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. The people are warm and friendly and the food is phenomenal in its sheer variety and range of flavours.
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, various 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 – certainly 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.