Safari in Udawalawe – happy elephants in Sri Lanka

Happy Elephants – yes, you can actually look at elephants whether they are happy or sad. And sad elephants are somehow double sad. So if you want to experience an all-around happy day with happy elephants and a permanent grin on your face (yours and the elephants‘), then go to the Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka. Our day there was one of the most beautiful experiences on the island.

And this especially after we had seen how badly the elephants are treated in the supposed elephant orphanage of Pinnawala. With this experience in the background we were also sceptical in Udawalawe. Are they really doing better in the National Park? The answer is easy: Yes! Read more about Sri Lanka here:

There are 14 national parks in Sri Lanka. For elephant watching, Yala, Minneriya and Udawalawe are especially suitable. Actually we wanted to go to the most famous ones, Yala. But then I heard about crowds of visitors and jeep jams. So we change our plans at short notice and take the bus to Udawalawe instead of Yala. The best decision!

Change of plan to change of plan – from morning to evening safari

So after we changed our plans from Yala to Udawalawe, the next decision awaits us immediately after our arrival at the guesthouse. Actually we wanted to go on the morning safari at 5:30 am to the park. But when we arrive surprisingly early at the guesthouse at about 13:30 the boss recommends us to go directly. Lunch would be better. Hm, somehow I had only heard reports about morning safaris. On the other hand, if it’s good now? And besides, then we wouldn’t have to get up at this terrible time tomorrow.

Well, we are flexible, let us be convinced and sit already at 2:30 pm on the jeep and race towards the national park. And we did not regret this decision. The afternoon in the park was spectacular. We saw about 40 elephants, our room neighbour the next morning only 6! It is best to ask at the accommodation, the guides usually know best. Be flexible. And otherwise I recommend the afternoon!

Animals as far as the eye can see

We get the first impression of what to expect already on the way to the park. There is actually a happy elephant standing at the edge of the road, dangling its trunk over the park boundary and mowing the grass as it pleases. Already here we are in love.

And even when we arrive at the park the elephants are clearly the absolute highlights. We even had the luck to see two herds including a baby elephant. #shock in love 💞 And that was just the crowning glory after 3 exciting hours!

Crowds? Not at Udawalawe National Park!

Of course you are not alone in the national park in Udawalawe. At some places the tourists gathered in the jeeps, but that was a maximum of 10 cars. And that happened only once. In many places we were completely alone and could observe the animals in peace. Jeeprennen, who is first with the next animal, we fortunately did not experience.