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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Wildlife Parks in SriLanka – Of Luscious Jungles and Amazing Creatures
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Wildlife Parks in SriLanka – Of Luscious Jungles and Amazing Creatures

The tropical island of Sri Lanka is known for its thriving ecosystems and wildlife. As such, Sri Lanka is home to some of the most exciting wildlife parks in the South Asian region.

1

Yala National Park

The most popular and frequently visited wildlife park in Sri Lanka is the Yala National Park. The Yala National Park is spreads across the Southern and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka, covering an area of approximately 978km2. Yala is considered to be one of the best destinations in Sri Lanka for safaris as it is regarded as having one of the highest leopard concentrations in the world. While leopards certainly are a highlight of the park, this wildlife park is home to several exciting species, including Elephants, Fishing Cats, Wild Water Buffaloes, Golden Palm Civets, Toque Macaques, Mugger Crocodiles, Sri Lankan Kraits, and Indian Cobras. While these constitute the most exciting mammals of Yala, it must be noted that Yala is also home to 215 species of avifauna, making it a popular bird-watching spot as well.

2

Wilpattu National Park

Named due to from the presence of several "willus" – natural lakes – within the park, the Wilpattu National Park is a flourishing sanctuary for wildlife. Located closer to Chillaw and Anuradhapura, and coving approximately 1,300km2 of land, the Wilpattu National Park is a popular destination for safaris as the park is home to several species of wildlife including Leopards, Eagles, Sloth Bears, Great Eggfly and Blue Mormon Butterflies, Mugger Crocodiles and Barking Deer. In fact, the park serves as a sanctuary for as many as 31 species of mammals and several other species of reptiles, amphibians, and avifauna. While the wildlife is certainly the main attraction of Wilpattu, the park's natural scenery and picturesque landscapes further makes it one of Sri Lanka's top wildlife parks.

3

Minneriya National Park

Situated in the Polonnaruwa District of Sri Lanka, The Minneriya National Park is a haven for flora and fauna. The park extends over a vast 8,889 hectares, and is home to approximately 24 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles and 9 species of amphibians. Therefore, amidst the luscious jungles of the park, you will find Sri Lankan Sloth Bears, Buffaloes, Wild Pigs, Sambar Deer, Indian Pythons, Langurs, Macaques, Saltwater Crocodiles, and even Sri Lankan Leopards. Additionally, the Minneriya National Park serves as a sanctuary to over 160 species of birds and 75 species of butterflies. The highlight of this park, however, is the large elephant gatherings that form near the Minneriya tank. These amazing gatherings of elephants are one of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring occurrences in a wildlife park of Sri Lanka and, as such, many travel agents offerings nature tours in Sri Lanka, including travel agencies such as Sri Lanka Tailor Made, have wildlife excursions packages to Minneriya.

4

Udawalawe National Park

Spreading across the Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka, the Udawalawe National Park serves as a sanctuary to the wildlife that was displaced due to the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir. This national park, made up of luscious open grasslands and jungles, is the site of thriving ecosystem. Udawalawe is famous due to the large herd of elephants that live and breed in the grasslands and jungles of the park. However, the park is home to many other species of wildlife such as the Sri Lankan Leopard, the Fishing Cats, the Golden Jackal, Sri Lankan Sambar Deer, Wild Boar, Water Buffaloes, the Tufted Gray Langur, and the Indian Muntjac. The park is also home to several hundred species of avifauna, including several endemic species such as the Sri Lankan Grey Hornbill, the the Sri Lankan Spurfowl, the Brown-capped Babbler, and the Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl.