Southern Province, Sri Lanka
Culinary & Nightlife

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Our most recommended Southern Province, Sri Lanka Culinary & Nightlife

From Ella: Shuttle to Mirissa/Galle with Udawalawe Safari

1. From Ella: Shuttle to Mirissa/Galle with Udawalawe Safari

After 5:00 AM pick-up from your hotel in Ella, Haputale or Bandarawela, head for Udawalawe National Park, where you'll switch to an open concept safari jeep in order to have the best views. An early morning start ensures you'll see the animals during one of their most active times of day. See herds of elephants for sure and have fun watching for crocodiles, monkeys, water buffaloes, various endemic birds species and much more. Along the way, you'll learn about and observe the natural habitats of the local wildlife while you snap some amazing photos. In the Morning/Afternoon, enjoy a packed meal. Then, at the end of your 3-hour safari adventure, switch back to the comfortable, air-conditioned car for the ride on to Mirissa/Weligama/Unawatuna or Galle where you'll be dropped off at your hotel.

Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

2. Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

Spend the night in a treehouse at the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka and look for wildlife on an evening and early morning nature trek. Benefit from the expertise of a game ranger as your personal guide. Day 1: Following pick-up at your hotel, journey towards Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Tissamarama, head to the luxurious Leopard Nest campsite and check in to one of the treehouses. Enjoy lunch at the campsite's main restaurant or at one of the many outdoor locations before some time to relax. Get back to nature with an evening game drive and look for wildlife, such as leopards in their natural environment. Return to the campsite to freshen up before drinks and appetizers around the campfire. Dinner will be served at one of many locations throughout the camp. Day 2: Enjoy breakfast at a private location by a lake whilst listening to the singing of birds and feeling the fresh breeze. Start to trek through thick bushes with a pathway access to a wonderful lake which offers breath-taking views and bird watching opportunities.

Yala National Park: Leopard Safari Full day tour with Lunch

3. Yala National Park: Leopard Safari Full day tour with Lunch

After being picked up from your hotel in the local area at around 5:00 AM, you will enter Yala National Park to explore the light forests, scrubs, grasslands, lagoons, and magnificent range of animals. Over nearly 400 square miles, the park consistently wows visitors, with its range of lagoons, riparian zones, monsoon jungles, and more, supporting a veritable arc of fauna. As you traverse the park, get the best view of it all from a modified game viewing safari Jeep. After exploring the vast park for a few hours at the helm of your knowledgeable guide, you’ll stop for a picnic lunch at a beautiful viewing spot. Unwind for a while after lunch and get ready to enjoy your second round of the game drive.  As you criss-cross through the stunning landscape, you have the opportunity to see elephants, sloth bears, toque monkeys, wild boar, water monitors, marsh crocodiles, and perhaps the crown jewel of Yala National Park, the spotted leopard—of which the park has one of the highest densities in the world. After your full day of safari exploration, you’ll be transported back to your accommodation, thrilled at the preserved piece of nature that you have experienced.

All-Inclusive Afternoon Yala Safari with Beach BBQ Dinner

4. All-Inclusive Afternoon Yala Safari with Beach BBQ Dinner

Get picked up from your Tissamaharama, Yala, Kataragama or Hambantota hotel. Hop into the Safari Jeep and travel to Yala National Park for an exciting game drive. Yala Park is situated in Sri Lanka's dry zone, made up of scrub jungles, water reservoirs, brackish lagoons, and riverine habitats. It has the highest population density of leopards in the world, and is also home to a herd of 300-350 elephants. As well as leopards and elephants, keep an eye out for animals including sloth bears, black-naped hares, spotted deer, sambar, hanuman langurs, toque monkeys, stripe-necked and ruddy mongooses, wild boar, and golden jackal. You may also see the enormous land and water monitors and, of course, marsh crocodiles. You will be taken to a private beach where you have a couple of hours to explore, dip your toes in the cool water, and enjoy a 4-course barbeque dinner with a glass or two of wine. The beach is located in an exclusively private area and dinner is set up only for your group. The Jeep will take you back to your hotel.

