Things to do
Out of Sri Lanka’s plains rises one of the world’s oldest sites – the stunning Sigiriya Rock Fortress, or Lion Rock. Explore the ancient pleasure gardens and the incredibly preserved frescoes of this 5th-century city – and stop at the enormous lion’s paws at the old entrance. Climb to the summit for spectacular jungle views and the archaeological remains of the city’s foundations.
Make time for a trip to the 1st-century Dambulla Cave Temple. These five, labyrinthine temples are filled with ancient cave paintings and Buddhist artefacts. Admire over 150 statues of Buddha and ancient insciptions in the shrine rooms.
Many come to this part of Sri Lanka for an elephant encounter. These gigantic yet gentle creatures gather at Minneriya National Park – home to one of the world’s largest groups of Asian elephants. Book a private safari experience with an expert guide for the best chance of spotting herds drinking at the watering holes, and baby elephants frolicking. If you’re lucky, you may also see leopards, sloths and a hanging parrot or two.