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Amazing story about watching whales and elephants in one day

     There are two iconic giants who have left a mark in history as the largest Mammals on earth. Sri Lanka, the small island in the Indian Ocean, is one place where you can see both of them within one day . The Elephant is the largest terrestrial mammal and the Whale is the largest marine Mammal. Click the link below to visit our simplest recommended itinerary to witness these two jumbos.

Tour : Jumbos on both Land & Sea in one day

The Jumbos who walk on Land!

     Sri Lanka is a country endowed with varied landscapes and abundant biodiversity, so naturally when thinking about wildlife, one tends to wonder about who the largest animal to roam the small paradise is. Elephants have been in Sri Lanka for thousands of years and are a major constituent of the country’s wildlife. Elephants have been associated with the people of Sri Lanka both in their traditional and religious activities; it is known that Ancient Sinhalese kings captured and tamed Elephants to do daily day to day tasks.

     There are two main species of elephants around the globe, the African Elephant ( Loxodonta) and the Asian Elephant ( Elephas Maximus). The Asian Elephants are then further categorized into three subspecies, with the species found in Sri Lanka being named as “Elephas maximus Maximus”. It is also said to be the largest of the Asian Elephant species but when it is compared to the African elephants though they are more attractive in appearance they are considerably smaller in size. Sri Lankan Elephants lifespan lies in between 55 to 70 years and usually travel in herds. Also, it is important to note that Sri Lanka takes care of the worlds largest herd of “Orphaned Elephants”. Elephants commonly inhabit the tropical forests of Ceylon, and they wander miles a day in search of food and water. They are herbivores and feed on grasses, leaves, climbers fruits and seeds. An Adult elephant can eat up to 130 Kilograms of vegetation a day.

Where can they be found? 

In terms of where to see Elephants in Sri Lanka, the best options would be at the

  • Udawalawe National Park
    Udawlawe National Park is highly recommended as this is the only national park in Sri Lanka which will guarantee an Elephant sighting on every Safari.
  • Minneriya National Park
    Minnerya national park is also a world-renowned place to see elephants, It is actually rated “Lonely Planets” 6th on the top 10 of the worlds Wildlife Spectacles. It is host to the largest annually recurring concentration of wildlife elephants in the world, Named “the gathering” you will witness a gathering over 300 elephants during the months of August through to the end of October. 
  • Kavudulla Eco Park
  • Wasgamuwa National Park
  • Yala National Park
  • Wilpattu National Park
  • Gal Oya National Park”
    Gal Oya national park is also is a very important sight to witness a marvel of elephants, it is the only place where you can go on a boat safari and witness “the crossing”. The crossing is the event in which Sri Lankan Elephants swim from one island to another inside Gal Oya National Park.
  • Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
    The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is also a main tourist attraction. As before mentioned it houses the worlds largest herd of Orphaned Elephants. It is located in the central hills of Kegalle, Just 1.5 hours away from Kandy. It is also noted worldwide for its huge conservation achievement; Pinnawala witnesses the birthing of twenty – three elephants since 1984. The orphanage is very popular among local and Foreign tourists and all admission fees are solely used to the looking after of the Elephants. Admission Prices at the Orphanage for adults is LKR 2500 (16 USD) and for Children (3- 12 years) it is LKR 1250 (8 USD). Admission for infants is free (1 -3 Years)

     Another location you can witness the beauty of the largest mammals walking the earth is at the “Esala Perahara” held in Kandy. It is also known as the “Festival of the Tooth”. This topic brings around the fact about how Elephants are deeply embedded in the culture of Sri Lankans. During this ceremony, many elephants are adorned in the most beautiful fashion and are paraded through the streets of Kandy to the Temple of the Tooth, “ Dalada Maligawa”. This is a true spectacle which you are unable to get anywhere else in the world. Also, note that the Largest most magnificent Tusker( usually the longest tusked) carries the casket of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. It is an opportunity enjoyed only by very few Tuskers In Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was also home to the longest tusked Elephant in Asia known as “ Millangoda Raja”, who carried the casket of the sacred tooth relic for four decades until his death. This procession takes place during the months of July and August. To be an observer of a gathering of Elephants or even a single one of these behemoths will be a truly memorable experience an unforgettable opportunity. It is highly recommended to witness the social dynamics of these great creatures.

The Jumbos who live submerged in the sea!  

     Though the Elephant might be Largest being walking the wilds of the world, it is certainly not the largest mammal in the world. The Largest animal on the planet does not walk in Jungles but Lurks underneath the vast ocean. Whales are warm-blooded Mammals, they come up to the surface to breathe air and give birth to live young, unlike other fish. They are found in all the oceans of the world.

     Whales are divided into 2 suborders, the Odontoceti (toothed whales) and the Mysticeti (Baleen whales). The baleen whales are toothless and instead of teeth, they have a whalebone plate material which is called “Baleen”, which hangs from their upper jaw area. There are 80 species of whales which have been identified in all oceans,26 of them have been recorded up to date in and around the seas of Sri Lanka. Some of the whales found in Sri Lanka are Humpback whales, Sperm Whales, Killer Whales, Short-finned pilot whales and Blue Whales. 

     The largest animal existing in the world is the Blue Whale. It is tagged as an endangered species. They are usually found alone or in pairs, but they occasionally swim in small gams. The Sperm whale is the largest toothed predator existing on earth. It is a known fact that sperm whales have the largest brain compared to all other animals.

Where can they be found? 

     The best locations for whale watching would be in Trincomalee and Mirissa. It is important to remember that it is completely safe, Coastguards make sure that the Boat Crew and tourists abide by the safety precautions and regulations alike. The best time for Whale watching in Mirissa is from December to April and the best time for whale watching in Trincomalee is from may to October. Mirissa, Kalpitiya, and Trincomalee also are excellent Dolphin watching sights.