I had never really considered Sri Lanka as a safari holiday destination before, but I was...
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Sri Lankan Discovery
Transport - Charterbus, boat, 4WD, train, bicycle, on foot.
Accommodation - Hotels and guesthouses (14nts).
Meals - 14 breakfasts.
ReviewsDon't take our word for it - read through our customer reviews. All of these have been published without any editing.
The train journey up into the country eventually arriving at Nuraya Eliya was fantastic. Fantastic views of tea plantations spread across the rising landscape.
iplummer, December 2009
The highlights of the trip were as follows:-
White water rafting ( I had not done this before).
We also swam in the river near where the bridge over river quay was filmed.
Whale spotting: we saw two blue whales mating which is which is very unusual.
We saw a mother leopard and cub on safari.
The climb up Lions Rock was tough but worth the views.( should be done earlier in the day however )
Enjoyed least going around a lot of the temples early on which became sameish. Also on one occassion we walked around a stupa in bare feet on sharp shingle The view was no different at any angle so there was no point. Would have liked to have seen highlights of temples - reclining buddha and tooth relic would be a must but the hot sun meant that a lot of standing around outside temples was arduous. perhaps travellers could be left to walk around sites and have a briefing on the coach and then a chance for questions.I felt that on a couple of occasions we could have been left to be independent more. Kandy - we could have had more time to roam apart from guide. Galle - needed more time . It took 1 hour to have lunch so only had 1 hour to see it and do shopping ( l think less stopping at beaches en route would have helped). And would have liked an overnight stay here
The tsnami alert was handled well with regular updates from our very conscientious guide- Januka.
The coach was roomy and the driving safe. the air con needed turning down or off at times - or we should have been advised to wear fleeces in coach.
On arrival on a non related porter who had not helped me wanted a tip ( stirling) He fleeced at least 15 pounds. Think you need to advise on tipping. We did not know who he was and though he was one of our porters.
Would have liked another day at the beach hotel
we got shown some nice local restaurants
Your trip advice is out of date - sri lanka is cheaper And advice in advance re ATMs would help . Plus could you give maps ( maybe with trip notes) of any major stops- Kandy and Galle for example with major points of interest ,shops and cafes and banks highlighted.
very conscientious and hard working and reliable. Available 24/7.
Ms O - Travelled in March 2012
This trip was a really good introduction to the people, culture, landscapes, flora and fauna of Sri Lanka. It covered the main points of interest that I would have drawn up on a short list.
Our group was sent the wrong itinerary - we did Adam's Peak not the other option - and it became a little confusing at times, especially when our Tour Leader seemed to deviate from the published itinerary! An accurate itinerary is important in helping to structure expectations and build a sense of anticipation.
[Accommodation] It was an eclectic mix from the fairly basic to quite grand but more than adequate.
However on the day of arrival during the early hours of the morning at the Tamarind tree Hotel there were no rooms booked for the group and we consequently spent an uncomfortable few hours until dawn. To add insult to injury we then had to buy our own breakfast! Not the most auspicious start.
Our group leader was most courteous and attentive to the needs of the group and receptive to suggestions and minor changes to the itinerary. He had extensive knowledge about many aspects of Sri Lanka and was keen to impart this to the group. Unfortunately he never delivered the information in bite sized chunks that we could digest and tended to miss out the basic briefings we needed.
Mr P - Travelled in February 2012
No hotel booked for first night. Arriving at 2:30am to find no room was not good.
Hotels generally were good but frequently too far from local community/shops.
The guide was poor, very pleasant etc but not a good tour leader. He did not provide us with essential information - programme/timings etc but provided too much on his favourite topics. (Suffered from verbal diarrhea)
The bus used was OK for the number on the trip but would have been very cramped if even one more added. Our bags were stored across the back seat and nowhere to store backpacks.
The intinerary provided with the tickets was not correct - the downloaded version was more correct but not entirely accurate.
We never did visit a tea plantation.
Hotels generally too far from local community.
Lovely guy but poor leader.
Didn't socialise with the group but left us to find our own meals in the evening.
Didn't provide essentail information on programme or items we would need.
