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Updated by bcranushke on Aug 22, 2017
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Top National Parks in Sri Lanka

One of the main reasons why people visit Sri Lanka is its diversity of wildlife. Sri Lanka is the home to many species of endemic flora and fauna uplifting the beauty and value of Sri Lankan eco-tourism into a high pedestal. Many tourists as well as natives come to see the forests and nature reserves in Sri Lanka in order to get a glimpse of rare creatures.

1

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park

Located in between Habarana and Polonnaruwa, Minneriya National park is a place ideal for eco-tourism. Many tourists select this park as their destination for safari rides. There is a vast diversity of wildlife like elephants & sambar deer. The central feature of the park is the Minneriya tank which was built by King Mahasena. During the dry season the vicinity of the tank is such beautiful scenery. Hoards of elephants come to bathe and graze on the grasses and flocks of birds come to fish in shallow waters. There you can see a vast variety of birds such as cormorants and painted storks.

2

Yala National Park

Yala National Park

Situated on the Southeast Coast of Sri Lanka, stands the Yala National Park spanning a vast 97 878 hectares. This is the second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The vegetation of the park comprises of semi-arid thorny scrub interspersed with pockets of fairly dense secondary forest. The park is not only famous for its wildlife sri lanka but also for the cultural ruins of earlier civilizations.
Majority of tourists select Yala National park for safari rides. The park is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds. It is the home to Panthera Padus, “Kotiya”, and a majestic leopard endemic to Sri Lanka.  It is one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka. The number of mammal species in the park is counted as 44 and Yala has 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. Two important pilgrim sites, Sithulpahuwa and Magul Vihara, are situated within the park proving that the park belongs to several ancient civilizations.

3

Kumana National Park

Kumana National Park

Kumana National Park is one of the country’s largest protected breeding grounds and the home to some 255 species of birds. This is a good eco-attraction site in Sri Lanka where you can enjoy the scenery of large flocks of migratory waterfowls and other species of wading birds around its lake. Not only that, the surrounding is filled with various wildlife species such as pelicans, painted stalks, spoon bills, white ibis, heron and little cormorants. A dry zone tropical thorn forest surrounds the wetlands with a variety of flora, trees and aquatic plants that from colorful swamps.

4

Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park is situated in the northwest of the island. It is believed to be one of the largest and oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka.Wilpattu Park is an ideal place for safari rides. You can have the authenticity of the experience as there is the chance of not meeting any of the jeeps on your way. On your way, you can enjoy the sight of leopards, sloth bears, Asian elephants, mugger crocodiles, spotted deer, barking deer, sambar, wild boar and Asiatic buffaloes. Moreover, you can find endemic birds like Ceylon jungle fowl, brown- capped babbler, Ceylon wood shrike and black-capped bulbul. From the beautiful world of butterflies, you can see great eggfly, great orange tip, gladeye bushbrown, blue Mormon, common Mormon, common rose and crimson rose.

5

Udawalawe National Wildlife Park

Udawalawe National Wildlife Park

Udawalawe National Wildlife Park is also a major eco-tourism destination in Sri Lanka. Situated approximately 200km south-east of Colombo, the park covers 30,821 hectares dry zone. This park is very famous for the number of elephants, about 400 in total. During a visit, you can see a whole herd of elephants feeding, bathing and playing in water.In addition to the elephants that you see often in the park, you can have the sight of water buffaloes, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, monkeys, leopards and birds. The Udawalawe reservoir fertile the area with water from Walawe river. The reservoir is a good breeding place for aquatic birds.you can witness this magnificent palces through Tour Operators sri lanka.

6

Pigeon Island in Tricomalee

Pigeon Island in Tricomalee

Situated just 1km away from the Nilaweli beach, Pigeon Island consists of two islands. The island got its name because of the rock pigeons that live over there and this is the ideal place to watch corals. You can hire a boat and reach the pigeon island for a round trip.
The beach is miraculously covered with corals even making it difficult to walk without slippers. By climbing the rock you can have an amazing view of the surrounding. The reef here is shallow, making snorkeling almost as satisfying as diving, and it is home to dozens of corals, hundreds of reef fish including black tip reef sharks and turtles. Earlier, this island was used by the British army as a place for shooting practice in world war period

7

Horton plains National Park

Horton plains National Park

This is situated in the highlands of Sri Lanka among the second and third tallest mountains, Kirigalpotta and Totapola. The park covers 31.60 km², and is a mixture of highland forest and wet grassland. This is an ideal place to enjoy nature and wildlife because this is the only park where visitors are allowed to walk on their own on the designated tracks.
If you are interested in a train trip, you can take the train up to the Ohiya station and walk up to the plains. There are no accommodation at the plains except two lodges and three camping sites as this is an uphill climb. Sambar is the most common animal in the plains but wild boars and leopards too can be found in this area.

8

Wasgamuwa National Park

Wasgamuwa National Park

Wasgamuwa National Park is not only famous for its abundant wildlife population and wilderness setting but it is the home to many interesting ancient sites. The park is full of many predators that are noteworthy and the density of bears in the park is significant because no other park has that level of bears. When considering fauna of the park, twenty three species of mammals have been reported from the park. Moreover, the park is especially known for its high abundance of sloth bears (Melursus Ursinus) and some of the largest Asian elephants. 143 species birds have been recorded of which 5 are endemic to Sri Lanka. Fifteen species of amphibians have been reported including the endemic. There are 35 species of reptiles and butterflies that can be seen flitting around the park.

9

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja rainforest is in the heart of island’s wet zone. You can enter and enjoy the sight of the forest only on foot as there are no any safari jeeps with access to the forest. The slippery trails, stunning plants and the wildlife make the journey adventurous and wonderful.
On most days, the jungle is shrouded by copious rain clouds, which restore its deep soils and balance water resources for much of southwestern Sri Lanka. The importance of the forest is valued by honoring the forest as a World Heritage Site in 1989. The reserve comprises 189 sq km of primary and modified forest, measuring about 21km east to west and 3.7km north to south. It was once a royal reserve, and some colonial records refer to it as Rajasinghe Forest. It may have been the last redoubt of the Sri Lankan lion.

10

Gal Oya National Park

Gal Oya National Park

Gal Oya National Park in Sri Lanka was established in 1954 and plays a major role as the main resource area to the Senanayake Samudraya, the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka.One of the most important feature of the park is that elephant herds can be seen throughout the year. furthermore with the rich flora and fauna and endemic Ayurveda herbs, makes this destination more sight worthy. meanwhile you can stay in best hotels to stay in sri lanka