Highlights: A safari to this natural park will surely leave you jaw drop as you will be able to witness Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Leopards, and Elephants in big numbers.
Prices: Approximate price starts from 3700 LKR
The topography consists mainly of grasslands, forests and scrubs. Though the park shelters leopards and sloth bears, they are an elusive sight. Instead, you can see some of the largest herds of elephants in this park.
Other commonly sighted species are endemic Toque Macaque, wild boar, common langur and water buffalo. The park also offers great sight for birdwatchers. Best for: Swimming elephants from boat safari.
Location: Mainly Badulla district with a part reaching to Ampara district.
Best time to visit: March to July.
Price: Full Day Safari price is LKR 11,000 per jeep. Ticket price is LKR 2,000/LKR 1,000 per adult/child.
Timing: Full Day Safari 5.30am to 06.00pm
Kumana Villu, a mangrove swamp is sporadically flooded by sea water and supports varied bird activities. A number of threatened reptile species can also be spotted in the park. It also shelters some of the mammals from neighboring Yala National Park.
Best for: Bird watching around the lagoons and tanks.
Location: Ampara district. 391 Km away from Colombo
Best time to visit: April to July.
Price: Full Day Safari price is LKR 12,000 per jeep. Ticket price is LKR 2,000/LKR 1,000 per adult/child.
Timing: Full Day Safari 5.30am to 06.00pm
The topography is an amazing combination of scrubs, marshes, lagoons and sand dunes. Almost every species of water birds can be found in the park most of which are attracted to the lagoons.
Best for: Watching wide assortment of bird species and their activities around the four lagoons.
Location: 251 Km from Colombo
Best time to visit: September to March.
Price: Morning & Evening Safari price is LKR 7,000 per jeep. Ticket price is LKR 2,000/LKR 1,000 per adult/child.
Timing: Morning Safari from 5.30am to 09.30am and Evening Safari from 2.30pm to 06.00pm.
Home to toque macaques, crocodiles, elephants and sambar deer, these two parks are rich in biodiversity. Though leopard and sloth bears are also sheltered in the area, it is hard to spot them.
Best For: Getting close to large herds of elephants. Best time to visit is during May to September to watch large number of elephants.
Location: 182-197 KM away from Colombo.
Price: Safari Price is LKR 6,500 for each National Park.
Additional Price: Tickets per adult is LKR 1,500 and per child is LKR 750.
Duration: safari duration is 4 hours.
Timing: Evening Safari 2.30am to 6.30pm and morning safari is 5:00am to 8:00am.
The other animal species that can be found in this area are Asian Elephants, jackals, Sambar deer, water buffalo, crocodiles, spotted dear and many more. With its impressive array of bird species, the area is a haven for bird watchers.
Best for: The avid and serious safari-goers can see the elusive leopard and sloth bear.
Location: 25km north of Puttalam or 30km west of Anurdhapura. It is 4 hours drive from Colombo.
Best time to visit: February and October are the best time to visit.
Price: Full Day Jeep Safari price is LKR 10,000 per jeep.
Timing: Full-Day Safari 5.30am to 06.00pm.
Tourists from all over the world head for this national park, a highland-like structure with plains on one side and spectacular mountains and deep jungles on the other. All of it constitutes the Central Highlands of the island country Sri Lanka.
You need to wake up very early in the morning to take in the beauty of this park before the clouds roll in to obscure the view. Make sure you are prepared to head for the park by 9 am, else, you will miss the scenic view because a thick blanket of morning mist enfolds Horton Plains for the rest of the day.
Take a walk deep into this national park to discover World’s End, which is a towering cliff top offering a sweeping view of Sri Lanka towards the coast and also past the shoreline. You will discover numerous lakes, waterfalls, rocky hills, as well as the spectacular view of the ocean from this heritage site in Sri Lanka.
Besides, the scenic vista, Horton Plains National Park is covered with thick verdant forests boasting a variety of wild animals and numerous species of birds. The national park is an inimitable ecosystem with plentiful flora and fauna, which is why it’s hailed as a super biodiversity site of Sri Lanka.
- Nuwara Eliya
Highlights: Elephant Transit Home which is the elephant orphanage which has housed 25 baby elephants who have lost their parents. Pinnewala, is the spot where you can spot elephants quite closely because usually elephants are bottle fed there.
Best time to visit: July and August
Prices: is Rs.2195 along with 12%vat.
Ussangoda National Park
Ussangoda, carrying significant archaeological importance, is one of the unique national parks in Sri Lanka. It is known for its red soil and biodiversity. For its red soil, there are several mythological and scientific stories attached to it. Situated near the sea, it comprises a large open turf area, shrublands, and a beach.
Its beach is an important breeding ground for Sea Turtles.The unique habitat of Ussangoda serves as a home to many types of animals, dry zone birds, and marine life.
