Itinerary 1: North, Highlands and Coast
Game drive in Wilpattu and Minneriya National Parks to see leopards, elephants and sloths
Boat to historical Delft Island with its pristine beaches
Bike ride to buy produce from a market for a Sri Lankan cookery lesson
Visit Buddhist temples at Nagadeepa, Hindu temples at Trincomalee and Sigiryia rock fortress
Itinerary 1 - North, Highlands & Coast
Day 1: Thursday 27 September. Depart from UK.
21.30 Depart London Heathrow Terminal 3 on Sri Lankan Airlines Flight UL504.
Day 2. Arrive Colombo and drive to Wilpattu
On arrival at Bandaranayake International Airport, you will get your first taste of warm Sri Lankan hospitality. A representative from NKAR Travels and Tours will welcome you at the airport and transfer you to the Wilpattu campsite.
Day 3. Drive from Wilpattu to Jaffna
On arrival visit a few hotels for inspection.
Day 4. Visit Delft Island
After breakfast set off to Kurikattuwan Jetty to catch a boat ride to Delft.
Delft, also known as Neduntheevu, is an island located on the Palk Strait with an area of 50 square kilometres. The island has had a rich historical interest since colonial days. Delft Island is the only place in Sri Lanka where wild ponies are found. The ruins of 1000-year-old temple bearing Chola Dynasty architecture suggests that the island was a transit point for Indian sailors and invaders. During your tour in Delft you will be able to taste local toddy.
On completion return to hotel and relax.
Day 5. Trincomalee
On arrival enjoy a tour of the city of Trincomalee. Trincomalee, located on the north eastern border of Sri Lanka, is a natural harbour with its pristine beaches and is the administrative capital for its district. Having a large population of Tamils amongst other ethnicities, Trincomalee engulfs few Hindu Temples for it devotees.
Return to hotel and relax.
Day 6. Visit Pigeon Island NP, Habarana & Sigiriya
Morning: visit Pigeon Island.
Pigeon Island National Park is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka, and one of the 17 total national parks in the country. The island's name derives from the rock pigeons which colonised it. The national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka. The island was used as a shooting range during the colonial era.
On completion proceed to Habarana. En route buy some fresh vegetables from local vegetable sellers.
After lunch, visit Sigiriya to climb the world famous Sigiriya rock fortress.The 5th century rock citadel of King Kashyapa and World Heritage Site Sigiriya not only boasts ancient Sri Lankan engineering and urban planning supremacy but also acclaims to be one of the
finest monuments of art and culture. Step through the gigantic ‘Lion Paws’ overlooking the
symmetrical royal gardens below to comprehend the absolute splendour that once dominated this rock fortress. Surrounded by ramparts and moats, the Lion Rock resembling the mythological ‘City of Gods’ is coated by frescoes that relate to Gupta style paintings found in Ajanta caves of India.
Day 7. Visit Ritigala and Minneriya NP
A mountain range in the dry zone hosts a Buddhist Monastery with an ancient history dating back to 1st century BC. As per legend Ritigala is supposedly a chunk of mountain from the Himalayas that was dropped accidently by Lord Hanuman in his ventures to Sri Lanka to lay siege to King Ravana who was holding princess Sita hostage. The legend holds its ground as Ritigala soil composition is like no other in the island, expanding its bio diversity to flora that is not found anywhere else in the island. Some of the plants are said to carry cures to death and prolonging life. Ritigala is also a protected sanctuary harbouring various migratory birds and animals. On completion proceed to Minneriya. We will stop at the Minneriya river bank to have lunch. Today you can enjoy lunch served in a banana leaf. After lunch, set off on a game drive in Minneriya National Park.
This park is the key habitat for the local elephant herds and migrating herds from Matale,
Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee. This is due to the lush vegetation groomed by Minneriya tank. Minneriya National Park is also one of the 70 key places for bird watching, as it is renowned for hosting and nurturing migratory and endemic species.
Day 8. Sigiriya to Negombo via Matale
Day 9. Fri 5 October. Transfer to Airport. Fly to London Heathrow
This morning you will have a breakfast meeting where you will be presented with unforgettable memories of your island visit. NKAR representatives will join to discuss your FAM Trip and aspects to look forward to. In the afternoon, proceed to the airport for the departure flight.
The intended itinerary, shown below, may be subject to change according to local conditions and availability.