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Small Group Photographic Tour of Sri Lanka

With Lead Photographer Renato Granieri

23rd September to 03rd October 2017

The Sri Lanka Guided Photography Tour offers guests an excellent opportunity to photograph the magnificent landscapes, people, icons and diverse wildlife of Sri Lanka, with expert guidance from a professional photographer Renato Granieri. Along with technical support, guests will be given instruction on composition and technique, helping them to capture beautiful images. The main objectives will be: provide an enjoyable and educational experience; help customers build a story-telling album of images, which they can proudly share with friends and family.

This trip is suitable for all levels, from beginners through to advanced.
Customers will need to provide their own camera equipment. To benefit most, they will need equipment with a degree of manual control (compact, mirrorless or DSLR).


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How will the tour work

The Sri Lanka Guided Photography Tour will be led by professional photographer Renato Granieri from the UK Small group (up to 8) to provide adequate individual attention Regular lectures and daily meet-ups throughout the tour Regular individual image review sessions, group critiques and tips for improvement Assistance and training on post production. It is recommended participants bring their own laptops. Assistance with photographic story-telling techniques and in compiling a voyage gallery to share with family and friends All photography activities will allow our guests to spend sufficient time in each location to maximise shooting opportunities When possible and relevant we will prioritise best light, be this dawn, dusk or night (this of course would take into account that our guests are holiday!)

Within the itinerary, we will offer and ask our guests for flexibility



Lead Photographer

Renato Granieri


Renato Renato Photography

Renato is a London-based, Italian-born photographer. Inspired by his insatiable desire to travel and document our planet through photography, he has visited more than 60 countries across the seven continents. He specialises in travel and nature photography. His work has been published in a number of international newspapers, travel books, in print and online: BBC Earth, BBC.com, BBC Travel, National Geographic Travel, The Telegraph, The Guardian, FT.com, MSN.com, Evening Standard, The Rough Guide travel books, Lonely Planet and many others. See more at www.renatogranieri.com Recent

Awards:

  • Winner - Festival de l’Oiseau et de la Nature 2017
  • Featured in the BBC Earth official photography 2017 calendar
  • Runner-up - “Top Published Photograph of the Year” LATA, 2016
  • Finalist to the “Wanderlust Photographer of the Year”, 2016
  • Finalist to the “Bird Photographer of the Year”, 2015

Photography Tour Cost

Tour Cost:


  • Single Room:    £2,680
  • Twin / Double Room:    £2,230 per person
  • Flights on Sri Lankan:    £550 per person**

The above costs are based on Half Board at the hotels and include the cost of entrance fees, safari and all activities listed in the itinerary. Other costs including lunches, drinks, tips and all incidental costs of a personal nature are excluded from the cost. ** Flight price will be confirmed at the time of booking. When booked in conjunction with a flight the tour arrangements will be an ATOL protected package holiday. When booked without a flight the arrangements will be protected under Travel Gallery’s ABTA bond. Please note that we require a minimum of 4 people for the tour to operate. Prices may vary until confirmed due to fluctuations in the USD/GBP exchange rate.



The Route:

Safari Parks, Ancient Cities, Working Estates, Tea Country, Galle & The Coast



Route-Map


Itinerary in Brief:

The main photographic opportunities are highlighted in italics


DATE

HOTELS

LOCATION

ROOM

CATEGORY

MEAL PLAN

EXCURSIONS

AM

EXCURSIONS

PM

23/9/17

Palm Garden Village

Anuradhapura

Standard Room

HB

Arrive and meet at Colombo International Airport

Arrival & transfer.

This evening we will have a brief workshop, review the itinerary and understand your objectives for the trip

24/9/17

Hotel Sigiriya

Sigiriya

Superior

HB

Wilpattu Safari.

Elephant, the elusive Leopard and Sloth Bear

Existing the park in the late afternoon we will drive to Sigiriya arriving for a late dinner.

25/9/17

Hotel Sigiriya

Sigiriya

Superior

HB

Pollonaruwa World Heritage site

Ancient temples and relics

The Hiriwaduna village walk

People & Village life. Sunset over Sigiriya from a distance

 

26/9/17

Rosyth Estate

Kegalle

Classic

HB

Sigiriya & Dambulla.

