Discover Sri Lanka

June 2017 (14 nights) (No spaces available)

In June  2017 Grant and Helena Atkinson will lead a small private group of travelers on a photographic journey through Sri Lanka.  This teardrop-shaped island lies just off the southern tip of India, in the Indian Ocean.  The island is home to a wide diversity of wildlife and cultural attractions and on this adventure, we will visit some fo the best wildlife locations and experience some of the islands rich cultural sites, dating back thousands of years.

Sri Lanka is recognized as a global biodiversity hotspot with a rich variety of endemic flora and fauna.  Although a relatively small island, it is home to large iconic animals such as the Asian elephant, leopard and sloth bear.  The variety of landscapes, from palm-fringed beaches to jungles, cloud forest and misty highlands, make this island one that is magnificent in its natural beauty.  The country also has an interesting history with many well preserved cultural sites.

On this small group departure (maximum 8 travelers with two leaders) we will endeavour to mix both wildlife and cultural elements, to create a rich photographic experience.

Locations visited on this trip will include Galle (for local stilt fishermen), Yala National Park, Sigiriya rock fortress, Uda Walawe National Park, Polonnaruwa, Horton Plains and the Dambulla Cave Temple.

There will be an optional extension to this itinerary for people wishing to visit Wilpattu National Park for more chances to see leopard and sloth bear, plus excellent bird photography

Sri Lanka is a country that stimulates all the senses.  The local food is very interesting and flavorful.  The rich colours of the landscape, the clothes people wear, and the architecture are all very vibrant.  Sri Lanka’s political and religious history is diverse and interesting and some of our activies will focus on this.  Buddhism was introduced into Sri Lanka in the third century BC and we will visit some of the ancient sites and ruins.  The early modern history begins with the arrival of the Portuguese, then Dutch and eventually the British.  Sri Lanka gained full independence in 1948 but the influences of colonial powers remain visible today in its architecture and buildings.

Photographic Focus

There will be a strong focus on photography during the trip, with some informal editing sessions along the way, however people of all levels of experience are welcome.  Even non-photographers will enjoy the trip.  This is possible because you will be accompanied by an expert local guide and naturalist and two photographic leaders who are also naturalists.  We will also have local guides with us during our time in the National Parks.

Safari Highlights

  • Perfect mix of wildlife, culture, history, urban and rural locations.
  • Diversity in species from big mammals to endemic birds, reptiles and insects, make it a destination where can almost always find a photographic subject.
  • The transfers between destinations are in a comfortable mini-coach bus, which allows for easy transport of camera gear (no need for dismantling camera gear because of airline weight restrictions)
  • The mini-coach also affords us  the opportunity to see more parts of the country than when flying around, and the sites and scenes along the way are colourful and very typical of everyday Sri Lanka life.

Some of the places we will visit:

  • Lunuganga Estate
  • Old Dutch Fort in Galle
  • Stilt fisherman of Galle
  • Rumassala Temple in Galle
  • Wildlife viewing in Yala National Park
  • Elephants at Uda Walawe National Park
  • Hakgala Botanical Gardens and Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya
  • Horton Plains National Park
  • Cave Temple in Dambulla
  • Nature walk in search of Loris
  • Ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya
  • Safari is limited to 8 participants.

Is this Safari for you?

Here are some key points to help you decide:

  1. We welcome photographers of ALL levels.   This safari will be conducive to learning from one another and include instruction that will suit everyone’s photographic needs.  No question is off limits, no enquiry too basic.
  2. We are BIG on photographing in the field.  We spend most of our time and effort on safari activity and making images.  We will meet daily (time permitting) to review images and discuss technique, but this is not a ‘classroom-intensive” trip.
  3. Non-photographer or videographer spouses/travel companions will love these safaris.  we have specialist guides leading all activities and optional activities are also available.
  4. Small Group.  With a maximum of 8 participants, the ratio of participants to photographic leaders (4 to 1) is excellent.  This translates into lots of quality time with the photo leaders both in the field and when editing images.

The Itinerary

7-8 June 2017 (1 night)

Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

galle_face

The first day of the trip is 7 June and upon arrival at Colombo Airport, you will be met by our local representative and transferred by car to the Galle Face Hotel (a 1-hour drive).  Check in to the hotel and relax.  Dinner this evening with the group at the hotel (cost included).

