Things to do in Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Our most recommended things to do in Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park: Private Safari at Golden Hours

1. Yala National Park: Private Safari at Golden Hours

After being picked up from your hotel in the local area or Park Entrance you will enter Yala National Park to explore the light forests, scrubs, grasslands, lagoons, and magnificent range of animals. With your private 4WD Jeep and expert guide, the ‘Golden Hours’ of the day will be used to focus on leopard spotting, either the first 2 hours or the last 2 hours of the day. Throughout this safari, you will search for the world’s most concentrated number of leopards, sloth bears, and elephants, as your knowledgable guide and driver expertly navigates the vast area and roads. The morning tour will begin at 5am from your hotel, to take in sunrise as the park opens at 6am. Whilst the afternoon option allows you to explore from 2pm until sunset when the park closes at 6pm. Situated on Sri Lanka’s south-east, hugging the panoramic Indian Ocean, Yala is a wildlife sanctuary and home to 44 varieties of mammals and 215 bird species. Leopards, elephants, water buffalo, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted deer, peacocks, and crocodiles can all be found in this rich environment.

Mirissa: Morning Whale Watching Tour

2. Mirissa: Morning Whale Watching Tour

Set sail from Mirissa to witness the breathtaking sight of the planet’s largest mammal, the blue whale, in its natural habitat. Sri Lanka’s southern waters are rich in aquatic life. As well as blue whales, you might see fin whales, sperm whales and pilot whales, as well as many species of dolphins. Depart at 6:30 AM, ahead of the other boats. A complimentary breakfast of sandwiches and fruits will be served on board, along with water and tea or coffee. Knowledgeable guides are on board to answer any questions you may have and help you spot these wonderful creatures. The boat is fitted with a GPS tracking systems, to guide you to the best location to see these extraordinary animals. With over 90% probability of seeing whales and dolphins, you are promised a morning to remember.

Sri Lanka: Yala National Park Private Safari

3. Sri Lanka: Yala National Park Private Safari

Enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty and amazing wildlife of Sri Lanka on a private safari through Yala National Park. Discover leopards, elephants, water buffalo, and more among tall trees, scenic lagoons and golden sand dunes. With the highest concentration of leopards of any national park in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park is a great place for wildlife enthusiasts to get their fill. Catch a glimpse, and maybe some great photos, of these elusive predators. Watch elephants playfully bathing in the mud, and encounter other fascinating animals, including sloth bears, wild boars, spotted deer, and golden jackals. Check out the vast array of interesting birds. Keep your camera ready as you roam through these animals' natural habitat on this wonderful private safari through Yala National Park.

Galle/Unawatuna/Weligama/Mirissa: Yala National Park Safari

4. Galle/Unawatuna/Weligama/Mirissa: Yala National Park Safari

Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel in either the Galle, Unawatuna, Weligama or Mirissa areas. From there, relax on your drive to Yala National Park. Upon arrival you'll go for a safari drive by Jeep, keeping an eye out for local leopards and elephants in their natural habitat. Other indigenous wildlife which are able to be spotted in this park includes sloth bears, jackals, mongoose, spotted deers, buffalo, wild boars, sambhur, and hare. Now the most-visited park in Sri Lanka, Yala is also an important nature reserve for 50 species of butterflies and many species of birds. After the safari, journey back to your point of origin to be dropped off back to your accommodation.

From Hikkaduwa: Udawalawe National Park Safari Tour

5. From Hikkaduwa: Udawalawe National Park Safari Tour

Ride in a jeep and be fascinated by an elephant safari in the Udawalawe National Park. Learn about the herd of elephants that permanently reside in the park from your knowledgeable guide on this adventurous tour. Begin your tour at Hikkaduwa and be picked up by your driver. Proceed to the National Park and spend a thrilling 3-hour trip spotting wildlife on a safari jeep. Find the gracious herd of elephants that live in the park thanks to its abundant water sources. Learn about the hundreds of elephants that annually migrate to the park from nearby protected areas. Finally, head back to the car and be transferred to your hotel in Hikkaduwa.

