23 October 2016
Sri Lanka, that beautiful island that hangs off the tip of India like a pearl earring, is home to so many natural and man made wonders which have delighted visitors from around the world for years. But how many people realise that this tropical paradise is also a great place to go whale and dolphin watching? On this week long tour, which can be combined with a longer stay in the country, you have every chance of getting up close to these wonderful sea creatures as well as spending days exploring two of Sri Lanka's great cities, the capital Colombo and the port of Galle.
On arrival at Colombo airport you will be met by one of our tour representatives and driven to your hotel in the resort town of Hikkaduwa. The journey will take around four hours and you can get a flavour of the country and its people as you drive along. Once checked in at your hotel the rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore on your own.
Today you leave early from the Mirissa Harbour for a whale watching excursion with a naturalist guide. Set out across the azure sea with the clear crisp morning breeze to keep you cool. The naturalist will tell you all the facts about local marine life making the expedition an intense experience. Continue out to sea and hopefully encounter the mighty giants, the Blue Whales, Sperm Whales, Killer Whales and several species of dolphins. Sightings of other species of whales and dolphins are not uncommon and after a rewarding excursion, return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Another day, another chance to see those giants of the sea in their natural habitat. Set off early again from Mirissa Harbour taking with you a packed breakfast and enjoy another five hour whale and dolphin watching trip out to sea. Return later and the rest of the day is free for you to relax and soak up the tropical sunshine or go exploring on your own or on an organised excursion.
The morning is free today before you are taken on a city tour of nearby Galle, which is said to be the famous Tarshish of the Bible where King Solomon obtained gems and spices. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka in 1505. Captured and fortified by the Dutch, who ruled Sri Lanka in the 17th and 18th centuries, the city still retains the air of old Holland. Within the well preserved 90 acre fort and ramparts are old Dutch churches and monuments and lots of well preserved old houses and narrow alleys still bearing Dutch names.
Today you make another early start and head back out to sea for five hours in the hope of encountering more whales and dolphins. In the warm Indian ocean you can hope to see see Blue whales, Bryde´s whales, Sperm whales, Fin whales, and Killer whales, and Common dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Spinner dolphins, Risso's dolphins and Striped dolphins. Sometimes you can also get close to turtles and various fish species including Bluefin tuna and flying fish.
After breakfast today you leave for Colombo on the way enjoying a boat ride on the Madhu River and visiting the Turtle Hatchery in Kosgoda. Arrive in Colombo and check in at your hotel and then you are taken on a city tour. Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka and has long been the traditional gateway to the Orient. Today it is a fascinating city with a charm of its own. It also has a superb range of high quality restaurants and some of the best shopping opportunities in Asia. Check out the old Galle Face Hotel and watch the locals playing cricket on every available open space.
Today your wonderful whale and dolphin watching tour of Sri Lanka comes to an end. Make time for some more sightseeing and souvenir shopping in Colombo before you are picked up at your hotel and taken to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home. This wildlife holiday is ideal on its own or if combined with a longer stay on Sri Lanka.
Superior Double Room fr £841pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated