The yet-undiscovered wilderness of Wasgamuwa and its ancient battlefield

 

RIAZ CADER

 
Right in the foothills of the Knuckles Ranges, south of Polonnaruwa and North of Matale in a remote corner of Sri Lanka lies Wasgamuwa, one of Sri Lanka’s least explored national parks. It was my first visit to Wasgamuwa since January 2008, second overall and I was very eager to see what I could encounter this time around. I was accompanied by Reza Ghany, Rinosh Nasar, Dilanka Jinadasa and Sashini Abeygunawardene who undertook this trip with me on the long Vesak weekend this May.
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Image of the Week



RIAZ CADER : Mugger Crocodile among the Lily pads in Wasgamuwa
Riaz Cader is Assistant Manager – Nature & Community Projects at Jetwing Hotels and on and off-the-job continues to visit Sri Lanka’s wild places to pursue his passion of wildlife photography. Riaz is a self-trained photographer and uses a Canon EOS 7D body predominantly with a Canon 100-400mmL series lens for wildlife images along with a Canon 24-105mm L series lens and Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lenses for landscapes and portraits.

Riaz Cader can be found on facebook and  flickr 

Kalpitiya: April is showtime for Sperm Whales and Spinner Dolphins

 

RIAZ CADER

 

Kalpitiya is the hot spot for dolphins right now. Here Spinner Dolphins are encountered on almost a daily basis often in pods of a thousand or more. Spinners are very social and are often seen leaping and doing full body spins out of the water in spectacular aerial displays. The dolphins are seen predominantly in-shore of the reef in shallow waters.

When you venture out further West approximately seven nautical miles from the land and travel along on a North-South axis for a chance to encounter sperm whales. The continental shelf is the point at which there is a steep increase in the ocean depth from around 100 metres to over a 1000 metres in a very short distance. [Read more…]

Day Five with Riaz Cader

Day Five with RIAZ CADER: Under the direction of Gehan de Silva Wijeyratne,I got the opportunity to work on a number of wildlife-based publications, join him on field excursions, network with prominent wildlife personalities and journalists and over time get involved in marketing Sri Lanka as one of the world’s top destinations for wildlife viewing. [Read more…]

Day Four with Riaz Cader

Day Four with RIAZ CADER: By late May 2009, the bitterly fought civil war had finally come to an end bringing peace to our island home for the first time in my lifetime. After nearly seven years in Melbourne I was now getting terribly homesick, stuck in a career which I didn’t seem to fit into and yearning to head back home. I was especially curious to see what living in peacetime Sri Lanka was gonna be like.

In October, my fate took a twist when I lost my job due to the global financial downturn and after some soul searching the choice was quite obvious. By December, I headed back home to Sri Lanka for good and was soon on the job hunt. My initial aim was to get into the finance sector where I could hopefully utilize enough leave and use my weekends and spare time to do as much wildlife photography as possible. [Read more…]

Day Three with Riaz Cader

Day Three with RIAZ CADER : It seemed like the natural thing to do, completing the Uni degree and staying on in Melbourne where I worked as an Auditor at a mid-tier accounting firm. I didn’t mind the long hours, however the city-based lifestyle, the mundane nature of work to be undertaken and having to study for accounting exams during my spare time were soon taking its toll on me. [Read more…]

Day Two with Riaz Cader

 
Day Two with RIAZ CADER: In 2004, I left to Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city and went to University of  Melbourne and did a  Bachelor of Commerce  Degree, majoring in Accounting. Leaving home behind,  I was able to make a new start in life, discover and make new friends while immersing myself in a new culture . The first few years just flew by…

In January 2005, I bought my first digital SLR, a Canon 300D with a zoom lens and used some of the semester breaks to explore Australia and with my obsession for wildlife; inevitably I visited a number of wilderness areas: The Wannon and Grampians National Park in North-west Victoria was where I first glimpsed Eastern-grey Kangaroos and Koala in the wild; Flinders Ranges bordering the outback and Kangaroo Island in South Australia were some of the most interesting places I have ever travelled to.

Returning home on holiday, I made sure that there was an outing to Uda Walawe or Yala National Park which was planned in advance.  During my spare time, I read books and explored websites on photography to improve my technical skills and practiced at every opportunity I got.

By around 2007, I was beginning to see a vast improvement in my images, however I still had a long way to go…

Catch up on Introduction and Day One with Riaz Cader.


Riaz Cader is Assistant Manager – Nature & Community Projects at Jetwing Hotels and on and off-the-job continues to visit Sri Lanka’s wild places to pursue his passion of wildlife photography. Riaz is a self-trained photographer and uses a Canon EOS 7D body predominantly with a Canon 100-400mmL series lens for wildlife images along with a Canon 24-105mm L series lens and Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lenses for landscapes and portraits.

Riaz Cader can be found on facebook and  flickr 

Day One with Riaz Cader

Day One with RIAZ CADER : Born and raised in Colombo, I was always interested and fascinated by wildlife as long as I can remember. As a child, I had an enviable collection of toy animals and children’s publications on wildlife, outings to zoos and safari parks both in Sri Lanka and overseas. [Read more…]

Five Days with Riaz Cader …

RIAZ CADER : To watch a wild creature in its natural habitat and capture that special moment in time is a rare privilege.  You need to love wild places however and to combine patience, knowledge of the subject, ability to anticipate its next move and be in the right place at the right time. [Read more…]