2-Day Whale Watching & Southern Sri Lanka Tour

5. 2-Day Whale Watching & Southern Sri Lanka Tour

The sea off Mirissa between Galle and Matara is one of the best places in the world to see endangered blue whales. This two-day tour also gives you the opportunity to see some of the important places in the southern coastal belt such as Galle fort, Unawatuna beach, sea turtle hatchery and more. On day one, meet your tour representative and proceed to your hotel in Mirissa, En-route enjoy a Bentota and Galle sightseeing tour. Bentota beach is the most popular beach holiday destination in the island. Galle is one of the ancient sea ports of Sri Lanka and was an anchor point in the Silk Route. It was later discovered by the Portuguese where they built a fortress and the Dutch that succeeded them fortified it further. This fortress is today a World Heritage Site. During the Galle city tour, visit Galle Fort, Bentota Beach, Galle coastal area, Galle lighthouse, Kande Vihara, Cinnamon Island, a handicraft center and mask carving center. Visit a sea turtle hatchery project, spice garden at Matale where spices and herbs used for Sri Lankan cuisine and medication are grown. Then take a Madu Ganga boat ride to discover this Ramsar Wetland. Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary is the place where you can have a glimpse of the fascinating underwater world and see the creatures that inhabit the unfathomable depths of the sea. The famed coral gardens are located here. Just get hold of a glass bottomed boat or goggles and flippers and plunge into the ocean. Overnight stay in Mirissa  Day two is filled with whale-watching experiences. Miriissa off the southern Sri Lanka coast is one of the best-known places for the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet – lunge-feeding humpback whales and blue whales. Groups of whales construct enormous circular fishing nets with bubbles to catch vast shoals of herring and then launch themselves high into the air with their mouths wide open. This activity is most prevalent from November to April, but can be observed throughout year. 

Full-Day Leopard Safari at Yala With Picnic Lunch

6. Full-Day Leopard Safari at Yala With Picnic Lunch

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to Yala National Park by a modified game viewing safari Jeep, then start your game drive at the National Park. Yala Park is situated in the Dry Zone in Sri Lanka, comprising of a range of habitats including scrub jungles, water reservoirs, brackish lagoons, and riverine habitats. Yala has one of the highest leopard densities in the world. Its elephant heard is of about 300-350. Your guide will deliver the picnic lunch to the location where you will enjoy your lunch. Unwind for a while after lunch and get ready to enjoy your second round of the game drive. Hop in to the Jeep and start the afternoon game drive by searching for leopards. If you are really lucky, you may be able to witness a few of them during this game drive. In addition to leopards, elephants, as well as mammals such as Sloth Bears, Black-naped Hare, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Hanuman Langur, Toque Monkeys, Stripe-necked and Ruddy Mongooses, Wild Boar, and Golden Jackal can be found in Yala National Park. You can also see reptiles like the Water Monitor and Marsh Crocodile.

From Bentota: 2-Day Tour to Wild Wonders and Galle Fort

7. From Bentota: 2-Day Tour to Wild Wonders and Galle Fort

Day 1: Bentota-Weherahena-Yala Upon starting your journey at 4:00 AM from your hotel in Bentota, you will be met by your designated chauffeur guide. After exchanging formalities at your hotel, you will be escorted to your air-conditioned vehicle in which you will proceed to Yala. En-route, visit the Mirissa fisheries harbor, and partake in a whale watching tour. Whale watching in Mirissa is one of the most sought-after activities in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is one of the best places to spot blue whales after a short period of time from the harbor. Mirissa is one of the best places to see not only blue whales but also sperm whales and dolphins. Visit Weherahena Poorwarama Raja Maha Viharaya is situated in the Matara District of Sri Lanka, about 6 kilometers from Matara town. This unique temple is known as the first tunnel temple in the world. The temple hosts a massive 130-foot Buddha image that was built following the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa eras. It also consists of all the main features of a Buddhist temple, such as the pagoda, a sacred bo-tree and a Samadhi Buddha statue. Following this tour, you will proceed to Yala National Park, one of the best national parks in the world to spot leopards. Here you find a large concentration of leopards in a small geographical area. Yala is home to many species of wild animals such as leopards, elephants, crocodiles, and monkeys.  Day 2: Yala-Galle-Hikkaduwa Early in the morning, you will proceed to Yala National Park to go on a lovely jeep safari. Yala National Park is the second largest on this island based off the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka. You will get a chance to see the famous Sri Lankan leopards, indigenous wild water buffalo, Sri Lankan Sloth Bears and large herds of Sri Lankan Elephants. The park is also home to many other species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. Later, visit the Galle Fortress and Hikkaduwa Beach. Galle Fortress is the best preserved Dutch fort in Asia, and it is one of the 7 UNESCO world heritage sites on the island. The Dutch Fort is a fortified city built in the 1600's and is home to hundreds of houses, palaces, shops, churches, museums, bars, pubs, hotels and much much more. On completion of this day, you will begin your journey back to your hotel in Hikkaduwa.