Frescos, dramatic panorama, ancient gardens, monkeys

Transfer & relax into Estate Life

Dambulla Market

27/9/17

Rosyth Estate

Kegalle

Classic

HB

Peradenniya Gardens

Botanical Gardens, orchids

Kandy Tooth Temple

Ancient Temple, Kandy lake

 

28/9/17

Rosyth Estate

Kegalle

Classic

HB

Photographic workshop

Time to review progress so far and prepare some images to share this evening

Estate walk / Market Visit / Tea Factory

Tea plucking, Rubber Tapping and rural life visit to the local market

 

29/9/17

Grand Hotel

Nuwara Eliya

Superior

HB

Train to Nan Oya

Life from the train, The hill country

Highlights of Nuwara Eliya

Tea Plantations, rural life

 

30/9/17

Udawalawe Grand

Udawalawe

Deluxe

HB

Transfer by road

Waterfalls and mountains

Safari

Elephants, Peacocks & Bird life

 

1/10/17

Lighthouse

Galle

Superior

HB

Safari

Elephant,  Peacocks & Bird life

Galle Walking Tour

Dutch Architecture

 

2/10/17

Lighthouse

Galle

Superior

HB

Madu River Cruise

Cinnamon Plantations & wildlife

Fisherman

The iconic Sri Lankan Stilt Fisherman shot & catch being landed on the beach

 

3/10/17

Departure

 

 

 

Airport Transfer

 

DAY 01 PM Transfer to Palm Garden hotel for 1 Night

On arrival in Colombo we will transfer to the ancient city of Anuradhapura

 

The Palm Garden Village hotel is a simple Eco friendly hotel in Anuradhapura and is situated on a 50 acre plot of land which was initially intended for Chena cultivation. It is an ideal place for a relaxing stay in the midst of nature and can also act as a base when setting out for excursions, bird watching father and many more activities. The hotel covers an area of 130/140 thousand square meters includes a huge park with cottages, a swimming pool, a restaurant, banquet hall, bar games room, Gym center & Health center providing natural Ayurveda treatment. The hotel comprises of standard and deluxe rooms. Each room is fully air conditioned, has hot water in the bathrooms, LED TV, twin beds, dressing table, in room tea/coffee making facilities, mini bar, an in-house safe, hair dryer and telephone with IDD & intercom options. Sri Lankan and international dining cuisine is available at the palm garden village hotel main restaurant & the hotel also provides 24 hours in room dining.
This evening we will get to know each other as a group and spend some time understanding what you want to get out of the tour.

DAY 02 AM & PM Wilpattu Safari

This morning it will be an early departure to spend half a day in the Wilpattu national park.

 

Wilpattu National Park is situated along the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka.   It comprises of a unique complex of lakes called Villus, which are natural basins that are filled up with rainwater and are surrounded by open grassy plains set within dense scrub jungle.  A multitude of sandy paths wind around the entire park and open up into these large natural lakes.  The unspoilt and beautiful Wilpattu National Park is one of the largest and oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka.  It is ideal for those wanting to escape the flurry of activity of Yala and instead offers the opportunity for a tranquil, peaceful and undisturbed drive. The biggest draws in Wilpattu are Leopards and Sloth bears.  Alongside these, it is possible to see Asian Elephants, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Pig, Asiatic Buffalo and Mugger Crocodiles.  Endemic birds include the Ceylon Jungle fowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Ceylon Wood shrike and Black-capped Bulbul in riverine habitats. Muntjac or Barking Deer are more easily seen in Wilpattu than any other national park. Butterflies recorded include the Great Egg fly, Great Orange Tip, Glad-eye Bush brown, Blue Mormon, Common Mormon, Common Rose and Crimson Rose.

DAY 02 Transfer to Hotel Sigiriya for 2 Nights

After visiting Wilpattu we will transfer to Sigiriya where we will base ourselves for 2 nights. On route we will stop as opportunities arise.

