Another early start for us both as we had to be ready to leave for 5.30am! We were picked up on one of the safari cars and transported to the park entrance. After waiting around half an hour for the park to actually open we set off with the rest of the cars on the lookout for wildlife! About 10 minutes in we realised how bad the roads were around the park, at one point I think we were nearly ejected from our seats and thrown off the car!
It didn’t take long to see our first elephant which was hiding behind some bushes, I can only imagine that the large number of convoys must have scared them away. The driver got the message however and soon set off on our own path where we shortly came across some wild coyotes who seemed to be hunting some peacocks for their breakfast!
After 10-15 minutes of driving we then came across some water buffalo taking a morning bath, all we could see however was a sea of green as they were submerged underneath a lake of algae which they were also munching on. As we moved on, we also caught sight of a magnificent hawk eagle perched on top of a tree.
Reaching the end of the safari, we hadn't seen anymore elephants apart from when we first entered the park...that was until we spotted a small herd up the road. As we rolled towards the family, the driver cut the engine and we sat for around 30 minutes watching them feed and throw mud over their backs (apparently this is to keep them cool under the sun). At one point, a certain elephant felt very brave and came right up to our car!
After saying bye to our elephant friends, we finished up with the safari and was dropped off at our hostel. Shortly after, we checked out and caught the bus to our next destination, Tangalle.
Our accommodation came in the form of a guesthouse which was owned by a lovely family. They greeted us and offered an evening meal for around 600 rupees each, the meal consisted of a variety of curry's ranging from mild to spicy and was by far one of the best meal we've eaten so far! After what seemed an incredibly long but interesting day, we called it a night and looked forward to exploring Tangalle the next day.