- Discover Sri Lankan wildlife, big and small, with George McGavin
- Play an active part in the ongoing wildlife monitoring programmes at Gal Oya
- Meet local indigenous tribes and learn how humans survive in the jungle
- Travel in the company of budding naturalists of all ages
Join this exciting, multi-generational group trip to Sri Lanka, specifically designed for curious minds of all ages, to explore the fascinating natural world of Sri Lanka. While you will see big mammals on this trip, there are myriad smaller animals in Sri Lanka that are equally as compelling. These creatures range from butterflies and beetles to scorpions and spiders that make up most of the island's ecosystem. George McGavin, entomologist and BBC natural history presenter will shine a light on these species to provide a fascinating and alternative insight into this beautiful and exotic island.
During this 10 day exploration of Sri Lanka’s natural world, there will be many memorable experiences. You will be travelling with people of all ages and the activities have been specifically curated and designed to suit both adults and children. The main focus of the tour is to look at Sri Lanka's wildlife with George McGavin as your guiding naturalist. You visit Gal Oya National Park where you take a night safari and set up camera traps, crucial to the Gal Oya animal monitoring programme. Learn about the resident species caught on these cameras and watch their nocturnal activities.
Follow trails through the largest intact tract of lowland rainforest in Sri Lanka. The forests of Sinharaja have no sound pollution, just the noise of nature. Monkeys run riot in the trees yards away from you and hidden waterfalls invite you to take a welcome, refreshing swim. During this trip, you also visit a lush tea plantation to learn about life as a tea planter and meet local families who live in the area.
Why Travel with BBC NATURAL HISTORY PRESENTER George McGavin?
Good science and nature presenters are hard to find and those that can translate their skills into guiding are an even rarer species! Guides are the first essential component of a successful wildlife holiday and in George McGavin, Steppes Travel is confident we have found just that. George is keen to show all the group, young and old, the variety of Sri Lanka’s flora and fauna as well as the entomology. Whatever wildlife you do see on this trip, it will undoubtedly be varied, exotic, colourful, bizarre and fascinating. With George to accompany you, you will learn so much more than on an independent holiday.
Complimentary Copy of 'Bugs' by George McGavin
The magnificent bug lover’s pop-up book about arthropods, written by George, will be received by every confirmed booking on this tour.
Who does this tour suit?
This tour is perfect for naturalists of any age. It provides a hidden world of insects, spiders and other creepy- crawlies. We invite amateur entomologists to find inspiration in the mind-boggling variety of bug life to which Sri Lanka is home. George will ensure the tour is jam-packed with useful information and scientific trivia. This is a multi-generational focused tour, with places limited to only ten participants. Dates coincide with October school half-term break so that school-age children are able to participate. Due to the walking element, this tour is not suitable for younger toddlers.
What is the accommodation like on this tour?
During this tour, you will stay in a carefully selected range of accommodation chosen for its open spaces to ensure there is room for little legs to run off steam, often with an opportunity to take a dip in a pool. In some instances, the properties have been taken for exclusive use. Horathapola is a chic colonial bungalow set in 50 acres of gardens and has two family suites which are great for families of four travelling. Madulkelle is an eco-lodge with spectacular views of the plantations, and the accommodation is African safari style luxury tents. Gal Oya Lodge offers roomy and private bungalows with ample space for children in the living area and in addition, a two bedroomed villa at the highest point of Gal Oya.
How fit should I be to enjoy this tour?
General overall fitness is required. There will be some hiking opportunities through the forest, with trail paths ranging between one and four hours in duration. The paths will be chosen to suit the pace and age of the group.
Do you need a visa for travel to Sri Lanka?
All visitors need a visa to travel to Sri Lanka. There is now a provision for an online e-visa for citizens of certain countries, including the UK and the visa must be obtained before arrival in all circumstances. Tourist visas issued in the UK have six months’ validity from date of issue.
What will the weather be like in Sri Lanka in October?
The weather in Sri Lanka is always warm regardless of the time of year. Expect full sunny days and temperatures bordering on high 20's. You won't need to bring warm clothes with you although a waterproof is a good idea as there is often a few rainy days. The sun goes down at 6 pm every day so early to bed, early to rise.
What is the food like in Sri Lanka and what provisions will there be for fussy children?
Most of these smaller hotels use typical rural techniques – fresh spices are ground on a stone, curries are cooked in clay pots, and most of the ingredients are homegrown. However, the chefs are able to produce western cuisine as well as vegetarian meals. Not all Sri Lankan food is spicy, although some of it is mind-blowingly hot! The "local rice and curry" tends not to hold back. Try hoppers, which is a cross between an omelette and a pancake. There will always be white rice, pasta, chicken, pancakes and fruit. The chefs are more than happy to do something a little special for children if required. The hosts will ask each guest beforehand and then cater to their requirements as best they can.
Can I extend my time in Sri Lanka after the tour?
Yes, this can easily be arranged at the end of the tour. Private travel arrangements with a car and driver will be provided.
For every human being alive, there are 40 tonnes of insects! That is equivalent to five African elephants!
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.