Visiting National Parks (Minneriya, Yala, Wilpattu, Udawalawe, and Makandawa Forest Reserve)

National Parks of Sri Lanka

Visiting National Parks is one of the most exciting and unforgettable activities you can do during your visit to Sri Lanka. All Sri Lankan National Parks are abundant in Wildlife. Lots of endemic plants as well as animals such as leopards, elephants, crocodiles, sloth bears, and lots of beautiful birds and butterflies will fascinate you.

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park is the best place to watch wild elephants. Herds of wild elephants with baby elephants, socializing of elephants, sometimes even mating can be seen at the Minneriya National Park. The main area of the national park is the Minneriya Tank. Elephants gather at the tank to bathe, drink, and socialize. This is the world’s largest elephant gathering. A large number of elephants (150-350) gather at once at Minneriya tank and it’s a bewitching sight.

Yala National Park

This is the most famous national park out of 22 national parks in Sri Lanka. Situated in the South East of Sri Lanka most of the area of the park is closed to the public but the area allowed to the public can offer fascinating sights of elephants, leopards, sloth bears, wild boars, herds of deer and many beautiful birds. You will be always thrilled by a Yala National Park safari or camping. It is best to book the safari or camping with a reputable tour agency for a guaranteed sight of a leopard. 

Birds found in the Yala National Park

Yala is one of the 70 important bird areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka. It has 215 bird species and 7 of them are endemic to Sri Lanka. They are Sri Lanka grey hornbill, Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sri Lanka wood pigeon, crimson-fronted barbet, black-capped bulbul, blue-tailed bee-eater and brown-capped babbler.

Waterfowl (lesser whistling duck, garganey), cormorants (little cormorant, Indian cormorant), large waterbirds (grey heron, black-headed ibis, Eurasian spoonbill, Asian openbill, painted stork), medium-sized waders Tringa spp., and small waders Charadrius spp. are among the most common waterbirds.

Wilpattu National Park:

This is the largest national park in Sri Lanka located in the North East dry zone. This national park is famous for it’s natural rain water filled ponds. Visitors can access only 25% of the National Park and the rest is deep forest. Main attractions of this National Park are leopards, sloth bears, crocodiles, water buffaloes, birds, herds of deer and elephants. Number of visitors is low compared to Yala which gives the visitors more freedom to explore nature without disturbing the animals.

Birds found in Wilpattu National Park are: The painted stork, the open bill, little cormorant, Sri Lankan junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii), owls, terns, gulls, eagles, kites buzzards and many wetland bird species.

Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe is a beautiful national park which is best for the sightings of elephants and birds.

Large herds of elephants can be seen roaming, bathing, and eating at Udawalawe National Park. Some herds are as large as 250 elephants. Other than elephants Udawalawe is a great place for bird sightings.

Birds Found in Udawalawe National Park:

Sri Lanka spurfowl, red-faced malkoha, Sri Lanka grey hornbill, brown-capped babbler, Sri Lanka junglefowl, white wagtail, and black-capped kingfisher are some of the birds found in Udawalawe National park.

Cormorants, spot-billed pelicans, Asian openbill, painted stork, black-headed ibis, Eurasian spoonbill are some of the water birds.

‘’Udawalawe transit home for orphan elephant cubs’’ is also a great place to visit and see how elephant cubs are rehabilitated and raised.

Makandawa Forest

Makandawa Rain forest is an unspoiled adventurous rainforest located in Kitulgala Sri Lanka. Kithulgala is world wide famous for its adventure sports and white water rafting.

Due to the continuous rains Makandawa Rain Forest remains with thick lush green vegetation. The Kelani River flows through Makandawa Rain Forest making it ideal for white water rafting.

There are 54 bird species in Makandawa rain forest, an ideal place for bird watchers.

Activities you can do at Makandawa Rain Forest:

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • White water rafting
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Bird watching

Why do you need an expert tour agency in Sri Lanka for visiting Wildlife National Parks?

Exploring the wild is an interesting activity that should be done with lots of patience and knowledge. The guide should entertain the visitor in a way that the wild animal or the habitat is not disturbed. This will keep the animal at ease and will let you view it or take photos as much as you want. If the guide doesn’t have the patience and if the vehicle goes too close to the animal it will scare them or it may anger them.

Especially in elephant safaris it could be dangerous. So the best thing to do is to get expert advice and consultation. JourneyScapes is always willing to serve their clients to the maximum. Contact Us for your wildlife tour in Sri Lanka and get our expert advice for a memorable tour.

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