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Kaudulla National Park: An Untamed Safari Through The Sri Lankan Wilds

Sri Lanka is home to twenty-six national parks and the Kaudulla National Park is one of the most eminent parks, it is spread over a massive 6656 hectares and is home to a countless number of wild animals, aquatic animals, and exotic birds. The Kaudulla National Park is also connected to the Somawathie Chaitiya Park and the Minneriya Wildlife Park, both of which are excellent spots where you can explore Sri Lanka’s wildlife, especially elephants.

Elephants group view

Declared as a National Park in the year 2002, the Kaudulla National Park was the fifteenth nature reserve that was given the title. The Park also brings tourists and travelers from all around the world mainly to see the elephants population that lives in abundance at the Park. In the dry seasons, all the elephants from the surrounding National Parks including the Kaudulla, Wasgomuwa and the Somawathie Chaitiya Parks come together at the Minneriya National Park in an unofficial ceremony called “Elephant Gathering” by the locals.

When you look at the map of Kaudulla National Park a little closely, you will notice how the National Parks in Sri Lanka are so closely connected to each other, making it easier for animals to go from one park to the other in search of food, water or mates.

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Beautiful place

The best time to visit the Kaudulla National Park is between the months of August and December so you can see a maximum number of wild animals at the Park. The famous Sri Lankan elephant gatherings take place in the months of September and October so plan your visit accordingly.

Cab View

You can reach Kaudulla National Park from the Colombo-Trincomalee main road if you are traveling by road. You can hail a cab directly from Trincomalee to the National Park which would cost about INR 2300 to INR 2800 and reach you to your destination in about 1 hour 20 minutes.

From Dambulla to Kaudulla National Park: If you’re traveling from Trincomalee to Kaudalla National Park, you can board a night train from Trincomalee that drops you at Galoya Junction in 2 hours, costing you around INR 29 to INR 100 (one way). From Galoya junction, you can either walk it up to the park (takes about twenty minutes) or hail a taxi.

From Dambulla to Kaudulla National Park: If you are staying at Dambulla, you can hire a taxi that will take you from Dambulla to Kaudulla National Park, covering a distance of 44 kilometers in 42 minutes, costing you around INR 1400 to INR 1800 (one way).
Kaudulla National Park Entrance Fee: INR 1280

The Kaudalla National Park lies between the coastal city of Trincomalee and Dambulla so you can find accommodation at one of the following hotels:

1) Dambulla Rock Arch

Dambulla Rock Arch

Dambulla Rock Arch is located only two kilometers away from the Dambulla International Cricket Stadium and only at an hour’s distance from the Sri Lanka airport, making it one of the great place to stay at when you are in Sri Lanka. Dambulla Rock Arch is a bed and breakfast concept with well-furnished rooms having access to beautiful views of the gardens. The guesthouse also has pick-up and drop facilities for guests coming in from the airport.
Where? 696/4, Anuradhapura Road, 21100 Dambulla, Sri Lanka.

Pricing: Moderately priced.

2) Sevonrich Holiday Resort

Beautiful Resort

The Sevonrich Holiday Resort is a great option for those looking for more of a fun time with family and friends. The resort is located in Dambulla and has an outdoor swimming pool that all the guests can use. The better part about this resort is that you don’t need to step out of the resort to grab a meal at the resort itself has an in-house restaurant that serves up yummy food. We suggest you go in for stay packages that are inclusive of the buffet breakfast so you can pack yourselves up on some sumptuous food before you take off to exploring the places around.
Where? No:151, 2nd Lane, Jayamawatha, Yapagama, Dambulla, 21100 Dambulla, Sri Lanka.

Pricing: Relatively expensive.

