Today I arose at 4:30am to go on a Sri Lankan safari. My breakfast consisted of some sweet bread I found at a small shop. Its little things like not having options for tourists to have breakfast when 100% of them come to this town to do a safari, that shows why Sri Lanka isn’t as popular as other countries for tourists. I’m sure the bigger and better hotels have it planned out.
We were at the park gates by 5:40 and the only jeep there. Another soon joined the queue behind us awaiting for the ranger to open up. We were soon off and spotted elephants. After all elephants are one of the major wildlife draw cards for Sri Lanka. We saw a group of 5 and then we saw a much larger heard a bit further along. I’ve seen elephants in the wild before but its still an amazing sight to see.
Something I didn’t realise was how many peacocks I’d see. Well I didn’t even know I’d see peacocks, but see them I did every 5 minutes or so along with deer running away and the occasional monkey also running away and back up a tree.
Another surprise was the sighting of two jackals. Plus I saw crocodiles, monitor lizards, two many other birds and both species of monkey (Toque macaque and grey langur). We eventually got to another dam, Weheragala Reservoir. This seemed to be the spot all the jeeps crossed paths and there were quite a lot in the park. Turns out no one else saw elephants, except for the one other jeep that started in Lunugamvehera National Park, which borders Yala NP.
Further along word got out there might be a leopard about. Indeed we actually heard the leopard, in fact it may have been two leopards, but despite a small gathering of jeeps waiting in expectation, the leopards didn’t emerge from the jungle. My driver did some searching to see if we could pick up the noises or hear the alarm calls the deer and monkey give off for a leopard, but to no avail.
Still I had an enjoyable safari and rather than prattle on for any longer, I’m going to put a few more photos here to see. I can’t remember any of the bird names except for the peacock and some were kingfishers.