Leopard emerging from the undergrowth

While on holiday in Sri Lanka we experienced our first ever safari at the Yala Nature Reserve. Although there were a few highlights our experience was very disappointing.

The safari consisted effectively of a two hour race in a jeep over rough tracks through the nature reserve, stopping just long enough on sight of some wildlife for a quick few shots before speeding off again. The question ‘did you get it?’ was followed by a swift acceleration when the answer was affirmative.

The safari felt like a race through the reserve, ensuring we captured every type of wildlife on camera. It was like going through a list of tick boxes, with the driver’s and tracker’s tip en par with how many species they could get to show us.

We were expecting a much more relaxed approach, driving to a location, staying there to soak up the atmosphere, being one with nature and seeing wildlife appear more naturally. But maybe we were expecting too much.

One of the highlight of the safari was seeing this big male leopard emerging from the undergrowth. It was heading for a drink at the pool of water, but decided to disappear back in the undergrowth, disturbed by a dozen’s of jeeps with engines roaring and tooting of horns, all vying for the best vantage point.

No wonder the leopard disappeared.