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  • Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka's Parks and Wildlife with See the Highlights of Kerala

Sri Lanka's Parks and Wildlife with See the Highlights of Kerala

16 Day Escorted Tour With 5 Day Extension

Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean
Challenging Pace

Why not continue your trip beyond Sri Lanka with a mini tour of the beautiful Indian state of Kerala from 489pp. This 4 night extension includes a tour of Cochin, one of India's major ports and trading centres and an overnight trip on an authentic Keralan Houseboat.

2021 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • Authentic Keralan Houseboat Trip
  • Thekkady Hill Station Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Periyar Lake
  • Cochin City Tour
  • Wildlife safaris in four national parks
  • Watch a feeding at the Elephant Transit Home
  • Trek the evergreen forest of Horton Plains
  • Walk the nature trails in Sinharaja Rain Forest
  • Enjoy a Tea Plantation tour in Nuwara Eliya
  • Visit Temples in Dambulla & Kandy
Train
Coach
Boat
Airplane
Walking
1
Number of nights

This map is for the main tour only

Itinerary

Day 1
UK to Colombo

Depart London on your overnight flight to Colombo.

Day 2
Wattala

Dinner

On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel with the rest of the day free before your welcome dinner.

Day 3
Wattala to Wilpattu

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Depart for Wilpattu with a stop at Anawilundawa, where the ocean, mangroves and lakes which meet attract flocks of birds.

Day 4
Wilpattu

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Enjoy a full-day safari at Wilpattu National Park and the chance to spot Sri Lankan leopards and other wildlife. Enjoy a barbeque dinner in Wilpattu.

Day 5
Wilpattu to Kandy

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Depart for Kandy, stopping to see the Dambulla Rock Temple and have lunch in Matale. Take a short tour of Kandy, with a visit to the Temple of the Tooth.

Day 6
Kandy

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Head to Udawattakele Nature Reserve for a forest trek, with the chance to spot deer, boar and monkeys. Return to your hotel for the afternoon at leisure.

Day 7
Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Explore the spectacular botanical gardens of Peradeniya, then travel to Nuwara Eliya, stopping for a tea plantation tour. In Nuwara Eliya, take a short hike and scenic drive past rolling valleys and cascading waterfalls.

Day 8
Nuwara Eliya

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Trek the evergreen forests of Horton Plains, a 1.5-3-hour walk that takes you past thundering waterfalls, sheer cliffs and herds of wildlife. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure at your hotel back in Nuwara Eliya.

Day 9
Nuwara Eliya to Yala

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Journey to Lunugamwehera National Park for an afternoon jeep safari where you can observe the elephants, water buffalo and wild boar that inhabit the reserve. Continue on to Yala for the night.

Day 10
Yala

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

In the early morning, travel by jeep through the oceanfront reserve of Yala National Park, home to the highest density of leopards in the world. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.<br><b>Optional excursion (payable locally):</b> Karagama Temple.

Day 11
Yala to Udawalawe

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Witness an elephant feeding at the Elephant Transit Home, a rehabilitation centre for abandoned elephants, then go on a jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park.

Day 12
Udawalawe to Sinharaja

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Travel to Sinharaja Rainforest, where you can enjoy the tropical setting on this afternoon's nature trail.

Day 13
Sinharaja

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Explore Sinharaja on another trail. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.<br><b>Optional excursion (payable locally):</b> Rainforest excursion.

Day 14
Sinharaja to Mirissa

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Journey to the coastal town of Mirissa and enjoy an afternoon at leisure at your beachfront resort.

Day 15
Mirissa to Wattala*

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Enjoy Mirissa with the morning at leisure or take a seasonal whale watching excursion (at a fee). Today marks the end of the tour for those staying

Day 16
Colombo to Cochin

Breakfast

Depart Sri Lanka in the morning for your flight to Kochi in India's beautiful southern state of Kerala, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 17
Cochin to Alleppey

Breakfast

Today you will board a traditional houseboat which will be both your transport and accommodation. This leisurely cruise takes you through the winding backwaters of Kerala, meandering through the beautiful lagoons, rivers and canals whilst enjoying the local food and stunning rural scenery of the surrounding villages.

Day 18
Alleppey to Thekkady

Breakfast

Disembarking your houseboat after breakfast, your tour continues with a drive through the spectacular countryside. Journey on to Thekkady, a stunning area located high in the Cardamom hills containing tea gardens, rubber, coffee and pepper plantations. Following lunch, a visit to a plantation and spice market await you.

