On Safari at Yala National Park

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We waited at the steps leading down to the crocodile lake where I had been spending ages watching the crocodiles either lying just below the surface basking in the sun or completely below the water their eyes poking out above watching for me to fall in I suppose. Anyway a fab old Land Rover, apparently according to fab husband a Mark 1, I think he was slightly more interested in the car than in the jungle, picked us up and we went to the Yala Park entrance to pick up our tracker.  He was a charming and amazing Sri Lankan who knew the names of every bird, animal, plant, and whilst trying to find a leopard was able to do so by listening to the alarm calls of the birds and the way the little brown deer were walking briskly off in the other direction.  We saw some huge crocodiles, water buffalo (lots), wild boar, hyenas, lots of elephants bottoms, they mostly had their heads in the bushes eating massive amounts of leaves.  We did see a mother elephant guarding her baby from us, watching warily till we had gone past.  The birds were beautiful, bee catchers I think are my favourite, their bright green feathers all shiny in the sunlight.  We also saw eagles of various sorts, a magnificent rainbow coloured stork and bright turquoise feathered peacocks.  The road was just a dirt track and thank goodness for 4 wheel drive, the pot holes and enormous dips were endless.  A friend had suggested taking a sports bra and can see why and wished I had remembered.   Seeing the leopard was magical, he or she, don’t know, was sitting behind some bushes, all camouflaged cleverly, so much so that it took a few minutes for me to see it, and he was so big, I am not sure what I was expecting but these animals are huge.  Our land rover drew up alongside another and we jumped into it for a better view, losing my sunglasses along the way.  I expect by now a monkey is very proudly wearing its own pair of Fendi sunglasses or else an elephant has trodden them into the dusty track.

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