Mr P - Travelled in February 2012
There were many highlights varying from beautiful sights to fabulous activities. The cycling and white water rafting were fun, getting to the top of Adams Peak an emotional and spititual experience as well as an amazing achievement. However the ultimate has to be sitting on a beautiful beach in the early hours of the morning in warm and balmy temperatures watching a turtle laying its eggs.
Well balanced and excellent itinerary. The only suggestion I would put forward is to spend a night in Galle.
Accommodation overall was of a good standard and staff were always friedly and helpful.
Thila was a fabulous guide who looked after us 24/7. His priority was for us to have the holiday of a lifetime which he did his ultimate best for us to have.
Mrs M - Travelled in January 2012
Our holiday was exactly as described and more. We had a new interest to look forward to on a daily basis, which at times challenged our fitness or fears. Getting to the top of Adams Peak was very exhilarating and we could not look down while climbing the steps on Sigiriya. Then there was the fantastic Temples and rituals entwined with encounters with the local wild life . Our Guide, Thilantha was very knowledgeable about his country and if he did not know an answer to our questions he would find out and come back to us. He was friendly and approachable to all of our group and managed individual expectations with tact and composure. A truly wonderful holiday.
Our Guide provided details of extra trips and assistance in organising transport etc. during out stay at Tangalle, these were very much appreciated.
The accommodation was largely as expected and as described in the itinerary but we were a little disappointed with the Nuwara Eliya stay. The room had been used by smokers and the service at dinner rather slow, dinner took three hours for a set meal after a very long day. The outward impression of the establishment did not fit with the actual content.
A fantastic Guide and managed the 'difficult' member of the group amicably. see previous comments
Mr H - Travelled in January 2012
The group climbing Adam's peak and watching the sunrise together, and sitting on a beach with all the friends I have made on this trip, waiting for a turtle to come ashore and lay her eggs, under a sky shining with more stars than i have ever seen before, are moments I will never forget.
It would have been nice to spend a night in Galle.
'I'm a single traveler, and from the beginning he made it very easy for me to be part of the group, and his organising and timing were impeccable.
Mr S - Travelled in January 2012
Walking Adam's Peak especially wth my new hip!
Our EXCELLENT local guide Thilantha Abeysinghe,
Seeing a bear on our safari.
Seeing the turtle coming out of the sea to lay her eggs.
The VARIETY of culture and activity.
Our holiday was made by our guide just as our Jordan one was spoiled by the guide. We all learned so much and his organisation and logistics were perfect.
Perfect locations, great we stayed 2 and 3 nights in some...fewer one nighters that we expected. Thila made sure we always had mosquito plug-ins in our rooms.
Excellent...what more can I say...an amazing chap...a caring sensitive guy (I was poorly one night and he was v attentive .
Mrs B - Travelled in January 2012
We hoped to see Dolphins, Whales and Lepords. We did! The cave tempels at Danmulla and the temple/palace complex at Sigiriya were beautiful.The scenery throughout was stunning and the hotels very comfortable.
Saman, our guige leader was a font of knowledge and egar to please at all times. Sometimes a bit over protective, he was always there to make sure we got the most out of our busy itnery. I feel that we left Sri Lanka with a better knowledge of the country as a result of the varied itinery and the way the Adventure Company and Saman put it together. Suffice to say that the whole group thought Saman was a really top Guide.
Meeting and talking with the children and the local people. They were warm and friendly.
Exceptional knowledge of history, archaeology and wildlife.
Had no knowledge of any towns we stayed as, we weren't given town maps, told of anywhere good to eat or what was good to see in the towns. We were always encouraged to eat and stay in the hotels during any free time.
His time and distance awareness was non existent. Absolutely no point in asking how far somewhere was or how long it would take to get there.
Whilst he [Saman] was able to talk at the group he wasn't able to hold a conversation and his lack of understanding at our questions and request meant we often came away with incorrect and conflicting information.
Overall a lovely caring person but definitely not my type of group leader.
Elephant safari, walking on the Horton Plains, visiting the elephant orphanage, elephant safari and swimming in the Indian Ocean
Excellent. Great fun and informative about the country.
From the coastal beaches to the tea plantations, and everything inbetween, this trip gives an amazing insight into such a beautiful country, with such friendly locals. The view from Sigiriya is stunning, and the train rides are good fun. The optional excursion to a sea turtle hatchery is also a good add on.
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