This country had a big hit with the tsunami in 2004 and 35.000 people where killed (and 4000 people were wounded and 5000 are until this day still missing). A part of the country was ruined but in 2015 a lot was rebuild.
Sri Lanka is home of a lot of beautiful wild animals. They have leopards, elephants, snakes, a wide variety of birds and so much more.
Two of my favourite National Parks are Yala National Park and Uduwalawe National Park. The first park has the proud name to house leopards and elephants. We took a tour with our guesthouse and apparently the guy we booked was the best. We paid for the extended Leopard tour so we stayed in the park longer then most of the people. We had plenty of time to look at the leopard. A little warning here is at his place. Don’t expect to be alone. When we arrived after the telephone call that they found a leopard there were about 50 cars looking at one leopard in a tree. But what an incredible experience to see a leopard in the “wild”. When we left we also got an elephant just of the road.
Uduwalawe National Park is home to the elephants. You can go there by off road truck and get a good look from upclose. We were lucky and we found a mother elephant with a baby.
While you are biking around of walking you can find some animal yourself if you look carefully. We found some big size (1,3 meter) lizards and a lot of small ones, birds, deer, crocodiles, butterflies and flying dogs (near Tissamahara you can see them hanging in a tree).
Number 1 is for sure Kottu Roti, bread chopped up with egg, vegetable and beef or chicken. The spices make this dish a great dinner.
Number 2 is for me is curry. Often a spicy dish with vegetables and chicken or prawns with white rice.
Number 3 is egghopper. A rice flower thin bowl pancake with coconut and an egg inside.
Sri Lanka has a great diversity in fruit. We often buy fruits at a local market. Rambutan, mangosteen and dragonfruit are our favourites in Sri Lanka. At the beach they often sell fresh coconut, first you get a straw to drink from the coconut and afterwards they will cut it open and you can eat the rest of it. Also fruitshakes a widely available and often made fresh while you order one.
Vegetables are available but you only get a small portion with your dinner if you get it at all. Not really sure why because most of the times vegetables aren’t expensive. You can always order a vegetarian dish with your dinner to share.
Because Sri Lanka is an island they have a wide variety of fish available. Most of the time very fresh and straight from the sea. In Mirissa you can eat at the beach at night and choose your own fish that they will prepare for you at a BBQ. That tasted so good!n
Jungle and beaches
Mirissa and Hikkaduwa have some nice beaches with restaurants and they rent out beach chairs and umbrella.
Uppuveli has a nice beach (it rained when we were there) but I do need to say that there were a lot of stray dogs so lying down at the beach was no option for us. One of them even bit the flipflop I was holding in my hand.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve is home to a lot of snakes. We saw 3 during a day hiking trip (pitviper, green vine snake and an unknown black snake).
However Sri Lanka has a lot of advantages and is a beautiful country, in my opinion it also has a big down side. DOGS! There are a lot of stray dogs. People who say they aren’t afraid of dogs well they have never been to Sri Lanka. Dogs in Asia or Eastern Europe aren’t the same cute dogs as in Holland and are definately not pets.
These dogs walk around in packs and are scary and overprotective of their area. They often have open wounds and scabies and look horrific. I always hope they don’t have Rabies. Once we walked into a small harbour area and when we went in nothing happened, they barked but that’s it. The road was a dead end apparently so we turned around and there they were. At least 5 of them and they started barking and coming closer and closer. Maarten said don’t look at them and walk at a firm pace behind me. I am terrified of dogs that aren’t on a leash so I did what he said but they came closer and the barking go louder. Luckily they left some room so we could walk past them and nothing happened but it wasn’t a good experience for me.
At the beach in Uppuveli 3 dogs approached and one of them bit my flipflop that I was holding in my hand and I almost ran home.
Stray dogs are a problem in a lot of countries. In Thailand recently a child died from a dog attack and that dog had Rabies.