The Elephant Gathering
|Negombo ||Jetwing Beach ||1 night |
|Sigiriya||Jetwing Vil Uyana||3 nights|
|Puttalam ||Bethany 101 ||2 nights |
|Negombo||Jetwing Beach||1 night|
Click on the hotels above for details
8 days from £1450
International flights NOT included - see below
Head to Minneriya National Park to witness one of the world's top wildlife spectacles
Sri Lanka’s image as a nature-based tourist destination has been given a boost by Lonely Planet, which has named the ‘Elephant Gathering’ of Minneriya as one of the world’s “10 greatest wildlife spectaculars”. Every evening during the dry season (August to early October) between 150 and 200 elephants assemble on the banks of the Minneriya Reservoir to graze on the tank bed, where grasses have sprouted due to the low water levels. The elephants turn to this much needed fodder at a time when foliage in other areas dries up. According to wildlife authorities, the Minneriya gathering is the largest grouping of wild Asian elephants at any given time.
Recommended flight from London: SriLankan Airlines from London Heathrow (see below). If you are travelling from a country other than the UK we would be happy to give you guidance on your flight options.
For a detailed day-by-day description, with a summary of what's included, please click on the PDF (above right)
DAY 1 - Arrive Colombo. By road to Negombo. (B)
DAY 5 - Drive west to Puttalam. Afternoon free. (B)
DAY 6 - Full day safari in Wilpattu National Park. (B) See note below re: Wilpattu
DAY 7 - Return to Negombo. (B)
DAY 8 - Drive to Colombo Airport for your homeward flight. (B)
Wilpattu National Park. Due to severe drought conditions it has been decided to temporarily close the park from 1 August 2017 until further notice. If this is still the case during the time you wish to travel we will look at a suitable alternative destination.
Prices from £1450 to £1550 per person, according to your departure date. The gathering takes place from August to early October only. The price we quote you at the time of booking is guaranteed.
We recommend the
daily services of SriLankan Airlines from London Heathrow. Flights are non-stop and
have a choice of classes. Timings (subject to change) are as follows:
Heathrow/Colombo. Depart at 21.35; arrive Colombo at 12.50 (next day)
Colombo/Heathrow. Depart at 13.05; arrive Heathrow at 20.05
You can book the flights yourself on the easy-to-use Sri Lankan Airlines website. There are many other routes involving connections en route. We recommend the Skyscanner website for searching for the best options. Alternatively World Discovery can book the flights for you (we levy a service charge of £25 per person for this service).
EXTEND YOUR STAY IN SRI LANKA
Many people combine a a touring holiday in Sri Lanka with a few days of relaxation at a top beach resort. Here are a few of our favourites:
JETWING BEACH, NEGOMBO
Your first and last nights in Sri Lanka will be here but this excellent resort is more than just a convenient transit stop. With excellent facilities and superb food, the Jetwing Beach is great choice for some lazy days of relaxation. The fishing village of Negombo is also worth exploring.
VIVANTA BY TAJ, BENTOTA
Bentota, 60 kilometres south of Colombo on the west coast, is perhaps Sri Lanka's best known resort area. Our recommended first class resort in the area is the Vivanta by Taj, located on one of the island's finest beaches.
THE BLUE WATER, WADDUWA
If it's all-inclusive arrangements you're looking for, then The Blue Water, a 5 star resort in Wadduwa, designed by Sri Lanka's most famous architect Geoffrey Bawa, is our top recommendation.
TAILOR MADE OPTIONS
The sample tour shown above is exactly that - a sample tour. We can change it to suit your precise requirements in may ways - by amending or upgrading the accommodation, by taking out or putting in additional sightseeing, by changing the number of nights in each place, by booking special meals, activities or cultural visits. We are happy to advise and help you create your ideal holiday.
THE MUDHOUSE, ANAMADUWA
On this holiday you will be staying in first class hotels. If you wish to experience a more rustic lifestyle for a night or two during the tour, the Mudhouse at Anamaduwa is the perfect solution, and can be added to your itinerary at the beginning of your tour, between Negombo and Sigiriya. The Guardian newspaper has described this rustic retreat as 'one of the 100 most romantic destinations in the world'.