What To See In The National Park

What you will see on the park tour:

  • There are over 200 elephants in Kaudulla National Park so, if you want to go elephant-watching, there is no better place than Kaudulla.
  • Other than elephants, you will also find a lot of colorful peacocks, chirping birds, wild boars, Sri Lankan axis deer, Sri Lankan sambar deer, spotted deer, black bears and varied monkey species along with crocodiles lounging around the park.
  • If you are lucky, you might also get to see a few leopards with their baby leopards loitering around the forest when you are on the safari.
  • You can’t miss the main center of attraction, the Kaudulla reservoirs which co-incidentally also lie in the center of the National Park. The Kaudulla reservoirs were built in the third century by King Mahasen for irrigation purposes but were left in the ruins for the longest time. After a long period of desertion, the reservoirs are now major sources of life for diverse aquatic species and provide drinking water to all the animals residing at the National Park.
  • Around the reservoirs, you will also see a lot of birds such as the Spot-billed Pelican, Asian Spoonbills, the Grey-headed Fish Eagle, the Black-headed Ibis, and the Open Bill Stork that lounge around the water tanks, especially during the summer months.

1) Jeep Safari

Jeep Safari

If you want to explore the national park, there is no better way to do it than to do a jeep safari through the park. If you’ve been on safaris before, you might have had disappointing times where you don’t see any animals all through the safari. However, if you are on the Kaudulla National Park safari, you will see a lot of wild animals roaming about freely in the park. The jeep safaris usually start off from the main entry gate of the Kaudalla National Park and take you around the entire park to watch the wild closely.

Jeep safari timings: There are two jeep safari slots that you can choose from, the morning slot or the afternoon slot. The morning slot starts at 5:30am while the afternoon slot starts at 2:30pm. If you are going mainly for the elephants, we suggest you take the afternoon safari slot.

Duration of the Kaudulla National Park jeep safari: You would take about three hours to go around the entire National Park through the jeep safari.

Kaudulla National Park Safari price: The jeep safari costs around INR 3189 and is inclusive of a private safari jeep, Kaudulla National Park entry fees and a pick-up/ drop to your place of accommodation if it falls within five kilometres from the park’s main gate.

2) Elephant Gathering at Kaudulla National Park

Elephant Gathering

As you might have already gathered, the elephants at Kaudulla are the main stars of the National Park. Irrespective of whether you are fond of elephants or not, watching the “Elephant Gathering” at Kaudulla is a sight you that you just cannot miss! These elephant gatherings peak around the months of August and September where you can see herds of elephants coming together to chill by the park’s reservoirs while munching on some fresh grass.

3) Photography in the wild

Photography in the wild

We all have hidden photographers in us and the Kaudulla National Park is sure to bring out the photographer in you. While you are on the safari, be very vigilant and look around for wild animals that hurry through the forests, so you can quickly pull out your cameras and take beautiful shots of these animals as they are in their natural elements, jumping across the forests.

The flora and fauna at the Kaudulla National Park consist of diversified species of plants and animals that only add to the beauty of the verdant forests that surround the reservoir. Visit the Kaudulla National Park and the surrounding national parks to pack in your fix of wild adventures on your visit to Sri Lanka.

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Turkey Shopping Guide: All That You Can Buy From Its Ancient Bazaars & Glitzy Shopping Malls

From the 4,000 plus shops in the oldest bazaar in the world, to the 1, 76,000 sqm of stores in the largest shopping mall in Europe, it is not an exaggeration to say Turkey is a shopper’s paradise! Turkey straddles the two continents of Asia and Europe and continues it legacy of being an important trading capital since its time on the historical Silk Route. Turkey shopping is a wondrous mix of old and new, the perfect destination to stock up on traditional arts and crafts as well as avant garde high fashion.

Here’s our pick:

1. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Grand Bazaar is without a doubt the best place for shopping in Turkey! It is counted among the world’s largest markets and has been running since 1455. It’s touted as the first shopping malls in the world and has the widest assortment of things to buy. Step into the bazaar to go back into time, in a colourful shopping paradise!

What to buy: Carpets, Ceramics, Jewellery, souvenirs
Location: Beyazıt Mh., 34126 Fatih/Istanbul

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2. Bagdat Street, Istanbul

Bagdat Street, Istanbul turkey

Comparable to Paris’s Champs-Elesees and New York’s 5th Avenue, Bagdat is the hub for shopping in the city of Turkey. Running 9KM long, this main street has shopping malls, boutiques and department stores selling brands from across the world. Perfect for window shopping, you can spend hours eating and shopping on this street.

