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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 5 wildlife parks in Sri Lanka – a country small in size but big in wildlife!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 wildlife parks in Sri Lanka – a country small in size but big in wildlife!

Although Sri Lanka is geographically a very small country, it has a plenty to offer when it comes to wildlife. Here are top 5 wildlife hotspots that you should visit in Sri Lanka.


Muthurajawela Marsh

Located at the south end of Negombo's lagoon, the Muthurajawela Marsh is a less popular wetland that is a bird watchers paradise. Muthurajawela, when translated means supreme Field of Pearls', is home to more than 75 different bird species. Kingfishers, Purple Herons and Cormorants are some of the types of birds that you'll be able to see as you take a boat ride through the lagoon. In addition, nature lovers will also be able to see monkeys, crocodiles and otters rare creatures if you're really lucky.


Uda Walawe National Park

Occupying an area of over 308 square kilometres and filled with a lush undertone of greenery short enough to make game spotting easy, the Uda Walawe National Park is a good place to spot sambar, wild buffalos, spotted deer and elephants. Visitors can book jeep safaris through the hotel or resort they are staying at or there are plenty of tour guides at the entrance of the park. Uda Walawe is home to over 200 species of birds, 30 species of snakes and lots of crocodiles!


Bundala National Park

Located in the Hambantota district, the Bundala national park is a bird sanctuary that has been declared as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The park which consists of a magnificent maze of waterways is home to more than 190 endemic and migrant bird species. Birds from countries like India and Siberia migrate to Bundala during the August-April for the winter. In addition, the Bundala National Park is home to 15-60 elephants, crocodiles, giant squirrels and various species of marine turtles.


Yala National park

The Yala national park is Sri Lanka's main wildlife attraction that is home to 90 different bird species and a wide variety of wildlife. Occupying a space of 1,268 square kilometres, a tourist visiting the Yala national park will be able to spot various animal species like crocodiles, elephants, monkeys and leopards in their natural habitat from the safety of a jeep when you embark on a wildlife tour. Being one of the best destinations for Sri Lanka wildlife holidays, hotels and resorts in Yala like Cinnamon Nature Trails offer its guest the chance to spend the night in a wildlife bungalow and enjoy the feeling of living among the animals.


Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja, which means the lion king in Sinhala is a forest located at the heart of the countries wetland. The park can be entered by foot and first-time visitors are advised to hire a tour guide to guide them through the slippery trails in order to visit the best locations to observe different types of birds, animals and plants. Occupying an area of 189 square kilometres, the forest was declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1989. The Sinharaja forest is home to 26 endemic birds like the SriLanka Crested Drongo, Green-billed coucal and the red-faced Malkoha. The jungle is also home to leopards, elephants and reptiles like hump-nosed vipers, green pit vipers and amphibians like tree frogs.