As we still had two more things left in our travel itinerary which were elephants and beach, we reached Udawalawe National Park. We reached there late in the night and didn’t have many options in terms of hotels. We settled with the one that caught our eyes first which was pretty decent and economical also! Except the food, which was expensive. We booked the room and went out for dinner.
The hotel guy offered an elephant safari for the next day. All that we had to do was to be there early in the morning when the elephants would come to drink water. If late then it would become hot and sighting elephants would become difficult.
Having this in mind, we kept the alarm and woke up at 5.30. We were ready for the safari vehicle. All these safari vehicles are the locally modified version of Mahindra’s Scorpio.
The park opened at 6 AM and we were the first to enter. We saw a lot of elephants and birds.
Udawalawe is an important habitat for Sri Lankan elephants, which are relatively easy to see in its open habitats. Many elephants are attracted to the park because of the Udawalawe reservoir. Also the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home was established in 1995 for the purpose of looking after abandoned elephant calves within the park.
Sri Lanka Hummanaya ( Blow hole)
Hummanaya is the only known blowhole in Sri Lanka and it may be the second largest blowhole in the world.There is a rock with a long but narrow fracture in the middle. At once rough sea waves gush through the crack and pass out through the hole at the bottom of the rock and blow out high into the sky displaying a marvelous water fountain.
The surrounding area is always filled with a whoosh sound caused by seawater rushing through the natural hole and it can be heard somewhat far away from the site.
This was the first place where we felt tourists were cheated. Reading all the descriptions we climbed uphill of 1km and came near the ticket entrance. They coolly punched tickets (250 LKR X 4) and gave it us. After entering the Blow hole location, we found it wasn’t the same at all times as we read in the description. We were able to see only the dry rock..
Quite unfortunate to spend 1000LKR to see such a dry rock. At least the ticket vendors could have warned us. Anyway while returning with sad faces, we warned the other tourists who we came across about this place.. Few listened and returned. Few still wanted to experience for themselves.