4. From Colombo/Bentota/Hikkaduwa: 2-Day National Parks Trip
DAY 1 Meet and greet by Seerendipity tours representative and drive to Yala national park, en-route stop at Bentota for a river safari. After the River safari continues to Yala national park, in the afternoon Yala national park safari. After the safari proceeds to the hotel and leisure. MADU RIVER SAFARI In the global context, the ecological importance of this site has garnered it the ‘Ramsar Wetland’ status in 2003 being the second largest wetland in Sri Lanka with a colossal 915 hectares with 23 islands inhabited by nearly 300 families. The River Sanctuary is now a Tourist Development Area and a Special Area Managed (SAM) by the Coast Conservation Department. Balapitiya is where the ‘Madu Ganga’ makes its home. YALA NATIONAL PARK SAFARI Yala is one of the best places to witness leopards in the world. There were 17 ½ leopards in every 100 square kilometres in Yala national park. Block 1 of Yala National park could be home to the densest population of leopards in the world, the densities in this tiny area has maintained around a leopard every 2 sq. kilometres. Unlike most other national parks where leopards can be seen in the dark Sri Lanka leopards are in motion during the day as well. Yala is one of the oldest national parks in Sri Lanka same time it is one of the biggest national parks in Sri Lanka with 97880 hectares extent. Initially, it was used as a hunting ground during British rule in Sri Lanka. Yala is declared a national park in 1900 and became a safe place for animals. Yala is divided into 5 zones. Yala is a famous high density of wildlife such as Leopards, Elephants, Deer, Wild boars, bears, monkeys etc. Overnight stay in a hotel in Udawalawe DAY 2 Early morning leave for a Udawalawe national park jeep safari, the jeep safari lasts about 4 hours and later drive to the Sinharaje rainforest for a guided rainforest trek and learn about the fascinating fauna and flora of the rainforest. Later drive to the hotel. UDAWAWE NATIONAL PARK SAFARI Udawalawe is an important habitat for Sri Lankan elephants, which are relatively hard to see in its open habitats. Many elephants are attracted to the park because of the Udawalawe reservoir, with a herd of about 250 believed to be permanently resident. The Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home was established in 1995 for the purpose of looking after abandoned elephant calves within the park. A total of nine calves, on two occasions in 1998 and 2000, with another eight calves in 2002, were released in the park when old enough to fend for themselves. SINHARAJA RAINFOREST Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a forest reserve and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. 50% of Sri Lankan's endemic species of animals (especially butterflies, amphibians, birds, snakes and fish species). It is home to 95% endemic birds.