I told you how I wanted to visit Sri Lanka to take that amazing train ride on the Blue Train right? There was a second reason to visit Ceylon. We wanted to go on a Safari in Sri Lanka. Did you know that Sri Lanka has the best safaris outside Africa? As soon as we booked our tickets to this gorgeous island, we started researching for national parks and decided to visit the Yala National Park. We both couldn’t wait for that day to come especially, Louis! It was such a bucket list afternoon for him!
The bad side
Before I tell you about our experience, I would like to note that not every sanctuary is ethical not only in Sri Lanka but in any country and it’s really easy to make the wrong choice. When I booked this huge trip of ours (you’ll see why it’s huge in the following posts) I really wanted to see elephants. We were visiting a few different countries like Sri Lanka and Indonesia and I knew we had the chance to visit an elephant sanctuary in either one. I’ve heard Sri Lanka had great safaris and that Bali had the Mason Elephant Park.
Well, while planning, I found out that there is NOT an ethical elephant sanctuary in Bali. And that there is this “elephant orphanage” in Sri Lanka that after “saving” baby elephants they keep them in captivity (obviously) and don’t ever set them free since they don’t know how to be free anymore. There are also rumors about riding them inside the area but not sure if those rumors are true since I didn’t find anything over the web besides elephant owners offering elephant rides outside the park. Please DO NOT RIDE ELEPHANTS. I could write a whole article only about this just to make you see the abuse in this horrible situation. Instead, at the end of this blog post, I’ll add a link of Christian Le Blanc’s Black tusk project to clue you in.
So, back to this whole safari experience! We booked a hotel very close to the park’s entrance and went on the afternoon safari. The hotel was gorgeous! It was the Cinnamon Wild Yala and it was surrounded by nature. We had monkeys and deers walking inside the hotel area and we could see wild buffalos near the lake from our hotel’s pool. It was such an amazing experience! We stayed at the beach chalet which looked like a treehouse and we had the most amazing time! I swear, a squirrel making noise on our window woke us up the next morning! The staff of the hotel booked our safari experience for us having us a guide explaining everything during this 3-hour ride! We got to see spotted deers, wild buffalos, and water buffalos, elephants, jackals wild boars. Oh, and like a million monkeys! They are everywhere in Sri Lanka! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a leopard so there’s a reason for us to visit this place again!
I’ll shut up now and let you see the photos!
Love, Lucy xx
Here’s the link for the Black Tusk project I was telling you about. I’m also including a link for you to see more photos of the hotel we were staying, Cinnamon Wild Yala.
P.S. Can you see the monkey jumping in one of the photos?