Sri Lanka - Leopards Question for Mohammed!

Old Jun 29th, 2007, 05:44 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sri Lanka - Leopards Question for Mohammed!

Hi Mohammed,

First of all...sorry for calling out for you!

Appreciate any information on Yala national park....what is a good time of the year to go there? and what is a good length of time to stay there....

Right now, here in South India....the monsoons have already begun and i would think much the same over there?.....either way, the earliest i can possibly do this is either October or November. Is this a good time?

Rgds,
Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2007, 05:51 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh! and how long is the drive from Colombo to Yala NP?

Thanks
Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Jul 16th, 2007, 05:53 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ttt
HariS is offline  
Old Jul 16th, 2007, 08:02 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hari, coincidentally, I flipped through Lonely Planet Sri Lanka this weekend, and had the same question. I'd like to combine a visit to the Cultural Triangle with time in Yala, and to me, and this is only a guess, it looked to be at least 6 hours from Colombo to Yala. But, I don't expect to get to Sri Lanka until late 2008 or 2009. I'd also pop over to the Maldives, and I think Male is an easy flight from Colombo.
thit_cho is offline  
Old Jul 16th, 2007, 11:29 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 710
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Hari,

Thousand apologies! I only saw this post today! I seem to be having difficulty tracking threads on Fodors. This is a great site but wish it could be structured better, allow alerts to posts, PM's, and also edits...

Now to get to your questions

Yala is superb right now with leopard sightings at an all time high. I had a call from a tracker I use regulary last friday urging me to come because there are some leopards including a female with two small playful cubs showing themselves daily. Generally the best times of year is from Feb/March and again from about late May to August.

August is good and the the height of the dry season and depending on the drought and stress on animals the park closes to visitors in September.

In 2005 we had to actually take water in bowsers and fill some artificial basins - remember this was the post Tsunami year as well.

By mid October the rains usually come and all hell breaks loose. You don't want to go there in October/November. I know some 4WD fanatics who love to go and get stuck in the mud.

December improves, can also be a bit wet but very green and very viable.

By Jan things are looking nice again and if you are a bird lover Jan/Feb is the best time because all the migratory birds arrive.

The SW Monsoon hits SL around May/June and moves north usually reaching southern India by late June and to Mumbai etc by July by which time the rains here ease off. Yala is very unique and can remain quite dry through this period. When I was there in April this year there was some rain but it was not too bad.

I am planning to go to Yala on 27th-29th. We have a special Wildlife leopard lovers group going and hope to have some nice talks and slide shows etc in the evenings.

Hari, SL is is steal right now, prices are so cheap as everyone has been scared off but in actual fact if you travel in the west,south and central parts of the country it is quite safe, probably safer than any other place in the world!

Journey time to yala from Colombo is 5 hours on the Ratnapura/Uda Walawe route and can take 8 hours on the coastal route.

The cultural triangle is on the north central area, is also safe to travel, and good if you like the see all the ancient buddhist sites, climb Sigiriya etc. There is also Minneriya NP in this area which is super for elephants in end Sept/Oct - http://www.gluckman.com/SriLankaElephants.html


Mohammed is online now  
Old Jul 16th, 2007, 06:20 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Mohammed...appreciate all the info. I have a lot of work committments between now and end of September...so, i will have to give this a shot next year at some point! I hate the monsoons...drenching rain here right now!!!

Yes, Michael.....Yala sounds fascinating and i think i need to try it out considering it is so close to Southern India. You haven't been to South India yet, have you?

Rgds,
Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2007, 06:43 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Mohammed,

Just saw the announcement that Sri Lankan airlines is starting a direct service between Coimbatore and Colombo end of October. I don't even need to go to Chennai...... i'm thinking Yala NP for maybe March or April next year.

Rgds,
Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2007, 11:11 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
hi, mohammed,

sorry to hijack your thread, Hari.

What would be the best time of year to visit sri lanka? I have in mind flying into colombo then going south, and visiting Kandy. I've alawys wanted to visit, then the bombs have started again. But if the cricketers are there, it must be safe!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2007, 01:02 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 710
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Hari and Ann,

Just saw your posts/questions.

Yala is good from Jan thru to August with Feb/March being the best with a huge variety of endemic and migratory bird life also. April can be a bit wet and crowded especially 10th to 20th April when school holidays etc. On a 2 day visit last Feb I had 7 separate leopard sightings!

The park closes from 1st September - 15th October (closed right now) to give the animals a rest at the peak of the drought when they are under severe stress. November, rains, can be very wet and muddy loved by the 4WD club guys who go I to get stuck in the mud and have fun winching each other out.

December/Jan tends to be pretty and green but probably too much water and cover around for best leopard sighting.

The North and East are not safe to visit. However life goes on pretty much normally in Colombo and the rest of the country. As a tourist/visitor you will probably notice a few security check points with armed soldiers etc at strategic places like bridges etc. For example on the road from Colombo to Yala which takes about 5 hours I usually encounter 2 check points, and almost always they just wave me through, at the most I roll my shutter down and show the guy my ID. Itís really no big deal and actually for general safety of everyone.