8-10 June 2017 (2 nights)

Jetwing Lighthouse, Galle, Sri Lanka

jetwing_lighthouse

The next morning, we will drive in our mini-bus along the west coast of the island to the town of Galle. We will stop along the way to visit the Lunuganga Estate. The estate had been used as a cinnamon estate during the Dutch era and then a rubber plantation under the British. In 1949 it was bought by newly qualified lawyer Geoffrey Bawa, who intension was to convert the estate bungalow into a weekend house and create a tropical version of a European renaissance garden. The 15-acre property is located on the banks of the Dedduwa Lake, in Bentota. Bawa named the estate Lunuganga, which in Sinhala means Salt River.  Bawa continued to develop the house and gardens at Lunuganga for forty years, until his death in May 2003. The house and gardens contain many works from artists such as Donald Friend and Laki Senanayake as well as artifacts from Asia and Europe. Since Bawa’s death in 2003, Lunuganga has been managed by a group of his close friends, who form the Lunuganga Trust. The gardens are now open to the public and the buildings on the estate are run as a seasonal country house hotel.

Our drive today will be about 3½ hours, not including the stopover.  On arrival in Galle, we will check in at Jetwing Lighthouse, where we will stay for the next 2 nights. Dinner and breakfast are included.

Jetwing Lighthouse is the inspired creation of Geoffrey Bawa. Located on a rocky headland overlooking the Indian Ocean and spread over seven acres of land, this elegant hotel conveys an immediate sense of Galle’s history. The Portuguese landing at Galle is re-enacted in brass and bronze on the impressive main staircase and an ambitious batik of ancient coats of arms fills the ceiling of the restful main bar. The hotel design demonstrates Bawa’s skill at integrating architecture and landscape. Smart terraces sweep down to a small sandy bay, where a natural reef sometimes allows relatively safe swimming. Large swimming pools and sun decks have clear views of the ocean. Accommodation is in 85 luxurious rooms and suites of which 20 are set in the Spa Wing, which was added in 2013. Jetwing Lighthouse is owned by the Jetwing group, a premier travel and leisure company owning several luxurious hotel properties in the country.

We will spend the afternoon exploring and photographing the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located 30 minutes from our hotel. The fort’s ramparts afford panoramic views. The once sleepy Galle Fort is now a vibrant and bustling area with a distinctively Mediterranean feel to it and is abuzz with activity. You can explore its narrow streets and laneways bustling with jewelry shops, numerous cafes, restaurants and luxurious villas. The Galle Fort Mosque, the Lighthouse, the Anglican and Dutch-reformed Churches and the Maritime Museum are also sites we can visit, time permitting.

The next morning after breakfast, we will visit the stilt fishermen, a 45-minute drive from our hotel. We will spend some time photographing them as they work.  Stilt fishing is a method unique to the island country of Sri Lanka.  The fishermen sit on a cross bar called a petta tied to a vertical pole and driven into the sand a few meters offshore. From this high position, the fisherman casts his line, and waits until a fish passes by to be caught. Although the approach looks primitive and ancient, stilt fishing is a recent practice.  The method is believed to have started during World War II when food shortages and overcrowded fishing spots prompted some clever men to try fishing on the water. At first they used the wreckage of capsized ships and downed aircrafts, then they began erecting their stilts in coral reefs. Two generations of fishermen have eked out this physically demanding existence at dawn and dusk along a 30-kilometer stretch of southern shore between the towns of Unawatuna and Weligama.  Afterwards, we will return to town and visit the Rumassala Temple. 

Today is also the Poson Poya (Full Moon Day) in Sri Lanka.  Poson Poya celebrates annually the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC, a festival of great historical and religious significance celebrated island-wide by Buddhists.

10-14 June 2017; (4 nights)

Chena Huts, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

chena_huts

After breakfast, we will drive to Yala National Park, which is located on the southeast coast of the island.  This is roughly a 3½ hour drive. On arrival, we will check in to Chena Huts, our upmarket accommodation for the next 4 nights. Accommodation is all inclusive.

Chena is the name given to the small clearings in the jungle, where local people grow crops, sleeping beside them to protect them from hungry elephants. Here today, nestling among dunes and trees at the ocean’s edge, you will find Chena Huts, the latest addition to Uga Escapes’ world-renowned portfolio of luxury boutique hotels. Overlooking a beach where sea-turtles come to lay eggs by moonlight, Chena Huts is fringed on one landward side by tropical jungle and on the other by a saline lake where ibises and painted storks may be seen wading in the shallows. For guests at Chena Huts, easy access to these natural wonders involves no compromise with comfort. At this small, select property, the ‘huts’ are in fact luxurious detached, private pavilions offering views of the surrounding wilderness and seascape. Chena huts also include a spa with a variety of treatments for those who would like to opt out of one of the wildlife activities.