The True Essence of Colombo:Private Highlights & Hidden Gems

6. The True Essence of Colombo:Private Highlights & Hidden Gems

Ayubowan! Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the heart of Sri Lanka’s capital: Colombo! Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of this vibrant city together with your private host. The very best must-sees, hidden gems, and local snacks await! So, hop on a colorful Tuk Tuk and let your private guide take you from one highlight to another. The Independence Square is a must visit and a great place to kick off your tour. Stroll through the spacious green lawns and marvel at one of the islands' longest standing colonial buildings. Your host can tell you all about Sri Lanka’s historic past and how the city has changed to the modern city of today. Do as the Sri Lankans do and grab some delicious hoppers and vegetable roti. Locals simply love to start the day with this tasty morning snack, especially when heading to Colombo’s biggest park! Filled with lush vegetation, 100-year-old trees and a replica of the White House, this park is a tranquil gem away from the city buzz. Tuk Tuk your way to the oldest Buddhist temples in Colombo with a beautiful lake. Check out an amazing collection of Buddha statues, take a look at a holy tree and admire a relic of Buddha’s hair. Feel free to ask your host any burning questions! Get immersed in real local life and visit one of the liveliest markets. See where locals buy and sell everything from vegetables to electronics. Wander through the labyrinth streets and follow your nose to a nearby cassava chip vendor. See how this yummy snack is made and make your taste buds dance! Head to the banana market and try as many different bananas as you fancy! Curious what else awaits? How about a visit to a mosque in the shape of a pomegranate, followed by a beautifully minimalist Hindu temple? A visit to Sri Lanka’s last King’s jail cell is also a unique gem! While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the stunning view from the lighthouse. What better way to top off your tour than at the relaxing ocean side of Galle Face? Unwind and relax with a cold drink, a delicious prawn cake and a marvelous sunset over the western coast of Sri Lanka!

From Ella: Full-Day Yala National Park Safari Tour

7. From Ella: Full-Day Yala National Park Safari Tour

Visit Ruhunu National Park and explore its 126,786 hectares including the Strict Natural Reserve (Block II). The most familiar is Block I, established in 1938. Yala is famous for its big herds and large number of elephants, leopards, spotted deer, sambhur, crocodiles, mongoose, wild boar, wild buffalo, and many other animals. More than 130 bird species are recorded, including the resident and winter visitors. Head to the National Park to take an afternoon safari around 1:00 PM, as the time of day when you can see leopards and sloth bears emerge out of the shady jungle and roam around. Head to great spots for birdwatchers. The water holes and tanks are a birdwatcher's paradise, offering the chance to see the famous peacock dance. For wildlife lovers, Yala is a must see site in Sri Lanka. Once you've finished your tour, return back to your hotel in Ella.

Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

8. Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

Spend the night in a treehouse at the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka and look for wildlife on an evening and early morning nature trek. Benefit from the expertise of a game ranger as your personal guide. Day 1: Following pick-up at your hotel, journey towards Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Tissamarama, head to the luxurious Leopard Nest campsite and check in to one of the treehouses. Enjoy lunch at the campsite's main restaurant or at one of the many outdoor locations before some time to relax. Get back to nature with an evening game drive and look for wildlife, such as leopards in their natural environment. Return to the campsite to freshen up before drinks and appetizers around the campfire. Dinner will be served at one of many locations throughout the camp. Day 2: Enjoy breakfast at a private location by a lake whilst listening to the singing of birds and feeling the fresh breeze. Start to trek through thick bushes with a pathway access to a wonderful lake which offers breath-taking views and bird watching opportunities.

Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

9. Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

After being picked up at your hotel, hop onboard your Madu Ganga Magrove boat safari and explore the Madu River. See the mangrove forests and marshlands that surround the river. Stop at a cinnamon garden, and try some of the area’s famous cinnamon. The Madu Ganga River region is home to some of the best quality cinnamon in the world as well as a flourishing cinnamon industry. Afterward, marvel at the fishermen who stoically sit atop large branches planted in the middle of the water waiting for their catch. Continue to a local Turtle Hatchery, where your guide will introduce you to the many local varieties of turtles. End your tour with a visit to the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fort illustrates the unique interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries. After discovering the fort, you will be returned to your hotel in Colombo.

Private Transfer: Colombo International Airport to Galle

10. Private Transfer: Colombo International Airport to Galle

Enjoy the convenience of a private airport transfer from Colombo International Airport to your accommodation in Galle. Travel with an English-speaking driver in an air-conditioned vehicle with airport meet and greet included. Meet the driver in the designated waiting area and learn about Sri Lanka's culture, traditions, and customs from a local's perspective on your way to the hotel.

Top sights in Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Other Sightseeing Options in Southern Province, Sri Lanka

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What people are saying about Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 165 reviews

We enjoyed our tour with Muditah a lot! He is an incredibly knowledgable guy, speaks flawless English due to his studies in the US, brought us to some fantastic places and shared some valuable tips with us. Now we feel even better prepared for our 4-week-trip through Sri Lanka! Thanks a lot, Muditah, and hopefully we see each other again at the end of our trip for your street food tour! :)

We liked it very much. Our guide showed us other activities before we went stilt fishing, although they weren't included, it was really great and made us very happy. Now to the guide he was very friendly and nice and it was a great atmosphere fulfilled every wish of ours. Really to recommend. Keep it up

A great tour! I was lucky enough to be there outside of mass tourism, as there is currently a travel warning. On site, however, the situation is completely relaxed. The tour was absolutely fantastic and was great fun!

Great tour, guides and service. Everything was on time and smooth. The national park was beautiful. The only complaint we have is that it's more expensive than if we'd have just arranged with local tour operators.

That was a great tour but because our guide was top notch. We have seen and learned a lot from him - always a pleasure