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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Unearth a region of wild delights on this expedition through the depths of Sri Lanka's forests and national parks. Spend 12 days from Negombo traversing the thickets of Kumuna National Park to the dry evergreen forests of elephant-rich Wasgamuwa National Park. Discover the lofty mountains of Gal Oya National Park and the misty Sinharaja Forest Reserve, and on the way, gain an insight into local farming industries before lazing on the shores of Arugam Bay. Delight on a wildlife-focused and nature-filled itinerary in one of Asia's best selections of jungle and forest - thank ya for Sri Lanka!

Countries Visited

Sri Lanka

Cities Visited

Colombo , Galle , Negombo , Udawalawe

  1. Day 1
    Negombo
    Ayu-bowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka. Your adventure begins in the town of Negombo, located close to Bandaranaike International Airport. You can arrive at any time today as there are no activities planned until an important welcome meeting at 5.30 pm. Those arriving early can get into the spirit of seaside Sri Lanka by observing the local fishing craft and perhaps feasting on fresh seafood. The beautiful surrounding countryside is also ideal to be explored on a bicycle, which you can rent with help from the hotel reception. Better yet, book into a local Urban Adventure like Spirit of Negombo. First check out the sights on foot and then take a leisurely boat tour, all while soaking up some epic views and learning all about the history and culture of Negombo.
  2. Day 2
    Wasgamuwa National Park
    An early start is necessary this morning to catch some animal action later in the day. Check-out of the hotel at 8 am and transfer to Wasgamuwa National Park via Kandy (approximately 7 hours). Home to wild Asian elephants, sloth bears, leopards, peafowl and more, the park is one of the most biodiverse protected areas in Sri Lanka. Spend some time settling into your accommodation and perhaps exploring the area around the hotel. In the evening, climb up into basic 'tree houses' situated just outside of the park to observe wild elephants lumbering back into the forest to sleep for the night.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  3. Day 3
    Wasgamuwa National Park
    Spend the day learning about the complex relationship between some farmers and wild elephants in Sri Lanka, and what one organisation is doing to ease the conflict. Project Orange Elephant is run by Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, a local non-government organisation. For Sri Lankans who rely on subsistence or commercial farming, elephant populations can be incredibly destructive. Crop raiding by elephants is commonplace, and farmers who have had their livelihood destroyed often retaliate with violence. With support from The Intrepid Foundation, SLWCS encourages more sustainable farming practices – particularly of crops like oranges that elephants do not eat – to help wildlife and humans coexist peacefully. Take the opportunity to meet some the local farmers and learn about life for both the elephant and human inhabitants that live in the area.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Ampara – Gal Oya National Park
    Make the 4-hour drive to Ampara and enter the unspoiled splendour of Gal Oya National Park, home to elephants, axis deer, muntjacs, water buffalo, mugger crocodiles and more than 150 species of birds. Unlike the dry forest and low mountain ranges of Wasgamuwa National Park, Gal Oya is set against the massive Senanayake Samudraya Lake and is framed by mountains that reach an elevation of over 900 metres. Arrive and spend some time exploring this lush environment, and in the evening, take a cruise to a part of the lake where elephants come for their nightly splash.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Arugam Bay – Kumana National Park
    Rise and shine for a morning boat ride on Senanayake Samudraya Lake – Sri Lanka’s largest reservoir. Cruise over serene waters, watching morning light illuminate the tiny islands that dot the water and keep an eye out for elephants, storks and horn bills. Get back on land and transfer to Arugam Bay (approximately 2 hours). After three days in the wilderness, the sight of palm-lined beaches is a welcome change of scenery! Spend some time soaking up the laid-back vibes of this surf town and, in the evening, embark on a jeep safari through nearby Kumana National Park (formerly known as Yala East National Park). With fewer crowds than some of Sri Lanka’s other parks and a diverse range of wildlife, Kumana is the perfect place to search for leopards, elephants, crocodiles and white cobras. Bird enthusiasts will be happy to know it's common to spot wild peacocks and a wide variety of storks.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Arugam Bay – Kumana National Park
