Our family

Entries in Sri Lanka (7)


Last memories of Sri Lanka


The Elephant Orphanage

The elephant population at Udawalawa National Park is undergoing a substantial boom with the implementation of good protection. Every herd of elephants we saw had multiple calves of different ages, and overall the herds have doubled in size over the past five years. There are still some unfortunate deaths of mother elephants, due to occasional shooting of elephants by farmers (poaching isn't much of a problem, as Sri Lankan elephants rarely have tusks) and from stepping on landmines. The orphans created by these deaths are looked after by the Elephant Transit Home, who take in baby elephants and feed them until they are old enough to be released back into the park. They try to keep the elephants wild, but they do allow visitors to watch the feeding from a distance.

Yala National Park


More elephants please

We picked Udawalawa National Park for our family holiday due to Hayden's overwhelming love of elephants. Fortunately, he adored actual elephants as much as elephants in books, and was even happy to wake up at 5:30am every day to go on safari to see the elephants (or upyumyum, as he calls them). 

When we did come across an elephant (pretty much every 15 minutes, for around 24 hours of jeeping spread over five days), Hayden would crane his head out of the jeep and watch the elephant in awe, always pointing out each one as a "mummy upyumyum", "daddy upyumyum" or "Hayden upyumyum". He would often give a running commentary - "mummy upyumyum Hayden upyumyum eating grass" or "mummy upyumyum too big for bath" on the events.

And the minute the elephants left, Hayden would sing out "more upyumyum please".

More upyumyum please.

More upyumyum please.

More upyumyum please.

More upyumyum please.


Udawalawa safari

A baby elephant, only weeks old, stays by its mother's side

Land monitor

An egret picks ticks out of the ear of a water buffalo

Water buffalo calf

Malabar Pied Hornbills in flights

A male elephant cleans the dirt off of its meal, while egrets pick at the grasshoppers he stirs up



Changeable Hawk-Eagle

Painted storks


Udawalawa National Park

The stars of the park, the elephants

Young water buffalo suckling

Young Gray Langur playing

The prize for worst camouflage goes to the peacocks

Family safari

Green bee-eater

A family of jackals 

Mother elephant with calf

According to Hayden, the water bufallo were "jumping in muddy puddles"


That is "comforting"