In order to get to Uda Walawe National Park we experimented with a number of different pronunciations. It seems the best way to be understood by locals is to literally just say it (as written) as fast as you can. Please try this now.
There are several huge national parks all over Sri Lanka and depending on who you speak to, each one is the best. We opted for Uda Walawe because it was described as being home to around 500 elephants (and it was on route to Ella. More about that later). We figured the chance of seeing some in their natural habitat was pretty high.
We found an awesome B’n’B called Silent Bungalow. The surrounding gardens were lush and the food was delicious and excessive.
Our safari around the park itself set off at 5.30am, or as I like to call it, painfully early. It was however, a beautiful time to be out and about. We were both a bit apprehensive about how touristic the trip might be and whether we might feel like we were intruding rather than observing. As we reached the gates and saw the many other 4x4s also getting ready to set off, our concerns grew. However for much of the time, we couldn’t see a single other jeep and the park was so vast that aside from the rumbling of the engine, we didn’t feel like we were disturbing the peace at all.
We saw tonnes of elephants, birds, lizards, water buffalo, crocodiles and enjoyed the truly beautiful landscapes. We were also lucky enough to share our trip with a lovely couple, Lisa and Chris, with whom we bonded over our love of ginger biscuits, samosas and pretty much everything to do with animals.
Tom made this lovely video