Going to the south ... and a safari.
(Back to February 2015)
Leaving the fresh air of Nuwara Elia behind, we head for the South, towards Tissamaharama.
Our new hotel jumps us with (very overpriced) various visits and activities as soon as we arrive. Amongst those, a jeep safari catches our attention!
At that time, naïve as we were, we told ourselves "Well, a safari in a preserved natural park sounds more appealing than a zoo filled with caged animals!"
At 5 am sharp, the jeep speeds down the road in the pre-dawn darkness. We are seated in the raised and windowless back seat, next to other people curious enough to wake up this early. It takes us about 40 minutes to reach our destination. We join up with another jeep along the way, and then another...in the end, it’s a dozens vehicle convoy, far from the promised non-invasive trip.
We finally reach the meeting point. The tiny square quickly turns into a noisy and polluted car park. We wait for another hour for the park to open. Nirvan stresses out, afraid to miss the Sun rising over the park while the drivers are enjoying their coffees. To calm down a bit, he takes a walk in the "park’s museum", which looks like it’s been decorated by children and takes less than one minute to be completely seen!
After waiting in line for every vehicle to grab a ticket (50 jeeps overall...) the actual visit can start. We enter the well known grand Yala National Park !
Peacock (lots of peacocks, zillions of peacock everywhere !), buffalos, a few crocodiles seen from far away. Our guide swears these aren’t rocks! We better trust him, regarding to the price of the ticket!
And warthogs! PUMBA!
At some point, our car and a few others start driving backwards. "Wait, what is happening?!" The answer turns out to be pretty simple: we realized afterwards the drivers had cornered a little elephant, but got ready, scared when this little strong elephant ran fiercely at them!
And there we are, the whole convoy making a ruck-us in the wilderness to escape an elephant. Fearful and angry, the beast can still be a hazard though, but the drivers congratulates each other on a job well done after escaping.
We stop for lunch on a beach...and then we spot another elephant, casually trekking on a huge rock!
Big round rocks, green landscapes, it’s still very pretty!
When suddenly! An other elephant stuffing his face with leaves!
Later on, after settling down a bit, we spent some quality time admiring another elephant. The poor beast also gets scared by our engines. The elephant wasn’t seriously angry though, so the incident ended up being a bit comical!
Enjoy our first youtube video of the elephant’s funny noise !
After this inconclusive experience, we go for the west, with the city of Galle !