yala national park 1/undefined by Tripoto

yala national park

Himani Khatreja
Spot the elusive leopard at Yala National Park
Nikita Bharadia
In a week-long trip, you can either cover the hilly north region or the picturesque south beaches and cultural high-points. Yala national park is very famous for wild safaris and one can spend one extra day to stay overnight in a camp before moving for Nuwara Eliya. Sunsets are the high point of a trip to the ceylon land and it surprises you with colors that you may have not enjoyed in a while.
From Nuwara Eliya, we drove another 4 hours to reach Buttala. Now most people would travel to Yala national park but we did not want to do that because the park has become all commercial & touristy. We saw this little place online "KUMBUK RVER" and decided that we just had to stay here for a night for two reasons 1) it was rated among the top 10 unique eco hotels in the world and 2) it was off the beaten track with many adventures such as zip lining across the river, elephant night watch, mud bath, and if you wish -- a Yala safari as well. Staying there was the highlight of our trip. Note -- you do not need to actually do the safari (we did not) because on your way back you would have to drive through part of the park anyway.
The next day I had planned for my Christmas to be spent at Yala National Park with leopards and elephants, and for that I had to leave Hikkaduwa at 5 am. Hence I decided not to drink and stay up all night. And my god we the women DID! Post the dinner Belinda, Eva, Inma and I went crazy party hopping and danced the night away... Saw an old man who trips on trance in his lungi, saw a couple of men dressed with Christmas tree decorations all around their heads. One caution to be taken for all women travellers here is.. Umm the Sri Lankan men can be trouble and can get touchy, its best you stay safe and a bit distant.
Sneha Rao
Exciting Wildlife Safari !