Start and End: Negombo
Duration: 10 days
Distance: an additional 475km
This round trip is a continuation from day 2 of The Central Highlands Tour that is described on my previous post, if you are a nature lover who would be interested to get to know the fauna of Sri Lanka then try this itinerary of visiting the famous Yala National Park.
Day 1- Negombo
Depart from Negombo after a delicious breakfast and head towards Kurunegala early in the morning. Head straight to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage 85km if you are lucky enough you’ll be able to witness the baby elephants being fed, as there are always some calves around. The evening after a further 60km you can arrive at the final destination for the day to the city of Kandy (accommodation in Kandy).
Day 2- Kandy
Reserve the morning to visit the impressive Temple of the Tooth in Kandy town. Thousands of believers assemble in front of what is by far the most significant Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka every day to worship the Buddha relic in the magnificent reliquary that stands around3ft tall. Leave Kandy via the A1 southwest bound. Peradeniya with its famous Botanical Gardens is around 10km away. Plan to short visit to the gardens on this round trip. Leave Peradeniya via the A1 and carry on south bound on the A5 after 15km, passing Gampola, the sacred city on the river the road has already reached the Central Highlands, a fact made pretty obvious by the temperatures. This region is known for the cultivation of the best tea in the island. A short stop at Ramboda Falls should be seized upon to enjoy the unique landscape. From here it is another 55km to Nuwera Eliya, also known as little England (accommodation in Nuwera Eliya).
Day 3- Nuwera Eliya to Yala
Instead of driving from Nuwera Eliya towards Ratnapura take the A5 to Badulla. The Dunhinda Falls deserve a brief visit before driving approx. 95km south bound via the A5 and then A16 to Ella. Visiting the rock sculptures of Buduruvangala at the centre of which is a 15m statue of Buddha carved from the rock, it is not to be missed. It was created either in the 4th century or, according to other sources, not until 500 years later. Leaving Ella your final destination for the day is Yala (accommodation at Yala).
Day 4- Excursion
The Next day morning you can request for an early breakfast or takeaway and head early to the park. The earlier the better is the mantra here, since the animals retreat to cover of the bushes during the heat of the day. If the park is reached by 9am the chances of you spotting a leopard is very high. The park offers a good insight into Sri Lanka’s diverse fauna. In addition the parkis home to countless wild elephants, birds and reptiles. The afternoon can be used for visiting the Maha Devale in Kataragama. The temple looks as if it has survived the times unchanged (accommodation in Yala).
The national park is closed during the dry season between August and October!
The route now runs along the coastal road to Dondra-head which is the southern tip of Sri Lanka. You can also visit Blow Hole on the way where a gap in the rock where seawater is compressed, making it to shoot up as if it from a fountain, this phenomenon is at its most impressive during the monsoon season where the waves are higher than the other times of the year. A day spent here in the sandy beaches is one of the most special moments (accommodation in Dondra-head).
Day 6- Galle
Now the line runs through to Galle 51km passing several fishing villages that were badly damaged during the 2004 Tsunami and however have now been completely rebuilt and equipped with new roads. Galle has already had a significant harbour many centuries ago, but however now the trading is done at Colombo harbour. One pleasant option is to stroll through the Fort. The Fort provides a good impression of the typical architecture of the Dutch colonial period (accommodation in Galle).
Day 7- Hikkaduwa
It is only around 20km drive from Galle to Hikkaduwa. This seaside resort, which became world famous in the 1970s, is appealing not so much because of its sights as because of its base for excursion. This is a further reason for the recommendation to plan several nights here and have dinner in one of the finest fish restaurants (accommodation in Hikkaduwa)
Day 9- Colombo
The final day of the of the round trip can have a late start and after 13km heading towards Colombo take the opportunity break in Ambalangoda, the centre of mask carving. Head towards Colombo on the highway, enjoy the night life in Colombo (accommodation in Colombo).
Day 10- Negombo
Visit the Colombo museum and the country’s largest shopping malls to buy quality branded merchandise. In the evening travel to Negombo on the highway where you will be receive a warm welcome by the friendly hotel staff and prepare for a send-off.
Write to me and I can arrange Tours that can be amended according to your time frame, interests and budget. email@example.com
Photo credits: jfwonline.com