Day 19
Thekkady to Cochin

Breakfast

A highlight of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Board a boat at Periyar Lake where you can view various species of wildlife and enjoy picturesque scenery. Proceed to Cochin for a city tour to see the impressive Chinese fishing nets, before taking a ride through the village roads in a tuk-tuk. You will see the Mattanchery Duch Palace and St. Francis, the oldest European church in India.

Day 20
Cochin to Colombo

Breakfast

Depart after breakfast to the airport for flight back to Sri Lanka. Upon arrival transfer to the Pegasus Reef Hotel where the rest of your day is at leisure.

Day 21
Colombo to the UK

Breakfast

Depart after breakfast for your return flight to the UK.

View Full Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Dates
Price (per person)
Dates available
January 2021
from £3,088
Sold Out
19th Jan - 8th Feb
£3,088
Sold Out
March 2021
from £2,868
2 Dates
2nd Mar - 22nd Mar
£2,878
Call to Book:
0333 242 7529
9th Mar - 28th Mar
£2,868
Call to Book:
0333 242 7529
April 2021
from £2,778
1 Date
12th Apr - 2nd May
£2,778
May 2021
from £2,588
2 Dates
3rd May - 23rd May
£2,588
17th May - 6th Jun
£2,788
June 2021
from £2,398
2 Dates
31st May - 20th Jun
£2,398
14th Jun - 4th Jul
£2,478
August 2021
from £2,528
2 Dates
10th Aug - 30th Aug
£2,528
30th Aug - 19th Sep
£2,688
September 2021
from £2,678
2 Dates
13th Sep - 3rd Oct
£2,728
27th Sep - 17th Oct
£2,678
October 2021
from £2,788
1 Date
11th Oct - 1st Nov
£2,788
November 2021
from £2,978
2 Dates
2nd Nov - 22nd Nov
£2,978
16th Nov - 6th Dec
£2,978

Accommodation

The hotels listed below are provided for guidance only and final confirmation of your accommodation will be sent to you approximately 90 days before you travel
Hotel Casino
2 nights
Cochin, India
More details
Houseboats
1 nights
Alleppey, Kerala
More details
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Tour Reviews

Barbara Wilson

28 Mar 20

Some lovely hotels, loved the ecolodge. The least favourite was the Mirrissa beach.

Beryl Mchale

03 Mar 20

All the hotels were quite different, some with more facilities than others, but they were all more than adequate and some were exceptionally good. The food everywhere was great.

Sarah Woodes

04 May 19

The tour guide we had Prasantha was truly amazing. He was so knowledgable about everything and spotted things we would never have picked out. He went out of his way to make sure we got the most out of the trip and became a friend to us all. Having such an amazing guide certainly helped to enhance our trip.

C Hemming

15 Mar 19

Our guide service was outstanding.

Hazel England

05 Feb 18

The pace of the tour was very hectic, especially as it was 2 weeks long. We were all exhausted towards the end.

Given the cost of the trip and the age demographic of the people on the trip I felt that the Big Game Camping wasn't in keeping with the rest of the accommodation we stayed in. The tents were very poor, in particular the toilet and shower. As we had done the itinerary the opposite way round and the camping was the last accommodation, we were all very tired and in need of some luxury, not roughing it.

Important Information

A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £96 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30 day single entry stay from the date of arrival. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa.

You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Direct is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices: <br /><br /> <table class="basic" cellspacing="0"><thead><tr><th><b>Age in Years</b></th><th><b>Up to 64</b></th><th><b>65 - 74</b></th><th><b>75 - 85</b></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Up to 17 days cover</td><td>£39</td><td>£75</td><td>£129</td></tr></tbody></table> For all persons 86 years and over, please contact us for insurance prices. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24 hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Direct will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

All flights are operated by Sri Lankan Airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 20kg of hold luggage & hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 56cm x 36cm x 23cm in size. Flight times are for guidance only & subject to change. These timings are for the Jewels of Sri Lanka tour only and may vary. If you have booked an optional add on please contact our reservations department for more information.

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in sufficient time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic. It is not advisable to drink the tap water.

This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and able mobility. It involves walking trails and treks, climbing steep stairs and getting on and off coaches.

There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip. You will also be joined by a local guide in each of the cities which you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of Sri Lanka. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in these destinations, should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. Therefore, it is very important that you budget carefully.<br /><br />The currency in Kerala is the Indian Rupee (RS). The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of Kerala. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in these destinations, should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. Therefore, it is very important that you budget carefully.

Tipping is common practice and seen as a way of life in Sri Lanka. It is customary to tip both your driver and guide 200 rupees (approximately £1) per person per day.

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!