SAFARI & SURF
Your second super-early start may be a little harder than the first, but the thought of what kinds of wildlife might be waiting for them in YALA NATIONAL PARK should still get your kids up and out long before the start starts to rise. By now, everyone will probably feel like safari veterans, used to the routine of a dawn start in search of fishing cats, muntjac deer and giant squirrels, before returning to camp for breakfast as the heat of the day starts to build. Spend your last few hours in Yala skirting round the lakes and rocky outcrops of Block 1 or bumping through the thick forest of Block 3 or Block 5 on one final quest for leopards. Then it’s time to head back to the place where you were dropped off on Day 8, where your driver will be waiting to whisk you off to a well-earned break on Sri Lanka’s south coast.
With beaches extending either side of TANGALLE, roughly half way along the coast, the area around this amiable fishing town is a great place to base yourself for a couple of days of rest and relaxation. Tangalle is just under 90km from Kataragama, and just over 70km from Tissamaharama, so within a couple of hours of your last wildlife sighting in Yala, you can be sunbathing on palm-fringed sands or rollicking in the waves. The sea can sometimes get a bit too rough in the afternoons for younger children, so for a gentle introduction to the area, head to MEDILLA BEACH, 5km east of Tangalle, where offshore rocks provide a natural shelter from the waves.
WHERE TO STAY
THE LIJOMA LOWDOWN
Delve deeper with our tips on what to read and watch before you go, foods and drinks your kids must try, and some key cultural advice
From safari camps to beachfront villas – our pick of the most memorable places for families to stay in Sri Lanka
NEED TO KNOW
A handy overview of Sri Lanka’s weather and climate throughout the year, with recommendations for the best time to visit
Pre-trip practicalities, including getting there, visas and passports, health and safety and how to get around
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