 

Hotel Sigiriya Located close to the base of the Sigiriya Rock fortress, Hotel Sigiriya offers excellent value for money and is a great base to explore the ancient sites that Sri Lanka has to offer. The hotel’s 79 Standard Rooms all have air-conditioning, LCD Flat TV with built-in DVD Player, Mini Bar, Terrace and Tea/Coffee Maker. The hotel has undergone some refurbishment in recent years , initially the public areas and now the rooms have recently been renovated, with updated bathrooms. Within the hotel’s ground there are a good range of leisure facilities including Tennis, Badminton, Bicycle Hire, Chess, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Darts & Carom. In our opinion this hotel now offers great value for money and is has a fantastic location.

DAY 03 AM Polonnaruwa

Today we head to spend the morning in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa.

 

Polonnaruwa - which was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka, built in  the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and which is a world heritage site - Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya – where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent’ postures carved out of rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, king Parakramabahu’s statue, and the Parakrama Samudraya lake built by King Parakramabahu the great.

There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic.

DAY 02 Transfer to Hotel Sigiriya for 2 Nights

After visiting Wilpattu we will transfer to Sigiriya where we will base ourselves for 2 nights. On route we will stop as opportunities arise.

 

Hotel Sigiriya Located close to the base of the Sigiriya Rock fortress, Hotel Sigiriya offers excellent value for money and is a great base to explore the ancient sites that Sri Lanka has to offer. The hotel’s 79 Standard Rooms all have air-conditioning, LCD Flat TV with built-in DVD Player, Mini Bar, Terrace and Tea/Coffee Maker. The hotel has undergone some refurbishment in recent years , initially the public areas and now the rooms have recently been renovated, with updated bathrooms. Within the hotel’s ground there are a good range of leisure facilities including Tennis, Badminton, Bicycle Hire, Chess, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Darts & Carom. In our opinion this hotel now offers great value for money and is has a fantastic location.

DAY 03 PM Hiriwaduna Village Walk

Heading back towards Sigiriya we will stop on route to enjoy the Hiriwaduna Village Walk.

 

The tour starts off with a ride on a Bullock cart (ox cart) along a dirt track and through rice paddies down to the picturesque Hiriwaduna Lake. The adventure continues with a catamaran ride on the scenic Hiriwaduna Lake with its large variety of dry zone bird life and views of the surrounding forest, marshland and vegetable plots of local farmers.

After the catamaran ride you will take a short ride on a walking tractor or on the famous ‘Tuk  Tuk’ to a local home where you can interact with the family by assisting the women in the preparation of a Sri Lankan lunch using the traditional Sri Lankan methods of cooking. After enjoying the lunch you helped to prepare you will take a leisurely 150 metre walk back to the main road.
This walk explores this beautiful rural setting and we will get a glimpse of rural life. As we head back to the hotel we will look to capture the Sunset over Sigiriya.

DAY 04 AM Sigiriya Rock Fortress

 

Sigiriya (Lion Rock) Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World this ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is probably the most visited tourist destination of Sri Lanka. Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters higher than the surrounding jungles. Its view astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between the nature and human imagination. The fortress complex includes remnants of a ruined palace, surrounded by an extensive network of fortifications, vast gardens, ponds, canals, alleys and fountains. In the 3th century BC the rocky plateau of Sigiriya served as a monastery. In the second half of the 5th century king Kasyapa decided to construct a royal residence here. After his death Sigiriya again became a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century, when it was abandoned.  

The main entrance is located in the northern side of the rock. It was designed in the form of a huge stone lion, whose feet have survived up to today but the upper parts of the body were destroyed. The western wall of Sigiriya was almost entirely covered by frescoes, created during the reign of Kasyapa. Eighteen frescoes have survived to this day. The frescoes are depicting nude females and are considered to be either the portraits of Kasyapa’s wives and concubines or priestess performing religious rituals. One of the most striking features of Sigiriya is its Mirror wall. For those who are not comfortable with heights or have problems climbing we suggest the gardens of Sigiriya which are amongst the oldest landscaped gardens in the world. They are located in the western part of the rock with bridges, fountains, as well as surface and underground water pumps.

DAY 04 AM PM Transfer Via Dambulla

 

This afternoon we will visit Dambulla before travelling on to Kegalle and the Rosyth Estate. Dambulla Cave Temple - Climb up to the temple, which was donated by king Walagambahu in the 1st century BC to Buddhist monks. Dambulla is a World Heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 sq. meters of painted walls and the ceiling is the largest area of paintings found in the world.

These caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock spanning 14 meters. Economic Centre

This is a wholesale market for fresh vegetables and fruits which are brought directly by the farmers in the area. This is opened 24 hours daily accept for Poya days and would be a great way to experience how the local farmers sell their harvest.

DAY 04 Rosyth Estate House for 3 Nights

 

Set in a 62 acre private working tea and rubber estate, The Estate House at Rosyth, offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of rural Sri Lanka. Escape into a bygone era, built in 1926, as a tea planter’s bungalow and at the time a 350 acre estate, it has been owned by the same family for the past 35 years. The Estate House has been completely refurbished to create the feeling of a family hill country retreat. With only seven bedrooms & 2 suites, this is a beautiful boutique hotel Whilst the original design remains unchanged, the house today offers outstanding accommodation & facilities. With high ceilings, cool polished cement floors, wide verandas, elegantly furnished rooms with eclectic works of art, this is a perfect place to immerse yourself in estate life, unwind, rejuvenate and explore.

Perched on a hillside, and situated at an elevation of approximately 1,000 feet, the house benefits from stunning views from the front veranda towards Kandy and the surrounding ranges of hills, 20-30 kilometers away, whilst the rear overlooks the estate and jungle covered hill sides. Located just ten minutes from the bustling provincial town of Kegalle, the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is twenty-five minutes away and the ancient capital of Kandy is just an hour away. Relax, take a dip in the pool and enjoy the ambience of this peaceful area or indulge at the Rock Spa.

DAY 05 AM Peradenniya Gardens

Today we will explore the ancient City of Kandy, today a busy commercial town.

 

Kandy is also famous for the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens - this botanical garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British during the period of colonial rule. Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya (5.5 km west of Kandy) is renowned for its collection of a variety of orchids and includes more than 4000 species of plants, including of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.The Botanic Gardens crested in 1371 when King Wickramabahu III kept court at Peradeniya near Mahaweli river. This was followed by King Kirti Sri and King Rajadhi Rajasinghe. A temple was built on this location by King Wimala Dharma, but it was destroyed by the British when they were given control over the Kingdom of Kandy. Alexandar Moon then created the botanical gardens in 1821. The Botanical Garden at Peradeniya was formally established in 1843 with plants brought from Kew Garden, Slave Island, Colombo, and the Kalutara Garden in Kalutara.

The classical Avenue of Palms is located in this Garden. One tree with a significant history is the Cannonball Tree planted by King George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary in 1901. During the Second World War, the Botanical Garden was used by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the supreme commander of the allied forces in the South Asia, as the headquarters of the South East Asia Command.

DAY 05 PM Peradenniya Gardens

 

Kandy lies 1 hour 15 minutes away from Rosyth and was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and is a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798.

In 1542 the Tooth Relic was brought to the city , stimulating a flurry of new religious building- a two storey for the relic itself and 86 houses for the monks. By 1602 the city had probably taken the form. Kandy was repeatedly attacked by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British and been rebuilt several times.

The area with the Temple of the Tooth and associated buildings, a world heritage site, is the chief focus of interest. The Udmale (upper storey) houses the relic which is caged behind gilded iron bars and a series of 7 seven smaller caskets. Ceremonies start at 0530, 0930 and 1830. These are moment the temple comes to life with pilgrims. One would need to be dressed appropriately for the temple as any other religious building. Kandy is perhaps most famous however for the annual Perahara, a most magnificent site which sees the scared tooth relic take to the streets accompanied by dancers, drummers and most significantly elephants dressed in all their finery and adorned with lights. The parade which goes through the streets of Kandy builds into a spectacular procession over consecutive nights with the number of elephants growing each night. The procession normally takes place annually at the end of July or early August.

