The Economic Times of India was at the Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka where the top draw is the Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya), a majestic sub-species endemic to the country.

We are waiting with bated breath in the lowland dry scrub for the big cat to appear. It is lurking somewhere in the tawny undergrowth but despite a 40-minute wait a sighting has proved elusive.

Suddenly, there’s commotion in the grass and with one quick lunge, the leopard hoists itself on the gigantic branch of a palu tree, his green-flecked eyes scanning us intently as we watch it from our jeep parked barely 50 metres away.

Soon, another leopard — a cub this time — climbs up the knobby trunk. We can scarcely breathe. After a few minutes, the duo slither down the tree and play like mischievous puppies — pawing, biting, rolling over, pouncing on each other.

Read the full report here.



Bliss in Beruwala: a heady mix of hills, forests and the sea

IndiaToday reports that for adrenaline junkies, there’s water skiing on the rivers/estuaries, snorkelling, scuba diving, wind surfing, parasailing and fishing at this quintessential Sri Lanka resort.

A gust of autumnal breeze ruffles my hair as I soak in the oceanic splendour – colourful boats bobbing on the glassy surface, the rhythmic rise and fall of the waves of the ocean bluer than Paul Newman’s eyes. It all works like a salve to soothe my cityfrazzled nerves.

Nature’s symphony plays out here in a loop and I tune into it everywhere – while breakfasting at the resort’s all-day dining watching a radiant horizon change hues faster than models on a ramp, strolling along its private beach or even from my plush room accoutred with all creature comforts.

Read the full report here.



Water baby Kev Brady off on another epic adventure

GloucestershireLive in the UK reports that paddle-board adventurer Kevin Brady will be attempting a world first by paddling from source to sea of the Mahaweli, the longest river in Sri Lanka.

After braving elephants, snakes, leopards and crocodiles, he will then attempt to paddle board around the island of Sri Lanka which will add another 800 miles onto his already epic 208 mile voyage.

Brady’s latest Sri Lankan adventure will see him experience a completely new set of challenges along the unchartered waters of the river where he will have to contend with potentially dangerous white water stretches as well as the wildlife.

Read the full report here.



Negombo’s colonial charm

The Sunday Observer in Sri Lanka mentions that only the surviving remnants of the Dutch fort of Negombo and its clock tower can be seen today.

The sunny morning of last Monday, I was in Negombo, the country’s fourth largest city, with the intention of seeing its colonial legacy inherited from the European conquerers—Portuguese, Dutch and finally British. Even today, one can find an assortment of monuments they left behind.

Walking along the busy road on the bank of Negombo lagoon which leads to the remnants of the Dutch Fort, I imagined how a fleet of Dutch canoes bearing VOC flags with tall masts had been paddled in the Negombo lagoon centuries ago. Today, I tried to compare it to fishing Oruwaswhich still sail across the lagoon with busy fisherfolk.

Read the full report here.



Three Sri Lankan hotels ‘that are like heaven on Earth’

The Telegraph in the UK gives a glowing account of the Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa, Hambantota, The Frangipani Tree, Near Galle, and Cape Weligama, Weligama.

Between the oncoming trucks and the hairpin bends, it’s a nerve-jangling three-hour drive from Colombo to the new Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa, on Sri Lanka’s unspoilt south coast. But it’s also a beautiful journey through lush forests and well worth it.  

Built on the site of a former 145-acre coconut plantation, the resort sits on a hillside that sweeps down to the Indian Ocean and a coastline that once formed part of the ancient Spice Route. It’s also less than an hour’s drive to two wildlife-filled nature reserves, Yala—famous for its leopard population—and Bundala.

Read the full report here.

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