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To me, the tropics are all about adventure, lush greenery, and exotic wildlife, which is exactly what I set out to do when I planned to travel to Sri Lanka. I did not have much time to explore the entire island, so I decided Yala would be the ideal spot, since it has everything I was looking for in the perfect tropical vacation. Choosing Wild Coast Tented Lodge as my experience provider was definitely the best choice I made. Without further ado, here is what I experienced during my short stay on the island.

Mountain Biking Through Village Trails

Being a part-time mountain biker at home, I was naturally eager to take on the trails of the southeastern coast. Luckily, there was a group who had the same idea, which made the experience all the more memorable.

Taken by Amila Tennakoon

We were led by an experienced guide to the little village of Kirinda. Here, we were able to witness the rural village life, along with verdant paddy fields. The best part of the entire experience, in my opinion, was how the slow setting of the sun gave a unique scenery of the paddy and the nearby forest.

Walking Among the Wild

While mountain biking was fun, I wanted to get up-close and personal with the exotic wildlife of the Yala National Park. Looking back at the ‘guided bush walk’ now, it was an experience unlike any other.

A guide took me along the outskirts of the Yala National Park who was well-versed on the terrain. So much so that he was able to tell what animals roamed around the area we were exploring, just from a broken branch. We were able to spot a pack of elephants walking in the distance with their young.

However, The highlight of the entire excursion was tracking down a leopard. My guide managed to find footprints of one adult and finally tracked it down sleeping near a cluster of trees. The very sight of the spotted animal made me truly appreciate the vast beauty of the island.

Birding in the Bundala National Park

Before heading out of the country, the guided bush walk was complemented with a spot of bird watching in the neighbouring Bundala National Park. Since I was not very familiar with the ideal places to do this activity, an experienced guide was arranged so I would not miss the rare species that dwelled in the area.

My guide told me that there were around 200 species of birds that call the park home, out of which 150 of them are supposed to be endemic to the country. The remaining 50 being migratory species.

We set off bright and early since it is the best time to catch the rarer birds. There were many birds I found during this excursion, but the Flamingos, Brown Flycatchers, Water Fowls, Common Redshanks, and the Lesser Sand Plover were just some of the species I thought to be very intriguing.

Two days later I said goodbye to the southeast coast after experiencing a vacation of a lifetime. It may have been a very short stay, but it was certainly one of the more adventurous ones I have been on.

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