Blogs from Yala NP, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, Asia

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP December 12th 2013

Friday 6th December: not a lot to do this day as we had decided to take it easy and enjoy the beach. So after breakfast we headed off across the lawn and on to the beach. It was hot, seriously hot but fortunately there was a strong breeze which made it bearable. We walked down to the shore to be welcomed by a couple of village dogs: dogs are everywhere in Sri Lanka especially along the main roads for some reason, and many of them show signs of having been injured. Although the driving here is pretty crazy drivers do take care to avoid the dogs lying along the verges. So accompanied by our new, scruffy canine friends we strolled down the beach which shelved very steeply into the sea. The swell would break into a ... read more
Room with a view
Little Mermaid 2
I like dogs but..........

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP May 13th 2013

This morning was an early start, a little blurry eyed I made my way to reception with my escort in the dark. We soon set off to the entrance of Yala National Park, it took around 30 minutes by the time our guide had bought the tickets. I really, really wanted to see a leopard - I'd be made up if I did, but, the closest we came was some footprints in the sand unfortunately. We did see plenty of other wildlife on the game drive though, crocodiles, mongoose, hares, a golden jackal, spotted deer, peacocks and loads of other birds. Our driver had heard there are 2 female leopards with 2 cubs each in the area and he was doing his best to track them down. Just before we gave up and started heading back ... read more
A croc in the grounds of our hotel
Our Jeep
Spotted Deer

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP March 30th 2012

On arriving in Tissa we decided to explore the town in search of transport for the following day’s safari and were advised to take the scenic route which took us around Tissa Wewa a large lake near our guest house. What a surprise was in store for us as immediately we happened upon a small troupe of monkeys just hanging around and then a little further around the lake an excited couple of young lads on a motorbike pointed to a crocodile lazing in the sun. Easy to be excited to see one when you have the luxury of a motorbike, but I wasn’t too sure we could out run one if necessary. Then further on still we saw hundreds of fruit bats in two large trees waiting for dusk and tea time. What a wonderful ... read more
Eagle eyed
Pigging Out
So sad

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP October 21st 2011

First, little news from Bangkok. The higgest tide have passed by, and all of Central Bangkok is still on dry land. CNN and BCC are pretty acurate in their statments, but they forget to say something simple. Millions in Bangkok haven't seen the floods. We have supermarkets full of food, with all fresh products available. What is difficult to find is bottles of water. All the imported bottles of water you want, at a premium price, and no local brands. But beside this, everything is available. Sadly, this is not true for the thousands of km2 around Bangkok, and the millions who live with their feet in water. That water is not always safe! Hope the water will go down fast, but we all know it could take weeks in some places. Back to our next ... read more
This place was not so peaceful on 26th December 2004...
The big cat...amazing!
spotted deers

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP October 2nd 2011

Shades of pink and orange reined the skyline and a green basin of water surrounded by wattle & daub huts and colourful fishing boats like a necklace—this little fishing village had a befitting label—Dhuuwa—an isolated point like an Island. The basin, which is a natural harbour, is a rare site in Sri Lanka enjoyed by these villagers who dwell here to pursue a livelihood in deep sea fishing. Many generations have made this their home for at least six months of the year. When the waves caught up with the rock formation; on occasion was splashed with cosmic orientations painted in white froth, fine as in beer making a Mandala impression on the pastel blue sky. Coral red crabs bask in the Sun upon these rocks but they are not troubled by the waves. Inquisitively they ... read more
The big smile
The catch
Chintake feeling better

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP May 8th 2011

One of the things that amazed me on this trip was the experience of nature and how it differed as we progressed on the journey. The start of the journey was agonizing and it was stressful driving the vehicles. Slow and hot, every hundred yards or so we had some challenge or another. Marshy grounds that needed to be driven on with the four wheel-drive in low gear and sometimes the jeep would travel forwards on its side in the mud. Whilst this seemed fun at the beginning, very soon the excitement wore off. It’s ok to drive a jeep on marshy land sideways, but it increased the possibilities of jeopardising the whole trip if the vehicle got stuck on a deep muddy hole. The concentration brought mental fatigue and the physical exertion which was stressful ... read more
Butterflies 2
Butterflies 3
Butterflies 4

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP May 7th 2011

At sharp 7am on the 7th day of the week and the 7th day of the month of May 2011 I crossed a river to the Kabilitha Devale. Whether by coincidence—I am not sure! But sounds uncanny! I only realised it later in the day when I had a quiet moment to contemplate on the distressing journey of the last two days. We were to embark on this trip on the 30th and despite all my efforts to make it happen on that day, disappointment awaited us when I was informed that the water levels of the various places we had to cross was over six feet. There was no way that our Jeeps would take that level of water and current without getting washed down that river. Manju called and asked me to cancel the ... read more
Dusk
Elephant corridor

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP May 5th 2011

The road ahead was not a road or even a path. At times there were tyre tracks but in general I followed Manju not knowing which way to turn. Be warned! This journey cannot be made by a two wheel drive. It cannot be made in a posh vehicle either even if you had all wheels powered. On that note please do not take a computer controlled Land Rover or a Range Rover. If the computer gives up on you, which happens to these vehicles all the time, your agent will not visit you there to recover it. In addition please do not take automatic vehicles. It is likely that you may have to abandon it in the jungle for days. If you do so, you will have to return to the base camp at Kumana ... read more
Praying
Here we go!
Okay!

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP May 5th 2011

We travelled along a river bank all the way up to Kabilitha and it took us two days. There was a track made through the dense forest by previous pilgrimages. There is a myth that Kabilitha was first recognised by the Vaddhas. They are the aborigines of Sri Lanka and long before any foreigners visited this country it was the Vaddhas that inhabited this land. The Vaddhas just as the aborigines of Australia, although primitive to our way of life are first consciousness beings. They are able to communicate, know and be on a level that is incomprehensible to most of us. This I am sure is because they are connected to the cosmic laws and nature. It appears that the Vaddhas during ancient times treated Kabilitha as a spiritual courthouse to settle their differences. It ... read more
A herd of elephants crossing
Kitchen table?
Wild Buffalo

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Yala NP January 17th 2010

During one of our strenuous days in Ella the idea of an overnight stop in Yala National Park came up. The five of us (Sarah, Roly, Emma, Scott and I) decided to hire a car to drop us in Tissa so that we could do a morning safari the following day before going our separate ways. The drive form Ella to Tissa was, in typical Sri Lankan style, absolutely gorgeous; rolling hills, deep valleys, jungle, waterfalls and rice paddies. On arrival in Tissa we checked into the hotel and began the hard task of bargaining about the price of a 5am - 12pm safari in Yala National Park with the hotel owner. His initial price was about 4500rupees per person; far higher than the price that was suggested in Lonely Planet. Throughout the bargaining process we ... read more
Going  to Yala involves an early morning wakeup
Welcome to Yala
Rice paddy fields in Tissa




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