Wildlife Safari in Lunugamvehera National Park (South-Eastern Sri Lanka)
This was an experience I originally thought I'd be having somewhere in Africa...Nevertheless the Sri-Lankan Safari was a great adventure.
Starting the day at 05:00am was a requirement as most of the action in the national park happens during the sunrising hours of the day.
Be prepared for lots of bumps and lots of searching around the plains and tree tops for wildlife. Its a searching game that requires lots of patience. A lot of it is being at the right place at the right time.
You'll definitely see the more common animals like deer, buffalo, crocodiles, monkeys and lots of different bird species however, the rarer animals that we all want to see you gotta work for....
It was at least 2 hours into the safari before we made our first encounter with a couple of elephants. Someone suddenly shouted "stop" and then lo & behold right there, through the bushes of the trees and plants, there she was, a mama elephant with her baby.
Moving on, we continued to search for the all elusive leopards for the following 3 to 4 hours with no success. Which was disappointing and unwillingly diminished the fact that we had just seen majestic wild elephants in their natural habitat.
All in all the safari was a great experience but was just missing that cherry on-top. If you are lucky enough to see a leopard theres nothing that you could actually criticise from this adventure.
Good luck... you'll need it!