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“Elephants everywhere!”

Udawalawe National Park
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Private Tour: Udawalawe National Park Safari
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This park is home to several hundred elephants and other rare plants and wildlife.
Reviewed 4 November 2013

I had an afternoon safari in the park as I arrived at my guesthouse just in time to arrange it, planning to have another safari the following morning. Unfortunately there was nobody else at the guesthouse that I could go with, so I was alone in a huge 10-seater jeep! My driver was excellent and very pleasant, with quite good English. First we visited the Elephant Orphanage where orphans from the park are fed with milk until they are old enough to be released into the park. Having previously visited Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage where you actually walk among the elephants, this orphanage was more like visiting a zoo, as the young elephants are in a fenced area and you watch the feeding from a distance. I wish I hadn't bothered going, even though it only cost 400 rupees. We then drove to the park itself, where I paid what I thought was a very steep entrance fee of Rs3750. But the high cost was explained when a ranger/guide climbed on board, who was extremely knowledgeable and spoke perfect English. Within two minutes we saw our first family of elephants, very close to the track! This set the scene for the rest of the safari as we were constantly seeing elephants, in the distance, very close up, or crossing the tracks in front of us. In fact there were so many, I soon felt I had seen enough and asked the guide to take us to see other animals and birds. My eyesight isn't that great, but the guide spotted and pointed out so many creatures - land monitor lizards, rodents and so many different bird species, that I was able to see everything clearly, particularly with my binoculars.. I think he was a bit put out by my already knowing most of the birds, as this was my 3rd visit to Sri Lanka, and in fact I caught him out in a mistaken identification at one point! I hoped to see two species of monkeys, but unfortunately we were not able to find any. When we reached the large lake in the centre of the park, the birdlife was amazing, and we drove very close-up to where birds were feeding and roosting, which was ideal for photography. by then the light was fading, which seemed to encourage wildlife out into the open, and I was delighted to see a family of four jackals running very close to the jeep, and later another family with cubs, which the guide said was a very lucky and unusual sighting. Altogether I thoroughly enjoyed my safari, and would have gone again next day had the entrance fee not been so much, on top of the Rs4500 I had to pay my guesthouse for arranging the safari for me. I would recommend people not to arrange their safari at their accommodation, but make their own way to the park entrance, where there are jeeps and drivers waiting, so you can just pay the going rate for a safari without the extra cost added on by the accommodation.

2  Thank smallspender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"water buffalo"
in 228 reviews
"sri lanka"
in 152 reviews
"bird life"
in 63 reviews
"wild elephants"
in 78 reviews
"hour safari"
in 35 reviews
"beautiful birds"
in 28 reviews
"early morning"
in 46 reviews
"different types"
in 15 reviews
"bee eaters"
in 40 reviews
"jeep driver"
in 30 reviews
"elephants including"
in 23 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 28 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 39 reviews
"monitor lizards"
in 25 reviews
"spotted deer"
in 28 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 30 reviews
"great safari"
in 26 reviews

1,266 - 1,270 of 2,022 reviews

Reviewed 24 October 2013 via mobile

Visited Udawalawe on 24 October and had an amazing jeep safari. Very easy to rent a jeep with tracker outside the park gates. We paid 5500 rupees for a private jeep and then just paid the entry fee to the park on top. The park was very quiet mid afternoon so lots of opportunity to view animals in peaceful habitat. We saw many elephants, including babies as well as buffalo, jackals, deer loads of beautiful birds and mugger crocodiles in the lake. This is a fabulous park with stunning views to the mountains in the distance. Highly recommended.

Thank reb1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

Wow this place is just amazing. we were lucky to see many elephants around us. it was stunning.
we also saw Buffaloes, peacocks, lizards and even a crocodile! it was a great experience and exciting to be in a real jungle and see all the animals in the wide wild nature. don't miss that experience!

Thank Malmichal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2013

We did Udawalawe with Master Campers and had a magical time.
A safari through the park was an experience not only rich with elephants - more than we could count from very young to a very large Male who wanted to get friendly with our jeep - but also many other animals and birds.
A favourite thing for our four year old, who hasn't and won't forget Sri Lanka and the elephants.

Thank Rowang345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 October 2013

We went with Ajith safaris who were absolutely brilliant.we had a very early start at 5, stopped for lunch for a couple of hours and then went off again. We did see a lot of elephants and monkeys, and peacocks and other birds, but whether it was the time of year i dont know but it did feel as though we were looking for wildlife that wasnt there. No critisism of the company we went with, but we had a much better half day at Bundala

Thank gillianweatherburn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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