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|Year and Month||December, 2016|
|Number of Days||3 days|
|Crew||Around 15 people (between 20-55 years of age)|
|Accommodation|| Day 1 – Home stay in Thissamaharamaya
Day 2 – Camping at Yala Block1
|Transport|| From Rathnapura to Thissamaharamaya by cars and
to Yala by Safari Jeep, Van and Car
|Activities||Enjoying Wildlife, Photography, Camping, off-road driving|
|Route||Rathnapura -> Udawalawa -> Katharagama -> Thissamaharamaya ->Yala -> Kirinda and return on Kirinda -> Thissamaharamaya -> Thanamalwila -> Udawalawa -> Rathnapura.|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Related Resources||Trip reports on : Yala|
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
Initially there were 5 members (3 of my old school mates, me and my better half) for the trip. We wanted to be little adventures and the destination chosen was Yala Nationala Park.
The first stop was at Udawalawa Elephant transit home. As per our findings on the web, the feeding times are scheduled as follows
- 9 am
- 12 pm and
- 3 pm
We were too early for the 12pm time slot. There is a museum of elephants and elephant skeleton in the front, where you can pass time. So we decided to go in.
You have to buy a ticket in order to see baby elephants feeding. I cannot recall the ticketing fee though. The observation point was at a distant from the location where elephants were fed. This may be to minimize the disturbance from the crowd.
After the session, we were heading to our next interest of the day “Katharagama”. We took the left turn at Lunugamwehera and found the road is under construction. However, the road condition is OK to travel by a car.
By the time we reach “Katharagama Devala” premises there was a Perahera, which added lot more colors to the sight.
That’s all we have planned for the Day 1 visiting. We were on our way to lodging at Thissamaharamaya.
What all of us waited was the next day Safari at Yala. After arriving at the place we met the trekker and the driver of tomorrow’s safari. They offered us safari + one-day camping at Yala together with some other group. Although this would extend our trip by one more day, without a second thought, we all agreed.
After completing the official procedures at Block 1 entrance, we were permitted to enter. The combined group (about 15) could not fit into the jeep and van, as we had to carry all the tools and equipment for camping. So we had to join in one of the cars too.
We were much interested on seeing a leopard. The trekker said that it would be entirely depends on the luck though. We were hanging around here and there looking for them. Then we spotted him while taking a short nap on a tree.
Lot of vehicles behind and in front of us, were waiting impatiently to see him. He didn’t bother about the shooting taken place in his territory. It seems he was taking a much needed sleep after an exhausted day. Everybody wanted a well posed photo of him. Suddenly he raised his head, slowly climbed down and disappeared in the jungle. I haven’t had a DSLR at the moment and this is the best I could do with the camera I had.
After a successful safari we were heading towards the camping site at Yala Block 1 named as “Kosgasmankada”.
After cleaning the area, we started setting up the camps.
The next essential item was to set fire covering the camping site. Three vehicles were parked covering the site and entrance. A small irrigation system was made around the huts to save the floor from possible raining. Some spread kerosene around the area. The trekker explained the idea was to chase away the snakes that would be coming in.
We had to sleep in turns when one group is watching the camp site while the others are sleeping. In the morning we noticed trails of a bear close by camp site. Also the river was full of crocodiles at night. In the dark their eyes were reflecting blue color to torch light.
The trekker said crocodiles would not attack humans normally. But it is advisable to be extra cautious and get into water as a group.
After having the breakfast at camp site, the adventure was almost complete. We said good bye to our camping companions and decided to visit Kirinda beach few kilometers away from Yala. The sea was bit rough. We were managed to take few snaps.
As we refreshed ourselves for few hours there we decided to come back to home town keeping the wonderful memories.
Thanks for reading!!!