    Today, you’ve got planned a morning and evening safari drive through Kumuna National Park – both chances to spot animals along the many waterways that thread through the landscape. You’ll even have the chance to stop by Arugam Bay Lagoon or Panama Lake to spot some crocodiles! During the middle of the day, you can do as you please. Perhaps soak up some sunshine along the sandy coast or stroll through this quaint town. There are plenty of local restaurants serving up both Sri Lankan and international cuisine – your group leader will have some delicious recommendations.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Udawalawe
    Transfer to Udawalawe (approximately 3.5 hours). Spend some time relaxing in Udawalawe town before an evening safari, where you’re bound to spot elephant families on the move. Udawalawe National Park has an amazing array of animal and birdlife, with more herds of wild elephant than anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Other wildlife regularly spotted here include macaques, monkeys, spotted deer, crocodiles and sometimes even leopards!
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Sinharaja Forest Reserve
    Make the 2-hour drive to Sinharaja Forest Reserve and settle into the Rainforest Eco Lodge – your accommodation for this evening. Set among the misty rainforest, these eco-lodges are set on stilts for optimum harmony with the natural environment. Spend the day as you please, either getting a feel for the grounds of the lodge with a walk, or simply relaxing at the bar or restaurant on site. In the evening, enjoy a nature walk through the World Heritage-listed forest, enjoying the tropical surrounds and looking out for beasts like jackals, big cats, wild boars and toque monkeys.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Galle
    Wake up with a morning walk through the rainforest, keeping a look out for butterflies, multi-coloured blue magpies, squirrels, mongoose and more! Afterwards, make the 2.5-hour drive to Galle. Head to Galle Fort – the fortified city of with plenty of Portuguese and Dutch colonial charm, narrow laneways and stunning promenades. Galle Fort is a wanderer's paradise, and you’ll spend some time exploring it on foot and taking in structures that date from between the 16th and 19th century. With plenty of eclectic cafes and bars, Galle Fort is also the perfect place to grab a Sri Lankan meal with a contemporary twist.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    Galle
    From November to April, there will be the opportunity to join a morning whale watching tour. In the off-season – or if you simply prefer to stay close to shore – perhaps begin your day with a dip in the ocean. There is plenty to occupy you in this charming town, from historical sites like the 17th-century Dutch Reformed Church and the Fort Gates to cute vintage shops, quirky boutiques and art galleries. In the evening, why not grab a beer and a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants and watch the sunset over the ocean.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Colombo
    Spend another day at your leisure in Galle Fort before transferring to Colombo (approximately 3 hours). For your evening, perhaps head out to sample some of the city's renowned street food. Local delicacies include crispy vegetable samosas, hoppers and kotthu – a tasty dish of sliced roti, vegetables and eggs or meat. It’s cause for celebration with your travel crew to reminisce on the wildlife expeditions you’ve enjoyed the most.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Colombo
    Today your Sri Lankan Wilderness and Wildlife trip comes to an end. But it doesn’t have to be the end of your adventure! A great way to see the city is by tuk-tuk tour such as the one offered by Urban Adventures, which gives you the chance to navigate narrow streets and hit the mains sights with a local guide. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Colombo-tours.