After seeing our rooms and getting settled in, we will have lunch and head out for an introductory afternoon game drive in Yala National Park. 

Yala National Park is the most popular wildlife destination and Sri Lanka’s second largest national park, covering 378 square miles. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900 and along with Wilpattu, was the first national park in Sri Lanka, designated in 1938. The park is situated in the dry semi-arid region and rain is received mainly during the northeast monsoon (October and November typically). Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from forests to freshwater and marine wetlands.

The park is split into five blocks and on our first morning, we will game drive into Yala’s Block 1. Block 1 is believed to have the highest concentration of leopards anywhere in the world. Yala is also home to Asian elephant, sloth bear, jackal, sambar deer, spotted deer, Asian buffalo, wild boar, and langur monkeys..  Mugger crocodiles can be seen in the park’s water holes, especially during the dry season (June to September).

Yala is also an excellent birding destination with close to 300 avian species recorded and is one of Sri Lanka’s 70 Important Bird Areas (IBA’s). The varied landscapes, from lagoons and beaches to rocky outcrops immersed among the scrub jungle, are also a treat to the eye as you search out the park’s wildlife.

On our 2nd full day in Yala we will likely do a full day in the park Block 3 or 5, but this will depend on the recent sightings in the Park. 

On the 3rd full day we will do morning and afternoon wildlife viewing excursions.

14 -15 June 2017; (1 night)

Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort, Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka

grande_udawalawe

On the last morning, we will game drive in Yala and return to Chena Huts for a late breakfast before heading northwest to Uda Walawe National Park (a 2-hour drive).  On arrival, we will go straight onto an afternoon game drive in Uda Walawe.

Uda Walawe was once an area where destructive slash-and-burn chena cultivation was widespread. The area was declared as a national park in 1972 with the intention of safeguarding the flora and fauna in the catchment area of the reservoir on the Walawe River. With ample water and rich nutrition from the scrub jungles and grasslands, Uda Walawe is a stronghold of the Asian elephant and one of the best places to see them in the wild year-round. You can get good views of the small herds of females and their young grazing on the tall grasses or immersing themselves in the water while the lone bulls are often found within close vicinity of the herds. Langur, Toque macaque, jackal, crocodile and spotted deer are the other large animals seen here. Uda Walawe is an excellent biding location as well especially for dry-zone species and raptors.

After our drive in the national park, we will check in to our accommodation, the Grand Uda Walawe Safari Resort. This resort is an environmental friendly hotel and is conveniently located just five minutes’ drive from the park.  Our stay here includes dinner and breakfast. 

15-18 June 2017; (3 nights)

Jetwing Warwick Gardens, Ambewela, Sri Lanka

warwick-gardens

This morning we will do our second game drive at Uda Walawe. Afterwards we will return to the hotel for late breakfast and then drive to Jetwing Warwick Gardens (5½ hours). We will stop on the way for a late lunch at the Bandarawela Hotel. On arrival at our accommodation, we will get checked in and relax before dinner. The gardens are alive with birds and the property is lovely, so we can also photograph around the property before it gets dark.

Jetwing Warwick Gardens sits at 5,782 feet above sea level. It is set amidst green clad mountains and enriched by lovely tea estates that line the narrow and winding road up to the bungalow. This unique Edwardian-style home, which was once the dwelling of a Scottish tea planter, has been restored to its original old charm and warmth. The house consists of five well-appointed rooms, plus a library, dining hall, open terraces and gardens, with the comforts of every modern convenience, as well as the more traditional delights.  We will spend 3 nights at Warwick Gardens and have exclusive use of the property. Dinner, and breakfast are included.

After breakfast, we will offer two distinct activities, one is to explore the surrounding countryside and tea plantations for some people and places imagery. We will photograph the landscapes, tea workers and buildings, such as churches and tea factories by driving along the winding roads and stopping whenever we see something of interest. We should be able to find workers picking tea and hopefully sorting and working the picked tea along the roads. The second activity will be to visit the Victoria Park and Hakgala Botanical Gardens to look for flora and fauna to photograph and enjoy.

