Abundance of wildlife in Yala and Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka
This is a guest post by Sanadina and Christian who were featured in our Off the Radar Travel Interviews on their travels to Cape Verde, Africa. They have travelled all over the world, Sanadina to more than 40 countries and have continued to travel extensively with their daughter Samsara since she was 6 weeks old. She is now an experienced 5 year old world traveller who has been to more than 24 countries herself. She has seen the Northern Lights in the Arctic Circle, braved the raw beauty of Iceland in winter and hiked for hours in Petra, Jordan!
In this guest post, they tell us about the amazing wildlife they experienced whilst visiting two National Parks in Sri Lanka – Yala National Park and Udawalawe National Park. In my experience, I always hear people always go on about the wonderful beaches, friendly people, great food and culture one can experience in Sri Lanka – and whilst these guys did experience all that and more – it is this part of their 2 week Sri Lanka trip that has captivated me the most and put Sri Lanka top of our list when we head to Asia next year!
Udawalawe National Park is located 165 kilometres from Colombo. It is an important habitat for water birds and elephants and is very popular as a good birdwatching site. The safari takes about 5 hours. Yala National Park is the most popular and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. If you are lucky you can see the leopard and the sloth bear here! The Safari takes about 7 hours. Even though you have more chances of seeing the leopards and bears in a longer safari, the 7 hour felt very long and we were extremely tired by the end of it.
Did you have a preference of one park over the other?
Everyone recommends Yala national park but we thought Udawalawe national park was a real paradise for birds and animals. Elephants are in abundance in this national park, and the landscape is amazing even if your chances of seeing the leopards or sloth bears are less. It was truly wonderful but you can decide by yourself after looking at our unfiltered pictures 🙂
UDUWALAWE NATIONAL PARK
Where did you stay during your visit to the National Parks? Who did you do the Safari with?
We used a company called Shehan safaris, they offer private jeep tours to both the safaris. The cost of both the safaris for 3 people were USD 320. They can also arrange a taxi to and from hotel. We had a very good taxi driver.
When is the best time to visit?
Best times to visit the national parks is from March to October which is the dry season in the East. From November the national parks are closed and is classed as the wet season in this area.
What was it like doing a safari with young children?
We found that travelling with a young child can be very enjoyable when going to a safari. You seem to have a renewed interest in the flora and fauna around you, perhaps something which you would have ignored otherwise. Having a jeep to yourself also means you can get comfortable even if the terrain is anything but! Samsara took naps during both the safaris. So in the end, she was the least tired. We were far more knackered!