If there is one animal I love it is the elephant! It was a goal of mine to see both the African and Asian elephant in the wild. I had never been on safari, so when I got the opportunity to go to Sri Lanka before our upcoming Africa trip, I couldn’t help but feel like we were getting a warm up. An opportunity to test our safari gear, test photography etc but most importantly it was a chance to see Asian elephants in the wild!
Elephant safari in Sri Lanka Udawalawe National Park
Udawalawe or Yala – which to choose?
We were looking at possible trips to Udewalawe or Yale National Park. We eventually decided on Udewalawe for a number of reasons. Firstly we had heard that Yala, was the more popular of the sights and sometimes you could be fighting with a number of other jeeps to get close to wildlife. Also, despite having fewer elephants, the smaller park size meant there were greater chances of getting a great elephant sighting.
Udawalawe Sri Lanka
So off we went. We had literally been in the park for four minutes when we came across our first elephant. He was more than happy to put on a show, showering himself with water right next to our car. If I had been worried about not seeing elephants, ten minutes inside the park had dispelled any concerns. We must have seen about 50 elephants during our 4 hours in the park. My personal favourite was watching a family of elephants heading into a pool of water to cool off in the midday sun. I couldn’t have asked for a better shot!
On our trip around Udewalawe – we never saw another car and felt like we were really alone with nature. A big shout out has to go to our guides whose eagle eyes caught things we never would have. Other than elephant we saw numerous birds, and I am sure if we had got there earlier in the morning we would have seen even more.
Unfortunately we didn’t see any leopards which are notoriously difficult to spot – but I will certainly be returning for another shot!