Sri Lanka is one of the world’s top 25 biodiversity hotspots
BOULDER, CO, Oct. 25, 2016 –
Natural Habitat Adventures has announced a new wildlife safari to Sri Lanka, a small island off the southernmost tip of India that is one of the world’s top 25 biodiversity hotspots.
is home to the world’s densest concentrations of leopards and offers abundant primates and 441 species of birds. Encircled by the Indian Ocean, it is also one of the best places in the world to see blue whales, along with dolphins, orcas and sperm whales.
Sri Lanka is a new destination for Natural Habitat Adventures
, with scheduled small-group departures starting in early 2018. The Sri Lanka Wildlife Safari is an 11-night/12-day nature-intensive odyssey with four departures scheduled: Jan. 14-25, Feb. 4-15, Feb. 18-Mar 1, and Mar. 4-15, 2018. Each trip will host a maximum of 10 guests. The rate is from $9,495 per person, double occupancy.
In this up-and-coming adventure travel destination, Nat Hab’s guests will also look for Asian elephant and buffalo, sloth bear, jackal, Asiatic buffalo, wild boar, mugger crocodile, sambar, spotted deer, grey langur, toque macaque and black-naped hare.
The compact island nation of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is comprised of widely varied ecosystems and habitats that offer diverse wildlife viewing. The itinerary explores virgin tropical rain forest, cloud forest highlands, lush lowlands, golden beaches and the Indian Ocean marine environment.
In Yala National Park, guests will search for leopards and other wildlife in the comfort of top-quality four-passenger, open-top vehicles. In Mirissa Harbor, travelers board a privately chartered vessel for two whale-watching excursions. Excellent birdwatching in Hurulu Nature Reserve showcases the Indian roller, Sri Lanka jungle fowl, Indian peafowl, blue-tailed and green bee-eaters, and raptors such as changeable hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle and shikra. Colorful highland bird species reveal themselves in Horton Plains National Park.
While the itinerary focuses on wildlife and the environmental conservation measures that Sri Lankans are applying to their compact island, culture also comes into play. Outstanding primate watching happens among the 12th-century ruins of Polonnaruwa, with Toque macaques, purple-faced leaf monkeys and grey langurs on view at close range. Polonnaruwa was Sri Lanka’s second capital, renowned for its impressive stone culture.
Cultural highlights feature several other UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the ruins of Sigiriya, the 5th-century capital whose dominant landmark is a massive granite outcrop often referred to as Lion Rock, rising 600 feet above the surrounding jungle, and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic, a tooth believed to have been the Buddha's own. The temple was built in the 16th century as part of the royal palace complex at Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings.
Diverse, high-quality accommodations ensure comfort, atmosphere and immersion in nature. Highlights include a tented safari camp in Yala National Park, a beachfront boutique resort on the Indian Ocean designed by a renowned Sri Lankan architect and a historic country house surrounded by tea plantations in the heart of the highland region known as “Little England” to 19th century colonial expatriates.
Outstanding guides and a remarkable guide-to-guest ratio ensure expert interpretation. Each departure travels with one of Nat Hab's own professional naturalist Expedition Leaders, and also with a Sri Lankan national guide throughout. This combination assures the ultimate in knowledgeable interpretation of natural and cultural history, personal attention, insider connections and individualized service.