The Romance of Sri Lanka and The Maldives
For this itinerary we have picked the wildlife highlights of Sri Lanka and combined them with an exceptional small resort in the Maldives to provide the perfect romantic combination for those who enjoy their terrestrial and marine wildlife in equal measure. In Sri Lanka, you will stop briefly to see the elephants at Uda Walawe before heading to Yala for thrilling encounters with leopards, elephants and host of other animals and birds. A stop at Bundala will reveal many waterbirds plus other wildlife and Mirissa provides some of the worlds’ best whale watching. The marine theme is continued in the Maldives where your private island resort has one of the best house reefs with exceptional snorkelling and diving directly from the beach.
Met on arrival in Colombo by your private driver transfer to Wadduwa.
Staying at The Blue Water Wadduwa. Includes Breakfast.
Transfer by road to Uda Walawe. Stop to visit the Elephant Transit Home on the western border or Uda Walawe National Park, which cares for orphaned calves until they are capable and independent enough to be released back into the wild. This is a fantastic opportunity to see the impressive animals close up. Arrive at the next lodge for an afternoon safari.
Staying at Kalu's Hideaway. Includes Breakfast.
Morning private jeep safari in Uda Walawe National Park with local guide plus your private guide. The park is surrounded by mountain ranges and is one of the few reliable water sources in the dry zone leading to sizeable herds of elephants and many waterfowl. In the afternoon, drive to Yala in the far South West of the island.
Staying at Cinnamon Wild. Includes All Meals.
Enjoy three thrilling days of morning and afternoon private game drives in the Yala National Park. Yala has some of the highest leopard densities in the world and the animals are particularly habituated to people meaning that this is one of the world’s best parks for spotting and photographing these magnificent cats. One may also see elephant, sloth bear, sambar and spotted deer, wild boar, stripe-necked mongoose, black-naped hare and several civet species. In the water holes you may see mugger crocodile, painted stork, lesser whistling teal, black-headed Ibis, Eurasian spoonbill and the rare black-necked stork. Palu trees dominate the monsoon forest vegetation of the park. (Manilkara hexandra) and thorny bushes dominate the thick undergrowth.
Staying at Cinnamon Wild. Includes All Meals.
Morning private game drives in the Bundala National Park. Famous for its wat er birds, but also containing elephant, golden jackal, black napped hare and monkeys. Buffalo and deer can be seen too, as well as the island’s two species of crocodile. Continue to Mirissa the centre of Sri Lanka’s burgeoning whale watching industry and close to the historic town of Galle.
Staying at Mirissa Hills. Includes All Meals.
Enjoy an unforgettable morning spotting blue whales by boat. During the months of December to April the area is home to a large population of blue whales giving very reliable sightings of the largest animal to have ever lived. Sperm whales are also seen pretty frequently as well as huge pods of spinner dolphins. There is a voluntary code of conduct amongst responsible operators to keep at least 100m from each whale (please encourage your boat captain to respect this). In the afternoon, visit the nearby town of Galle to visit the old Dutch fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) with its well-preserved ramparts and plentiful colonial buildings.
Staying at Mirissa Hills. Includes All Meals.
An early start as you drive back to Colombo and check in for your flight to the Maldives. Arrive at Male, the Maldives’ capital, and take a seaplane transfer to your idyllic coral island. Accommodation in a beach villa.
Enjoy six nights of snorkelling and/or diving (diving optional). The coral reefs around the Maldives support over 1000 species of fish including 30 different parrotfish, barracudas, moray eels, and whale sharks and there are 5 species of marine turtle that could be seen.
Staying at Komandoo. Includes All Meals.
Transfer by seaplane back to Male and board flight home.
Includes In-flight Meals.
Kalu’s hideaway is a small, well run guesthouse with swimming pool and just five rooms situated in lush gardens close to the entrance to Udawalawe National Park, famous for its impressive herds of wild Asian elephants.
All of the five characterful rooms have en suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, ceiling fans and mosquito nets over comfortable double or twin beds.
The hotel sits within five acres of beautifully landscaped gardens with a picturesque stream running through. It is a perfect distance (3km) from Udawalawe National Park, famous for its elephant population of 700+ individuals.
There is a restaurant offering both buffet and a la carte dishes with a choice of local, Indian, Chinese and continental cuisine and as well as a BBQ facility for special occasions.
Free WiFi is available throughout the property and facilities include a wellness centre with massage and body treatments, bicycle rental and a children’s play area.
Restaurant, swimming pool, air-conditioning, mosquito net, ceiling fan, massage service, laundry service, luggage storage, children’s play area, currency exchange, bicycle rental, safety deposit box and 24hr reception desk.
Udawalawe National Park is the principal wildlife attraction with its large population of elephant, but jungle cats, golden jackals, spotted and sambar deer, wild boar, toque macaques, monitor lizards, marsh mugger crocodiles and a wealth of birdlife can also be seen.
The Udawalawe National Park is one of the oldest national park’s in Sri Lanka and protects the largest density of wild elephants in the country. The park is home to the Udawalawe Reservoir, which during the dry season is a key water source for the elephants and results in a large gathering of elephants. Throughout the year, the park remains the best location in Sri Lanka to view elephants and they can be seen on almost every game drive.
Close to the entrance of the National Park is the Elephant Transit Home, a conservation project set up to rehabilitate orphaned or injured wild elephants back to the wild.