Animals you can spot: Nightjar, Kangaroo rats, Grey langur monkeys, rabbits, Sea turtles, etc.
Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Sinharaja Forest Reserve (kingdom of the lion), is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. It is home to a vast number of endemic species of birds and mammals of Sri Lanka. About 95 percent of Sri Lankan endemic birds and more than 50 percent of endemic mammals are known to have their habitats in this Forest Reserve. Year round, the forest is covered by plenty of rain clouds. The area span of the reserve is about 21 KM from east-west and about 7 KM from north-south.
Location: Situated in the Southern Province, a two-hour drive from Galle via Galle-Deniyaya-Madampe Highway.
Highlights: Experience the leisurely pace of wildlife and the splendor of dense and copious evergreen rainforests. The guide will tell you about different endemic species of flora and fauna that you encounter during your guided tour.
Timings: Opens daily from 6:30 AM to 6 PM
Price: Approximate price ranges from 664 LKR to 1160 LKR
Stretching over 36,900 hectare this national park is home to 23 mammal species and a number of birds and vegetation species. It is renowned for large families of elephants. Though it will be difficult to get sight of leopard and sloth bear, the endemic purple-faced langur can be observed easily.
Best For: Watching large herds of elephants and endemic purple faced langur.
Location: Matale and Polonnaruwa Districts. 5 hours drive from Colombo.
Price: Full Day Safari Price is LKR 10,000 per jeep.
Additional Price: Tickets per adult is LKR 2,000 and per child is LKR 1,000.
Duration: Full Day safari duration is 8 hours.
Timing: 5.30am to 6.00pm
Pigeon Island National Park
The park comprises a quaint white sand beach, well-preserved historical relics, and an uphill hiking trail offering breath-taking views and ambiance. Here, you can spot a variety of coral reef fauna along with colonies of rock pigeons and turtles.
Highlights: Rock pigeons, several vertebrates and invertebrates, coral reef fishes, like blacktip reef sharks, Hawksbill turtle, green turtle, olive ridley, etc.
Lunugamvehera National Park
The park has evolved rapidly since, in both fame and biodiversity, and is now home to a vast range of species besides the aforementioned enormity of the elephant population, including but not limited to the Brown Bear, the WIld Boar, the Spotted Deer, the Mouse Deer, the Grey Mongoose and the Fishing Cat.
Location:- Monegarala, Uva, Sri Lanka
Maduru Oya National Park
Travelers mostly opt for jeep tours of the park, which are available at nominal rates all year round. The period hemmed by March and September can be considered as the best time for travelers to visit the park, for animals are seen to frequent the watering holes of the park throughout this time.
Location:- Uva, Sri Lanka
Horagolla National Park
The park is far from being short on animal species as well, being home to names like the Mouse Deer and the Fishing Cat. The park is a favorite spot for birdwatching for those interested, infested with a plethora of parakeets amongst other birds that form its rich avian biodiversity.
Location:- Nittambuwa, Sri Lanka
Madhu Road National Park
The park is located in Northern Sri Lanka, and derives its name from the locally famous Madhu shrine, which is located within the national park and acts as the primary source of attraction for tourists, especially those amongst the Catholic faith.. Despite not being as rich in botanical or zoological life as most of its competitors, the Madhu National Park boasts its fair share of avian biodiversity, attracting birdwatchers to its expansive area.
Location:- Thadcha Maruda Madu, Sri Lanka
Chundikulam National Park
The Chundikulam National Park was originally a bird sanctuary way back around the 1940s, and has since made itself home to a wide variety of terrestrial species as well. Birdwatching is thus understandably an integral part of any trip to the national park, apart from safaris that might lead to the sightings of the following species: the Elephant, the Sloth Bear, the Leopard and the Mouse Deer amongst others.
Location:- Pachchilapalli, Sri Lanka
Flood Plains National Park
The national park is characterized by numerous marshy depressions that dot its area, also locally known as “villus”. At the time of writing this article however, unfortunately, the park is not open for visiting, owing to its steadfast commitment to the conservation of its flora and fauna.
Location:- Gallella, Sri Lanka
Lahugala Kitulana National Park
The many animal species of the national park include amongst others, names like the Fishing Cat, the Mouse Deer, the Leopard, the Golden Jackal, the Sloth Bear, the Sri Lankan Axis Deer, the Sri Lankan Sambar, the Pangolin, the Hare, the Muntjac, the Rusty Spotted Cat, and many more. Besides this exhaustive array of species, the national park is primarily known for its immense population of elephants that romp around the expanse of the park’s land.
Location:- Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
Delft National Park
The 18 square kilometers worth of area is the only place in the entire world where wild ponies can be observed in their natural habitat, the origin of the species in the area being attributed to the Portuguese colonizers of the country. Dotted with shallow spools of water and sporadic beaches, the natural beauty of the island is just the cherry atop the cake for any lover of nature and wildlife.
Location:- Nedantivu, Sri Lanka