When we arrived at our accommodation in Tissamaharama we thought we were in the middle of nowhere again. There was so much vegetation and trees around, that we thought we were far from the center of town. It turns out that we were not, and that the town is just super green and full of trees and farmland. Luckly for us, our accommodation called La Safari Inn, had free bicycles for guests to use. It was only a 5 minute ride through the country roads to get to the town center.
We really enjoy riding bikes, and it was super fun to cycle around the area on the many dirt roads through the farms and houses to see the local temples and wildlife. The accommodation we were staying at had a huge garden with loads of different trees, all packed with a variety of birds such as: black hooded oriole, green parakeets, wood peckers, cuckoo birds, babblers, peacocks, sunbirds and king fishers. We enjoyed sitting on our balcony listening to the bird songs and spotting them in the trees. Every evening just after 6pm, as the sun was setting, there would be a massive cloud of giant fruit bats that would fly over. This cloud would last for about 20 minutes as the bats would be on their way to find dinner for the night.
The main reason we came to Tissamaharama was to visit the Yala national park, which was close by. We did an early monring safari that started with us being fetched at 4:30am. We drove through the park looking for wildlife, and managed to spot Elephants, buffalo, deer, wild pigs, and various birds, such as peacocks, eagles, and bee eaters. Even though we enjoyed the experience, we were a little dissapointed as we were hoping there would be more wildlife. We only spotted three elephants in the park, and coming from Africa where we have seen hundreds of Elephants, we expected more…maybe we have been spoiled.
We had our closest encounter with an elephant when we were outside the park, on the drive home from the safari. An elephant had wondered into the road, stopping traffic as he just stood there not moving. All the cars had to slowly creep around the elephant, and some people gave it fruit through their car window as they drove by.
After 3 nights in Tissamaharama, we booked our transport to the town of Arugam bay, where we would be staying with some friends from South Africa.