Your browser (Internet Explorer {{browserVersion}}) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all the features of this and other websites.
Update my browser

SAFARIS & SPICES OF SRI LANKA

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Colombo
  • Kandalama
  • Sigiriya
  • Polonnaruwa
  • Kandy
  • Nuwara Eliya
  • Yala National Park
  • Galle
  • Colombo

11 Days Exploration
  • Departing:
  • 2 Nov 2024 Sold Out
  • 16 Nov 2024 Less than 5 places remain

Sensory overload abounds on this unique journey. We encounter wildlife on safari and rattle through tea plantations by rail. At all times, we are granted rare perspectives of this island nation, courtesy of a range of diverse transportation. Naturally, our journey is also replete with the requisite culinary elements, while being reserved for just 24 guests.

Map

Tour Manager - Denise Van Sever

Tour Doctor - Dr Alison Burke

2 November: As Your Tour Manager, Denise Van Sever Welcomes You On This Journey

2 November: Your Accompanying Tour Doctor For This Journey is Dr Alison Burke


Check into your Premium Ocean View Room at Colombo’s Galle Face Hotel. Admire the timeless grandeur of this Sri Lankan landmark on the shores of the Indian Ocean. 

Embark on a guided walk of Sri Lanka’s capital this morning with local expert Mark Forbes.  For lunch, we dine at the culinary hotspot, the Ministry of Crab. Owned by former Sri Lankan cricketers, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, this restaurant celebrates the country’s prized crustaceans, the giant lagoon crabs. After lunch, we make our way to the Bandaranayake International Airport where a light aircraft waits to whisk us away to Dambulla. Our home for the next two nights is the nearby Heritance Kandalama Resort. Vistas of lush forests, as well as Sigiriya itself, are to be enjoyed from our Luxury Rooms. This evening’s gourmet affair takes place beneath a distinctive rock formation, the area illuminated by the flickering of candles. As we dine, local musicians serenade us, further enhancing the atmosphere.

Our hotel overlooks what is often described as the eighth wonder of the world – the rock fortress of Sigiriya. Rise early and set out to climb this awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage site, whose summit affords sweeping views of the verdant landscape below. As you approach the first flight of stairs, pause to admire the great lion paws on either side. Reaching this point is enough to satisfy many guests. You’re also free to explore Sigiriya from the ground, during a walk of its extensive base. You may also visit the site’s museum. 

This afternoon presents a choice of Your World experiences:
— Travel to nearby Hiriwadunna Village. This remote region grants us further insight into day-to-day rural life in Sri Lanka. Then watch as the elephants of Minneriya National Park graze upon the grassy plains, enjoy a bath in Minneriya’s reservoir and roam the vast expanse of the park during a safari.
— You may prefer to visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, formerly the capital of Sri Lanka. Explore the kingdom’s ruins, which comprise a vast collection of temples and monuments, as well as a royal palace. Look out for the rock temple of Gal Viharaya, comprising four colossal statues of the Buddha. 

We reconvene for a seven-course dinner at our hotel. Savour an evening of fusion fare, served at the exact site where our hotel’s architect drew his plans. 

This morning we depart for the World Heritage-listed Dambulla Cave Temple complex, which has drawn pilgrims and preachers for more than two centuries. We continue to a spice garden in Matale, where we learn to identify the flavours of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Crossing the hills into Kandy, we check into Jetwing Kandy Gallery. This evening we have dinner at our hotel and are treated to a cultural show. 

Following breakfast this morning, join your preferred Your World experience:
— Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Here you will witness a Hindu pooja ceremony, which involves prayer offerings through song. 
— Alternatively, head to Kandy Archaeological Museum and peruse the artefacts on display. 

This afternoon, arrive by tuk tuk to Peradeniya Botanical Garden and join an enlightening walk with a professor of botany. Gaze skyward as you stroll along the grand Avenue of Royal Palms and absorb the myriad colours of some of the many thousands of plant species here. 

We travel to Nanu Oya in style aboard the Viceroy II, a private vintage carriage attached to the public train. Roll along tracks cut through flourishing jungle, passing terraced tea plantations and skirting precipitous hillsides. Arriving in Nuwara Eliya, in the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country, we head for the Heritance Tea Factory. Here, our Superior Rooms look out over the area’s lush mountains.  

Begin the day with a tea tasting at our hotel. As you imbibe each flavoursome infusion, learn about the region’s topography and climatic conditions, as well as the all-important production processes of the tea factory. Afterwards, we enjoy a panoramic coach tour of Nuwara Eliya, which includes a stop at the town’s charming Holy Trinity Church. At the conclusion of our tour, we head to the Grand Hotel for lunch. This Elizabethan-era manor house was once the home of former governor Sir Edward Barnes. We return to the Heritance Tea Factory this afternoon and spend the rest of the day at leisure.  

Should the weather prove favourable, we will take to the skies by seaplane this morning, bound for Yala National Park. At its boundary, we find the Wild Coast Tented Lodge. From within our Cocoon Suites, we feel the subtle breeze coming off the Indian Ocean, just metres away. An afternoon safari takes us into Yala’s vast woodland, where many species of reptile, bird, and other animals, roam. As the sun sets, enjoy a cocktail in the beach garden, anticipating tomorrow’s next safari adventure.  

Finding ourselves on safari once more, deep in the open grasslands of Yala National Park, we aim to spot as many species of wildlife as possible – Yala is recognised as having one of the highest leopard densities in the world. This afternoon, hone your cooking skills, Sri Lankan style. Then join a local ranger for further explorations of Yala National Park. This evening, we enjoy sunset drinks on the beach, followed by a barbecue dinner.

We make the journey by road to Galle, stopping for lunch by the pristine beaches of Weligama Bay. While here, we keep watch for the spectacle of stilt fishermen, perched high upon their wooden poles. On arrival in Galle, we check in to Fort Bazaar, our centrally located, boutique residence. We then set out on in-depth exploration of the city, gaining insight into its culture and history. Reaching the Galle Fort, we delve into its mysteries, authored over centuries by Portuguese, Dutch and British conquerors. The World Heritage site is considered the finest example of, and best-preserved, fortified city built by Europeans in Asia. 

A short drive north sees us arriving in Bentota. We admire the Lunuganga Gardens, before stopping for lunch at the Sinhalese Sports Club. On our return to Colombo, we have arranged for the use of Superior Rooms at the Galle Face Hotel, where you may like to relax, making the most of its stunning coastal views. Enjoy a special Farewell Dinner at the 1864 Limited Edition restaurant, located within the Galle Face Hotel. After dinner, transfer to the airport, our magnificent journey at an end. 

Brochure