Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Elephants of Udawalawe

It's hard to express the impact these huge, gentle creatures had on us ..... but at least I can talk about the events.  Udawalawe National Park is about 120 square kilometers in size, not that big as national parks go in Sri Lanka, but it is the home to about 550 elephants - so we were drawn to it.  There were also many water buffalo, spotted deer, mongoose, peacocks, monkeys, a handful of elusive leopards and many, many extraordinary birds.  We booked two nights with a company called Mahoora, in one of their "premium" (not "luxury") camps, which was dee-vine.  (Can't imagine what the luxury camps were like!)  We stayed in a lovely, private camp by a river, sleeping in large tents with cots (I felt like Isak Dinesen), dining under the stars at a table with linens and having cocktails and tea waiting for us after the game drives.  We were accompanied on the drives by a naturalist and a government tracker (for safety).  It was blissful to hang out with the elephants as we found them mostly grazing in small and large groups - and because we were in a vehicle, we were able to get very close (the close up photo was not taken with a zoom lense....).  We did have one incident when a female elephant, protective of three babies, was clearly upset at our presence.  I will post that separately with a video that Chris took of the event, but a picture of this angry adult is included below.  Overall, the two days at Udawalawe were among those rare holiday times where I really hated it to end.... really.
Angry mom

1 comment:

brooke said...

OMG! I am so jealous! We will have to make this trip sometime when we're in Singapore. I LOVE elephants!!!