Game drives in Udawalawe National Park and visits to the Elephant Transit Home.
The recently refurbished and award-winning Cinammon Wild Yala is located just outside the world renowned Yala National Park boundary and borders a beautiful golden beach in Kirinda.
The lodge blends wilderness and luxury living without damaging the existing flora and fauna. The theme of the lodge is ‘in harmony with wildlife’. The hotel has 68 well-appointed deluxe air-conditioned bungalows with verandahs scattered around ten acres of woodland, some with beach views.
All rooms are equipped with minibar, satellite TV, international direct dial telephone, safety deposit box, electric kettle with tea and coffee, hair dryer and have free WiFi.
The Tuskers Restaurant in the main lodge offers an good selection of a la carte dishes and there is a friendly bar and plenty of living areas including a rooftop terrace around the property in which to enjoy a beverage. There is a large swimming pool with sun lounging terrace for relaxation between safaris.
The lodge is ideally located for early morning and evening game drives in Yala and also offers birdwatching and bush walks and night safaris with infra-red light giving opportunities to see elusive nocturnal species. Even around the grounds of the hotel it is not unusual to see a diversity of wildlife including wild boar, squirrels, deer, scorpions, civets and hear elephants in the distance.
Restaurant and bar, swimming pool, LCD TV, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, hair dryer, safety deposit box, laundry service, room service, free WiFi, currency exchange, luggage storage and gift shop.
Yala has some of the highest leopard densities in the world and the cats are particularly habituated making it one the world’s best parks for spotting and photographing these magnificent cats. One may also see elephant, sloth bear, sambar, spotted deer, wild boar, stripe-necked mongoose, black-naped hare and several civet species. In the water holes you may see mugger crocodile, painted stork, lesser whistling teal, black-headed ibis, Eurasian spoonbill and the rare black-necked stork. The monsoon forest ecosystem of the park is dominated by Palu and Manilkara hexandra trees and thorny bushes create a dense understory.
Game drives, elephant back safaris, night drives, guided walks and cultural tours.
The Mirissa Hills property is still a working cinnamon estate but offers superb exclusive and quiet accommodation despite being only a short drive from the main town and beaches of Weligama.
Accommodation is in Mount Cinnamon, a contemporary house set high on the summit of the estates hill with extensive 360 degree views to Weligama Bay and the Denipitiya Hills. The service provided is first class and there are amenities such as a large swimming pool, three communal lounges, drawing room, bar and a restaurant serving divine local cuisine but also caters for more international pallets. The management prides itself on its cooking using locally sourced and estate-produced ingredients. There is also a small museum on site dedicated to the history of cinnamon production.
The resort is an ideal base for whale and dolphin watching trips. The sea between Mirissa and Dondra Head has become the most reliable area in the world to observe the largest animal to have ever lived; the blue whale. Between November and April the calm weather enables excellent sightings of blues and sperm whale and long-beaked spinner dolphin schools are also a common sight.
The clear and calm waters close to shore offer good snorkelling which can also be arranged from the hotel.
Restaurant, bar, lounge, 24-hr room service, swimming pool, laundry service, Wi-Fi (public areas) and shop.
The whale-watching season starts in November and continues into April, but the peak months for activity are between December and March. At this time blue whale, sperm whale and huge schools of long-beaked spinner dolphins can be seen on most boat trips. There is also a chance of encountering the Bryde’s whale and even a turtle as well as several species of sea bird. Studies have found this area to offer the most reliable blue whale watching in the world.
Whale and dolphin watching trips, snorkelling, and water sports.
The Blue Water is a long established, four-star beach resort designed by Sri Lanka’s most famous architect, the late Geoffrey Bawa. There’s a 24-hour coffee shop, bar and two good restaurants. The spacious grounds host many coconut palms and reach to the beach. There’s a huge swimming pool with plenty of shallow areas, perfect for children. Baby sitting is available. On site is a nightclub, spa, beauty salon, full gym, jewellery shop and business centre. Plenty of options for activities exist on site as well as swimming, such as table tennis, squash, tennis, beach volleyball, water polo, carrom (a local board game), pool, darts and chess.
The Blue Water is a perfect family resort and the huge pool is exceptional. The beach can be dangerous for swimming so it’s best to keep to the pool and to walk down to the beach in the early morning to see the fishermen bring in their catch, as they have done for centuries.
The rooms come in five categories, all with sea views, private balcony or terrace, fans and air-conditioning, high speed WiFi in the rooms and complimentary drinking water. Higher room grades have private Jacuzzi, living and dining areas, DVD players, large TVs and minibars.
Are International Flights Included?
No. Please contact us for a quote if required.
Sri Lankan Airlines from Heathrow to Colombo and Male
January to January
Are you ATOL Registered?
Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.
We have suggested one resort that we rate highly and does not accept children under 18. With 26 atolls to choose from, the Maldives has a huge range of hotels and resorts to suit most clients and budgets: please speak with one of our specialists to find the perfect one for you
If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965
We were absolutely thrilled by the whole experience and can only commend the helpfulness and friendliness of everyone who made our holiday so special. We cannot speak highly enough of all of our guides who were extremely knowledgeable and went above and beyond to enhance our Sri Lankan wildlife encounters. We felt very privileged to be with guides who have so much expertise.