Sri Lanka Leopards to Leviathans – 8 Days
The island of Sri Lanka off the southeast tip of the Indian continent is truly blessed by nature and has a long tradition of respecting nature in return. Being the first kingdom in the world to embrace the Buddhist teachings of respect and compassion for all living things, it is not surprising that the world’s first wildlife sanctuary was established here in the 3rd century B.C.
Sri Lanka boasts the world’s highest concentration of leopards and is one of the best places to have close encounters with blue whales, sperm whales and many species of porpoise and dolphins. More than 70 protected areas covering 14% of the islands land mass support biological diversity greater per surface area than any other country in the Asian region.
Sri Lanka is a global bio-diversity hot spot with half of all species being endemic. The island contains an astonishing range of habitats: deep oceanic trenches, coral reefs, turtle nesting beaches, mangrove estuaries, lagoons, lowland rainforest and cloud forests. With over 220 stunning waterfalls, Sri Lanka has the largest number of falls for the size of its landmass of any country in the world.
Students on this study adventure will learn about eight complex ecosystems through full immersion activities. They will study high elevation flora while climbing stunning peaks, learn about water hydrology while rafting a mountain river and study coral ecology snorkeling over tropical reefs. Camping overnight in the dry lowlands of a world famous national park will offer the best wildlife viewing outside the African continent with leopards, elephants, buffalo, deer, crocodiles, wild boar and birds in abundance. Students will go whale watching along oceanic trenches and release sea turtles from nesting beaches as Sri Lanka is revealed to them with one amazing discovery after another.
There is more to this ancient land, of course, than nature at its best. Human habitation sites here date back over 35,000 years and the Sinhalese civilization that emerged after the advent of Buddhism has left a 2,000-year legacy of beautiful ancient cities and sacred sites. Then there is the 500-year legacy of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonialism students can experience at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort.
Looking for a magical destination to get your kids out of the classroom and into the habit of lifelong, multifaceted learning? This is it!