DAY 06 AM Photographic Workshop

This morning we will try to capture the sunrise at Rosyth. A stunning experience if the conditions are in our favor.

 

At Rosyth, given that you'd be staying at a working Estate, you'd be afforded with a wide range of photographic opportunities that can help you to hone your photography skills. With scenic mountains, rubber & tea plantations surrounding the property there is no shortage of photographic opportunity.

This morning we will take the opportunity to have a small workshop to review the images which you have been able to capture in the first half of the tour and to explore what aspects of rural life we can capture at Rosyth.

During the day we will explore the closeby tea factory which in many ways has not change in nearly 100 years. We will explore the estate and we will have the opportunity to visit the local market.

This evening you may care to share some of your favorite images with the other members of the group.

DAY 06 PM Estate Walk & Market visit

This morning we will try to capture the sunrise at Rosyth. A stunning experience if the conditions are in our favor.

 

Rosyth is a small working estate. Tea is plucked by hand and sold to the nearby tea factory, whilst latex is tapped, treated and sold to a local rubber factory. Coconuts, fruits, spices and other produce are grown on the estate and are, wherever possible, used as part of our menus. Guests are free to explore the estate, join the ladies plucking two leaves and a bud from the tea bushes or see how the rubber is tapped. Equally take a walk down to the river and discover the small waterfall or to the local paddy fields and enjoy meeting with the local villagers. The Estate contains walking trails, mountain biking routes and our staff will be happy to guide you through the tea terraces, rubber plantation and paddy fields.

Market Visit
You can visit the local market. The chef may be able to join you. You will need your driver guide should be available to take you to the market. The chef may be at hand to introduce you to local produce and explain the uses. On your return to the estate, you will have the opportunity to cook authentic Sri Lankan curries.

DAY 06 AM PM Tea Factory

 

Walk to the Rosyth Tea Factory (10 minutes) Just a few minutes’ walk from the house is the local tea factory & whilst not part of our estate, guests are welcome to visit the factory and understand how the tea we grow, is turned into fine tea for export. Many concur that Sri Lanka Tea is the best in the world. The tea grown at Rosyth is particularly popular in the Middle East. The old orthodox method of tea processing produces the liquor of the Unbroken Flower Orange Pekoe in its most superior grade. You will have the opportunity to purchase tea at the factory to take home.

A short tour will take through the factory where the fresh leaves are dried by fans on withering troughs to reduce the moisture content and then rolled and pressed to express the juices which coat the leaves. The leaves are then left to ferment in humidity. The final process dries the leaves and then the leaves are graded. Unbroken being the best quality, fannings and the dust which is the quality used in tea bags.
While engaging in these activities you will be able to capture sunrise, Tea Factory, Tea picking and estate life.

DAY 07 AM Train Transfer to Nanu Oya

Today after a short transfer we will be taking the train to the high tea country via Hatton to Nan Oya.

 

The train leaves Peradeniya Railway station (near Kandy) and stops at Hatton before going on to Nanu Oya. The train provides a welcome change from windy roads and although the journey is longer it is great way to enjoy the tea plantations and the views. Your driver guide will be able to drop you at Peradeniya and collect you from either Hatton or Nanu Oya for your onward journey.

Travelling towards Hatton you are passing through the heartland of the Sri Lankan tea country with breath taking views, and a journey back into the bygone era of colonial tea plantations. The iconic Ceylon Tea Trails is located near Hatton a working plantation at an altitude of 4000 feet in one of the world’s famed and most picturesque tea-growing regions in the Bogawantalawa valley, in central Sri Lanka. Temperatures can get cool but not cold, with lush, green manicured tea fields 360 degrees on the peripheral.

As we emerge at 6,000 feet the landscape changes, the climate cools and the architecture takes a step back into a bygone era.

