I had heard a lot of good things about doing a safari in Sri Lanka, and I had decided that Yala National Park was the one to go for (there are quite a few others but I heard Yala was the best).
I was super excited then when I heard fellow travel blogger Hanna of Hanna Travels would be there at the same time hosting a Polish tour group. This meant I could stay with them in a large, awesome cottage in Kataragama (the main town for Yala) and do the safari with them. So I got some company, and it was much cheaper than me trying to do it all on my own! Winner (thanks Hanna!)
So I arrived early afternoon from Hikkaduwa, which by the way was a hot 5 hour journey of 2 buses (the 32 to tangalla then the 333 to kataragama). It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had made my way around the coast as planned, but Hanna was there on a certain date so I had to speed up my timing.
Oh, and I’m discovering it’s better to go clockwise around Sri Lanka rather than heading south first but I’ll write a post on that later!!
Anyway, I finally arrived covered in dirt from sitting next to an open window (did I mention it was hot?!) and discovered Hanna had booked an awesome 8 bed ‘cottage’ just outside Kataragama called Heina Nature Resort. The owner was so helpful doing our washing for free and giving us use of his driver, would fully recommend it!
That evening we all went out to a local temple where they were holding some sort of ceremony… Not sure what was going on but it was pretty impressive.
We had a 4:30 wake up the next morning for the safari so an early-ish night was in order. The next day was epic, we did a full day including lunch for 5,800 rupees (£29). It was a 10 hour ride around the 378sqm park, seeking out all Yala had to offer, and we pretty much saw it all!
…many many Birds:
Deer & Monkeys:
…and the elusive Sri Lankan leopard, which we didn’t think we were going to catch, until we were driving out of the gate after 6pm and our hawk-eyed guide spotted it!!!! How this was possible I don’t know but we caught a glimpse nonetheless…sadly no photo though 🙁
The only downside was the bumpy bumpy roads which meant we were thrown around the jeep all day, but it was so worth it! If you are in Sri Lanka DO NOT miss doing a safari, it was epic!
Have you been on a safari, what animal was your favourite?