They say elephants never forget. I’ll never forget seeing so many beautiful elephants in one place in the wild on a single day. Kaudulla National Park is one of the finest places to see Asian elephants in Sri Lanka and has up to 200 of these beautiful creatures living within its boundaries.
A bumpy jeep ride took me deep into the park passing birds, the odd sambur, and more peacocks. For a while it seemed there was just dense vegetation and a dirt road but suddenly the bush cleared and an an expanse of scrub emerged. I saw two shapes in the distance. Elephants! I was thrilled to see two elephants in the wild and got quite excited, but the guide looked up and said :”We’ll see many more.” Would we?
We circumvented a small lake full of egrets and cormorants and there they were. At least 20 elephants grazing, playing with each other, and wandering about. Two young ones looked exceptionally cheeky and had a twinkle in their eyes as they walked up a grassy hillock. I could have stayed forever just staring at these beautiful animals.
The big tusker wandered over to look at the tourists taking photos but soon wandered of to organise the herd with a loud trumpeting noise. Egrets picked round the elephants feet; each getting help from each other in that symbiotic way that nature has with wildlife.
Around Kaudulla Lake some elephants were having a bathe in the water, emerging to greet friends and dry off in the evening sun where a gathering of 30 to 40 seemed to be the norm. I loved every moment of seeing these animals- it was such a special moment to see one elephant- but 40 in one place? What a privilege.