The first wildlife tour of Jetwing Eco Holidays came to me as a result of meeting Mr.Gehan De Silva Wijeratne at Sinharaja in last December. Mr. James Naylor a British who works in Singapore at the moment with his wife Alison a biology teacher and his twelve years old son Jimmy arrived Sri Lanka on 30th evening for a 10 nights/11 days tour. Meeting them at Talangama villa on 31st morning, the last day of the year 2009 we started the tour to reach our first destination the Light House Hotel, Galle to celebrate the dawn of the year 2010. Jimmy is a photographer and enjoyed all the photographic opportunities so en route had few stops in places like Kalutara temple etc.
New year celebrations were fantastic at Light House hotel it was filled with full of fireworks that created a dramatic sky over the hotel with the dawn of the year 2010. The first naturalist greeted me for the New Year was none of the other than Anoma Alagiyawadu, the most experienced naturalist for whale watching in southern Sri Lanka currently working in the Light House Hotel as the resident naturalist.
First destination for the New Year was Yala village and managed to get over there by 1.00 PM. Our first game drive to the Yala National park on the same evening, infact my first safari for the new year, was very successful with the observation of elusive leopard for few times and the tusker, jackal, crocodiles, sambar deer and number of bird species including few raptors. The second game drive to the park on 02nd morning also was very successful to spot the leopard for a good look over 15 minutes and the experience left behind our clients was
Having had a memorable stay at Yala village left for Centuria hotel, Ambilipitiya on 3rd morning and managed to reach there by 12.30 daytime. Starting our safari to Udawalawe National Park around 2.30 PM managed to spot a herd of elephants more the 50 in numbers near mawu-ara around 4.00 PM including number of baby elephants.
Responding to the special request made by Alison to visit the Ath-Athuru-Sevana in the morning, reached there before they start feeding around 9.00 AM without disappointing them to capture all the interesting moments in Jimmy’s camera. Making a little amendment to the stop off for the 04th night, reached the Tea Bush Hotel, Nuwara eliya around 5.00 PM.
Rewarding a bonus day in Nuwara Eliya, few ideas came from our boss James to spend the day in a meaningful way and respecting to his ideas first we visited the Victoria Gardens and then we started to visit the Kadapola tea factory. Passing all these panoramic views and record plenty of stunning photographs in Jimmy’s camera we reached the Tea factory around 11.30 am. Visiting the organic tea factory Alison had some tea testing after the demonstration. On our way to the Warwick Gardens, had a visit to the Hakgala Botanical Garden.
On 6th Morning we started our journey to the Horton plains national park to see the cloud forest through the scenic Ambewela and Pattipola. Surely this 9km circular nature walk provided us an excellent trekking experience while offering marvelous views to the south including a photographic record of the Adam’s peak in Jimmy’s camera. While returning to the Warwick Garden we didn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Pattipola railway station, the highest railway station in Sri Lanka, which is 6204 feets above from the sea level and the Summit level, the highest point of the Sri Lankan railway track.
Labookale tea factory were visited on 07th morning to explore an active tea factory in our way to Kandy from Nuwara Eliya and then the Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya before we reach the Suisse Hotel, Kandy. In the evening visited the sacred Dalada Maligawa, the temple of tooth relic of Lord Buddha.
Ended up this tour by transferring them to The Beach Hotel, Negombo on 08th January with remaining ample time to relax on the beach before they transfer to the Airport on the following morning.