Sri Lanka Part II : Yala Safari and Chaya Wild Hotel
Posted February 13, 2013on:
Yew-hoo! We were heading to safari on next day, after took a rest from whale-watching. This is another few hours journey.
Yala’s Wild Life Park is most-visited safari in Sri Lanka, known with leopard, variety of birds, elephants, peacock, spotted dear, jackal, crocodiles and etc.
We were going to check in Chaya Wild Hotel. But hey, looking at the surrounding environment, is the hotel located inside a jungle??
Pheww… the hotel looked “aboriginal” and comfortable. The hotel reception is just next to the swimming pool and safari tour office.
We were shocked when knowing the hotel is just within 10 minutes walking distance from the crocodile pond! (o .O)^
Look at the surrounding of the hotel, we were staying in a hotel in safari park! The hotel staff invited us to see a sleeping leopard via a powerful binoculars at the top roof. If you have binoculars, you can just sit back and relax with glass of beer/wine while searching for animals around with binoculars. Hmn…that was exactly what a group of British tourist doing.
This is my chalet, or the hotel room.
The wildest hotel I have ever stayed. We were warned by hotel staff during check-in. Do call reception for escort if we leave chalet after 7pm and during very early morning. A family in our group stayed at another chalet and they had a light meal outside their chalet, some monkeys attracted by the tasty smell and came to join them. Their neighbour even saw an elephant passed by their chalet! The escort told me that both mild and dangerous animals like rabbit, elephant, snake, crocodiles had been strolling around the hotel premises but basically my chalet was quite “peaceful” during my stay.
The bedroom is romantic decorated.
Spacious bathroom that can accommodate me and few leopards.
I was surprised the mini bar was fully stuffed. Yes, no mini-mart near by.
Again, we were little worried when we saw the jeep was not fenced initially! However, we realised the reason as soon as we enter the safari. We departed from hotel on 5.30am to the ticket office of safari tour as we need to queue up to buy the entrance ticket. There were a lot of jeeps – a lot of tourists, the sky turned light by the time we got the ticket and heading to park entrance. We chose morning tour as we had been advised animals dislike hot sun and tend to hide away from being seen. Morning air is very fresh and less dusty as the sand road is little wet due to rainy night.
The jeep tour is extremely bumpy like horse riding, luckily I didn’t suffer car sick. The jeep driver will help to spot animal along the way and inform us. We managed to spot many wild buffalos, many peacocks, many spotted dears, some beautiful birds, few eagles, few wild chickens, few big lizards, few crocodiles, a water snake and an elephant despite everyone was looking forward to seeing leopard. The driver told us the peacock had sent signal to all leopards to hide away from jeeps. Ya…. We saw one suspicious male peacock stood on tree and howling suspiciously when we were getting near to the suspected leopard’s zone. I guess these wild animals must be getting annoyed from noisy engines sound and a big number of curious human everyday. Now we understand why all jeeps need not to be fenced.
I lost some pictures while transferring files from camera to laptop. Couldn’t recall what this giant rock called. Every jeep will stop by at this beach area for a while. This is also can be BBQ/picnic area.
I had some jungle trekking experiences in rainforest during puberty, this was my first time trekking with jeep, I had fun. The safari tour was approx. SLR3303 per person for our group, jeep + entrance + tax.
I had few “safari” tours in the past, all with fenced jeeps… especially when a big bear shaked the small jeep in a Korea theme park, or tigers were just few meters away from jeep in a Malaysia resort park… but they all feed by human, not wild. This is real safari tour in national park before I can afford a South Africa Safari tour. (“ b)
Well, we left for tea plantation at Bandarawela in afternoon after the safari tour. Hence we had our lunch as early as possible. A large, cute-looking squirrel joined the feast too! Oh.. some small squirrels haunted in the hotel from time to time.
Along the journey to Bandarawela, we spotted several wild elephants…. Yet we were so hard to spot one in safari….
A rainbow! Suddenly I was very easily impressed with any natural scene.
Unlike my other group members who prefer most Indian/Arabian flavour at Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya, I personally liked the meals in Chaya Wild Hotel most. They served more international cuisine and some Sri Lankan flavours, especially liked their variety of salads, every meal they served 90% of different tastes.