Sri Lanka wildlife safaris and holiday tours … a fabulous travel location that we will focus in this article. Wasgamuwa is in the dry lowlands of the North Central Province, 40km north of the richly bio-diverse Knuckles Massif. All of the big game is found in Wasgamuwa, but bears and leopards are pretty elusive. However, it is very good for observing family units of elephants, still relatively wild with unpredictable temperaments. Situated in the wet south-west of the island, this is the country’s premier rainforest. The canopy towers up to 45m in places and more than half of the trees here are found nowhere else in the world. Mixed-species bird flocks are a key feature of Sinharaja. Around six endemic birds may make up one flock, including species such as red-faced malkoha, green-billed coucal and Sri Lankan blue magpie. Animals present include leopard, purple-faced langur, barking deer and three types of squirrel.
If you have children, Udawalawe is a more child-friendly safari because they get to see the animals close up, especially the elephants. When your only goal is to spot leopards, you will have to wait and be patient, which can get tedious and boring for children. And even if you do manage to spot leopards, they might be quite far away, so binoculars are a necessity. Can I visit both Yala and Udawalawe in one safari? Yes, you sure can!
One of Sri Lanka’s most iconic sights is the Nine Arch Bridge in the small mountain town of Ella. This viewpoint offers spectacular panoramas of the surrounding area, which is made up of verdant greenery and tea fields. Visitors can watch trains roll over the bridge as they make their way along the Demodara Loop. Constructed in the early days of the railway expansion in Sri Lanka, the bridge is particularly impressive because it is made of cement, stone and brick, without the use of any steel. Mihintale is a mountain near the town of Anuradhapura. Its summit has much spiritual significance to the Buddhist community. It’s believed that on this mountain top a Buddhist monk named Mahinda met King Devanampiyatissa and together this meeting introduced Buddhism to the country. Monk Mahinda impressed the King with the peacefulness of the Buddhist doctrine and his contented, serene nature. The King subsequently renounced war, and went on to spread peace throughout the nation. There are several impressive religious and historical structures on and around Mihintale Mountain. Hundreds of pilgrims visit the site each year. Discover more details https://lankan.holiday/.
Hiking in Riverston Sri Lanka was an unexpected highlight of my journey throughout the island. Riverston is a region best defined by the popular term, ‘off the beaten path’. We drove for several hours, parked in the middle of nowhere and then embarked on a hike. We headed across the river and through the rice fields and farmland. There is minimal signage but luckily we had our guide Lukobanda to guide us up. The hike doesn’t have a specific name according to the locals other than the Riverston Hike. The hike looks out over the Knuckles mountain range and the surrounding highlands. It’s one of the short day trip hikes in the area. The end of the hike ends with a sharp 300m drop, which made for some pretty epic photos. From here you can chill and take in the views of the Thelgamuwa Valley, the terraced rice fields, and the Knuckles mountain range. This spot is called ‘The Worlds End’.The hike is 5km long but not incredibly difficult.