Hakgala Botanical Gardens were founded in 1860 by the eminent British botanist Dr. GHK Thwaites.  Between 1860 and 1880, Hakgala was the site for experiments with cinchona, whose bark yielded quinine, widely used at that time as a remedy for malaria. This may have been the reason for the popularity of gin and tonic in these parts – quinine being the main ingredient of tonic water.


The climate of the Hakgala is perfect for temperate zone plants. These include conifers and cedars from Australia, Bermuda and Japan, and cypresses from the Himalayas, China and as far as Persia, Mexico and California. New Caledonia gave Hakgala a special variety of pine, and there are specimens of this genus from the Canary Islands as well.


An English oak, introduced here in 1890, commemorates the “hearts of oak” of Britain’s vaunted sea power. There is also an excellent specimen of the camphor tree, whose habitat is usually in regions above 12,000-meter elevation. In the Rose Garden, you can experience the sights and scents of these glorious blooms in their infinite variety. From here it is a short stroll to the exotic sophistication of the Orchid House. A special attraction here is the variety of mountain orchids, many of them endemic to Sri Lanka.  Afterwards we will return to the hotel and relax.

On our last full day at Warwick Gardens, we will make a pre-dawn start with a packed breakfast and depart for Horton Plains National Park (a 45-minute drive). A variety of wildlife including endemic rhino-horned and hump-nosed lizards, highland bird species and sambar deer may be observed. Sambar, Sri Lanka’s largest species of deer can be seen around the plains close to the entrance of the park as well as toque macaques and the endemic purple-faced langur. We will spend the morning here, taking a scenic walk which passes through the grasslands and cloud forests to a viewpoint known as World’s End for an incredible view, after which you can continue to see Baker’s Falls.

For those wanting to spend more of the day and into the afternoon here, we will accommodate that (packed lunches), but anyone wanting to return to the house for lunch can also do so as we will have two vehicles. For those returning midday, there is an optional activity this afternoon of revisiting Hakgala or Victoria Park.

18-20 June 2017; (2 nights)

Jetwing Vil Uyana, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

jetwing_vil_uyana

Our last morning at Warwick gardens, we will have an early breakfast, check out, and drive towards Sigiriya (a 6-hour drive). We will stop along the way for landscape pictures and also visit a tea factory, where we will learn how the different types of tea are processed. We will have a chance to taste and purchase high quality Sri Lankan teas to take home.

Continuing our drive, we will stop at the Dambulla Cave Temple. Dambulla is famous for its rock paintings and is among the best preserved monastic cave temple complexes in Sri Lanka. There are about 150 Buddha statues, some Hindu deity statues, and over 2,000 square meters of painted walls and ceilings within a complex of five separate caves. Dambulla’s origins as a place of worship dates to the reign of King Valagamba in the 1st century BC, who took refuge in these caves when driven out of Anuradhapura by Chola invaders. Once he regained the throne, the king had the interior of the caves transformed into magnificent rock temples. More paintings and statues were added over time by later kings. One of the most notable modifications was made by King Nissanka Malla, who had the caves’ interiors gilded, giving the complex the name ‘Ran Giri’ or ‘Golden Rock’ Temple.

After we finish exploring the caves, we will continue or drive, reaching Vil Uyana in late afternoon. Our accommodation is Jetwing Vil Uyana in Sigiriya, where we will stay for two nights.   Dinner and breakfast are included.

A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Jetwing Vil Uyana consists of 30 tastefully constructed dwellings that are built in and over water, with paddy fields, forest, marsh and garden surroundings. This is a true lifestyle hotel that embodies the ultimate in environmentally friendly accommodation. Inspired by the local, rural traditions, the buildings blend into the landscape. The challenge of restoring a wetland system on reclaimed agricultural land provides the unique backdrop for this exciting property. The property is the first hotel in Sri Lanka to create a private nature reserve on neglected area of land once used for slash-and-burn farming.

After dark, we will embark on a nocturnal wildlife-watching trek around the property to look for the elusive and endemic grey slender loris, which is regularly seen at Vil Uyana. Owls, nightjars, flying foxes, civets, and mouse deer are among the other species which may be encountered during our walk.   

The next morning, we will drive to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa (1½ hour drive). Here we will walk through the Sacred City and hopefully photograph some of the local primates that live amongst the ruins.

