The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
The Family Southern Explorer combines Sri Lanka’s spectacular southern beaches, close-up views of elephants and marine turtles and brings history alive. This tour is recommended for families with young children who will enjoy fun-filled activities within a safe and friendly environment. We have designed an easy-paced holiday offering accommodation with character.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer to a convenient hotel close to the international airport. Relax and unwind after your flight, preparing yourself for the adventure ahead.
After an early breakfast, travel to Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle via the Millennium Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle, a remarkable project where animal rights workers and elephant experts provide captive elephants with a retirement home. A guided tour around the centre will explain the good work being done at the Foundation and is the perfect way for the family to appreciate the wonder of the elephant.
Travel on to the Cultural Triangle and your family-friendly hotel where the chance to splash around in a swimming pool is a must. Consider a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park best known for the biggest gathering of Asian Elephants. During the dry season, herds of up to 150 elephants can be seen here. Sambar deer, toque monkeys, as well as plenty of birdlife, including cormorants and painted storks can be seen. The cultural triangle sites can tax the patience of some children, but a clamber to the summit of Mount Sigiriya will delight many and Ritilgala forest monastery also has a touch of Indiana Jones about it as you climb up the partially-concealed steps which often appeals.
Travel on to Kandy which is steeped in history and culture. Visit the ancient Temple of the Tooth where a tooth relic of Lord Buddha is enshrined. Continue on to the Victoria Golf and Country Resort 20 kms east of Kandy. Check into the Victoria Golf Chalets set within the magnificent 500 acre estate surrounded by the scenic Kandyan Hills and the Victoria Reservoir. Facilities include an 18-hole golf course, putting green and practice range, floodlit tennis court, swimming pool, Saddle club, riding lesson for adults and kids, horse safaris, bird watching, and bike trails.
Today you journey to the western foothills of the central highlands for your overnight stay in Kitulgala. This is an area with tropical rainforests, winding rivers and an undulating terrain. Kitulgala owes its popularity to the Kelani River which offers exciting Grade 3 rapids for rafting. Rise to the sound of bird call and the gushing waters of the mighty Kelani; go white water rafting or canoeing. You will stay overnight at the Borderlands Riverside Camp in Kitulgala.
Travel southwest to the coastal town of Bentota and check into Avani Bentota for a five-night stay where you will relax and enjoy the sandy beaches and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Children will be kept entertained with the numerous water-sports on offer on the calm Bentota lagoon, alongside the sea including banana-boating, water-skiing, jet-skiing, windsurfing and wave boarding. They will also love seeing the baby turtles at the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project which is a pioneering effort in conserving the endangered Marine Turtle species that come to nest in along the west coast of the island. Globally, all seven species of marine turtles existing are endangered. Out of these seven, five species of sea turtles come ashore to nest in Sri Lanka. The process of marine turtles nesting, hatchlings being born, and swimming back to sea is an ancient and phenomenal ritual that is fascinating to observe. You have an opportunity to contribute the Marine Turtle Conservation efforts through the project in Kosgoda where you will observe this endangered species without interfering with its natural breeding habits. We also recommend a visit to Galle’s 17C Dutch Fort which is about an hour south of Bentota. Galle Fort’s well-preserved ramparts overlooking the cricket stadium, lighthouse staring into the Indian Ocean, narrow streets lined with colonial period buildings still in use, museums, shops, cafes, and boutique hotels full of character, make for an interesting morning’s excursion.
Jetwing Beach is tastefully designed along contemporary lines with Bawa influences, taking the surrounding seaside landscape into full view. Interiors are minimalist and elegant with cement floors and walls enhanced with dramatic contemporary art. The hotel is very much a home away from home, and has something special for everyone.
Habarana Village by Cinnamon is a successful mid-range hotel in the cultural triangle with an excellent reputation for reliability among its mix of individual holidaymakers and package tourists. Set on an acre of garden edged by a serene lake that brings nature right to the doorstep
The Victoria Golf Chalets offer exceptional value and are perfect for the golf enthusiast, who wants to waste no time before getting on the first tee. The Victoria Golf & Country Resort also offers a host of recreational activities that even non-golfing travelling partners as well as children will enjoy. All chalets have private verandahs with stunning views of the Knuckles Mountain Range.
Avani Bentota is beach hotel of excellent quality fronting the confident and broad beach of Bentota, a much-loved family resort on Sri Lanka's popular south-west coast. It was originally designed by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka's iconic architect, and was refurbished and rebranded in 2011.
Borderlands camping is based in Kitulgala, a riverside village that offers Sri Lanka’s best white-water rafting experience. Accommodation is in tents and wooden cabins on stilts and built right over the river.
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