

Read full review

Wild Sri Lanka

Summary:
This was a wonderful trip that certainly lived up to its promise of plenty of
wildlife encounters. Sri Lanka is stunningly beautiful and has a lovely
relaxed vibe.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
There were many – a blue whale popping up in front of our boat, the stunning
scenery, the friendly people, the narrow streets of Galle and the pristine
beaches

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
We had a leader, Kingsley and a naturalist, Sunil. Both made sure we were
well informed without being intrusive and were great company throughout the
trip.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
If you are British take Stirling to change at the airport (loads of change
bureaus as you leave). Don’t change heaps because it’s really easy to use
atms as you go along and every hotel took credit cards for settling bills.
Don’t bother packing beach towels – every hotel had pool /beach towels for
you to use.
Pack light – you will be living in shorts and t-shirts as it is so hot and
humid.
An umbrella is useful for a sudden downpour or as a parasol.
In Talalla have lunch on the beach at the seafood hut – it looks basic but
the food was fabulous.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Go for it – especially if you love wildlife and particularly monkeys, birds
and elephants!

Read full review

Wonderful

Summary:
A wonderful holiday. Well paced with the right mixtures of activities. All
the accommodation was well chosen. The two guides, one especially for the
wildlife were exceptional. Very informative, funny and welcoming.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The Sinharaja rainforest is breathtaking. The eco lodge was perfect. Sleeping
in converted shipping containers in the middle of a rainforest was truly
magical.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Exceptional. He was organised, caring and highly professional. He was very
informative and entertaining. Our second guide, for the wildlife was
incredibly knowledgeable.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take binoculars, they say it’s optional, but it should be a MUST.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
A wonderful experience in a magical country all made even more fun by the
leaders.

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Back to the wild side

Summary:
I travel somewhere new every year, but this trip is one I’d love to repeat.
I’d like to get back to the wild side of Sri Lanka!

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Seeing the majesty of the incredible animals in Sri Lanka was definitely
inspiring.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our guide and our naturalist were very knowledgeable, helpful and just plain
fun to be with.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Take good walking shoes with tread, a sturdy trekking stick for the short,
steep walk, and don’t forget your leech socks!

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I’ve gone somewhere new and exciting every year for 10 years and this was by
far the best experience I’ve had! I can’t wait to book my next adventure with
Exodus!

Read full review


Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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