Sri Lank safaris and holiday tours … a fabulous destination that we will focus in this article. Udawalawe is in our opinion the best safari in Sri Lanka because it provides a truly gratifying experience. You can get very close to animals, particularly the elephants, and you’re never bothered by other jeeps and tourists. Whilst your chances of spotting leopards at Udawalawe are less than at Yala, there is nonetheless a healthy leopard population in Udawalawe that sightings do happen, for example when we saw the two cubs playing. You’re also almost guaranteed to spot Sri Lankan elephants as well as red-spotted deers, wild water buffalo, sloth bears, crocodiles, monkeys and many different species of birds.
Towering up in the central highlands, Horton Plains is the highest plateau on the island. The cloud forests here are rich in endemic plants and animals that have adapted to the cooler climes (temperatures can fall below freezing at night). Birds such as the Sri Lankan whistling thrush and Sri Lankan bush warbler are best seen here. The dwarf lizard, found only in the montane zone, has evolved the ability to give birth to live young in order to avoid the problems of laying in such egg-chilling temperatures. Read extra details Best Safaris in Sri Lanka.
The beach at Arugam Bay is the stuff of Bounty ads: sugar-soft sands, coconut palms and utter solitude but for the whoops of the surfers riding the point. Before the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, the bay was rapidly becoming one of the world’s top surf destinations. For the moment, you’ll have the double curve of beach and its coconut palm-covered point to yourself.
The Temple of the Tooth is a highly sacred place. The temple contains one of Buddha’s teeth. Legend has it that the tooth was taken from the Buddha on his deathbed, then smuggled to Sri Lanka from India. It was smuggled in the hair of a princess, after her father’s kingdom had been besieged. It immediately became an object of great importance and has been celebrated and paraded throughout history. However, many attempts have also been made to steal or destroy the tooth. Twice daily, pujas are held to celebrate the relic and offer visitors and devotees the chance to get a glimpse of the tooth within its casing. At the summit of Adam’s Peak is a footprint cast in stone. It has spiritual significance to a number of different religions, however, there is currently a Buddhist monastery at the summit. To the Buddhists, the footprint is that of Buddha’s; to Christians, the footprint is Adam’s; and to Hindus, the footprint is attributed to Shiva. The site is a popular place of pilgrimage, especially on full moon nights. The trek to the top of the mountain to see the footprint is via a steep staircase containing over 5000 steps. The trail is lined with many tea stalls and food shops which act as places of rest. Most people begin their hike at 2:30 am to reach the summit in time for sunrise.