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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for The Top 7 National Parks to Visit in Sri Lanka - A wonderland for wildlife enthusiasts
Joanna James Joanna James
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The Top 7 National Parks to Visit in Sri Lanka - A wonderland for wildlife enthusiasts

Despite its small size, Sri Lanka boasts of stunning environs which change from misty mountains, rustic coasts to dense jungles. Within these the most exotic wildlife creatures exist! Here are the top 7 wildlife parks that you should definitely visit.


Yala National Park

Being the second largest national park in Sri Lanka, the Yala National Park has been a favourite hotspot among many tourists who visit the country. A park that is covered in most popular adventure tours in Sri Lanka, Yala is best known for the presence of Sri Lankan leopards and you will find hardly come across a better place than this! Don't get excited as you get closer to view a leopard on a tree or stalking its next prey! Sloth bears, elephants, and many other creatures can be experienced up close. This dry zone park is just one of the rustic wildlife reserves Nature Odyssey and other leading tour operators in Sri Lanka cover. You are sure to feast your eyes on the glorious burst of colours that make up the Sri Lankan jungle fowl, crested serpent eagles and many more birds at the Yala National Park.


Wilpattu National Park

Situated in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, the Wilpattu National Park has gained extra popularity for its topographical feature called 'Villu'. You can always trust the park to spot herds of spotted deer, lazy crocodiles and beautiful peacocks in full plumage and a jungle fowl on a scout for food. Being one of the oldest and largest national parks in the country, the best time to visit this park is from February to October, as this when the Wilpattu National Park quite literally comes alive different species of wildlife encounters. Cormorants, painted stroke, terns, whistling teals and spoonbills are some of the birds that nest and breed in Willpattu.


Minneriya National Park

Minneriya is best known for its large population of migratory elephants! The park is home to diverse species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even fish. The surroundings too are quite beautiful with dense shrubberies and vast grassy plains. Those visiting this park around August and September will be able to view a stunning spectacle of elephants which is known as 'Minneriya Elephant Gathering'. Numerous herds of elephants travel together across the forest bearing a single goal in mind; water! It's indeed a marvellous sight to behold. Apart from the elephant gathering, the Minneriya National park is a place to see reptiles, a number of frog species as well as birds.


Sinharaja Forest Reserve

If you possess an unquenchable thirst to meet and greet endemic animal species, head over to the Sinharaja Rainforest in Sri Lanka for an enthralling experience. Staying true to its name, the Sinharaja Forest which means the 'Lion Kingdom' is an important biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is home to more than 50% of endemic species including mammals, butterflies as well as many kinds of insects and reptiles. In 1988, this forest became a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its exceptional geological features. Many tourists tend to experience and explore this treasure trove bursting with diverse species of flora and fauna.


Kumana National Park

Also known as 'Yala East', spotting animals is not an easy task in Kumana! However, it possesses a certain authenticity and a significant bird population. The nesting season which comes in the months of May and June makes it an ideal place to visit the park. Some of the two-legged and feathered friends of Kumana include black headed oriole, Malabar pied hornbills and painted storks. Apart from different species of birds, you'll be able to spot elephants and sambhur deer whilst on a wildlife safari. It is indeed a breathtaking sight to watch how these gentle mammals gather in pockets of lush foliage and watering holes like the Kumana Villu swamp.


Bundala National Park

The most impressive aspect of the park is its terrain made up of sand dunes, scrub jungle, salt pans, lagoons and long stretches of coastline. It's home to wetlands, lagoons, sand dunes, scrub jungles, a long stretch of coast and salt pans. Many anticipated sightings of this fascinating wildlife park include the tusky wild boars, deer, langurs, and even the spotted fishing cat. Even though the park covers a small land area, it possesses a rich diversity of species.


Udawalawe National Park

An awe-inspiring sight to view gentle jumbos in their natural habitat! This park experiences a warm and very humid climate which is considered to be favourable for the numerous kinds of wildlife who make their home here. There is no doubt that the primary attraction of this national park is its population of elephants for which it is rightfully famed. You may also have the opportunity to view other interesting mammals like leopards, sambar deer and a host of other animals if you take on an exciting safari ride!

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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