We met Ajith in the hotel foyer at 7.30 having breakfasted and checked out of our room.
Our next stop was the National Park at Udawalwe. The drive took much of the morning and apart from a few short stops to photograph the magnificent scenery it was a non-stop four hour journey from the mountains down to lower elevations.
Ajith's timing was perfect and we reached the Elephant Orphanage just before the midday feed. We were rewarded with the sight of thirty elephants ranging from a few months old to four or five years old patiently taking turns at a milk bar before wandering over to munch on a pile of fresh palm leaves.
The aim of the Orphanage is to release the elephants back in to the National Park once they are self sufficient and their success is measured by the fact that some released elephants have borne young in the Park.
After the Orphanage we checked in at Kalu's Hideaway before heading out for a game drive in the park.
Udawalawe is famous for its elephants and within minutes we we sat watching a cow and three youngsters only a few yards from the Jeep. The park is home to more than 700 of them and over the next couple of hours we saw several small groups of cows and calves plus two magnificent, solitary bulls strolling through the scrub.
The bird life was spectacular too and eagles, hornbills, hoopoe and many waterfowl were also seen. Monitors and crocodiles represented the Reptilian Order.
As our drive drew to a close lightening flickered, thunder rumbled and the Heavens opened. We were rewarded with a spectacular storm that provided a fantastic back drop to a cold Lion Beer on the hotel veranda.