Sri Lanka

Known in the distant past as Serendip and more recently Ceylon, Sri Lanka today retains many of the charms that attracted all those visitors and conquerors over the centuries. UNESCO evidently agrees – Sri Lanka boasts no fewer than seven World Heritage Sites.

Perhaps better known for its stunning Buddhist temples, beautiful coastline and highland tea estates, Sri Lanka is also a haven for a surprising variety of wildlife. The many reserves and national parks harbour mammals such as giant flying squirrel, leopard, wild elephant, sloth bear, slender loris, deer, purple-faced leaf monkey, wild boar, wild buffalo, porcupine and anteater. Reptile-wise there are crocodiles, monitor lizards and snakes, and sixteen endemic amphibians. Over 250 resident bird species have been recorded, including a large number of colourful endemics to delight avid birdwatchers and lay visitors alike.

Offshore, snorkelling is quite limited but whale watching has become very popular, especially from the south coast. The east coast has a shorter season and is far less busy. For one month a year there is the chance to snorkel with blue whales off Trincomalee – one of the best wildlife experiences ever.

Whatever attracts you to Sri Lanka, we are supremely confident you will find the island and its many facets to be everything you had hoped.

Sri Lanka Wildlife Holiday Ideas

# Family Holiday

A Sri Lanka wildlife adventure for all the family

Sri Lanka
16 Days from £2830
The wildlife locations in this excellent natural history tour are perhaps the be...
# Family Holiday

A gentle family journey in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
16 Days from £2695
A relaxed yet absorbing itinerary affords plenty of pleasurable time by the sea,...
# Tailor-Made Tour

The Wonderful Wildlife of North East Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
15 Days from £3670
Experience the fabulous diversity of wildlife to be found in north and eastern S...
# Tailor-Made Tour

The Romance of Sri Lanka and The Maldives

Sri Lanka
17 Days from £5035
The wildlife highlights of Sri Lanka and combined them with an exceptional small...
# Tailor-Made Tour

Sri Lanka’s Natural History Highlights in comfort

Sri Lanka
15 Days from £2998
Combines the best of Sri Lanka’s natural attractions to warm the heart with sp...
# Tailor-Made Tour

The Wildlife Highlights of Southern Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
15 Days from £3298
The diversity and quality of the wildlife attractions in this tour of southern S...
# Tailor-Made Tour

Northern Sri Lanka, Off the Beaten Track

Sri Lanka
15 Days from £2716
The perfect balance of wildlife, beaches and culture in the wonderfully unspoilt...

Featured Accommodation

Ulagalla Resort

Sri Lanka
Dry Zone
A beautiful colonial boutique hotel set amongst 58 acres of native forest and ri...

Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris

Sri Lanka
Dry Zone
A very different wildlife experience from lodge-based safaris in Yala and Wilpat...

Mahoora Luxury Camping

Sri Lanka
Dry Zone
Offers a very different wildlife experience from lodge-based safaris in Yala, Ud...

Trinco Blu by Cinnamon

Sri Lanka
Dry Zone
Located north of Trincomalee in an area fast becoming one of Sri Lanka’s premi...

Cinnamon Wild Yala

Sri Lanka
Dry Zone
Award-winning luxury lodge located just outside the world renowned Yala National...

Mirissa Hills

Sri Lanka
Wet Zone
Working cinnamon estate but offers superb exclusive and quiet accommodation...

Destination Map

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Sri Lanka: 7.873054, 80.771797

Best Time To Visit Sri Lanka

Climatically, the island is divided into wet and dry zones, the latter falling in the north half and all the east and comprising roughly three quarters of total land mass. Almost on the equator, Sri Lanka has two monsoons: the relatively cool, dry and stable north east monsoon, which affects the dry zone from October to May; and the wetter, warmer south west monsoon visiting the south west from May to October.

Sri Lanka can be seen as a year-round destination: visit the north and east during our summer, the south and west during our winter.

The climate of the coastal plains is hotter and more humid than the highlands, which can be quite cold. Temperatures range from 25-28C on the plains, with daytime averages of around 16C in the highlands. Only the dry north east reaches above 38C.

Travel Info

Flight Time
Approximately 11 hours flying direct from London to Colombo

Time Zone
GMT +5

Best visited
January to January

Language Spoken
Sinhala and Tamil

Population
20.48 million

Area Specialist

Alan Godwin
specialist_alan-godwin

Terrestrial wildlife in Sri Lanka is fantastic: it’s especially great for wild elephant and leopard. Offshore, it’s also one of the planet’s best destinations for snorkelling with great whales: over three days it’s possible to be in the water with blue, sperm and Bryde’s whale, as well as pilot whale and many dolphin species. This is one of the world’s best wildlife experiences possible, in our opinion. The short season is mid-March to mid-April and availability for the boats and best whale guides is limited, so book early.

If you have any questions regarding travel to Sri Lanka please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

“It was a very good tour in every respect…Anyone fortunate enough to get [our guide] as their guide will have met an excellent ambassador for Sri Lanka. It was a perfect mix of culture and wildlife and overall a very good mix of hotels.

Mr I C - Dorset