Sri Lanka has always enchanted me from afar. Between its lush tropical greenery, its strong Buddhist history, and its spicy colorful culture, there are so many reasons why traveling here was a dream of mine.
This past month, I made that dream a reality. Traveling 28-hours across oceans and continents to finally explore this exotic island proved to be even more of a dream come true than I imagined. And witnessing the yearly gathering of wild Asian elephants at Minneriya National Park was just a small part of what made this trip so memorable.
During the northern dry season (May through September), hundreds of elephants converge at one of several water sources in order to drink, bathe, and eat. (Without the rains, these tanks are the best place to find water) In the afternoons, you can hop into a jeep with a guide and at a safe distance, watch pachyderm families enjoy a little water play. While I do worry about the long term impact of jeep traffic and of the number tourists in the park, I was comforted to know (and see first-hand) that the jeeps stayed a good distance away from the elephants and do not interact with the animals at all. They leave nothing and take nothing. I hope this practice continues as Sri Lanka becomes more and more popular with travelers.
I cannot wait to share my stories from this trip with you in the coming months.