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Things you must do in Sri Lanka- A catalyst for wanderlust

he small island of Sri Lanka serves all brands of travellers with its astoundingly diverse landscapes and their distinctive allurements, just a hop, skip and jump away from each other. Here are just a few of the bucket-list adventures proffered by the tear-drop jewel of the Indian Ocean.

  1. Go beach hopping around the island

    Beach Holidays in Sri Lanka with Walkers ToursSri Lanka is brimming with unique wonders courtesy of its rich legacy and beautifully variegated topography, and in order to best enjoy this captivating island, tour in Sri Lanka with local travel experts such as Walkers Tours. Such a company will help you tailor your vacation to perfectly suit your preference; for instance, beach buffs have plenty of options, from Bentota which is the picturesque hub for water sports, and Mirissa is the whale watching capital full of Instagram-perfect sites, while Unawatuna is great for exploring underwater coral realms.

  2. Chase waterfalls in the highlands

    The gentle roller-coaster that is a rustic Lankan train ride doesn’t get better than the one from Kandy to Ella, steeped in the sloping verdant vistas of tea plantations and hills that rise up in graceful majesty all around you. After a few days spent lounging on the pristine beaches and surfing the glassy-turquoise waves, you will feel transported to quite another world! The colonial town of Nuwara Eliya, for instance, is crowned by hills with filigreed waterfalls glistening in the distance and even a gracious castle that fits seamlessly in with the nickname of “Little England.” There is plenty to do in the Highlands, such as forest hikes that yield dazzling views and gorgeous waterfalls, such as the Diyaluma Falls, in which to bathe. Another must-visit site is the Horton Plains, a UNESCO-listed terrain uplifted by misty peaks and hosting a plethora of natural gems. Your mountain treks will be amply rewarded by delicious eateries in the picturesque towns.

  3. Heed the call of the wild

    Whale watching in Sri Lanka with Walkers ToursSri Lanka’s divergence of terrains and stunning coastlines are home to countless exotic species of fauna, from the mighty blue whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine creatures, to the inhabitants of its dusky mangrove forests and well-preserved UNESCO-approved wildlife sanctuaries. In addition to this, you can also find animal rehabilitation centres which enable you to get up close and personal with baby turtles, gentle elephants, and even tropical snakes!

  4. Visit the heritage cities

    Dambulla Sri LankaIf you’d fancy a time portal into history, visit the storybook towns of Galle and Kandy. The former is a seaside fortress of quaint cobbled streets, a potpourri of colonial architecture and contemporary art, affording close proximity to the deliciously wild Southern beach havens. The latter, also known as Lanka’s Hill Capital, consists of gardens where royal courts once trod, and mountain passes intermingled with tea estates, giving you an exclusive whiff of kingdoms and colonies.

  5. Shop in Colombo

    This eclectic metropolitan hub is great for spending a couple of days before heading on to the iconic retreats, Colombo city is ideal for shopping, cafe-hopping, and MICE tourism. Some must-visit places include the Old Dutch Hospital now an avant-garde space for upmarket boutiques, Spa Ceylon and Barefoot for authentic Sri Lankan gifts, and the Good Market for locally-sourced organic produce.

Yala National Park Sri Lanka

If you’re planning to tour Sri Lanka, you should definitely make plans to view the island’s amazing wildlife. In recent times, Sri Lanka has been cited as a premier destination for safari-goers outside of Africa. This is in large part due to the numerous national parks doted around the island, and among these ones clearly stands out – Yala National Park.

The Location

Yala is situated in the South-Eastern edge of Sri Lanka, bordered by the waters of the Indian Ocean to the south. The park stretches for over 130,000 hectares and consists of a variety of biomes, from dense scrub forests to lagoons surrounded by fertile grassland. Due to Sri Lanka’s highly developed road network, reaching the park mis relatively easy by car – it’s a 300km drive from Colombo via the Southern Express Highway.

Leopard Watching at Yala

If there’s one thing Yala is known for above all else, it’s for its leopards. In fact, Yala boasts one of the highest concentrations of leopard anywhere in the world! Due to a large number of vehicles that pass through Yala near every day, these big cats have become habituated to safari jeeps and do not shy way from them. As such many safari operators – like Walkers Tours – make a point to seek out these elusive big cats, providing you with some excellent photo opportunities.

The Elephant Herds of Yala

Leopards aren’t the only stars of Yala, as the park is home to several herds of majestic Sri Lankan elephant. There exists a natural corridor that connects Yala to Uda Walwe National Park, and the elephants regularly use it to travel back and forth between the two protected areas. If you’re aching to get a good look at these gentle pachyderms, the dry season which lasts from May to August is the best time to visit.

The Other Denizens

While the big cats and elephants are the park’s main attractions, they are by no means its only residents. Yala is, in fact, a bird lover’s paradise – it is home to over 130 species of birds, including the rare black-necked stork and raptors like the crested serpent eagle. If you visit the banks of the park’s many lagoons and tanks, you’re bound to spot basking mugger crocodiles and the odd monitor lizard. Ungulates like chital and sambar – favourite prey of the leopard – are also a common site.