Sri Lanka is known around the world for its magical and abundant jungles, rainforests which consists of 22 national parks steaming with an array of wildlife from elephants, leopards and bears to hundreds of migrating birds and so much more unique to these landscapes. Considering there is so much to choose from, we here at ELT will guide you with our expert team to best suite your requirements and preferences.
If you are an elephant lover, Udawalawe National Park is a must. In fact it is an elephant lover’s dream as it is populated by more than 500 elephants and during the safari you are most likely to spot them in these numbers and get up close and personal with these gentle giants. Udawalawe is located roughly 4 hours from Colombo. Fun fact, the park also houses an Elephant Transit Home which nurses cute little calves and visitors can even add the experience of feeding these babies. Not only elephants, but Udawalawe is also home to many other mammals such as the Sri Lankan leopard, sloth bears, sambar and like 180 species of birds roam these plains as well as reptilian creepy crawlies such as the powerful mugger crocodile, oriental garden lizards and over 30 species of snakes.
Yala National Park is probably the most famous safari destinations in Sri Lanka. It is located in the southern part of the country and takes around 6 hours to reach from Colombo and due to this relatively long drive, most visitors arrange tours with us which consist of not only the safari experience but also luxury relaxation through some of our extravagant partnering hotels. The park fills up almost all year round and due to the extent of traffic the chances of rare wildlife sightings such as leopards may be slim. Either way, sightings of elephants is very common and if you don’t mind the cluster of crowds and jeeps and still want to see some good activity please don’t hesitate to include this gem in your itinerary. The park usually closes during the drought season from 1st of September to 15th of October. Keep this mind as you plan your trip with us but our representatives will be with you every step of the way to guide you.
Wilpattu National Park is a frequent pick of our customers who travel the cultural hub and ancient city of Anuradhapura, as the park is located only a mere 30 minutes away. It is the largest national park in Sri Lanka and also the oldest. When the country was going through the devastating civil war, Wilpattu was closed from the public for about 16 years and now back open for everyone to experience its majesty. Unlike some of the other national parks the country has to offer, Wilpattu can be visited all throughout the year during the wet and dry seasons alike. However, the best time to visit the park might be from February to October but it is good for all seasons. The park is well known for its high leopard population and unlike the more famous parks it does not become too crowded, possibly due to the park being closed for so many years. Another unique fact that sets Wilpattu apart from the rest is that it is home to many natural pools giving the true essence of nature to your experience.
Bundala National Park is probably the least visited park in Sri Lanka. It is situated in the south of the country and is very close to Yala National Park which in comparison is much more popular. Bundala National Park is much less known than its counterpart which is probably beneficial if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of flocking jeeps filled with tourists. You are much less likely to see elephants here but for seeing reptiles and birds it is more than ideal. As a matter of fact it is an important wintering ground for migrating birds here in Sri Lanka and it is also internationally known for this fact. So if you are a bird watcher/bird photographer, you are in for a treat.
Kumana National Park is located near the famous surfing destination of Arugam Bay in the east costal line of Sri Lanka. If you wish to visit Arugam Bay (which we recommend) you can actually take a short tuk tuk ride from the beach to the national park. This might not sound too exciting but you will be in for an experience of a lifetime. During your tuk tuk ride you will most certainly run into dozens of elephants roaming the sides of the road in arms reach which in itself like your own safari, or even better! But be very careful. The park is known to be one of the most important places for bird life as it houses more than 255 species of birds. Once in the park you are also bound to see huge numbers of mugger crocodiles who will be dangerously close. Although the variety of wildlife might not be as much as some of the other parks, it will most definitely be a more personal experience.
Minneriya National Park is located in the dry zone of Sri Lanka and is approximately 5 hours from Colombo. Neighboring the tourist hotspot “Sigiriya”, the ancient rock fortress in the city of Dambulla, this national is a common place for most tourists taking our tours. Most commonly elephants are seen and the best time to visit this park would be from July to September as this is the time elephants start to flock there. Monkeys! The place offers a lot of sightings of toque macaque monkeys, purple faced langur and deer among other mammals. Minneriya National Park is also home to around 160 species of birds and reptiles such as the salt water crocodile, Asian water monitors and the great Indian python! Make sure you consult with us and include this in your itinerary as it is most likely that you would be visiting Sigiriya during your trip. It is our advice that to include this expedition as a day trip during your overnight stay in Dambulla as it is not as famous as some of the other parks. But whatever the requirement we are here for you to customize your experience accordingly.
Located approximately a 5 hours drive away from Colombo, Wasgamuwa National Park was created by the government to aid one of four displaced wildlife and is a highly protected area. It is located in the central part of Sri Lanka and it is more than likely for you to arrange a trip to this park during your visit to Dambulla. It is a hotspot for elephants and you can see them flocking together in large herds. This park is also important due to its abundant bird life which consists of around 143 bird species including yellow fronted barbet, the endemic red-faced malkoha etc. It is relatively quiet and you will be able to enjoy a true natural experience amongst the plethora of wildlife this amazing place has to offer.