Asia Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Yala Musings - story of a leopard sighting....

Jump to last reply

By 11am Yala was oppressively hot and humid on a late January morning. We were all content after a jungle picnic breakfast of pol rotti's with spicy katta sambol, seeni sambol and dhall, (some very yummy, local, Sri Lankan foods) washed down with hot tea and chilled fresh mandarins from the cooler for desert. Everything was served al fresco from the back of the SUV 4WD. En route to the gate, and now ensconced in comfortable leather seats with air-conditioning we detoured towards Buttawa Wewa and then further on to the Jamburagala Rd to check out a leopard we had seen earlier in the morning. In reality we had barely seen him. The elusive "prince of the dark" had been well concealed from prying eyes, deep inside the lush foliage of a large Tamarind tree along the Jamburagala Rd. Would the leopard still be there almost three hours later? Our tracker Priyantha was supremely confident. He was sure this big male leopard would rest in the tree all day and only descend late in the afternoon when the blazing sun had descended towards the horizon. The morning sighting had been but a fleeting glimpse of a few coloured spots of a leopards butt. It had been barely visible through the thick foliage.
Approaching the spot once again with anticipation everyone craned their necks and searched on the tree. Lo and behold the leopard was still there! And we were lucky as it had turned around and had repositioned itself, now facing in our direction. It was still not easy to get a clear view of its face which was obscured by branches and leaves. Yala does not allow any off road driving so we had to struggle to find a vantage point from which we could see the animal. The gravel jeep track was heavily lined with thick scrub jungle. Inching the vehicle forwards and backwards several times over with my daughter guiding me, everyone contorted into various acrobatic yogic positions inside the vehicle to try and get a glimpse. With the help of binoculars and juggling and fumbling a heavy bean bag and the Canon with the big 500mm mounted, we finally found a “sweet” spot from where we could just see him between the mass of branches, twigs and leaves. Some leaves were still obscuring his face, however, every now and then a little waft of the breeze would part the leaves like a cinema curtain and for a few magic moments the leopards face would be just about visible. Damn! A branch still was in the way. And then in all his arrogance the beautiful cat swiveled around and gave me “The Look”……..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31829627@N02/4332406076/

For photos of leopards and other beautiful nature from Sri Lanka please visit my above Flickr gallery.

Regards
Mohammed

9 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement: Writers Needed for Morocco Guidebook
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 11, 14 at 05:51 PM
View all Asia activity »
  1. 1 Hong Kong restaurants
  2. 2 12 day split between Beijing and Shanghai
  3. 3 Flying from place to place in Asia - here's our plan with questions
  4. 4 Problems at 12,000'
  5. 5 GOING TO SE ASIA , NEED HELP
  6. 6 Biting the India bullet...well, maybe...
  7. 7 Hotels in Hong Kong
  8. 8 Trip Report April in Bangkok, again!
  9. 9 India for 2 weeks in December/January
  10. 10 Drinking cheap in Singapore
  11. 11 Has anyone done a houseboat trip in Kerala
  12. 12 Bali trip - Places to visit outside of Bali / SE Asia
  13. 13 Sixteen Day in South Korea
  14. 14 SE Asia July/August - more itinerary advice needed
  15. 15 what gifts to take to host in Cambodia from the U.D.
  16. 16 Recs for Tokyo hotels
  17. 17 How safe is Delhi/India
  18. 18 Malaria
  19. 19 Vietnam and coffee
  20. 20 I'm going to Japan!
  21. 21 Living in Bangalore, India for 12 months. How to handle Malaria?
  22. 22 Diving in Thailand? Be aware!
  23. 23 Have you stayed at Outrigger Laguna Beach Resort Phuket?
  24. 24 Cherry blossom
  25. 25 Hua Hin or another family friendly beach?
View next 25 » Back to the top