Polonnaruwa is considered the ancient heart of Sri Lanka and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 12th century ruins are well preserved and this impressive stone culture recalls an inspired past. Surprisingly, Polonnaruwa is widely regarded to be among the top locations in the country for watching primates. All three species of monkey in Sri Lanka, the toque macaque, the canopy dwelling purple-faced leaf monkey (both endemics), and the grey langur can be observed here. Polonnaruwa’s toque macaques have been featured in numerous natural history documentaries and are part of the world’s longest running study on primates, which started in 1968. The monkeys here are habituated to the presence of humans, allowing excellent opportunities to observe their social interactions at close-range. Whether play fighting, feeding or grooming each other, there is never a dull moment when watching the antics of these primates.

We will return to our hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit the famous Sigirya Rock Fortress, which is only a 30-minute drive from the hotel. 

Referred to as ‘The Lion Rock’ by locals, Sigiriya became the capital during the reign of King Kashyapa in the 4th century AD. After slaying his own father, King Dhatusena of Anuradhapura took the throne and fearing a retaliatory attack from the rightful heir Moggallana who fled to neighboring India, the King constructed his royal palace on the summit of this 200-meter-high rock with a fortress for his own protection.   Here you can walk through the meticulously landscaped Royal Gardens.  A staircase of 1,250 steps leads to the highest point of Sigiriya. The ascent from bottom to top typically takes around 2 hours at a leisurely pace.  At the summit, only ruins of the royal palace now remain. Along the route up, we will pass the fresco gallery of ancient paintings depicting the King’s maids in waiting and the “mirror wall” of ancient transcripts. In 495 AD, Moggallana returned from his exile and defeated the sitting king, reinstating Anuradhapura as the capital. Thereafter Sigiriya was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century, when it was mysteriously abandoned.

20-21 June 2017; (1 night)

Jetwing Lagoon, Negombo, Sri Lanka

jetwing_lagoon

This morning after breakfast, we will drive to Negombo which is a 5 hour drive and we will stop at the Anaiwilundawa Wetland (a RAMSAR site) along the route. Note that guests who book onto the Tour Extension (details below) will not go to the wetland, but rather drive directly to Wilpattu National Park (the extension group will visit the wetland on the last day of the extension). Those guests not doing the extension will check in at Jetwing Lagoon, Negombo for a last overnight.

One of Geoffrey Bawa’s first architectural creations, the property spreads across seven acres of tropical gardens edged by the Negombo Lagoon and the sea front. The hotel went through a complete renovation and reopened in May 2012. While retaining its original architectural features, much has been added giving it a contemporary feel. Jetwing Lagoon boasts the longest swimming pool on Sri Lanka’s north-west coast, spanning 100 meters. Take in the sun by the beach or poolside or unwind with a massage at the tranquil spa. Our stay includes dinner and breakfast.

21 June 2017 

Safari Ends

On the last morning, you will transfer to Bandaranaike International Airport (a 45-minute drive). for your departure flight. We recommend arrival at the airport at least three hours prior to your flight.

TOUR EXTENSION

20-23 June 2017; (3 nights)

Wilpattu Safari Camp, Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka

wilpattu_safari_camp

The extension will be a 3-night visit to Wilpattu National Park. On the 20 June 2017, our group will split and those doing the extension will meet the representative of Wilpattu Safari Camp and transfer to the camp in time for a late lunch.

Wilpattu Safari Camp is an all-inclusive, semi-luxury campsite adjacent to Wilpattu National Park. It is owned and run by a team of wildlife photographers.  The owner/authors have published three coffee table books on the wildlife of Sri Lanka. They are first and foremost conservationists and nature lovers, but their passion for photography allows them to understand our needs well.

The camp is nestled in five acres of wooded forest, tucked between seasonal village rice fields and the national park. Tents are sited among the shade of trees, providing shelter and cooling comfort.  Not a single tree was cut in setting up the campsite. We are located less 15 minutes from the park entrance. All meals and activities are included. The camp’s energy is provided by solar and wind power and the tents are lit by LED lights.

After lunch we will do an introductory game drive in the park. From thereon, we will do morning and afternoon drives in the park.

Wilpattu is Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest national park. It was re-opened in 2010 after being closed for nearly three decades due to the civil war. Popularly dubbed as ‘the land of the lakes’, the park is famous for its picturesque villus (lakes) and dry evergreen forests. Wilpattu is one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see leopard and sloth bear. Other animals commonly encountered include jackal, crocodile, sambar, spotted deer and buffalo. The park is also an excellent birding location, with over 200 recorded species including various raptors, Sri Lanka grey hornbill and Malabar pied-hornbill (an impressive bird), Sri Lanka jungle fowl, plus numerous water birds and waders.

