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Elephants, monkeys and a swear word or two

Filed Under: All You Need to Know, Blog, Family Adventure, Luxury Family Hotel Review Cheeky monkey, Sri Lanka

Posted on 20th Nov 2014

Tots Too guests report back from their jungle adventure in Sri Lanka

“In the summer of 2014 our family embarked on a Sri Lankan adventure. Two weeks in a country none of us had previously visited and having undertaken the minimal amount of research we found ourselves in the hands of the experts – Tots Too and Ayu in the Wild. And we are so glad that we did! We had a fortnight filled with adventure, opportunity and fun. What more does one want from a family holiday?

From the moment we arrived Chami and Raji ensured that our needs were met… and more so. Lovely hotels for the first few nights enabled us to settle in but if it is just luxury-beach-pool which rocks your boat, why go so far? It was the less luxurious places we visited which remain with us as a fond and warm memory now that the British winter is setting in.

The best way to summarise our holiday is to reflect on our individual high lights and low points too….  In age order –

Dad, Marc (42)

Loved the posh hotels with a twist…. Monkeys roaming in the luxuriant surroundings of a 5 star hotel and drinking from the pool.  As the only tea drinker among us he also appreciated the visit to the tea factory and was amused to hear that, contrary to what the supermarkets at home tell us, teabags (even those claiming to be just tips) are really the dregs. And apparently leaves are withered not dried. Marc also as the earliest riser in the family managed to stumble across a Hindu wedding taking place on the beach at one of the hotels we stayed in along the way. Apparently the wedding was the shortened version at a mere 4 hours in the early morning sun. As a frequent flier for work, Marc was delighted by the novel 4 seater plane which took us from Kandy to Ellerton Bungalow. Not so keen on curry for breakfast but did acquire a taste for string hoppers (think bowl shaped pancake with an egg inside).

Mum, Jude (41)

Surprised herself by relishing the opportunity to sleep out in the jungle… See animals up close on safari, witness a river rise from dry earth to a promising stream, be woken in the middle of the night by a monkey throwing down fruit stones onto the roof of our tent and having a shower outside with the (slim) possibility of seeing a leopard. Also adored the food and, unlike others, partial to curry for breakfast. A close second to the tent was the treetop house which swung in the wind above the (dry) lily pond which lay beneath. The treehouse was very remote and a stiff neck made the windy journey down to the site one which was occasionally interrupted by the odd swear word. Only disappointment was not having South African ‘sundowners’ at the end of a safari day as Sri Lankan national parks, unlike their South African equivalents are alcohol free zones!

Sam (13)

Fascinated by Budhism and keen to visit temples and historic sites of polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura. He also enjoyed discussing the finer points of faith with anyone who would give him the time of day. Raji proved particularly patient. As someone who is at times fearful of heights there were a few hairy moments on the plane and on the hike up to Sagirhiya but all came good when the nerves subsided and he was able to appreciate the views. An old hand at safaris the animals and, in particular the birdlife, were very impressive. Sam struggled to think of things he didn’t like but settled for the sea-plane ascent.

Avi (10)

Loved pretty much everything. When probed he particularly liked the various swimming pools en route. Also quite liked hearing his mum swear on every bend in the road. Enjoyed seeing the animals – especially the gathering of the elephants (which at one point, we feared, was more like a gathering of the tourists but like everything else on this holiday when the elephants came they did not disappoint). An international cricket game on the last day was another high light for a sports mad youngster. His one dislike – the food. Apparently the rice was good and, when available, so was the pasta but everything else was horrid.

So as you can see we are a typical family – we disagree on almost everything but all found something to love about Sri Lanka. We are keen to go back to such a wonderful and welcoming place and would recommend this holiday to the most discerning and disagreeable of families!”

Sea plane, Sri Lanka


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