Birthday safari in Sri Lanka was a key part of the birthday itinerary! We raced across the country with our driver at the wheel screaming around corners and winding roads to ensure we made the afternoon safari.
We arrived in the nick of time to discover we had a private vehicle and driver, which is just the way we like it! I absolutely love the private & VIP treatment.
We spent the afternoon in Yala National Park trying to find the elusive leopard. On the way we saw elephants, deer, water buffalo and many many peacocks. And finally at the end of the day, sitting waiting near an earlier sighting, I finally saw & photographed the prized leopard from a distance.
Sadly my camera failed me, so the pic isn’t really great, but it doesn’t matter; I saw the leopard and I got the money shot! Everyone said I was super lucky because it’s so rare to spot the leopard. I truly felt lucky.
At the end of the day we stayed at Jetwing Yala, which was actually huge but still beautiful with a room with a view over the sand dunes and sea. Cows wandered through the garden and you could hear animals calling at night.
For a huge all-inclusive hotel in the middle of nowhere, the Jetwing Yala was surprisingly good. Staff were lovely and helpful, room super quiet, pool was massive and so hot from the sun that it felt like a bath.
The next morning we started at 5.30am on safari part 2, and it was quite a different experience. This time every other safari was hitting the trail with us.
There was a race to the ticket office for park passes and then the 20+ vehicles all raced around the same tracks, it was quite a sight. But some lucky trucks were stopped in their tracks by a leopard lazing in the middle of the road. Sadly we didn’t see it, but what a sight that would’ve been! Next time maybe it will be me…