Evening Safaris at Udawalawe National Park are many things: fun, enjoyable, educational, breath-taking, and even exhilarating. The wide array of wildlife on display makes the experience well worth the trip. Any safari experience will leave all but the most hardened of individuals feeling exhausted. This is where the magic of Mahoora Tented Safaris come in.
A typical evening experience would be to watch the sunset from the campsite while having a cup of tea, but we do it better. As a surprise to our guests, we provide what is well and truly an amazing sunset experience. A few metres from the Mahoora campsite lies a rock that is about 10 - 12 metres higher than the surroundings. This provides an amazing 360 degree view of the area. It is the perfect spot to relax and watch the sun set over the Udawalawe National Park. To your far right (due north) as you watch the sunset is the picturesque Haputale Mountain Range standing sentinel to the flatlands to its south. To the left is the Mahoora campsite. You will be facing due west, watching the sun sink slowly over the horizon and disappear from your sight, for it to brighten other parts of the world. The vast Udawalawe National Park covers two-thirds of your view, and includes the serene Udawalawe Reservoir, and the Walawe River, both of which attracts birds and mammals who come ashore to either cool down or have a fish or two to eat.
This vantage point truly does provide the best views in the area. Having said that, experiencing some great views is one thing; experiencing them in grand style is another. This is where Mahoora Tented Safaris is in its element. Guests are provided beanbag chairs on which to recline, a Mahoora special sundown cocktail, and an atmosphere like no other. You might even be lucky enough to get there on a clear evening when you will see the stars – outshone by the sun for half a day – come out. Whether you are an avid stargazer or just in awe of nature in all the celestial beauty it provides, this is a moment you have to experience.
The stresses a Safari jeep ride through the national park puts on your body will slip away as you relax and have loads of fun, cracking jokes, exchanging stories, taking pictures, and sipping away at your delicious cocktail. The sundown experience starts at about 5:30pm – immediately after the evening safari comes to a close – and stay until the sun is well below the horizon at about 6:45pm. As Sri Lanka is a country located in the tropics, these times are true for every day of the year! Note to amateur photographers / videographers: If you have a camera capable of taking time-lapse video, this would be your perfect opportunity to capture a beautiful sunset.
After the sunset experience, you will return to the campsite where you can have a refreshing shower and get ready for a star-class dining experience under the stars.
Mahoora Udawalawe Camp Manager: Mr Bernard.
Written By: Nirmal Kirtisinghe.