Where to shop: Vakko (Turkish luxury brand), Gilan (Jewellery), Pasabache (Glassware)
Location: ‎Maltepe-Kadıköy, Istanbul

3. ANKAmall, Ankara

ANKAmall Ankara

ANKAmall calls itself ‘The Shopping Centre of Turkey’ and has more than 1, 76,000 sqm of shopping and entertainment space making it the largest shopping mall in Ankara Turkey. Competing with the best in Istanbul, it has over 350 national and international brands as well as entertainment avenues for the entire family.

Where to shop: Koctas, Armine, Gulaylar, Karpinski, Swarovski, Zara
Location: Gazi Mahallesi, Mevlana Blvd. No:2, 06330 Yenimahalle/Ankara, Turkey

4. Forum Camlik, Pamukkale

Forum Camlik, Pamukkale turkey

Pamukkale is popular as a spa town thanks to its many thermal springs with beautiful terraces. It draws tourists from around the world and is one of the best Turkey shopping destinations for souvenirs. Visitors shop for the ‘Buldan’ which is a local fabric, semi-precious stones, leather, and ceramic goods. The area is also known for the famous ‘Calkarasi’ grapes.

Location: Mehmetçik Mahallesi, Doğan Demircioğlu Cd. No:2, 20170 Pamukkale/Denizli

5. Terracity, Antalya

Terracity Antalya

Antalya sits on the ‘Turquoise Coast’ of Turkey and is an entry to the Southern Mediterranean region. The city attracts a lot of luxury travelers and Terra City is one of the best Turkey shopping places. It has more than 180 brand stores that sell everything from Turkish textiles to tailored suits.

Where to shop: Bershka, Derimod, Ekol, Haribo
Location: Fener Mahallesi, Tekelioğlu Cd. No:55, 07160 Muratpaşa/Antalya

6. Contemporary Istanbul

Contemporary Istanbul

Turkey shopping is not limited to just clothing or handicrafts! The city organizes a Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair every year and will be conducted from 20-23 September 2018. In 2017, more than 1,500 art works from 20 countries were on display. It’s the best place to pick up some international artwork for your home and office.

Location: Istanbul Congress Centre and Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre

7. Oscar Bazaar, Kemer

Oscar Bazaar, Kemer turkey

Kemer is a beautiful seaside resort town off Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast. Oscar Bazaar is one of the best places for shopping in Kemer Turkey. Right in the centre of the town is a medley of stores that sell anything from dry fruits to souvenirs. Grab pretty needlework items that are made by the local women.

What to buy: Dry fruits, Accessories, Textiles, Needlework
Location: Yeni Mahallesi, 07980 Kemer/Antalya

8. Cukurcuma Street, Istanbul

Cukurcuma Street, Istanbul turkey

Shopping at Cukurcuma Caddesi in Istanbul is akin to time traveling! It is one of the best places for antiques and quirky shopping where you can get cheap Turkey shopping prices. The winding streets are flanked by beautiful neoclassical buildings that are now restored and protected. A perfect combination of flea market and souvenir shopping, you will certainly enjoy a day out in Cukurcuma!

Where to shop: Anadol Antik, Levanten, Firuze, Leyla Seyhanli, D Art and Design, Cezayir
Location: Çukur Cuma Cd., Firuzağa Mahallesi, 34425 Beyoğlu

9. Arasta Bazaar, Istanbul

Arasta Bazaar, Istanbul turkey

Located in the Blue Mosque complex, Arasta Bazaar is the perfect place to combine sightseeing and shopping in Turkey Istanbul. The large open air bazaar is the best place to find handmade rugs and carpets, delicate ceramics, and mosaic tiles. Indulge in window shopping and get a cup of Turkish coffee on the go!

Where to shop: By Moses, Galeri Cengiz, Iznik Classics, Jennifer’s Hamam, Troy Rug Store
Location: Sultanahmet Mh., Kabasakal Cad Arasta Çarşısı, 34122 Fatih

10. Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul

Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul turkey

The Istiklal Avenue or Caddesi as it is known in Turkish as the perfect mix of ancient and contemporary Turkey. The old Gothic and Ottoman era buildings on the street host the biggest brands in International and local fashion. The quaint red tram that runs along the street adds to the perfect tourist experience.

