Udawalawe National Park
The tiny island that offers so much. Sri Lanka is one of those destinations which went under the radar in recent times, probably due to the civil war. However, tourism is growing at speed all across this Indian Ocean island. The hill country in the centre, the south and west coast of the island, all have a well-established tourist scene. These locations are definitely the easiest to travel between. They are the areas I will concentrate on with this 3 week Sri Lanka route.
The 3 week Sri Lanka route below offers a variety of experiences to suit all tastes. The hill country offers some unique hikes and unbelievable views. Udawalawe National Park gives you the opportunity to spot herds of enormous wild elephants. The beaches are as picturesque and as beautiful as you get.
Clanging and banging will become a recognisable noise in Sri Lanka. Those kotthu chefs are the ones doing the banging, prepping the favoured Sri Lankan food. Whats kotthu you ask, well, it’s spicy, fresh, stodgy and everything in between. The perfect kotthu is made with a combination of chopped roti hot off the griddle, mixed with fresh, crunchy vegetables, aromatic spices, a tender meat of your choice and recommended by most – topped with gooey cheese. A perfect introduction for what was to come, with many unbeatable meals in Sri Lanka.
More often than not, Sri Lankan cuisine can be overshadowed on the international scene from its much larger neighbour, India. I’m betting many people back home wouldn’t even know what Sri Lankan food consists of and most would probably come to the conclusion that it is similar to Indian food. Before my trip, I would have guilty of just that. However, it wouldn’t give the culinary prowess of this Indian Ocean island much justice to give it the label of ‘similar to Indian’.
If you ask anyone who has ever been to Sri Lanka the question; ‘what do you love most about Sri Lanka?’ You’ll be sure to get a whole range of different answers. It’s almost impossible to give just one answer to that question! There are absolutely tonnes I love about this South Asian gem. From the moment I stepped off that plane at Bandaranaike Airport, I had a very good feeling, I knew this island paradise was going to be unique like nowhere I’d been before.
I could literally name hundreds of different reasons to book a flight to Sri Lanka. However, I doubt a list of one hundred reasons would make for an interesting read. I initially attempted to narrow my reasons down to five but found it impossible, so before you lies a list of seven reasons why you should get yourself to Sri Lanka.
A safari to Udawalawe National Park wasn’t in our original plan, it was Yala National Park. Naturally, with Yala being the most popular safari destination for tourists in Sri Lanka, this is where I did think we would find the best safari. Of course, you probably know from the title of this post that we did, in fact, go to Udawalawe National Park and not Yala. Our decision to go to Udawalawe rather than Yala was fairly easy in the end, after being warned off Yala from numerous people, locals and tourists alike and hearing rave reviews regarding Udawalawe. All we heard about Yala was “too busy, too big and overpriced” and one thing a few people mentioned about Udawalawe which hooked us in was “it’s definitely the best place to see Elephants”, well, that made our decision easy.