Sri Lanka remains a personal top 3 destination for wildlife. Words can't describe, it's just incredible.
I was lucky enough to visit Pinnawala in December of 2011, a sort of surprise stop on my itinerary which I didn't really realize was a world-famous elephant orphanage. Today, it's the largest such herd.
It's a little surreal to be invited to the water's edge to observe the herd splashing about in the river which runs alongside the village, only to then have the herd stroll through the main street across to their favorite snacking grounds on the other side of the road!
Oh wow did they get close!
I was actually caught, on foot, in an elephant herd. Note that some of the elephants have been relocated to join this herd as a result of their bad behavior elsewhere on this beautiful island.
That means a mixed bag of emotions, thrilled at the experience but realizing I'm standing next to and among a big group of relatively wild creatures - some with history of aggression towards humans.