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Inclusions

  • Wasgamuwa National Park - Project Orange Elephant visit
  • Wasgamuwa National Park - Project Orange Elephant visit
  • Gal Oya National Park - Senanayake Samudraya Lake boat trip
  • Gal Oya National Park - Senanayake Samudraya Lake boat trip
  • Udewalawe National Park - Wildlife safari
  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve - Rainforest nature walk
  • Sinharaja Forest Reserve - Rainforest nature walk
  • Galle - Dutch Fort

Meals
10 Breakfast(s) Included
4 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Original

Health and Safety Protocols for Intrepid Tours

Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced protocols in hygiene and sanitation. We will put in place additional measures, in line with government health advice and with global health authorities (including the WHO and CDC) to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

Hand Hygiene
Handwashing is one of the most important safety measures to prevent the spread of disease. Intrepid will actively reinforce its importance by:

  • Implementing a handwashing policy that dictates when, how often and for how long all staff, leaders and crew must wash their hands on-trip.
  • Promote the importance of hand hygiene to customers through signage and online customer material.
  • Contract suppliers that have hand hygiene protocols in place
  • Contract suppliers that provide hand sanitizer in public places (where applicable)
  • Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of hand hygiene via training.

Respiratory Hygiene
Practicing good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of disease by reducing the number of droplets in the air when you sneeze or cough. Intrepid will:

  • Actively reinforce its importance to customers through signage and online customer material.
  • Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of respiratory hygiene via training.
  • Contract suppliers who have respiratory hygiene protocols in place.

Masks
In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them. Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that masks should only be used as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy and that the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene must also form part of the strategy.

Medical/Surgical Masks
On our trips, regardless of destination, the following people must wear medical/surgical masks:

  • Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of whether or not they have been tested yet.
  • People caring for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases (outside of hospitals/clinics).

In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them.

  • People over 60
  • People with underlying health conditions
Intrepid will:
  • Provide medical/surgical masks as part of the First Aid Kits carried by leaders.
  • Educate leaders, crew, staff and customers on the correct method to wear, handle and dispose of a mask.
  • Require all customers, leaders and staff to comply with any local regulations or requirements that require the use of a mask in public or in certain places

Fabric Masks
Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is not necessary for the public to wear fabric masks generally.

However in certain circumstances, in places where community transmission of COVID-19 is high and/or physical distancing is not possible (e.g. on public transport, in shops or in other confined environments) then a fabric mask can be a useful barrier to prevent the spread of virus.

Fabric masks be purchased commercially or handmade, and are generally not standardised like medical masks. Fabric masks should:

  • Cover the nose, mouth, and chin
  • Be secured with elastic loops or ties
  • Include multiple layers
  • Be washable and reusable.

Sanitation
Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced sanitation processes. Intrepid will take the following measures:

  • Require all suppliers to detail their cleaning and sanitation protocols
  • Audit/monitor all suppliers on their cleanliness and sanitation.
  • All cleaning and disinfecting products must be approved by health authorities (e.g. WHO).
Accomodation
  • All rooms must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Hand sanitizer should be available in public areas.
  • There must be a process in place for customers to escalate any concerns regarding hygiene or sanitation.
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Camping
  • All tents must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between use.
  • If staying at a campground, ensure all bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels. If the area is remote, with limited facilities and/or minimal staffing, then customers should be informed to bring their own hygiene equipment.
Transport
  • All mini buses, transfers, charters, overland trucks must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Hand sanitizer should be made available
  • Close top bins with bin liners should be available on board and disposed of at every stop
Restaurants
  • Must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day
  • Tables and chairs must be disinfected after each guest use
  • Avoid buffets where possible. If buffets are used, prevent customers from handling food and operating machines (e.g. self-serve coffee stations)
  • Either disinfect shared use objects (e.g. table salt) between guest use. Where possible, Intrepid will try to source safe alternatives to single serve packaging.
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
  • Preferred: Provide hand sanitizer to guests at the door before entry
Activities
  • All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between guest us
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Contactless/low touch
Limiting the number of surfaces touched by large numbers of people helps prevent the spread of disease. Therefore, it is important to proactively move towards contactless or low touch solutions for travel. Intrepid will:
  • Prioritise contactless/low touch as a key feature when sourcing new tech or solutions.
Brand Material
  • Remove any paperwork required on the ground (e.g. signing forms, feedback cards)
  • If details must be entered using a shared device (e.g. insurance details), then it must be disinfected between each customer. Preference is to move entirely to digital solutions.
Contracting
  • Accommodation should provide online check in (no paperwork)
  • Contactless keys (e.g. QR codes)
  • Contactless tech (e.g. lights)
  • Online ticketing for attractions and transport
  • Online payment

Physical Distancing
Physical distancing is important in the preventing the spread of COVID-19 as it can be transmitted via droplets sprayed when coughing, sneezing, singing, yelling etc…
Intrepid will take the following measures:

  • Require all suppliers to detail their physical distancing protocols
  • Follow local regulation and advice on the need for physical distancing.
Accommodation Intrepid operates product that is based on twin share accommodation and allows single travellers the chance to share accommodation with a stranger.
We will continue to offer this as an option. Single supplements are available for single travellers who do not wish to share a room. We will work closely with accommodation suppliers to ensure increased availability of single rooms.