Where to shop: Cicek Pasji, Atlas Arcade, Saray Muhallebicisi
Location: Istiklal Avenue, Beyoglu District

  • Bargaining in the bazaars is quite common. Prices can be negotiated anywhere between 10-40% off the rates
  • The best things to shop in Turkey are Kilims (Traditional rugs), silk head scarves, local textiles, traditional jewellery and spices
  • You can pick up souvenirs like flower teas, spices (especially urfa and maras dried pepper), Turkish honey, Turkish coffee and Turkish towels
  • Credit cards and travellers cards are accepted in almost all shops in Istanbul, you don’t have to carry a lot of cash for shopping

You probably have to carry an extra bag of luggage full of Turkey shopping while returning home! Book your Turkey trip and take a trip to the shopping heaven with your best friend, for a lifetime of memories.

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Shopping In Pretoria: 10 Best Places For Buying The Best Of Everything In South Africa

Pretoria is a judicial capital of South Africa and is one of the three national capitals of the country. The city attracts millions of tourists every year because of its natural beauty and historical monuments. There are so many things you can do in this beautiful city that not only adults, the kids with you too will enjoy exploring this amazing city. People not only from South Africa but also from across the world come to experience what Pretoria offers. Since the city is located at a comfortable traveling distance from Johannesburg, it is very comfortable to travel to and come back from Pretoria to Johannesburg. Pretoria has some of the biggest malls and shopping centers in South Africa and if shopping is what excites you, the below list of places for shopping in Pretoria will surely come in handy.

Here’s a list of the 10 best places for shopping in Pretoria that are perfect for buying everything from classy clothes to stylish footwear. Take a look!

1. Menlyn Park

Menlyn Park

Menlyn Park is a beautiful shopping center in Menlyn Pretoria where you get a wide variety of things to satisfy your hunger for shopping. This shopping center is designed into three parts- Food Court, The keyhole malls and the focal points. One of the best things about this place is that it supports local designers and you can get clothes from local designers at very affordable prices. Menlyn Park has over 500 stores 12 parking exits, 16 parking entrances and a total floor space of 177,000 square
meters.

Location: Atterbury Rd & Lois Ave, Menlyn Park, Pretoria, 0063, South Africa
What to Buy: Clothes from local designers at affordable price

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2. Waterglen Shopping center

Waterglen Shopping center

Waterglen shopping center is the one stop destination to all your needs in Pretoria. It is located centrally and is in a walking distance from various schools, churches, offices and public transport stations. There are several stores in the shopping center including KFC, Domino’s Pizza, Crawdaddy’s and many more for your convenience. The designer clothing and big brand shops are the attractions of this place.

Location: January Masilela Dr, Waterkloof Glen, Pretoria, 0010, South Africa
What to Buy: Branded clothes from stores and dining in branded restaurants

3. Lynnridge Mall

Lynnridge Mall

The Lynnridge Mall was first started in the year 1962 and since then it has seen major upgrades. The recent upgrade to this mall was done in 2016 and now it looks exceptionally beautiful both from inside and outside. The comfortable and vibrant atmosphere here is perfect to spend whole day shopping what you always wanted to. The eat outs here are very well managed in the food court and energises you for your next store visit. The shopping center is flooded with light throughout the day and makes it an ideal shopping destination.

Location: J Hibiscus str, c/r, 278 Freesia St, Lynnwood Ridge, Pretoria, 0081, South Africa
What to Buy: cost effective shopping and Arts and Crafts shopping.

4. Parkview Shopping Centre

Parkview Shopping Centre

Parkview is a contemporary shopping center that houses some of the prime quality retailers in Pretoria. It has a vast array of home décor, beauty, boutique, travel, restaurants as well as health & Fitness options. Such a wide variety of options makes it a perfect destination for the shopping enthusiasts to spend some quality time here. The different restaurants give you a lot of options to try ranging from authentic South African cuisine to Italian cuisine. There is a park and a lake adjacent to the Parkview where you can sit and relax for whole day.