Luxury Camping and Safari Experience in Yala Park

8. Luxury Camping and Safari Experience in Yala Park

Embark on a glamping adventure at the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka, Yala. Upon arrival at Tissamarama, check into your luxurious campsite and get acquainted with the onsite amenities. Spend some free time relaxing and enjoy a delicious lunch at the campsite’s main restaurant or at one of the many outdoor locations. After your lunch it’s time to head out into the wilderness and immerse yourself in the fascinating natural landscape of Sri Lanka. On the game drive, look out for leopards and elephants in their natural environment and learn about these animals from your experienced guide. After your safari, head back to the campsite to freshen up before drinks and appetizers around the campfire. Dine on a BBQ dinner and mingle with the other guests as you talk about the wonders of the safari. Wake up early on the second day to freshly brewed local tea or coffee, then head out for another game drive to search for animals at their most active part of the day. After the drive, enjoy a tasty breakfast of freshly squeezed juices and seasonal fruit before check out at 11am and the return journey back.

From Colombo: Handungoda, Galle, Ahangama, & Kosgoda Tour

9. From Colombo: Handungoda, Galle, Ahangama, & Kosgoda Tour

Spend a day exploring Handungoda, Ahangama, Galle, and Kosgoda in Sri Lanka on this guided tour. Visit a local tea factory in Handungoda, meet stilt fishermen in Ahangama, tour the coastal city of Galle, and interact with sea turtles at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Start by getting picked up from your hotel in Colombo by your chauffeur. Ensure that you bring a packed breakfast with you if you did not have a meal at the hotel. First, stop at Handunugoda Tea Factory, a factory known to create some of the most luxurious teas in the world. While Sri Lanka has many sought-after teas, this tea factory is famous for a different reason. The factory has reawakened the ancient Chinese tradition of creating virgin white tea that is untouched by human hands during the manufacturing process. During your tour of the factory, see how this mysterious process takes place. Next, travel to Ahangama to meet with stilt fishermen, one of the most iconic figures of Sri Lanka. Watch them fish and learn about the process from the fishermen themselves. Later, get free time for an optional lunch break at a place of your choice. After, head to the coastal city of Galle. After withstanding three foreign invasions, Galle grew from a bustling port to a fortified yet scenic city with many monuments that have withstood the ravages of time. Marvel at Galle Fort, a World Heritage Site. See the Galle Lighthouse, National Maritime Museum, the picturesque cobblestoned streets, and many more colonial remnants. At the end of your city tour in Galle, head to the final stop on the itinerary: the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Learn about the five types of sea turtles that visit Sri Lanka for nesting and how the nests are protected. Interact with baby turtles and see some of the fully grown turtles that are getting treated for injuries here. After spending time with your new turtle friends, get a return transfer back to your hotel in Colombo.

Tangalle: Yala National Park Wildlife Safari

10. Tangalle: Yala National Park Wildlife Safari

The tour starts with pickup from your accommodation in Tangalle, then the adventure begins as you head out to Ruhunu Yala National Park to explore its 126,786 hectares. Yala is famous for its big herds and large number of elephants, leopards, spotted deer, sambhur, crocodiles, mongoose, wild boar, wild buffalo, along with many other animals. In addition, more than 130 bird species are recorded to live here, including the resident and winter visitors. Throughout the safari, search for the world’s most concentrated number of leopards, sloth bears, and elephants, as your knowledgeable guide and driver expertly navigates the vast area and roads. Learn about the animals that live here and the work that is done to preserve this natural habitat. Admire the stunning scenery of the park, which sits alongside the Indian Ocean and is a rich haven for over 250 varieties of animals and birds. This is an unforgettable adventure that will leave you with a lifetime of memories.

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What people are saying about Southern Province, Sri Lanka

It was a really great city tour. It was informative, completely relaxed and it felt like we already knew each other. Because it was so personal, points weren't just worked through, but we started talking and was brought so close to the city that afterwards I felt much more comfortable even at night and would have liked to stay longer.

We had a private tour...unexpectedly. Everything worked out great, we were picked up on time, then handed over to a jeep, where there was a breakfast box on the way, then enjoy the safari and at 11.30 a.m. we were already in Mirissa. To recommend!

I had a tour guide Muditha from Withlocals. A well educated and very nice young man with proper knowledge of English and international experience. Enjoyed talking to him and his company. From the downside - expected to see more for this money.

Very quiet pleasant and punctual transfer. The safari was great, we were said to be really lucky and saw all the wild animals and, above all, a lot of different elephants.

Was great! Saw a lot of animals and the guide was super excited to show us everything he could! Highly recommend.