23 June

This morning after breakfast, we will drive to Negombo, (a 5 hour drive), stopping at the Anaiwilundawa Wetland (a RAMSAR site) en route. After photographing at the wetland, we will check in at our hotel, Jetwing Lagoon, Negombo. Our stay includes dinner and breakfast.

24 June

On the last morning, you will transfer to Bandaranaike International Airport (a 45 minute drive). for your departure flight. We recommend arrival at the airport at least 3 hours prior to your flight.

Costs

The cost of this safari is USD 10 300 per person.  This fee includes all in-country ground transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy), breakfasts and dinners (lunches are not included unless specifically stated otherwise).  Please also read carefully the inclusions and exclusions section below.

Wilpattu Extension:  the cost of the of 3-night extension is USD 4 500 per person.  This fee includes all in-country ground transportation as well as camp accommodation (double occupancy), all meals and refreshments.

Single travelers:  We have very limited availability at all accommodation except for Warwick Gardens (where we only have room for guests to share); please enquire if you are interested.

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible.  However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary.  We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary.  We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible.  Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.

Included

  • Accommodation on a shared basis (very limited single rooms may be available – please enquire)
  • Breakfast and dinners included daily (unless otherwise noted in the itinerary). The cost of lunches is extra and paid directly by the guest;
  • 2x Trip leaders (Grant and Helena Atkinson);
  • All road transfers to/from the airports, hotels and camps in the itinerary;
  • Daily laundry is usually available but cost is not included unless otherwise noted;
  • Road transfers between accommodations using air-conditioned coach;
  • Exclusive sightseeing and related entrance charges as mentioned in the itinerary;
  • A native English-speaking naturalist/guide will accompany us throughout the tour;
  • Bottled water during sightseeing tours and long drives;
  • All presently applicable government taxes;
  • Accommodation at Chena Huts includes an early morning and afternoon game drive in a customized safari game viewing vehicle, all park entry fees, refreshments included on game drives, transfers to and from park entrance to resort, breakfast, lunch & dinner at resort, water, fruit juices, soft drinks, tea and coffee, selected wines, beers and spirits in the mini-bar (which is replenished once daily) and laundry (6 pieces per cabin per day);

Excluded

  • International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and Sri Lanka;
  • Lunches, unless otherwise stated;
  • Beverages, unless otherwise stated;
  • Laundry costs, unless otherwise stated;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Visas, personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.);
  • Tips to guides, airport porters, hotel staff. Tipping is generally expected;
  • Any change in taxes or fees;
  • Optional pre-/post- safari tours and meals or accommodation before or after the safari (we would be happy to arrange any and all additional overnights or extensions);
  • Any other item not explicitly mentioned under inclusions above.

Please read our Safari Code of Ethics and Conduct.

Visa for Sri Lanka

  • We recommend you to apply for on-line visas (US UDS 35 for Tourist Visa) to avoid unnecessary delays in trying to obtain a Visa on arrival, which can take up to an hour.  SAARC Nationals pay USD 20 on-line and USD 25 if applying on arrival.  Please click here to apply on-line.
  • A valid passport not less than 6 months from expiry, a confirmed return or onward air ticket and sufficient funds for the stay are the entry requirements to the country.  If obtaining a visa on arrival, please pay by cash (USD 40 for Tourist Visa) since payment by credit cards can take longer to process.  You must carry a passport-sized photograph if obtaining a visa on arrival.
  • Please not that the above details are subject to change, when the government authorities revise their policies.  To keep yourself updates, please click here.

For Extension Participants Only

Wilpattu Safari Camp’s all-inclusive package includes: Park entrance fees, government taxes, pick up and drop off to campsite from national park entrance, minimum two safaris per night’s stay, 6am to 10am and 2:30pm to 6pm (opening and closing times of park dependent on park officials), use of game drive vehicles, all meals and refreshments, tented accommodation on a twin sharing basis (no AC), hot and cold water, attached toilets with flushing toilets, towels and toiletries, free Wi-Fi, facilities to charge electronic devices such as cameras, laptops and smart devices in each tent.

How do I signup?

The group size is small (maximum of 8 participants), so space is limited. If this exciting safari sounds good and you’re excited by the thought of joining on this trip, then now is the time to register.  Remember, there will be limited space availability for this trip and when the spots are spoken for, that’s it.  If you have any questions before registering, send an email with enquiries to or simply call Eyes On Africa (800-457-9575) and ask to speak to Nicky Glover.

Gallery

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