Going on safari: Uda Walawe or Yala?

We wanted to do at least one safari while in Sri Lanka and since Sri Lanka has so many parks, we had to figure out which one. We read a lot about Uda Walawe and Yala National Park and we ended up choosing between them. Here we’ll share our thoughts on why we chose Uda Walawe instead of Yala.

Yala National Park is bigger than Uda Walawe. You would say this is an advantage, but the number of animals per square meter is actually higher in Uda Walawe, increasing your chances of running into animals. While this is definitely an advantage, the main reason why we went to Uda Walawe is because we read that it is a lot more quiet. There are less trucks driving around than in Yala. We heard from people that visited Yala that when an animal was spotted, all the jeeps would go there like crazy and you end up driving in a long string of jeeps, not something we were going for.

And so we ended up going to Uda Walawe. Of course when an animal was spotted, three or four jeeps would stop but you would lose them right after. We never had the feeling it was too crowded and we saw many animals, especially birds! We were hoping to see many elephants and even though we saw a few, it was not as many as we hoped. Later people told us they did a full day trip (we did a half-day morning safari) and that they were surrounded by elephants at one point, staying there for a full hour. But that’s the thing with safari’s, it sometimes is just a matter of luck.

One thing that we didn’t like was the fact that we saw so many jeeps that could fit 6 people, only be occupied by 2. They could half the number of jeeps, giving more comfort to the animals, by combining the passengers. Though this is of course not profitable. We did safaris in South Africa before, and of course no safari can beat the beauty of those, but Sri Lanka can learn a lot from them when it comes to preserving them in the best way possible considering the animals that live in them. This of course does not only hold for Uda Walawe National Park, but to all the others as well.

Did you do a safari in Sri Lanka or are you planning on one? Let us know in the comment section below!

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