We were incredibly lucky to see a Leopard right at the end of our safari in Yala national park. That was definitely the most memorable moment but there were so many highlights. Our guide was fantastic, finding us great places to eat and the food was always excellent. Sri Lanka has so much variety in its landscapes that every time you turned a corner there was a fantastic photo opportunity. Kandy and Galle were both beautiful and you have to see Nuwara Eliya to believe why they call it 'Little England', a real home from home. The beaches were stunning as were the temples and the wildlife but probably the best thing was the people. They are so friendly and have the best smiles in the world!
How was your Explore Tour Leader?
Sarath was excellent. He was very organised, helpful, knowledgeable and passionate about his country. Nothing was too much trouble and he would always try his best to keep everybody happy and succeeded almost all the time and had a great sense of humour. He also had a great team with Hector, our excellent driver, who always managed to avoid everything that was either in the road or heading towards us on the same side of the road! He would often pull over having spotted something of interest, allowing us to take photo's. Ravi was always on hand to offer us help and provide water and biscuits on some of the longer journey's. Kumara was the driver of the luggage van and although we didn't see him very often, our luggage was always at our next hotel.
What tips would you give to someone else booking this tour?
Pack mainly for warm weather but my wife & I were grateful for our lightweight waterproofs on our walk on Horton Plains so it's best to be prepared. Banks are readily available so it's easy to change money or use a cashpoint. Whilst the scenery is great you may want to take a book or a tablet to read as there are a couple of long bus rides. The hotels were excellent. If you forget anything it's easy to pick up toiletries. Pack as light as possible as you will need room for all the local goodies like tea, cinnamon powder etc! Be aware that when you go to certain places to see how things are made or done there will always be a gift shop at the end but it is often best to wait until you get to the next town as you will be able to buy the same things cheaper in the local markets.
Do you have anything else to add?
Don't think about booking this trip, just do it!