Location: 24 Garsfontein Rd, Moreletapark, Pretoria, 0044, South Africa
What to Buy: Branded shopping.

5. Kolonnade Shopping Centre

Kolonnade Shopping Centre

The Kolonnade shopping centre has everything you are looking for in a shopping mall. From
restaurants to movie theatres, food court and entertainment section, the mall has everything to bind you for a whole day. No matter whether you are with your family or friends, this place has everything for everyone. You can also visit the exhibition centre to check what if there is
something that interests you. The parking is absolutely free that adds cherry on the cake.

Location: Sefako Makgatho Dr & Enkeldoorn Ave, Montana Park, Pretoria, 0159, South Africa
What to Buy: General shopping. Everything here is fantastic

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6. Hillcrest Boulevard

Hillcrest Boulevard

This shopping centre was completed in April 2004 and it is located on Lynnwood Road adjacent to the University of Pretoria hostel. It offers a variety of shops to its customers including Woolworths, Pick and Pay, KFC. The shopping centre is most convenient and is surrounded by the major banks. Parking facility is free and security controlled. A huge range of quality products are available under one roof you can select as per your requirement.

Location: Hillcrest Boulevard Centre, 361 Lynnwood Rd, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0083
What to Buy: Woolens, Books.

7. Sunny Park Shopping Center

Sunny Park Shopping Center

This center is exclusively designed to offer Africa’s most unique items and is located in the heart of South Africa. You will experience an ultimate contemporary shopping experience here. This is one stop solution for everyone whether it is fashion, footwear, banking, etc. It was built is 1974 and they caters the large number of population also they provide constantly awesome shopping experience to their customers. You can have a peaceful shopping experience because of natural light, glass, warm natural material and modern architectural elements of the center are really worth praising.

Location: Level 4, Sunnypark Shopping Centre Cnr Steve Biko & Robert Sobukwe Streets Sunnyside.
What to Buy: Trendy clothing and footwear.

8. Brooklyn Mall

Brooklyn Mall

Brooklyn Mall is situated in the heart of cosmopolitan Embassy suburbs. The Brooklyn mall and square combines the entire component to create a vibrant hub of activity for the people who come here for shopping. Wide variety of national retailers along with almost 220 retail stores which provides the best luxuries choice for shopping. You can also go with coffee bars and restaurants there is also an assortment of restaurants and coffee bars satisfying the needs of different customers.

Location: Cnr Veale and Fehrsen Streets, New Muckleneuk, Pretoria
What to Buy: Cosmetics and Garments

9. The Grove Mall

The Grove Mall

This mall is situated in the east of Pretoria and is located close to NH1 and NH4 highway. It is surrounded by the numerous hospitals & schools the grove mall gives you the one stop satisfying shopping experience. The door of this mall was open for public in 2009. This mall provides its customers the 2898 parking bays leading into the mall 7 parking entrance. This mall consists of 120 stores in order to satisfy your shopping needs. Grove Mall has earned its name as the premium entertainment destination in Pretoria.

Location: Corner Lynnwood and, Simon Vermooten Rd, Equestria, Pretoria, 0184, South Africa
What to Buy: Jewelry and footwear

10. Wonder Park Shopping Center

Wonder Park Shopping Center

This mall consists of more than 180 shopping centers. Wonder Park Shopping Center has 7 entrances with wide walk and world class interiors. For the convenient traffic management free flow traffic with drop off zones for car and buses as well as fully equipped taxi rank. It is the largest shopping mall in the country which offers you an unlimited free parking facility. The center is easily approachable with easy access to different retail stores also you can avail free WIFI facility.

Location: Cnr Brits Road & Heinrich Avenue, Karenpark, 0118
What to Buy: Clothes

If you are in Pretoria and a shopping enthusiast, the above shopping centres will surely give you the best time of your life. So, head out on a trip to South Africa with TravelTriangle, eat, shop relax and come back home with some wonderful memories. Happy shopping!

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