If you have done your research on Sri Lanka, you might have heard that places like Yala National Park are incredible places to go to see wildlife. Having only been in Sri Lanka for 3 weeks, I have barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer, but you only need to step outside your front door to see some amazing wildlife – in fact, you don’t even have to leave your house! Walk around inside and you might find little geckos scurrying along the walls; look out the window and you’re bound to see a chipmunk or two dancing precariously along the telephone wires. As darkness falls, step outside (after liberally applying insect repellent) and watch fireflies appear and disappear around you. Lying in bed, the sound of crickets will send you to sleep.
On the first Saturday, after I arrived in Sri Lanka, I took a walk around Diyawanna Lake. Upon leaving the house, the sound of bird song filled the air: a flock of birds welcoming me to Colombo. On the short walk from the house to the lake, street dogs lazily opened one eye to look at me as I walked past. Parakeets flew overhead, chatting to each other.
When I reached the water, I walked along until the trees opened out and revealed an expansive view of the lake. Startling red dragonflies darted around the surface of the water and butterflies floated above them. To my right, a monitor lizard silently slipped below the surface, joining the crocodiles underwater (which every local I passed made sure to warn me about). I looked up and noticed a massive fruit bat hanging above me. As I walked further around the lake, I saw countless different birds, more lizards, and a constant flow of bats flapping from tree to tree.
After only three weeks in Sri Lanka, I have seen a massive variety of wildlife, some of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to start travelling around Sri Lanka to see some more of the incredible scenery and its inhabitants; I’m just not sure that six months will be long enough!