During our time in Sri Lanka, we visited two of their Nationalparks. We wanted to go on a safari to see the Elephants in their natural habitat and in the end we even saw many other animals too and it was a memorable experience.
In this post we want to collect all our informations about the two parks Udawalwe Nationalpark and Yala Nationalpark that we visited.
The first Safari that we made was in Udawalwe. We stayed at a sweet guesthouse from a local family which is calles Baby Elephant Green House. The family has only two rooms for visitors, they were currently working on two more rooms on the upper floor. They cooked us very delicious Sri Lankan food and made us feel at home. We love to stay in a Homestay with local people.
The family also organized the Safari for us. We arrived there in the late afternoon and after our arrival they organized a safari for the next morning. We had a Jeep with a driver to ourself which picked us up early in the morning. We did a half-day Safari and it cost us about 23 Dollar for the driver with Jeep and 40 Dollar (for 2 People) for the entrance of the park.
The Udawalwe Nationalpark is one of the smaller parks and compared to it’s size it is home to many Elephants. The chance to see Elephants on a Safari there is very high. In fact we have seen tons of Elephants there. Even a mother with her calf. We felt that the Elephants at Udawalwe aren’t very afraid of the people visiting. They looked liked they are used to it and sometimes they came pretty close to our Jeep which was amazing.
But we have to say there is an issue which could might be the reason for that. No one told us about this before and we want other people to know. Since Udawalwe got a sanctuary the forest grew a lot which is very good for many of the animals living there. But it is not for the Elephants. These giants need a lot of grasslands to eat and now they don’t find enough food anymore. It’s quite difficult for the people there because in a protected area they can not interverntion into nature. For that reason many of the Elephants are thin. We didn’t expected anything like that and were a bit shoked to see this. Especially the mothers with their calves that have to give milk have a big problem with that. But the Nationalpark has a sanctuary which helps the young Elephants that don’t get enough of food. For the same reason you also meet Elepahnts at the border of the Nationalpark where the street to get to Udawalwe extends. A lot of tourists gave the Elephants fruits and now they come there and wait for some food which is not good because it’s an intervention into wildlife. Please do not feed any Elephant if you see them there.
Except for the Elephants we saw a Crocodile, many Buffalos, Peacocks, Monkeys and deers and many more animals. Overall we can say it was an amazing experience for a very good price.
The second Nationalpark we visited was Yala which is located at the south coast of Sri Lanka and it is one of the biggest Nationalparks they have.
We stayed at the exceptional Wild Coast Tented Lodge and it was an amazing experience. Of course this place is a bit more expensive than what we normally spend it was worth the extra money. As a tipp if you like to book an accommodation like this we recommend you to always book them early in advance because like that you can safe a lot of money. We had all the food and drinks and also one Safari included in the price.
Our room was a huge tent which was so beautifully furnishes. We loved every details about this room and especially the stunning bathtub. What we also loved about the resort is that they have made a commitment to Sustainability. They explained us that the water they use in the resort for example gets recycled so that it can be used over again.
Also a very great thing about staying at a place which is located in a Nationalpark is that there are animals even around your housing. We saw several wild boars during our stay and also buffalos.
When we arrived we decided to go to the late afternoon Safari this time becuase the weather forecast for the next morning wasn’t very good. The ranger from the resort which guided our Safari did an amazing job. It was so much fun and very interesting because he knew everything about the animals. We shared the Jeep with one other couple and the guide and of course a driver. The driver did an amazing job too becuase when we heard of a Leopard sight he drove like crazy that we made it there to see them before they disappeared. To see those two Leopards on a tree was the highlight of this Safari. Even though we could see them only through a telescope.
The Yala Nationalpark is way bigger than Udawalwe and if you go on a Safari there the driver brings you to one of the sectors of the park. It is to big to drive all the way through. But this leads to meeting way less other Jeeps with tourits, what we really liked. We saw some Elephants again but from farer away and we also saw many deers, buffalos, wild boars, a corcodile and monkey. Also our ranger made us attentive that there are also many very beautiuful birds living there which a lot of people overlook because they are only concentrated on the big animals. It was overall a very great experience and a very high quality of guidance at the Safari.
When we got back from the safari we only changed clothes and then directly went down to the beach at the Wild Coast Tented Logde where they had a beautiful beach bar under the stars. Was so romantic. After we had an amazing dinner there. We have to admit that there weren’t many vegetarian options on the menu which was the single one thing that we can criticize on our stay.