The last leg of our Sri Lankan journey was Tissamaharama, a city in the Southern part of Sri Lanka known for its diverse wildlife. We went there specifically for the early morning safari tour at Yala National Park, where we hoped to see some exciting animals.
What we weren’t expecting was to see so many strange creatures wondering around the town like it was no big deal. On our first day there, we decided to take a walk around the lakes near our hotel, and got our first glimpse of a land monitor. At first, we thought it might be a baby crocodile (not hard to find in those lakes), but once it got closer, we realized it was a very big lizard. They are similar to komodo dragons.
We woke up at 4:30 the following morning to get ready for our tour, which is really saying something about how excited I was about the safari because I despise mornings. I had just enough time to chug some hot tea before hopping in the jeep. I still felt pretty dead inside, but I loved driving under the stars with nobody else on the roads.
We watched the sun rise and entered the park, eager to spot something special. Our first sighting? A bunch of cows hanging out in the water.
Next, we saw a peacock dancing his ass off, trying to impress a couple of lady peacocks, neither of whom seemed very interested.
The first few hours passed by pretty uneventfully. We were starting to worry that we’d made a huge mistake going on the safari and wouldn’t see anything at all. And then…
This cute guy burst right through the trees in front of us!
Sadly, we didn’t spot any leopards. Our driver said it was most likely due to the heavy rainfall they had been having.
We did, however, see this adorable family of wild pigs.
I wish we would have had a luckier day, but it was still an enjoyable morning. It will definitely not be our last safari.