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Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Sri Lanka offers excellent value – and a private tour tailor made to your preferences provides you with the opportunity to focus on your interests and make the most of your time in this beautiful country. This is one example of how a holiday to Sri Lanka may take shape    –   but do bear in mind it is only one bespoke option of many.

 

The historical and cultural attractions range from the World Heritage Listed Sigiriya Rock Fortress, the ruined city of Anuradhapura, the Dambulla Cave Temple, to the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya and the Royal Botanical Gardens near Kandy. Add to this the wildlife in Yala National Park – including elephants, leopards, crocodiles and wild buffalo, and a visit to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage for an ‘up close’ experience with these wonderful animals, and you have a great diversity of attractions to enjoy. Completing the ‘tick list’ is a beach stay on one of Sri Lanka’s many beaches, with time to relax or to enjoy some watersports. Two weeks is ideal to visit the main regions, with additional time providing a chance to get off the beaten track or to travel at a more leisurely pace.

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Sri Lanka Itinerary

Sri Lanka offers excellent value – and a private tour tailor made to your preferences provides you with the opportunity to focus on your interests and make the most of your time in this beautiful country. This is one example of how a holiday to Sri Lanka may take shape – but do bear in mind it is only one bespoke option of many.

Day 1: Sigiriya

Day 5: Kandy

Day 8: Nuwara Eliya

Day 9: Yala National Park

Day 11: Beach Stay

Day 14: Colombo

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Description

Day 1 – Sigiriya

Land into Colombo today, and transfer to Sigiriya for a four night stay. From Sigiriya there are plenty of attractions to visit by day – and four nights here will enable you to visit the main ones.

Four nights Sigiriya

Day 2 – Polonnaruwa

Visit Polonnaruwa today – this World Heritage Site was the capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th – 13th Centuries, and contains some spectacular statues. Tivanka and Thuparama are the most beautiful and largest Image Houses and Tivanka has the best example of frescoes of the Polonnaruwa period.

Day 3 – Sigiriya Rock Fortress

This morning climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress – a 5th Century World Heritage Site. On its summit are the foundations of the Royal Palace, along with delicate frescoes of 21 life-sized damsels. The Water Gardens, Fountain Garden, summerhouse, Boulder Gardens and Caves should not be missed.

Day 4 – Anuradhapura

This is perhaps the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. It’s greatest treasures are its dagabas constructed of small sun-dried bricks and hemispherical in shape. The city’s most renowned relic is the sacred Bo-Tree, which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment. It was planted 2250 years ago and is the oldest historic tree in the world.

Day 5 – Kandy

Today, transfer to Kandy, visiting the Dambulla Cave Temple en route. The Dambulla Cave Temple is a vast isolated rock mass 500 feet high and a mile around the base. Continue to Kandy for a three-night stay. During your stay witness a cultural show featuring Sri Lankan dance.

Three nights Kandy

 Day 6 – Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

Visit Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, which was started in 1975 to hour abandoned and wounded elephants. The number of elephants has increased to more than 40 now, including baby Elephants brought from various parts, as well as the babies born, as a result of the captive breeding programme.

Day 7 – Temple of the Sacred Tooth & Royal Botanical Gardens

This morning visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Ever since 4th Century A.D, when the Buddha’s Tooth was brought to Sri Lanka hidden from sacrilegious hands in an Orissan princess’ hair, the Relic has grown in repute and holiness in Sri Lanka and throughout the Buddhist world. It is considered Sri Lanka’s most prized possession. This afternoon, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens – started in 1374 and encompassing 147 acres and more than 5000 species of tree and plants.

Day 8 – Nuwara Eliya

Visit a traditional tea plantation today en route to Nuwara Eliya – the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka and set against beautiful backdrops of mountains, valets, waterfalls and tea plantations.

One night Nuwara Eliya

 Day 9 – Yala National Park

Today your destination is Yala National Park for a two night stay. Yala is famous for its big herds and large numbers of elephants, leopards, spotted deer, sambhur, crocodiles, mongoose, wild boar, wild buffalo, and many other animals. More than 130 bird species are recorded which includes the resident and winter visitors. Take morning and afternoon safaris by 4×4 to view the fantastic wildlife here.

Two nights Yala

Day 11 – Beach

From Yala, head to the west coast of Sri Lanka for a stay on the beach. There are plenty of options to suit varying budgets. There are also possibilities for whale watching, with the best chance of sightings on the south west coast generally being during December and January.

Three nights Beach

 Day 14 – Colombo

Transfer to Colombo today – either flying straight home, or spending a night in the city beforehand. The old parliament, Colombo museum and the new parliament are a few key places that can be seen.

One night Colombo

From Sri Lanka, you might like to extend your holiday and visit the Maldives – a series of beautiful Atolls in the Indian Ocean.

Photo courtesy of Jetwing Travels

Photo courtesy of Jetwing Travels

Picture courtesy of Jetwing Travels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little Gems

The Sigiriya Rock is located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka.  The rock stands 200ft high and a 10-20 minute climb up the side will get you to the top and see the eighth wonder of the world an ancient stone fortress.

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New Zealand in 4 Weeks

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A comprehensive bespoke itinerary exploring both the North and South Islands. Four weeks in New Zealand provides time to explore most of the key attractions – and at a comfortable pace.

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New Zealand in 4 weeks

Four weeks in New Zealand provides time to explore most of the key attractions – and at a comfortable pace. The following plan provides an idea of how a bespoke or tailor made four week trip in New Zealand could take shape.

Day 1: Auckland

Day 3: Bay of Islands

Day 6: Coromandel

Day 8: Rotorua

Day 10: Napier

Day 12: Wellington

Day 14: Abel Tasman

Day 17: Punakaiki

Day 18: ArthursPass

Day 20: Fox Glacier

Day 22: Wanaka

Day 23: Te Anau

Day 25: Queenstown

Day 27: LakeTekapo

Day 28: Christchurch

Day 29: Depart New Zealand

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[wptabtitle] Description[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Description

Four weeks in New Zealand provides time to explore most of the key attractions – and at a comfortable pace. The following plan provides an idea of how a four week tailor made or bespoke holiday could take shape.

Day 1: Auckland

Most journeys will start in Auckland, enabling you to explore the NorthIsland first, followed by the South Island.  We usually suggest doing it in this order as both Islands are beautiful in their own way, but it is the South Island that offers the rugged dramatic scenery so often seen in photos and worth working up to!  Auckland is quite a large city by New   Zealand standards, and certainly the busiest you will come across.  Attractions include the Skytower, the ViaductBasin, various museums and possibly a day out to WaihekeIsland.  The ViaductBasin was built to host the Americas Cup a few years ago – and there are Americas Cup yachts in the basin that offer sailing trips out into the Hauraki Gulf.

Two nights Auckland

Day 3: Bay of Islands

The very northern tip of the NorthIsland is well worth a visit. The towns of Paihia and Russell are on opposite sides of the estuary, and from a base here, you might like to explore CapeReinga and Ninety-mileBeach. The Waitangi Treaty was signed near Paihia.

Three nights Bay of Islands

Day 6: Coromandel Peninsula

Coming south through Auckland, and then to the east is the Coromandel Peninsula.  This is home to Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove, and has some lovely scenery, with rain forest in the central spine.  There is some old mining history here for those interested, and good sea fishing as well.

Two nights Coromandel

Day 8: Rotorua

Rotorua was the original tourist destination in the 1800’s, featuring the extraordinary pink and white terraces, which were destroyed in a volcanic eruption in the 1880’s.  Visit the Museum where you can learn about the devastating eruption, followed by a visit to Te Puia, the Maori Arts and Craft Centre.  Te Puia is also home to Whakawerawera thermal reserve.  Follow this with a visit to the BuriedVillage – the remains of the devastation of the 1880’s, and finally LakeTarawera.  There are also a number of other thermal parks around the area.

Two nights Rotorua

Day 10: Napier

Hawke Bay is surrounded by a circle of rugged hills, giving it its unique micro-climate, and making it the perfect location for vineyards and market gardens.  CapeKidnappers is here, if birds are of interest to you and there are some good views to be had from Te Mata Peak.  Napier itself suffered a major earthquake in the 1930’s and was rebuilt in Art Deco style.

Two nights Napier

Day 12: Wellington

This is the capital city and apart from the parliament buildings and botanical gardens, it is also home to the wonderful Te Papa Museum. It is also a unique building in that the foundations are built like a sponge and sit squarely on a major fault.  They are built to withstand quite a sizeable tremor.

Two nights Wellington

Day 14: Abel Tasman National Park

Take the ferry across to Picton on the South Island, and drive around to Abel Taman. This northern tip of the South Island is so often overlooked, but it is one of our favourites.  It is here that you’ll see the crescent shaped beaches backed by lush greenery – easy to spend a full day in the park, using the water taxis to get about, and perhaps walking one of the many trails in the park.

Three nights Abel Tasman

Day 17: Punakaiki

Coming down the west coast, it is nice to break the journey with an overnight stop at Punakaiki.  This is the home of the Pancake Rocks – a strange rock formation, and the overnight stop simply allows you to take your time as these roads are so scenic that you will simply have to keep stopping for more pictures.

One night Punakaiki

Day 18: Arthurs Pass

Turning inland to the central spine of mountains that run through the South Island, this is alpine scenery at its very best.  There are plenty of walking opportunities in the area with stunning views all around.

Two nights Arthurs Pass

Day 20: Fox Glacier and Franz Josef

Returning to the west coast, the next place of interest are the two glaciers of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier.  Take time to visit one or both glaciers, the beautiful LakeMatheson and the dramatic coast at GillespieBeach.  From here also, you can take a sightseeing flight, with or without a glacier landing and hike, and hopefully good views of Mount Cook.

Two nights Fox Glacier

Day 22: Wanaka

The route to Wanaka takes you through the HaastPass and past Lakes Wanaka and Hawea.  Simply beautiful – this little town is surrounded by mountains and is the Queenstown of yesteryear.  Where Queenstown has developed, Wanaka has remained delightfully small.

