There is a huge chunk of savannic grassland centred on the udawalawe reservoir is the closest Sri Lanka get to East Africa, you go so far to say there for elephants. Udawalawe is equal to many of the famous East African parks. Here in Anuradhapura relics of Sri Lanka’s cultural and religious Heritage sprawl across three square kilometres, in the centre is one of the world’s oldest tree, 2000 years old Sri Maha bodiya.
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Things to do in Sri Lanka:
The Kandy to Ella train journey is said to be one of the most scenic, epic train journeys in not only just Sri Lanka but the world. So with a few days to spare in Sri Lanka, I decided to purchase a ticket for $1.50 and climb aboard for the 5-hour journey. Yes, the train really does cost just $1.50.
I have now taken the train in both directions. From Kandy to Ella and in reverse from Ella to Kandy. On both occasions, I just arrived at the train station and bought the cheapest ticket and walked on. I didn’t sit in a seat, I preferred to an open door and hang my legs over the edge for the entire journey.
Hiking in Riverston Sri Lanka was an unexpected highlight of my journey throughout the island. Riverston is a region best defined by the popular term, ‘off the beaten path’. We drove for several hours, parked in the middle of nowhere and then embarked on a hike.
We headed across the river and through the rice fields and farmland. There is minimal signage but luckily we had our guide Lukobanda to guide us up. The hike doesn’t have a specific name according to the locals other than the Riverston Hike. The hike looks out over the Knuckles mountain range and the surrounding highlands. It’s one of the short day trip hikes in the area. The end of the hike ends with a sharp 300m drop, which made for some pretty epic photos. From here you can chill and take in the views of the Thelgamuwa Valley, the terraced rice fields, and the Knuckles mountain range. This spot is called ‘The Worlds End’.The hike is 5km long but not incredibly difficult.
Sri Lanka’s alpha predator is protected in a number of national parks, but is most easily sighted in Yala National Park, on the island’s southern coast, where you can cool off in the ocean after a day on safari.
Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s number one leopard sanctuary. The big cats are thriving here in territories of little more than a kilometre each – “the highest density in the world” – making seeing one almost a certainty.
For those hoping to see a leopard up close, make its way down the tree and casually saunter through clearing to the cover of the bushes, this is the place to come.
Authentic Sri Lanka Travels
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