Sri Lanka safari holidays top pick
Sri Lanka safaris and vacation tours … an amazing destination that we will focus in this article. Udawalawe National Park: is far less crowded than Yala, which completely changes the experience, making Udawalawe a more satisfying safari. When we were there, we barely saw more than one or two jeeps. Whenever we spotted animals, we were by ourselves and felt so immersed and captivated by the moment. At one point, a small group of elephants with 2 babies crossed the path just in front of our jeep. They were so close, we could almost touch them. They stayed there for around 20 minutes, just eating and socialising with each other. This was one of the most magical moments of our safari at Udawalawe.
Towering up in the central highlands, Horton Plains is the highest plateau on the island. The cloud forests here are rich in endemic plants and animals that have adapted to the cooler climes (temperatures can fall below freezing at night). Birds such as the Sri Lankan whistling thrush and Sri Lankan bush warbler are best seen here. The dwarf lizard, found only in the montane zone, has evolved the ability to give birth to live young in order to avoid the problems of laying in such egg-chilling temperatures. See more details Sri Lanka wildlife tours.
Sri Lanka’s alpha predator is protected in a number of national parks, but is most easily sighted in Yala National Park, on the island’s southern coast, where you can cool off in the ocean after a day on safari. Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s number one leopard sanctuary. The big cats are thriving here in territories of little more than a kilometre each – “the highest density in the world” – making seeing one almost a certainty. For those hoping to see a leopard up close, make its way down the tree and casually saunter through clearing to the cover of the bushes, this is the place to come.
The Temple of the Tooth is a highly sacred place. The temple contains one of Buddha’s teeth. Legend has it that the tooth was taken from the Buddha on his deathbed, then smuggled to Sri Lanka from India. It was smuggled in the hair of a princess, after her father’s kingdom had been besieged. It immediately became an object of great importance and has been celebrated and paraded throughout history. However, many attempts have also been made to steal or destroy the tooth. Twice daily, pujas are held to celebrate the relic and offer visitors and devotees the chance to get a glimpse of the tooth within its casing. At the summit of Adam’s Peak is a footprint cast in stone. It has spiritual significance to a number of different religions, however, there is currently a Buddhist monastery at the summit. To the Buddhists, the footprint is that of Buddha’s; to Christians, the footprint is Adam’s; and to Hindus, the footprint is attributed to Shiva. The site is a popular place of pilgrimage, especially on full moon nights. The trek to the top of the mountain to see the footprint is via a steep staircase containing over 5000 steps. The trail is lined with many tea stalls and food shops which act as places of rest. Most people begin their hike at 2:30 am to reach the summit in time for sunrise.