After a steep descent from the hill country we arrived at the 30,000 hectares Udawalawe National Park (200m), an ideal place to view elephants at close range. In our first 15 minutes in the park we spotted two herds of elephants, a jackal, peacocks, buffalo, a crocodile and a pair of bright green parrots. Off to a good start!
A herd of elephants in the Udawalawe National Park
This old bull was not friendly!
Elephants use their trunks to feel for the bottom when crossing muddy water
Throwing dust to get rid of flies
Painted Stork fishing
Looks like the buffalo enjoys the mud
Sri Lankan deer
Croc sunning itself
Storks nesting high in a dead tree
Buffalo at dusk
Kottu – roti, vegetables, eggs and chicken curry finely chopped at high speed is a dinner staple
Yala National Park is the second largest National Park in Sri Lanka. It sits on the Indian Ocean to the South East on Sri Lanka and contains the highest density of leopards in the world. We didn’t see any leopards, but on an early morning walk we spotted tracks of elephant, bear and leopard all within 50 metres of our hotel – maybe that is why you need a guard to take you from your cabin to the dining room after dark! We were there in the hot dry season. Many birds and mammals are drawn to the few remaining waterholes.
Friday is considered a lucky wedding day in Sri Lanka
Beware of elephants when entering the Chaaya Wild Hotel in the Yala NP – run if you see one!
Egg hopper for breakfast – wafer thin pancake made in a bowl shape with an egg cooked in it and …
… filled with curries of your choice
The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami deposited this statue on the beach
Traditional fishing boats look too fragile for the surf on the rocks here
Wild pigs roam the hotel grounds at dusk
Heron sitting on a water buffalo in the lake near the hotel
Bird looking for food in the lake
White Breasted Kingfisher
There are lots of Palm Squirrels around the hotel
The croc has his eye on the heron!
Beautiful fly catchers
There are a lot of peacocks
Elephants love the water lilies
Like mother – like daughter
Unfortunately we didn’t see any leopards, but we did see the tracks 50 meters from the hotel