Sri Lanka off the beaten track

Because I’ve always wanted to…

Issue 22 / September 2015

Autumn Greetings from Tanzania,

This month we bring you an update on Sri Lanka which Steve visited in June this year. I am currently on safari in Tanzania and more to come on that in the coming months.

Laterally yours,

Sri Lanka, like Myanmar and Cuba, is most definitely on the ‘see it before it changes’ list but unlike Myanmar and Cuba, the development of tourism infrastructure within the country does appear to be keeping up with demand. The variety in this family-friendly and relatively compact island is perfect for a two week (or longer) trip with everything from culture and beach to National Parks teeming with wild elephant, leopard, sloth bear and incredible birdlife. The marine-life off the coast provides abundant dolphin and whale-watching sightings as well as offering excellent kite-surfing and wind-surfing opportunities. Inland, the Cultural Triangle covers an area with 4 UNESCO world heritage sites featuring sacred Anuradhapura, ancient Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya rock and Dambulla caves. Scenic train journeys put the romance back into travel as a means of exploring the idyllic tea country. Burn off the delicious curries with hiking in Horton Plains and cycle through paddy-fields and villages where tourists are seldom seen. New roads mean that journeys are now halved and the drive from the capital Colombo to historic Galle can be covered in as little as 2 hours. The regions below provide a snapshot into this beautiful country and are featured in this sample itinerary.


This little-known town in lower hill-country has a warm to hot climate without intense humidity.

The beautiful countryside here is lush and green with quaint rural villages, refreshing waterfalls, panoramic views of valleys below and mountains in the near distance above.

If coming from Tea Country, Koslanda combines with a hike in Horton Plains. Stay at Living Heritage Koslanda which has one of the finest swimming pool views of anywhere we know.

This is a retreat to unwind in your own private courtyard and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.

Click here to view the website

Gal Oya National Park.

Gal Oya is one of the least visited national parks. Recently, the Gal Oya Lodge opened providing a rustic retreat fitting perfectly into the surroundings.

Highlights are a walk with the aboriginal Vedda tribe’s chief who will proudly walk you through his forest, show the caves where his ancestors resided and teach you about the fruits of the jungle.

Take a Jeep safari in search of wild elephant and a boat trip on the lake in the late afternoon when the birds come to life.

Click here to view the website

Yala National Park.

Yala has the greatest density of leopards anywhere in the world and so your chances of spotting these incredible cats are high.

But it is not just about the leopards as you will see elephant, crocodile, jackal, civet, sloth bear, wild boar and water buffalo as well as over 400 species of bird.

Until recently, the camping was fairly basic but new at Noel Rodrigo’s Camp is a luxurious air-conditioned tent providing a true glamping experience:

Click here to view the website.


Weligama is located on the South-West coast within a 30 minute driving of historic Galle, the golden sand beaches and whale-watching of Mirissa and cycling distance to rural villages lined with paddy fields.

The Dilmah Tea Company has recently opened the luxurious Cape Weligama where 40 residences and suites sit atop a promontory providing the finest of views over the Indian Ocean.

Service here is first class with butler service to the spacious accommodations. And the food here is the ultimate in indulgence from breakfast on your private terrace to dinner with a choice of Sri Lankan to Western to Japanese and of course the freshest of seafood.

Click here to view the website.

Up Periscope

With Christmas holidays not too far away, please do contact us for inspiration as there is a good chance we can create a suitably lateral trip in India’s Rajasthan Palaces, Vietnam’s beaches, Mexico’s Mayan Riviera and in the national parks in Patagonia.


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