The Buttala – Sella Kataragama Road is a major link in the roadway that connects the west coast with the southeast coast of Sri Lanka. As the flora transitions from wetland trees to dry zone evergreens, the road continues to undulate like a continuous grey ribbon. With the wild untamed jungle on either side of the road, driving down this route can be a pleasurable experience by itself.
However, the drive is made awesome by the occasional jumbo that fearlessly enter the road. As this is elephant country, sightings of elephants are a common sight. Yet, what sets the Buttala – Sella Kataragama Road apart is the opportunity to feed a wild gentle giant, or see one munching on a spread of fruit that lies before it.
Many motorists buy fruits including bananas in advance at wayside little stalls that dot the road from Lunugamvehera to Sella Kataragama, anticipating an encounter with an elephant. These giants of the wild are accustomed to the traffic that comes to a near standstill as they lounge near the road. Some adventurous jumbos would simply walk along the road, ignoring the vehicles.
When you are travelling to the southeast coast, look forward to your encounter and be careful with the gentle giants.