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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 4 National Wildlife Parks in Sri Lanka - Exploring the wilderness of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country with a rich bio-diversity and many landscapes. Here is a list of the best national parks, spread across the island, giving you a taste of the different environments.

1

Yala National Park

Yala National Park

Yala National Park is located 260km from Colombo. It will approximately take you 3 hours to reach Yala. There are three sanctuaries and five smaller national parks. Yala is very popular among tourists as well as local nature lovers. The location of the park, climate and the leopard population are some of the key factors that attract many travellers to the park. Get on a jeep and explore the forest while being on the lookout for the majestic Sri Lankan Elephant, leopards, monkeys, bears and many species of birds. Yala is a great place to photograph animals. If you're a nature photographer, you will love this national park. Many holiday packages offered by travel agencies such as Holidays by Design include Yala in their packages.

2

Udawalawe

Udawalawe

Udawalawe National Park is 5 hours away from Colombo. The park is in the South East part of Sri Lanka, belonging to the Uva Province. There is a high population of Elephants in Udawalawe and it is the ideal place to go Elephant watching. There are many elephant enthusiasts visiting the park every year. Apart from wild elephants, there are buffalos, wild boars, deer and many more unique species can be found. There are many endangered species such as the black napped rabbit, Grey langurs and Toque Macaque as well. You can arrange a camping trip to Udawalawe and spend the night. Bonfires and the quiet forest will be a highlight of your vacation.

3

Wilpattu

Wilpattu

Of the things to see in Sri Lanka, Wilpattu National Park definitely stands out. This is one of the more scenic wildlife parks on the island. The park is located 5 hours away from Colombo and is closer to the town of Anuradhapura. October is the best month to visit Wilpattu. The weather is perfect that time of the year and most animals can be seen in the open. Elephants, leopards, bears, sloths and deer are some of the animals you find there. More flora and fauna which are facing the threat of extinction can be found in the park. There are some endangered bird species in the vicinity too. Don't forget your camera because the park has scenes that are definitely worth snapping. If you book a bungalow inside the park and spend the night, you might hear the elephants. No wildlife tour is complete without a trip to Wilpattu.

4

Kumana

Kumana

Kumana is different from the rest of the national parks. It is popular for being the home for thousands of bird species. There are many endangered species and migrant birds in the park. The wading bird and waterfowls are some of the most popular immigrant birds here. Don't visit the park during May because that's when the birds settle into their nests. In the latter part of June, the baby birds are born. The main bird watching and camping site are in the southern area of the park where the Kumbukkan Oya flows through.