nature tour of Sri Lanka
Nature and Botany Holiday
Cinnamon and Orchids

Discover the nature, flora and fauna of Sri Lanka on this 9-day nature and eco holiday. You will experience the intimate and insider experiences of travelling with Tell Tale Travel but your trip will have a particular focus on the flora and fauna of the island.

It is home to many tropical plants as well as spices, cinnamon has been cultivated on the island for hundreds of years. To this day, the fragrant cinnamon from Sri Lanka is thought to be the best in the world and is exported to far flung places from the UK to Mexico.

During the Age of Discovery, Christopher Colombus was driven by his search for cinnamon. Both cinnamon and Ceylon eluded him. Columbus did not get to see that not only is cinnamon used for food from Dutch cakes to Malaysia curries but has many others, including a natural pesticide for Sri Lanka's beautiful orchids. Usually not seen outside the island, its vines of vanilla helped the Orchid Society of Great Britain win a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower show. Whilst the vanilla orchid may not be originally native to Sri Lanka, many of the orchid species found on the island are not found elsewhere.

Discover cinnamon and orchids, and so much more on this nature holiday in Sri Lanka.

This nature tour fits into a Saturday to Sunday a week later so perfect for a week off work! Or if you can take longer, it can be combined as it is with time by the beach OR we can make it into a longer nature/botany and/or birdwatching itinerary depending on your personal interests. It is based on 2 people sharing a private tour.


Day 1: Fly from the UK to Colombo with a choice of airports including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 2: Early afternoon arrival in Sri Lanka. You will be met at the airport by one of our drivers and driven down the winding west coast of this small island to a small town near Galle, which was the main hub during Dutch rule, enticed by the cinnamon and spices. You will arrive in a residential area at the home of a professor in botany and his wife. Time to settle in this afternoon (you will have a comfortable bedroom room with ensuite bathroom) and relax in the garden. Your host has helpfully labelled the many different plants and flowers in his garden. This evening, you will have a delicious homecooked dinner.

Day 3: Today, a guide will pick you up and take you to a vast lake nearby. You will have a boat trip to explore some of the over 60 small islands which dot the lake. The mangroves are a great place to see some of Sri Lanka's many colourful birds, including kingfishers rooting around the large water lilies. You will stop at an old temple, though one of the highlights will be seeing cinnamon cultivated still in the same ways as days gone by. Evening at leisure.

Day 4: An early morning start and time with your host (a professor in botany) exploring a forest nearby. Amongst other things, he will show you how to identify native plants and you will look for orchids in the wild. Free time. In the late afternoon, your driver will take you into Galle to have a look around this UNESCO-rated Dutch fort city. Have a walk along the ramparts and see the lighthouse before having dinner at a restaurant of your choice in the centre of the old town.


Day 5: This morning you will be picked up by a naturalist and birdwatching guide who will look after you for the next couple of days. You are heading to Sinharaja rainforest, which is a couple of hours drive away, surrounded by tea estates. You'll be staying in a lodge in the forest, although the forest is a small one, it is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have a nature walk in the rainforest this afternoon, though note the foliage is very dense.

Day 6: An early morning start and a nature walk and birdwatching in Sinharaja rainforest. You may see that unusually the birds move in mixed flocks here. Look out for the Ceylon Magpie Urocissa ornate, bright blue with a red head and wings. Listen out for them too, they can be pretty noisy with their mimicry.


Day 7: You'll be driven to a boutique hotel with a pool where you can relax for a couple of days. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 8: Day at leisure. Optional visit to gardens nearby.


Day 9: Early morning drive to Colombo airport and fly back to the UK. Arrival back approximate 8pm UK time.


This 1-week private tour costs £1,400* per person, based on two people sharing a private tour. This ATOL-protected holiday includes flights from the UK to Colombo, accommodation, private transport, activities/excursions and most meals. Beach extensions are possible. We can also customise the itinerary. *This price applies on most bookings, exceptions are predominantly travelling in peak times such as August or December, linked to flights.


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0800 011 2571
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tea estates flowers
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