One night Wanaka

Day 23: Te Anau

Te Anau is the gateway to FjordlandNational Park – for both Milford and Doubtful Sounds. For either, you can visit for a day, or take an overnight cruise. Of the two, Milford offers the more dramatic scenery but is busier. Doubtful Sound has fewer tourists and lovely scenery, but it’s not quite so dramatic.

Two nights Te Anau

Day 25: Queenstown

Sitting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is a sizeable town with activities for every adrenalin junkie!  Here you will find bungy jumping, sky diving, a luge and plenty more.  Much of the Lord of the Rings was filmed in this area, and although the sets had to be removed, the scenery will seem familiar!  For those not into extreme sports, a drive to Glenorchy is beautiful.

Two nights Queenstown

Day 27: Lake Tekapo

This is the home of the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog Memorial often features in brochures. This is also a great place for stargazing as it is a ‘designated dark sky’ area.

One night Lake Tekapo

Day 28: Christchurch

Coming further north is the city of Christchurch. After the earthquakes of recent years Christchurch is still rebuilding, but is still well worth a stay. Punt along the river, visit the botanical gardens or take a tram ride around the town centre. Unique attractions to pop up since the earthquakes include Re:Start – a shopping centre comprised of shipping containers, and the Cardboard Cathedral.

One night Christchurch

Day 28: Depart New Zealand

Lake Tekapo

Courtesy of Angie Watson

Mount Cook New Zealand

Courtesy of Angie Watson

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Little Gems

A stunning lodge in Arthurs Pass called Wilderness Lodge is a real treat and a highlight – located in stunning Alpine scenery and with friendly hosts that are incredibly knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna.

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Tanzania Northern Circuit

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This itinerary takes you to some of the wildlife capitals of the world; the best known being the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater.

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Tanzania Northern Circuit

This itinerary takes you to some of the wildlife capitals of the world; the best known being the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. If you are free to choose when you go, ensure that you are in the Serengeti when the wildebeest and zebra migration is there. But this is an itinerary that has a feast of wildlife, bird life and stunning scenery practically all year.

Day 1: Mount Meru

Day 2: Tarangire National Park

Day 4: Serengeti National Park

Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater

Day 9: Lake Manyara National  Park

Day 11: Kilimanjaro

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[wptabtitle] Description [/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Description

This itinerary takes you to some of the wildlife capitals of the world; the best known being the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. If you are free to choose when you go, ensure that you are in the Serengeti when the wildebeest and zebra migration is there. But this is an itinerary that has a feast of wildlife, bird life and stunning scenery practically all year.

Day 1: Mount Meru

Begin with a stay not too far from Kilimanjaro, in MountMeruNational Park. Here there is a chance to see those animals that like the forest areas such as the black and white colobus monkeys, buffalo and the occasional elephant. The scenery is stunning especially the small but perfect Ngurdotu Crater. The flora is special with red hot pokers being a feature as, hopefully, good views of Mount Kilimanjaro.

One night Mount Meru

Day 2: Tarangire National Park

Today, arrive into the TarangireNational Park for two night stay. This Park is famous for its giants – big herds of buffalo and some of the biggest herds of elephants in East Africa and groves of Baobab trees. The river that flows through the length of the Tarangire is a lifeline to the animals during the long dry seasons. Game drives will be early morning and then again after the heat of the afternoon. Perhaps elect to travel further afield by taking a picnic and heading deeper in to the Park.

Two nights Tarangire National Park

Day 4: Serengeti National Park

The next destination is the World renowned SerengetiNational Park. Aim to be there at the right time of year, and in the right part of the Park, to see the huge wildebeest and zebra migration. With up to a million and half animals on the move, the vast plains will be filled with ungulates. This in turn attracts the hunters and the river crossings are something that we have all seen on our televisions. This truly one of the must see sights in nature. The Park is still very good at all times of the year and has good numbers of all animals, particularly the Big 5. Spend three nights here, or more if time allows.

Three nights Serengeti National Park

Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater

Start the return towards Arusha with the next stop being the Olduvai Gorge to see where palaeontologists found evidence of the earliest man. Then continue on to the Ngorongoro Crater and a lodge overlooking the caldera. Two nights here will provide a full day down on the Crater which is full of wildlife and with a good chance of seeing all of the Big Five. Flamingo may well be found on the lake in the centre of the Crater.

Two nights Ngorongoro Crater

Day 9: Lake Manyara National   Park

The final stop of the safari will be at LakeManyaraNational Park located right beneath the edge of the Rift Valley and home of tree climbing lions. The lodges overlook the Park and are perched on the edge of The Rift Valley. Two nights here will provide time to take some final game drives and to relax.

Two nights Lake Manyara National Park

Day 11: Kilimanjaro

Drive back through Arusha and then on to the airport for the onward or homeward flight.

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[wptabtitle] Little Gems[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Little Gems

Aim to be in Serengeti at the right time of year, and in the right part of the Park, to see the huge wildebeest and zebra migration.

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