Camping
  • Consider whether it is appropriate to offer single tents for solo travellers as customers will be much closer together then in a traditional room.
  • Consider whether staggering meal times may reduce the number of people sharing a dining tent.
Transport
Intrepid will consider the following factors when designing or amending transport options on trips.
  • Local laws or requirements regarding physical distancing on transport
  • Hygiene protocols of the transport provider
  • Level of active community transmission in the destination
Possible risks include:
  • Using designated seating on transport. Customers have assigned seats throughout the trip.
  • If trip is longer than 15 minutes and air conditioning is available, it must be set to external airflow rather than to recirculation or windows should be opened for the duration of the trip.
  • Designing or amending itineraries to reduce the duration of travel.
  • Increasing the size of the vehicle, using multiple vehicles.
In Public
  • Educate all leaders, crew, staff and customers to maintain a 1.5m distance wherever practical in public (e.g. queueing at a museum).
  • Proactively design product to avoid crowds by visiting attractions at off-peak times.
  • Proactively design product to avoid crowds on public transport or at airports where practical.
Restaurants
  • Follow local regulations on table spacing and guest seating in restaurants. Wherever possible, try to ensure groups are sitting at their own table without strangers in restaurants.
  • Proactively design product that focuses on experiences that assist with physical distancing (e.g. picnics over crowded marketplaces) if relevant for that destination.
Health Screening & Tracking
Screening for COVID-19 helps isolate anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and stops the spread of disease. It is likely to become more common for future travellers.

Pre-Departure (Brand Material)
Customers should be informed as part of ‘Essential Trip Information (ETIs) or other similar trip notes if their trip is likely to include any of the following:
  • Testing for COVID-19 before being able to pass through immigration and/or board planes.
  • Negative test results to be uploaded for visa purposes.
  • Thermal temperature checks in airports, train or bus stations, major hotels or attractions.
Pre-Departure (Customers)
Pre-departure, all customers are required to fill out an online questionnaire (“self- declaration/assessment” form) to identify any high-risk customers before travel.

Extra qualifiers will be included to address customers with symptoms that can be contributed to pre-existing conditions (e.g. breathlessness to asthma).

Customers answering YES to any question should be removed from the departure and appropriate arrangements made.

COVID-19 Testing
Intrepid will not require a negative COVID-19 test as proof of health from customers or leaders at this stage unless it is required by local law or regulations.

This is partially due to the lack of availability of testing for people with no symptoms in many parts of the world and may change in due course.

On Trip
  • Ask customers, leaders, crew and staff to monitor their own health
  • Display appropriate signage on COVID-19 symptoms
  • Educate leaders, crew and staff on how to identify COVID-19 symptoms
  • Describe COVID-19 symptoms in group meetings
Removal of customers, leaders, crew
If customers, leaders or crew show symptoms of COVID-19 and are either unable to or unwilling to be tested, Intrepid reserves the right to remove them from our trips to prevent any risk to others.

Flexible Booking Conditions
Customers will be supported by flexible booking conditions to stay home if unwell or displaying symptoms

Flexible Work Conditions
Intrepid will support leaders and crew to stay home rather than lead a trip if they are unwell or displaying symptoms. Schedules will need to be created with back up availability of leaders/crew.

Data Collection & Health Tracking
Intrepid will assist government health departments in tracking and tracing any customers, staff, leaders, crew or suppliers at risk of contracting COVID-19 via exposure to a known case and/or outbreak by providing relevant details in line with privacy laws and regulations.

COVID Tracking apps
Intrepid strongly recommends that customers and staff download COVID tracking apps (e.g. COVIDSafe in Australia, StayHomeSafe in Hong Kong) to assist in reducing the spread of disease within their communities.

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Accommodations

Hotel (11 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
3
Accommodations
3
Itinerary
5
Professional Staff
1
Repeat with Operator
3
Value for Money
3

Ratings based off 1 reviews - currently showing 1 reviews with comments only

Unfortunately the tour guide we had was not as expected. His condescending attitude and the way he spoke to some guests (myself included) was completely unacceptable. When we spoke to him about this he became very defensive and was unable to reflect and adjust his practices. Towards the end of the trip he was not responding appropriately when asked a question, he would not look at the person asking the question and would face others to tell them the answer (usually with his back to the original questioner). He did not speak one word to the 7 of us who were on an 8 hr whale watching trip!!!! Although the tour itself was ok, his attitude and actions make me hesitant to book another tour with Intrepid again.

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