Udawalawe National Park, Uva Province, Sri Lanka
2 days - December 2018
We never thought of going on a safari outside of Africa! What a surprise to discover that Sri Lanka has many wild elephants in Asia.
Direction Udawalawe (I probably forgot one or two syllables ;)). We just returned from our morning hike (waking up at 2:30, we go on for 23 kilometers and 1100 m of altitude ...) and our chauffeur is already here. We ride in our taxi privatized with our two new Australian friends. Superb road between rice fields, mountains but our driver is not careful at all…
4 hours later, we are exhausted and we arrive at the doors of the national park.
The next day, wake up at 4:30, we are ready for our safari - the morning is better for the observation of animals. (We would have done without this new early morning wake up!)
It's in our jeep that we go through the park. A big apprehension when at the entrance we see fifty jeeps but eventually the park is large, we do not cross a driver so often.
Our guide has the eye and spot immediately many birds with 2 beaks resembling toucans, wild dogs looking like dingos, birds of all colors (yes we have forgotten all the names ...), many peacocks, buffalo, crocodiles, deer, monkeys and even an eagle a few meters from us. We are amazed. Funny scene: the herons lounging on the backs of buffaloes taking a bath!
However elephants are desired and it is after 3 hours that we see the first, hidden in the fodder. What a surprise !
Then a few meters further, a dozen with baby elephants. We get closer and we turn off the engine, the elephants surround us. A dog arrive from nowhere, elephants begin to load, we regret to be so close ...!
The landscapes are surprising, a false air of Africa. 10am, it's time to go back - still smiling. It's decided, we're going to Africa!
In the afternoon, we visit the elephant hospital / orphanage. The little ones are bottle-fed, the oldest ones eat A LOT. A little elephant made the audience laugh a lot when he took a stand for his needs!
What a surprise this safari. If we were a little skeptical because of the fear of mass tourism and little respect for animals, we are finally delighted!
Place to relax now, a week on the coast!
# We stayed at the Splendid Lake Old Safari Lodge. Very nice room, very good Rice & curry but we did not appreciate the surprises on the bill (not justified) ... 2900 rupees a night.
# We booked our safari by the hostel, very satisfied with the guide! 5500 rupees per person - entrance to the park included
# driver Adams peak- Udawalawe: 18000 rupees for the car.