udawalawe national park elephant safari

Sri Lankan Safari: Udawalawe National Park

Disclaimer* Be prepared for some adorable pictures, that will have you wanting to squeeze baby elephants

In case you havn’t heard, I had the best trip ever in Sri lanka two months ago, and I am completely smitten with Elephants. After the humbling and magical experience visiting an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia last year, I wanted to use every opportunity abroad to get closer to these gentle giants. So there was no doubt that we were going to see them in Sri Lanka.

I have written a previous post on ethical elephant tourism which I want everyone to familiarise themselves and one of my aims is to make aware the places that truly do great conservation work for elephants versus the ones that call themselves orphanages or conservation park but have no interest in the elephant’s well being.

There are a few wild life parks in Sri lanka, Yala and Udawalawe to name the most popular ones. Yala is more popular for leopards while Udawalawe is an elephant-lover’s paradise. The good thing with most wildlife parks is the freedom given to the animals to roam and do what they please, without too much interruption from us humans. All you do is admire from a slight distance, without petting or getting out of safari jeeps.

The park reaches almost 31,000 hectars, enough space to drive for 2-3hours.

TIP: Do not fall into the trap of getting tickets online and through tours, they bunk the price up extensively! Just arrive at the park and there will be many drivers ready to greet you and give you cost of them driving you including the ticket cost, this came to roughly 25USD in total, a total bargain compared to the nearly £100 a friend of mine paid when booking the same safari online.

Now for some of the cutest pictures:

elephant safari sri lankaudawalawe national park sri lankaimg_2797-1img_2716-1sri lankan elephant

The best time to visit would be around 4pm so that you experience sunset and  a beautiful backdrop for pictures. The elephant’s are also more active during this time, avoid the mid-afternoon, nobody enjoys that scorching afternoon sun!

Elephant’s aren’t the only animals you will come across at the national park. The park also has 4 leopards, however, you would be extremely luck to encounter them. There are also many water buffaloes, birds of prey, crocodiles, deers, wild boars

My friend Marie Norton took some amazing pictures, some of which are feature on this blog, check out her site here.

What are some of your favourite elephant encounters?

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