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  • Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka's Parks and Wildlife - Private Tour

Sri Lanka's Parks and Wildlife - Private Tour

16 Day Escorted Tour

Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean
Challenging Pace

Sri Lanka's oceanfront national parks, mangroves, swamps and tropical rainforests have given rise to the amazing range of animals and birds that inhabit its borders. Visit Yala National Park, home to the highest density of leopards in the world, trek through Udawattakele Nature Reserve to hidden forest monasteries and cave dwellings and spot endangered birds in the tropical undergrowth of Sinharaja Rainforest as you journey through the richest wildlife regions of this island nation.

2022 Dossier

2023 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • 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
Number of nights


Day 1
UK to Colombo

Depart London on your overnight flight to Colombo.

Day 2


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

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

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

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

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Explore Sinharaja on another trail. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. **Optional excursion (payable locally): 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 on for a beach extension, otherwise, transfer to Wattala.

Day 16
Colombo to the UK


Transfer to Colombo for your return flight to the UK.

View Full Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Price (per person)
Dates available
September 2022
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October 2022
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November 2022
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December 2022
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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
Pegasus Reef Hotel
2 nights
Wattala, Sri Lanka
More details
Big Game Camp Wilpattu
2 nights
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
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.

Extend Your Tour

Sri Lankas Parks and Wildlife with Maldives Beach Stay

5 Day Extension



Sri Lankas Parks and Wildlife with Sri Lanka Beach Stay

5 Day Extension



Sri Lankas Parks and Wildlife with Highlights of Kerala

5 Day Extension



Sri Lankas Parks and Wildlife with Colombo City Stay

3 Day Extension



Important Information

A visa is required for entry into Sri Lanka. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote "Mercury Holidays". The cost of the visa is from £63. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are only valid for 3 months from the date of issue. Therefore, we recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however, please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time. Alternatively, you can visit The High Commission of Sri Lanka at 13 Hyde Park Gardens, London, W2 2LU. Please note: If you have chosen to add the 'Kerala Beach Stay' or 'Highlights of Kerala' extension to the end of your tour, you will need to obtain an Indian visa prior to your UK departure. The Travel Visa Company offers a service which takes can take up to 15 working days at busy times. The cost is approximately £134. Alternatively, you can apply for your own visa. You can apply in person or by post to the Indian Embassy in London: 142-148 Goswell Road, London, EC1V 7DU. There are also regional centres elsewhere in the UK. Full details on the process can be found on the Indian Embassy website www.in.vfsglobal.co.uk.

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. 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 Holidays 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 £250pp 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.

Your flight is to Indira Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo with Sri Lankan Airlines (UL) departing from London Heathrow Terminal 3. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus one item of hand luggage providing the exterior dimensions (height length width) do not exceed 115cm and 7kg in weight. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Heathrow Airport advises that check-in should be three hours before your flight departure time. If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313. IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.

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.

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 Rupee or Rs. 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 Sri Lanka should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.

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 £400 per person will be sufficient for the duration of the tour. Tipping is customary in Sri Lanka. Should you wish to tip, this will be collected by your guide at the end of your tour for your convenience. We would recommend approximately £3-5 per person, per day for the driver and guide and £4 per person, per day for the national guides. It is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency, please do not give coins as these are difficult to exchange.