If you are looking for a “wild” holiday which is more about wildlife encounters than nightlife fun, then Sri Lanka is an ideal destination! Here’s a glimpse into the many species you may come across.
Sri Lanka has over 100 mammal species including the endemic leopard and elephant. Leopards can be spotted at the Yala National Park, while elephants can be seen at Minneriya National Park near Habarana; hotel options in the area such as Cinnamon Lodge Habarana offer excursions to see “The Gathering” of hundreds of elephants around July. The sloth bear, sambar deer, toque macaque and European otter are some of the other local mammals.
Over 500 species of birds have been recorded in Sri Lanka which encompasses endemic (like the Sri Lankanjunglefowl and Sri Lanka spurfowl) and migratory (like the Pacific golden plover and greater flamingo) species.The Sinharaja Forest Reserve andBundala National Park are two bird watching hotspots.
There are plenty of reptile species in the island which include a great many snakes such as the sand boa, green vine snake andIndian cobra. Also grouped amongst reptiles are the mugger and saltwater crocodiles as well as five sea turtle species like olive ridley, hawksbill and green turtles.
Out at sea, Sri Lanka is blessed with more diversity and one will find over 900 marine fish species; these include reef fish as well as larger varieties like marlin and sailfish. The country also offers one a chance to spot marine mammals from blue and sperm whales to spinner and bottlenose dolphins.\
Habarana is a quiet village in the central part of Sri Lanka with a small population, some jungle and a number of Sri Lanka resorts. The Sri Lankan hoteliers have been ingenious in selecting Habarana as a popular base station for sightseeing and touring; roads lead from Habarana to the eastern coast of Trincomalee, Sigiriya and Dambulla two cultural landmarks are within proximity and even the former kingdom of Polonnaruwa is accessible within about an hour’s drive. As a standalone destination, Habarana’s two greatest attractions are the jungle landscape and the serenity of an unpolluted township. Even at a location such as Cinnamon Lodge Habarana which is by the main road that connects Habarana to the rest of the country, there is much tranquility and freedom from the world.
The jungle treks are fascinating affairs which are typically for one night and two days. The jungles are not modified by man, hence one can experience very primitive ways of living under the shades of the tall trees amidst some shrubs and camping by a lake. There are many lakes, rivers and other bodies of water in and around the area, some of which have played a pivotal role in irrigating the country. Kayaks are thrown into these flowing streams to give every expeditor a taste of water adventures. Bird watching, jungle trails and learning to make Sri Lankan dishes are a part of the tour.
Generally, a BBQ is held in the night and the freshest of fish would be available for grilling. Simple camps are set up with a few tents and a small fire. An early start each morning helps as the humidity is very high in the afternoon in spite of the dense jungle. Being comfortably and appropriately dressed makes it much easier for everyone to enjoy the outdoor experience with a spot of climbing, wading and scrambling through. Since the facilities available have been kept to a bare minimum such that the natural feel is not lost, if there is any specific medicine or type of pillow or protection you require, it is best that the guides are informed or that you provide them for yourself while being respectful to the others who are joining you.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+
One of the activities that Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and several Sri Lanka resorts offer is elephant safaris. For all of you who love elephants, elephant safaris are sure to be a treat. A safari through the mysterious jungles and beautiful open spaces of Sri Lanka is exciting enough, and the experience only gets better when you are on a safari in search of the majestic elephant.
The Heritage of Elephant and Man in Sri Lanka
Since the ancient times, the elephant was closely linked to the day-to-day life of Sri Lanka. So much so that the elephant is a symbol of great value and is featured prominently in Sri Lankan art and literature. Thus, the elephant is a creature that inspires wonder and amazement in Sri Lankans, and the same is true of the many tourists that visit Sri Lanka with the intention of witnessing elephants.
Elephant safaris are always exciting as it is not always easy to spot the large herds of elephants, which is rather strange given the size of the animal and its herd. But with the help of a guide you will be, more often than not, be able to witness the herds of wild elephants as they feed or gather near the watering hole to bathe, drink water, or just escape the heat. Witnessing these amazing herds is truly a wonderful experience as you will see the close bonds the elephants have with each other, and their fascinating mannerisms.
The Best Places for Elephant Safaris
Habarana is the undisputed location for elephant safari’s in Sri Lanka, as the unique terrain which is perfect for elephants makes it a great place for elephant safaris. Plus, with resorts such as Cinnamon Lodge Habarana in the area, accommodation is also not an issue. The Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks are also great for elephant safaris.