DAY 07 AM Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya for 1 Night

 

The Grand Hotel
The Grand in Nuwara Eliya was once the Victorian mansion of a British Governor Sir Edward Barnes, set it wonderful landscaped gardens. It has a colonial feel with, billiard rooms, wooden floors and panelling offers you the grandeur of yester years with the comfort of some modern facilities. Explore the beautiful laid out gardens as well as the beautiful surroundings.

The hotel has undergone some soft refurbishment and today offers a reasonable standard of 3*+ accommodation. This is a large hotel with 156 rooms and as a result it does attract larger groups as well as independent travelers and as a result the service is less personal than in some other properties.

In our opinion it is a good location to stay for those clients looking for a short stay and to be in the centre of Nuwra Eliya, close to the golf course and for those looking for a reasonably priced hotel.

DAY 07 PM Nuwara Eliya

 

Nuwara Eliya As you leave Kandy and climb further into the Sri Lankan Hill Country, the winding mountain roads offer incredible views of the tea plantations. The expanses of green plantation are dotted with the colourfully dressed ladies who hand-pick the tea. Picking just two leaves and a bud, which each pluck, the century old technique which has remained unchanged, is one of the characteristics which maintains the quality of Sri Lankan tea. Arriving in Nuwara Eliya, this little city in the hills retains its colonial ambience, with its Tudor-style mansions and two-story shops & houses; it is easy to believe that you are in the middle of an English country town. However, situated at over 6,000 feet, this is the heart of the Sri Lankan Hill Country. The cool climate encourages the growth of vegetables and flowering plants and plays a significant role in the cultivation of the Ceylon tea that the island is renowned for producing.

Built by the Scottish tea planters in 1889, for golfers this will be an experience not to be missed. Winding its way through the centre of town the golf club retains its colonial charm and it really does feel like you are playing in the Scottish Highlands. Help is always on hand with your own personal caddy, many of whom have spent a life time escorting members and guests around the course. Whilst perhaps not the best maintained course in the world, this is certainly a round of golf that you won’t forget.

DAY 08 Transfer to Udawalawe Grand for 1 Night

 

Situated on a large 7 acres site and located just 15 minutes away from the park entrance, the Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort is the best hotel in the area from which to visit the Udawalawe National Park.

The Grand Udawalawe, which offers 4-star facilities, is the only hotel of its’ class in the area. This is an environmental friendly hotel, with infrastructure such as sewerage treatment plant and waste water treatment facilities geared for the whole project presently in place. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and features rooms with views of the natural surroundings of Udawalawe. The rooms are fitted with parquet flooring and are air-conditioned with a flat screen satellite TV, a wardrobe, ironing facilities and an electric Kettle. Each room comes with an en-suite bathroom, bathtub or shower facility & hair dryers. Wired internet services can be provided at a charge on guest request. The higher category rooms and the new suites offer a good standard of accommodation

The Udawalawe Grand has a restaurant as well which provides local and international dishes or guests also have an option of ordering meals through room service. In our opinion though, you don’t come her for gourmet food but it is the best base from which to visit the national park.

DAY 08 PM & 09 PM Udawalawe National Park Safari

 

Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka. The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area and was established on 30 June 1972. Before the designation of the national park, the area was used for shifting cultivation (chena farming). The farmers were gradually removed once the national park was declared. The park is 165 kilometres (103 mi) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan Elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.

Udawalawe is an important habitat for Sri Lankan Elephants, which are relatively easy 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.

DAY 09 Transfer To The Light house for 2 Nights

 

The Jetwing Lighthouse sits on a rocky outcrop overlooking the blue waters of the Indian Ocean 3 klms outside the picturesque port of Galle, which reflects a strong Dutch colonial influence. Located 155 km, or a 4 hours drive from the Colombo International Airport along the breathtaking western coastline of Sri Lanka, it is flanked by endless beautiful beaches that make the drive an extremely picturesque one. The main hotel is accessed through a stunning staircase with wrought iron artwork and an impressive architectural design. The hotel’s 85 rooms and 3 suites are plush and there is generous use of rich timber and eco friendly fabric, letting in fresh sea breezes and allowing stunning views of the singularly beautiful landscaping all around the manicured hotel gardens and the emerald ocean.

