Descended from Nuwara Eliya 2000m to sea level at Tissamaharama in the south east where you have the famous Yala National Park. From lush green mountains to a dry flat landscape by the ocean.
Went on a Yala Park Safari which means you hire a 4×4 and driver to drive around the park, $28 entrance and $50 for the vehicle. These vehicles have 6 stepped seats mounted behind the driver and there are about 250 of them, there were about 10 in the park when I was there can’t imagine what it would be like in peak season.
There were Elephants, Peacocks, Mongoose, Pigs, Monitor Lizards, Buffalo, Spotted Deer, Rabbits, Monkeys, Crocodiles, lots of birds and the highlight was the Leopard at the waterhole.
The story goes like this, Leopard drinks at the waterhole then walks to the top and lies down for a rest, Monitor lizard walks down and has a drink then senses the Leopard hesitates and starts back up, Leopard senses something and turns around gets up and goes back for another drink, Lizard is frozen, Leopard finishes and walks right past the Lizard barely giving it a glance. A graphic example of only hunting when you have to fill your stomach or the Leopard was a woose hahahaha.
The following day drove to Galle, this is a big place with good beaches which attract hordes of European tourists, thousands of Guest houses lining the beaches, reminiscent of Bali or Goa.