Cloaked in national parks and blessed with a plethora of extraordinary wildlife, Sri Lanka is an excellent destination for a remote and tropical escape. On this holiday, discover two wonderfully wild locations offering contrasting landscapes. If you’re looking to relax within strikingly beautiful scenery, enjoying flora, fauna and a fantastic beach, this trip is for you.
Ease into your adventure in the countryside near Colombo, before making the intrepid journey into Gal Oya National Park. Gal Oya is one of Sri Lanka’s lesser-known parks and a real ETG favourite. One of the unique things about a stay here is the variety of safari options: you can walk or cycle, take a classic jeep ride or even a boat safari, all in the company of an expert naturalist. Spend your days here spotting elephants and thousands of birds, meeting the indigenous Veda tribe, and swimming lazily in the beautiful pool.
OVERNIGHT FLIGHT // 5 NIGHTS AT GAL OYA LODGE
Gal Oya is home to Sri Lanka’s only boat safari, which offers an unparalleled opportunity to watch animals drinking at the water's edge. With a little luck, you could spot elephants swimming between islands or bathing at the lake's edge. You might also take bird walks and hikes, from leisurely strolls to trekking up granite mountains with 360 degree views. In the evening, partake in the animal monitoring project and help to set up camera traps around the lodge.
Join the resident chef in the kitchen for an introduction to Sri Lankan cookery – including national favourites such as curry, sambal and roti. You are, of course, welcome to sample these treats at the end of the class!
What makes Gal Oya Lodge so unique is just how off-the-beaten-path it is, which allows for some truly immersive experiences. Hidden amongst the wilderness of the bordering National Park, the lodge itself is stunning, offering unique wildlife experiences, fantastic trekking and the opportunity to learn about Sri Lanka's last indigenous tribe.
Next, it’s south to Tangalle, one of Sri Lanka’s most untouched beach locations. You will stay at renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa’s final masterpiece, the evocatively named Last House hotel. Perched at the tip of a 2-kilometre stretch of rugged golden sand, you can admire tropical palms and local fishing boats directly from your hotel (you may even head out on your own fishing expedition). Plus, since there are a few other boutique hotels in the area, it's excellent for eating out locally.
5 NIGHTS AT THE LAST HOUSE
Visit the humble home of a dairy farmer in Tangalle and see how he and his wife work hard to keep the age-old cottage industry of buffalo curd-making alive. It’s something different, but remarkably eye-opening.
There are a small variety of villages and temples to which the hotel staff will be happy to arrange a visit. You may also join a night time trip to the turtle conservation project at nearby Rewaka although, if you are lucky, you might see turtles on the beach directly in front of the hotel!
The beautifully designed spaces, both indoors and out, make Bawa's final masterpiece the perfect tranquil hideaway. What’s more, this is truly a local destination: spy fisherman hauling in their latest catch, watch locals playing cricket and visit nearby towns where communities live a traditional way of life.
Sri Lanka’s two monsoon seasons can often leave travellers confused as to the best time to visit. For this particular itinerary, we’d recommend travelling from late December through to September (although there is a slightly higher chance of rain from May onwards), making it ideal for a winter or Easter break. Visit our page on the weather in Sri Lanka for more information.
By booking with us, you will receive a complimentary boat safari and cooking course during your stay at Gal Oya Lodge (in addition to the activities that are always included during a 4-night stay). At the Last House, you will receive half board free of charge and, if you book before 31st March 2021 and travel before November 2021, your 5th and 6th night's accommodation will be free of charge.
Revitalise is a culmination of 16 years’ work, research and client feedback. Our travel team take annual trips to each of our destinations, testing the experiences and inspecting the hotels (someone’s got to do it, right?). We are passionate travellers in our own lives, and we have all visited Asia with our friends, family or backpacks. Basically, we’ve done the legwork: we know travel. And that’s why these trips are nothing short of magical.
We understand that while you may be itching to travel again, committing to a trip right now feels daunting. That’s why we have introduced our COVID-19 promise. We promise that if you book a holiday with us, but for any reason cannot travel due to COVID-19, we will refund you the bulk of your money, up to the day of your departure. We hope that this will give our travellers a little peace of mind and help you enjoy the magic of travel anticipation once again.
An ETG experience cannot begin unless our travellers feel secure in every respect. Financially secure: we are fully ABTA and ATOL bonded. Fully supported: our friendly team is on hand to help 24/7 before, during and after your trip. Free from hassle: we will ensure your trip runs like clockwork. Plus, all our experiences are tried and tested by our discerning team, so you can rest assured every excursion you book with us is both worthwhile and ethically sound.
With ETG, the experience starts the moment you pick up the phone. We are committed to seamless service at every stage of your journey. Before you depart, your dedicated travel consultant will provide all the information and insider tips you need to get you prepared (and excited!). Your in-country experiences will be distinctive, tailored to you, and always reveal the fabric of the destination. And you will come home with memories to share - not just photos to show.