Why My Family is Visiting Sri Lanka Now
With her planned family trip to Sri Lanka just around the corner, Mariah Klekner, Account Manager for Khiri Travel North America, is confident the experience will be a trip of a lifetime, with fewer crowds and more attractions just to themselves.
We are so excited to be traveling with our 18-month old, Conor, to Sri Lanka. Home to beautiful beaches, tropical climate, tea plantations, UNESCO world heritage sites, and wildlife-packed national parks, we can’t wait to explore all that Sri Lanka has to offer.
August is an ideal time to be traveling through Sri Lanka. The weather is mild and there are fewer tourists, so no lines or crowds to navigate while enjoying the sites. With fewer visitors in the national parks, wildlife is able to roam around more freely, making it a fantastic time to go on safaris. Fewer visitors also means more attention to detail and personalized service at hotels and restaurants. Great weather, less waiting, more animals, and better service? Sign us up!
The plan is to arrive in Colombo and spend 12 days traveling all over the island. We are looking forward to staying in some wonderful boutique hotels that are welcoming to a family of three. Wild Grass Nature Resort is one we are really looking forward to. It is located in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, close to the UNESCO world heritage sites of Sigiriya Lion Rock and Dambulla cave temple. With just eight villas, it’s set among 25 acres of unfenced forestland that is said to be home to rabbits, deer, wild boar, monkeys and over 40 species of birds, and even the occasional wild elephant!
From there, we’ll head to Kandy for a visit to the Temple of the Tooth and immerse ourselves in the culture of the area. We’ll get to meet a local family, tour their garden, and join in making a home cooked meal with them in their kitchen. I’m so excited to try all the tropical spices and rich Kandyan flavors! From Kandy we’ll head out to the mountains on a three-hour train ride. No matter whether you call it a train, or a choo-choo like Conor, who doesn’t love a scenic ride on the rails? It should be a fabulous way to see Sri Lanka’s hill villages and the countryside.
We’ll disembark from the train in Nanu Oya and drive to Nuwara Eliya, where we will meander through the tea plantations. I can’t wait to try all the different types of tea at our private tea tasting. Limiting the amount of teas we bring back as gifts may be tricky.
Conor is a huge animal lover. He will stand in our backyard and point out squirrels in the trees, shrieking with excitement. One of the biggest highlights of this trip for him (and for me too!) will be our safaris. I’ve already mentioned that now is the best time to go on safari in Sri Lanka, and we’re lucky enough to be going on a safari in not one, but two different locations – once while we stay in Wild Grass Nature Resort, and again in Yala National Park.
Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s most famous National Park, and with good reason. It is home to an amazing range of wildlife. We have a good chance to see peacocks, black bears, elephants, and if we’re real lucky, leopards. This will be our first time staying in a tented camp! I really appreciate that Kulu Safari is ecologically conscious. They have a no-plastic policy and offer purified water in reusable glass bottles. I love that they maintain a small ecological footprint – I want Conor to be able to come back here when he’s older and have the same experience as he did as a toddler.
We wrap up our journey in Colombo. The capital city is known for its lively streets, and vibrant mixture of modern life, colonial architecture and ancient ruins. We’re lucky to have an insider, Rashan, to lead us on our tour, aptly named ‘Rashan’s Walk’ that will take us through the bustling streets of Slave Island and Galle Face Green. With his passion for the city, we are sure to get a wonderful glimpse into the local lifestyle. My husband, Danny loves street food, and can’t wait to try out Rashan’s favorite place to get ‘kottu rotti’.
I do feel like I need to address the concerns that my family has had. We’ve all heard about the bombings that took place last Easter. It’s scary thinking that I could be bringing my toddler into that. But when I started researching, I learned that the State Department currently considers Sri Lanka a Level 2 travel advisory, which is the same rating as France and Italy. While Conor’s Nana is still nervous, she also worries when we take him to the playground!
I feel like I’ve been carrying on, but I’ve only offered a glimpse into some of the places and hotels we’ll be visiting while in Sri Lanka. There is so much more planned that I know will just be amazing! I’m going to pour a cup of tea, and get started on the packing list.
***Don’t forget to check back to read the next installment as we get ready and decide on what to pack for our 12-day family trip.***
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