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Trip Report Of Wildlife and Tea. A Sri Lankan Sojourn.

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Sri Lanka seems like the place to be right now; There's an ad campaign that proclaims this is Visit Sri Lanka Year, tourist numbers are at an all time high and three of us Fodorites just happened to be visiting at the same time.

Sri Lanka has been on my wish list for at least the past three years. The question I was asked most often in Sri Lanka was how I had come to choose the country for my vacation. Well I completely forgot how my quest began until the very last days of the trip. When I returned from a trip to South Africa, I had a desire to spend more time with elephant herds and ultimately determined that Sri Lanka was the best location for this.

Just as well I’d forgotten all about this goal by the time the trip rolled around, because I would have been quite disappointed as it was the wrong time of year for elephant gatherings and the biggest herd I saw consisted of about eight elephants.

I sent out requests for help with an itinerary to about six companies, and ultimately chose to go with Red Dot. Responses were not very timely, I got the impression they were rather overwhelmed, but in the end Ayanthi seemed to understand exactly what type of trip I was looking for. In retrospect, I suppose my requests were quite unusual, and the tourism sector is very busy indeed. Every lodge I stayed at was full with most unable to accommodate guests’ requests for extensions or last minute bookings.

My itinerary focused very heavily on wildlife. It involved four nights camping in Yala National Park, day trips to Udu Walawe, Minneriya and Wilpattu National Parks and a visit with a group conducting primate research. I also included a stay in tea country, four nights at Tea Trails, and four nights within the cultural triangle at the Cinnamon Lodge- chosen for the resident wildlife on the extensive grounds.

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