Elephants on parade: cool or cruel?


Maligawa Tusker at Esala Perahera
Maligawa Tusker at Esala Perahera

By chance, my few days in Kandy in Sri Lanka happened to coincide with the annual Esala Perahera: a spectacular 20-day period of nightly parades which get progressively grander each night, culminating in the Pattini Perahera.

On this final night, I watched almost a hundred elephants and more than 2,000 dancers and acrobats parade past the temple, with the ‘caparisoned’ elephants cloaked in richly embroidered fabrics. The highlight is the mammoth Maligawa Tusker, who carries the… Continue reading

Adventures in Sri Lanka Part 2: hiking in the Knuckles mountains

Knuckles mountains, Sri Lanka

Few international tourists make it to the Knuckles mountain range. The road is terrible – almost non-existant in places – and tourists on a typical round-island itinerary don’t have time. I spent two nights at Sphinx Eyrie campsite at Corberts Rest  (I actually had to stay in a stone cottage as it was too windy for canvas), and took a long 16km hike – which was one of the real highlights of my trip. Here’s some photos of the wildlife and scenery I saw along the… Continue reading

Adventures in Sri Lanka Part 1: Yala National Park

IMG_9525 sharper narrow 430 final

It’s taken me four weeks to get around to it but – finally – some blogs from my month in Sri Lanka! I’ve been here since the start of August, researching green hotels and responsible tourism projects. Wildlife tourism plays a pretty big part in responsible tourism here in Sri Lanka, so of course I had to go looking for leopards and elephants for myself…

First up, some photos from a safari trip into Yala National Park:

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