All rooms have a sea view with a private balcony. The hotel has two pools, one close to the rooms and main reception and a second pool at the lower level set back from the beach and close to the hotel’s spa. A good choice of dining options with the main restaurant and a fine dining restaurant and poolside bar / coffee shop. Being located on a rocky outcrop the hotel has an extensive number of stairs & steps and is not the best location for any clients who have more restricted access.

DAY 09 PM Galle City Tour

 

Before the Dutch took Colombo from the Portuguese, Galle was their headquarters. Contrary to the Colombo Fort, the one in Galle was not only demolished, but is one of the best preserved examples of 17th century colonial fortifications in the world, and is on the UNESCO list of World Monuments. The reason for its remarkable state of preservation is that this once busy trading town, visited by the East-India fleets and many regional traders, fell upon slack times after the Dutch had left. The development that did take place focused on the new town of Galle, outside the Fort.

The Fort is really a walled city, with a rectangular pattern of streets full of the low houses with gables and verandas in the Dutch colonial style. An irony of history is that most of the inhabitants of old Galle, occupying the houses of the Dutch, are the descendants of the Muslim traders that the Dutch despised so much for their petty trade that violated their monopoly. The Muslims have adapted many of the houses to their own likings, closing up the verandas with woodwork to prevent their women from being seen from outside. Recently it is no longer allowed to alter any of these houses, some renovation is taking place, and private museums with handicraft shops have even been established. There are also several interesting buildings from early British times, and an early 20th century light tower. 1640. Fortification went on until the early 18th century. They also built an elaborate system of sewers that were flooded at high tide, taking the sewage away to sea.

DAY 10 AM Madu River Cruise

 

The Mangroves of the Maduganga river is a shallow water body in south-west Sri Lanka, which enters the sea at Balapitiya. The Buddhist Amarapura Nikaya sect had its first upasampada (higher ordination ceremony) on a fleet of boats anchored upon it in 1803. The Buddhist Kothduwa temple is situated on an isolated island in the lake.

Together with the smaller Randombe Lake, to which it is connected by two narrow channels, it forms the Madu Ganga wetland. Its estuary and the many mangrove islets on it constitute a complex coastal wetland ecosystem. In has high ecological, biological and aesthetic significance, being home to 303 species of plants belonging to 95 families and to 248 species of vertebrate animals. It might be one of the last remaining tracts of pristine mangrove forests in Sri Lanka.

The inhabitants of its islets produce peeled cinnamon and cinnamon oil.

DAY 10 PM Fisherman

 

Stilt fishing is an old traditional way of fishing practiced by most of the fisherman specially in the South coastal areas. Stilt fishermen are to be seen mostly around cities of Koggala, Mirissa, Kathaluwa and Ahangama.

This is one of most interesting scenes to watch which the fisherman balance themselves on a vertical pole engraved to the sea bed with a crossed pole attached to it. With one hand they hold the stilt and the other hand they have a fishing rod or a line to catch spotted herrings and small mackerels, which are then kept in a bag tied around their waist or the pole. The fishermen of that area don't mind sitting for long hours to get their catch, it seems they don't use a bait either on the hook. Since how long this custom is practiced is not known, Government document which says that according to old fishermen stilt fishing started after the Second World War.

In addition to stilt fishing we will try see local fishing boats landing their catches on the nearby beaches. This evening we will conclude the tour with dinner and a review of the tour.

DAY 11 Departure

 

Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Drive time would be approximately 3 hours from Galle to the Colombo International Airport.

A range of extensions to the tour are also available to meet individual preferences




Recommended Flights on : Direct on Sri Lankan Airlines

Date Flight No Class From To Dep Arr
22-Sep-17 UL504 Economy London Colombo 21:30 12:45
03-Oct-17 UL503 Economy Colombo London 13:00 20:00


We recommend the above flights to meet with the start and finish of the tour.

Travel Gallery is a fully bonded tour operator and offers ATOL protected packages. We will be happy to recommend pre tour or post tour extensions to the standard tour. Flights can be adjusted accordingly.


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