Yala National Park

February 7th ~ Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Watering hole in Yala National Park with large Sambar deer way off in the distance

What a wake up we got! Monkeys jumping on our roof. Bang, bang, thump, pound, clang. I think we heard thirty or more of them over a span of about five minutes. Not your normal alarm clock.

We loved every bit of it!!!

A hearty breakfast was served on the second story of the main lodge. Even here in the middle of nowhere, signs were posted about the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus warning/information posted at main desk

It had been dark when we arrived the previous evening. With the morning free, we set out to explore and enjoy the compound.

Our bungalow was a duplex style, with two units back to back. Each place had their own private deck.

Our bungalow on the left side with private deck

The pool was warm. I dangled my feet in the water for a while but did not swim. It was soothing.

Beautiful pool where some of our travel mates took a dip

Just beyond the pool was the lake, complete with viewing platform.

Taken from viewing platform

We had been warned to not go too close to the water as “untamed” crocodiles were in the water. One of the park guides offered to show us some of the crocs. One was in the water right in front of us, and two big boys were sunning themselves on the shore.

Hello big boy

Indian Ocean

On the other side of the hotel property was the Indian Ocean.

Rocks broke up the surf line

Signs warned of wild critters roaming as well as the water was rough, sharp drop off, and unsafe to enter.

Warning, warning, warning

Not very hospitable environment we found ourselves in…

Still it was incredibly beautiful and a far cry from our day-to-day life in California.

Enjoying a few moments on the beach

Afternoon Safari

Entrance to Yala National Park

Loaded into 4×4 vehicles with six of us in the back of each one, we headed off on what I expected to be one of the highlights of our entire trip.

Talk about a ROUGH ride! The dirt roads had not been plowed, scraped or resurfaced since the monsoon season and deep ruts and large pot holes were everywhere. We bounced from side to side and a good chiropractor could have made a small fortune off of all of us upon our return.

At one point we thought we were going to overturn and Kris landed on my lap.

Onward we went.

Well, it turned out OK but not great. We did see a few animals, and if one had never been on a safari in Africa, it might have been thrilling.

The highlight was spotting a leopard for all of two seconds. I think our jeep was the only one from our group who did get to see it. Tim and I both tried to get a picture, but it disappeared far to quickly.

Vehicles lined up trying to get a look at the elusive leopard

We have seen many a peacock over the years, but seeing them in abundance in the wild was nice.

Peacocks in the wild were plentiful

Two birds I had not seen before were a treat. I certainly needed a longer lens though to do justice to them. We had left our good cameras and lens at home this trip. I was simply using my Sony Rx100 V and Tim his cell phone.

Painted stork

Green bee-eater

A few elephants were seen trying to camouflage themselves in the bushes, some Ceylon spotted deer, a group of large Sambar deer across a pond, several monkeys, a wild boar and more water buffalo rounded out the drive.

The gray langur has a black face

Water buffalo

Wild Boar

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that I got to see a leopard in the wild, if only for a moment.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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14 Responses to Yala National Park

  1. Jane Fritz says:

    It’s all wonderful. So glad you’re sharing. One suggestion: stay away from any “tame” crocs along with the “untame” crocs! 😉

    Like

  2. Laci says:

    Sounds like quite the adventure!

    Like

  3. Ah, the Pearl of India, what a beautiful place, and from my experience warm people. Thank you for sharing 🙂 xo

    Like

  4. Vivian says:

    I thoroughly enjoy your trips. So glad
    I can travel with you thru the eyes of your camera and your wonderful narration. I am loving this trip.. Thank you.

    Like

  5. Hmmm, are there tame crocodiles? I wouldn’t trust that. 😉. You saw some excellent wildlife.

    janet

    Like

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