Sabbatical & Experiential Travel to Sri Lanka
Holidays & Sabbaticals to Sri Lanka – In a Nutshell
Travelling the teardrop-shaped isle of Sri Lanka is pure delight. You’ll feel welcome from the moment you touch down, the warm climate reflected in every interaction. Lapped by the Indian Ocean and fringed by swaying palms, Sri Lanka’s golden sands invite relaxation, while its interior compels with a variety of landscapes and experiences. Lowland jungles are home to abundant wildlife. A safari in Sri Lanka is a magical experience and a range of ecolodges have sprung up over the years, putting Sri Lanka on the map when it comes to ecotourism. Spot leopard, elephant, crocodile, macaque, buffalo, sloth bear and over 450 bird species, of which 33 are endemic. In the highlands, rolling tea plantations set a stunning backdrop for hiking and unwinding, as well as the iconic train journey through Sri Lanka’s tea country. Soaking in the cultural sites is hugely rewarding and you’ll find impressive temples, ancient cities, and British hill stations that paint a picture of Sri Lanka past and present.
How to Get to Sri Lanka
The only way to reach Sri Lanka is by air, with all international flights landing at Bandaranaike International Airport, just north of Colombo. From the UK, there are direct flights with Sri Lankan Airlines. Indirect flights are more frequent, often stopping in India, Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Flights from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand require a stop in the Gulf. Getting around is easy enough, whether travelling by domestic flight, seaplane, train or private vehicle. Public transport isn’t always the most reliable so if you’re on a tight schedule, we recommend a private guide and driver.
When & Weather – Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s temperatures are pretty consistent year round but vary depending on altitude. By the coast and in the lowlands, you’ll experience temperatures of around 26–30°C / 79-86°F. Temperatures in the highlands fall to 14–17°C / 57-62°F and can drop further at night. Two separate monsoon seasons hit Sri Lanka, impacting the west and southwest at different times to the northeast of the country. This means you can usually find a dry spot, whatever time of year you travel. The Yala monsoon hits the west and southwest from April to September and the Maha monsoon sweeps the northeast through October and November. The weather can be erratic in the run up to both monsoon and short thunderstorms can be expected.
Who will Sri Lanka Appeal To?
Culture vultures, wildlife enthusiasts and beach lovers. Sri Lanka is culturally fascinating and there’s plenty to see. Safari fans will love the wildlife in the National Parks and active travellers will enjoy the surf beaches.
In particular, it’s suited to:
- Wildlife enthusiasts
- Active travellers
- Honeymoon couples
- Adventure lovers
- Culture lovers
- Beach lovers
- Solo travellers
We work with a range of luxury boutique hotels, ecolodges in the National parks and beautiful glamping sites. There are also gorgeous converted plantation homes in Tea Country and indulgent beach hotels.
Off The Beaten Path
- Look out for dolphins off the Kalpitiya coast
- Dive into the history of Jaffna in the North
- Watch elephants wallow and bathe in Gal Oya National Park
- Trek through magical mountain scenery in the Knuckles Range
- Discover the giant cave complex at Dambulla which houses an impressive collection of statues
Wildlife tourism is a major highlight of a visit to Sri Lanka. Come to see:
- Leopards in Yala National Park, home to the world’s highest concentration of these big cats
- Roaming elephants in Udawalawe National Park
- Almost 200 species of bird in Bundala National Park, including huge flocks of flamingos, pelicans, and ibis
- Mighty blue whales off the coast of Mirissa
- Red slender loris, hiding in the trees of Yala National Park
- Feeding sloth bears in Wilpattu National Park
Sri Lanka Experiences you shouldn’t miss:
- Tuck into fresh hoppers, a delicious Sri Lankan street delicacy that’s perfect with curries and chutneys
- Join the pilgrimage to Adam’s Peak, following in the footsteps of Buddha himself (according to legend)
- Look for leopards and sloth bears in Wilpattu National Park
- Climb Sirigiya Rock Fortress for incredible views over jungle-clad countryside
- Marvel as over 300 elephants gather in Minneriya National Park
- Dine on fresh seafood at the many laidback cafes in Unawatuna
- Sip tea straight from the plantation in Nuwara Eliya after taking the iconic highland train
- Catch waves on the charming beaches of Tangalle
Donate to or visit the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe. Elephants are endangered in Sri Lanka and human activity threatens their survival in their natural habitat. This organisation’s goal is to rehabilitate elephants so they can safely be released back into the wild. Time your visit with feeding time. Visitor numbers are limited to ensure the elephants don’t become too accustomed to interacting with humans. The money from ticket sales and donations ensures the elephants receive proper nutrition and medical treatment so they become strong enough to return to their natural environment, unassisted.
Our experienced team will guide you through a number of ideas based on how you would like to experience Sri Lanka.
Browse our gallery for inspiration and read the sample itinerary below to whet your appetite. This one showcases adventure through Sri Lanka covering highlights and off-the-beaten-path regions.
No matter how long you wish to travel, we’ll guide you through the planning process to ensure a trip is carefully pieced together to suit your interests, pace of travel and budget.
Contact us to start planning a holiday or sabbatical to Sri Lanka!