Sri Lanka

Discovering Sri Lanka’s wild places and culture beyond the
tourist hotspots

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About Sri Lanka

Stunning landscapes, exotic wildlife and ancient treasures, Sri Lanka combines its tapestry of beauty with vibrant culture and luxury places to stay.

Best known for its tropical palm-fringed beaches, age-old cities and tea covered hills, Sri Lanka is often overlooked as a wildlife destination. For us, it’s the additional diversity of natural wonders and abundant variety of species from elephants to blue whales that makes us love it so much.

For families, Sri Lanka really comes into its own. It’s a relatively small country making it possible to pack in a variety of different experiences and places without spending half your time in the car.

You can track leopards in the jungle, clamber to hill forts, cycle through rice paddies, hike to remote waterfalls and marvel at swimming elephants. Then, you can explore friendly villages, visit ancient temples and relax on a beach. 

The easy-going island culture and a fantastic choice of family-friendly luxury lodges and boutique hotels mean a holiday in Sri Lanka works for children and families of all ages. During the Christmas and Easter school holidays, weather conditions are near perfect, but we love the summer months too when an occasional shower freshens and cools things down.

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top reasons to visit sri lanka

Often the best adventures involve looking beyond the obvious highlights. It’s about the myriad exhilarating encounters that will make your heart sing. These are encounters that nobody could ever predict, but that make your travels genuinely unique.

Best time To VisitSri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a year round destination

Sri Lanka’s tropical climate means it’s generally warm and sunny somewhere on the island each month, making it the perfect year round destination.

The best time to visit depends on where you want to go and what you want to see and do in Sri Lanka. The weather is fairly complicated for such a small island as it is dictated by two monsoon seasons. Rainfall patterns are also becoming increasingly unpredictable, but it helps to know which side of the island to focus on in a given month. It’s unusual for rain anywhere to last all day, with downpours tending to be heavy but short.

In short, the best time to visit the west and south coasts and hill country is from December to March, which coincidentally is also an ideal time for whale watching. The best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September.

Best time To VisitSri Lanka

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Sri-Lanka’sParks & Areas

Search for endangered leopard in Yala National Park, make a boat safari to observe giant blue whales, or hike through the virgin rainforests of Sinharaja to spot rare birds and butterflies.

Yala National Park

Yala is Sri Lanka’s most popular national park and for good reason; it’s reputed to contain the highest density of leopards in the world.

Highlights

– Greatest diversity of wildlife in the country

– Famous for large numbers of leopard

– Excellent birdlife with over 130 species

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Gal Oya National Park

Little known Gal Oya is one of Sri Lanka’s finest reserves.

Highlights

– Explore the reservoir by boat

– A park teeming with elephants

– Stay at the wonderful Gal Oya Lodge

– Wilderness safari with expert naturalists

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Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu is Sri Lanka’s largest and one of its oldest national parks. Its unique ecosystem of seasonal lakes is favoured by leopards and sloth bears which can be spotted on their shores.

Highlights

– Spot wild Asian elephants

– Unspoilt rich forest

– Leopard and sloth bear safari

– Stay in a jungle camp

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Kandy & The Cultural Triangle

The Cultural Triangle showcases Sri Lanka’s fascinating history with its ancient cities, richly decorated cave temples and logic-defying sacred sites.

Highlights

– Climb the Lion’s Rock of Sigiriya

– Discover Kandy and the Temple of the Tooth

– Explore the cave temples of Dambulla

– Cycle the ancient city of Anuradhapura

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Our Favourite Camps & Lodges

From tea bungalows oozing colonial charm and luxury private villas, to palm thatched cottages on a deserted beach and tented safari camps in the jungle, our favourites are chosen for their unobtrusive hospitality, fabulous food and great locations.
Gal Oya Lodge

Positioned on the edge of the relatively untouched and least explored national park in the heart of Sri Lanka, this unique, sustainable lodge offers the chance to get back to nature.

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Leopard Trails: Yala

Leopard Trails offers the most luxurious and authentic wildlife experience in Sri Lanka and in Yala National Park – the small, tented camp is situated in the buffer zone at the quieter northern side giving guests a more relaxed safari.

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Leopard Trails: Wilpattu

Leopard Trails offers the most luxurious and authentic wildlife experience in Sri Lanka; guests benefit from a more relaxed safari and the ranger guides are among the best on the island.

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SRI LANKA (FAQs) Need to Know

What are the best things to do in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is a nature lovers’ paradise and the excellent road network means you can combine a number of wildly different experiences in a single trip. You could search for endangered leopard in Yala National Park, make a boat safari to observe giant blue whale, or hike through the virgin rainforests of Sinharaja to spot rare birds and butterflies. By early evening marvel at elephants swimming in the lake at Gal Oya, or make a vigil on the beach to spy marine turtles as they lay their eggs.

How many days do you need for a holiday in Sri Lanka?

This will depend on how much you want to see and how active you want to be, but we think around two weeks is ideal for a luxury tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka. This will allow you to explore different national parks and habitats if your focus is on wildlife, or to discover some of the island’s fascinating culture too. It’s well worth including some time to a stay on one of the many gorgeous beaches if you’d simply like to relax.

Is Sri Lanka a suitable destination for children?

Sri Lanka is brilliant for families and really comes into its own. Sometimes referred to as being ‘India-light’, Sri Lanka is the perfect introduction to holidays in the region. Sri Lankans are incredibly warm and friendly and you’ll find your children are welcomed with big smiles wherever you go. Travelling in your own private vehicle with English speaking driver-guide means you have plenty of flexibility and can amend a day’s planned activities if needed.

Meet Our Travel Experts

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary

Into The Wild Brochure

Need some more inspiration? Request a copy of Into The Wild, our comprehensive anthology of safaris and wilderness travel.

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A print anthology of safari and wilderness travel with over 220 pages of travel inspiration.

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