Ann you are right the England cricketers are here and they are here on a major long tour. They are playing right now at Dambulla which is way North from Colombo close to the border of the eastern province. That area is known as the cultural triangle and beautiful to visit if you like to see ancient historical and Buddhist sites. Kandy is about an hour and a half from Dambulla. An ideal routing would be Colombo airport / Dambulla / Kandy / Nuwara Eliya (tea country) / Yala / Southern beaches and Galle / Colombo.

Don't get blown away by the media hype, Sri Lanka has its problems, but by statistical fact it is much safer than many other major cities. We hardly every hear of muggings and stuff like that and the fact is in recent months there have been more bombs in UK and Mumbai than Colombo/Southern/Central Sri Lanka.

Please do come to my beautiful country you will love it.

Mohammed
Mohammed is online now  
Old Oct 7th, 2007, 09:01 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
thanks mohammed,

I'm listening right now to england doing their best to lose the third one day match.

I'd never heard of Dambulla before this tour. It sounds very interesting. I'm looking forward to the test from Galle - if they get it finished, that is. Kandy is the place I most want to see.

many thanks again for the information,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2007, 11:16 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ann,

I think they are doing pretty good right now. Sri Lanka is a very strong team at home and is very difficult to beat them on those turning pitches, especially in the odi's.

Hari

PS: Don't know if/when Tendulkar will get another 100. Just followed our game online in the office and it appears runout 79. Phew!
HariS is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2007, 11:47 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 710
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh wow Ann, the English are on a roll. They better watch out the hungry lions are gonna roar in Colombo!

Murali will probaly remain out of action till the test series.

Galle grounds are progressing, last when I spoke to the contractor, they were rushing work on the new dressing rooms/toilets and the new pitch is looking "okay" he says. However I firmly believe all new pitches need to be played in a bit especially before a test match.

Hari, Tendulkar is a class act and has another good 5 years of cricket left. All top batsmen have ups and downs. I personally think these top players as they get older should stop playing the one day game and concentrate on the tests only, especially the likes of Tendulkar. Let Yuvraj and Dhoni handle the slog fests.

Ozzies will be tested today for 291!
Mohammed is online now  
Old Oct 8th, 2007, 05:40 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
hi, Hari and Mohammed,

Isn't the internet wonderful? I don't normally follow the cricket except when England are involved, but I'll be watching to see how india do [have done?] today.

I agree about Tendulkar concentrating on test matches. it would be such a pity to see him going out like Brian Lara. Such talent transcends national boundaries.

greetings to you both,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2007, 05:53 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello! Apparently, we hung onto a sneaky 8 run win against the Aussies today.

I don't see him retiring from ODIs .... he loves his records and hope he puts his records out of reach for Ricky Ponting.

Rgds,
Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2007, 06:53 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
hi, Hari,

well done India.

Sounds as if the aussies haven't had a good weekend!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2007, 12:57 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 710
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have you been following the Rugby? Amazing stuff at the QF's, NZ losing to France and England beating Australia!

Eng vs Fra on 13th SF match is gonna be one humdinger!
Mohammed is online now  
Old Oct 8th, 2007, 01:43 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
hi, mohammed,

i didn't mention it as i wasn't sure if it had made the telly in Sri Lanka - i don't think that you've got a team in it - yet! Doubtless if you do, you'll find players like Murali and Malinga able to put a new slant on the game.

Saturday was a truly amazing day for european rugby fans. i actually feel sorry for NZ - acknowledged as the best team on the planet but somehow managing to lose their invitation to the party almost every time. Perhaps like fine wine they don't travel well.

The aussies I don't feel sorry for at all. They win enough as it is, AND let us know about it. I got the impression that they thought they just had to turn up on Saturday and they were through to the semis. England have made the same mistake enough times before, goodness knows; it was nice to see the boot on the other foot.

hope you enjoy the rest of the tournament,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2007, 06:07 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Probably, SA at the rugby?
HariS is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2007, 12:23 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 710
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi hari and everyone else,


I have the sad duty to inform that there was an LTTE attack on an army camp at a post called Talgasmankada deep inside Yala killing seven SLA soldiers. AFAIK No civilians were targeted or harmed. I did speak to one of the wildlife department trackers based in yala today and everyone is shocked and upset by this latest incursion by the the LTTE.

My personal opinion is it is still fine to visit Sri Lanka and Yala Village hotel which is a fair distance from the scene is also fine, however one need to watch and see the situation over the next few days before going inside the park. While the media is quick to headline these isolated incidents, as a Sri Lankan living in Sri Lanka I don't know of any foreign tourist who has ever been targeted or harmed in this crazy conflict. I'd still feel a lot safer walking the streets here than I would in London, NY, or Joburg!
Mohammed is online now  
Old Oct 16th, 2007, 02:00 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
thanks mohammed.

you are right when you imply that there are troubles everywhere.

We can only hope that Sri lanka gets hers sorted soon.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -