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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 30, 2019
Headline for Top 05 National Parks to Visit in Sri Lanka – Exotic Havens
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 05 National Parks to Visit in Sri Lanka – Exotic Havens

As a tropical island, Sri Lanka offers one a range of attractions; amongst these is the national parks. Home to some of the nation's most exotic creatures the parks themselves is beautiful rustic havens made up of varied environs. Listed below are the country's top 05 parks.

1

Minneriya National Park

If your visit to the island includes taking part in one of the exciting elephant tours Sri Lanka has to offer, then Minneriya is a pretty important park to visit. There are plenty of tour operators promising unforgettable experiences across the nation, and many like Nature Odyssey, are top contenders for professionalism and providing awesome adventures. Minneriya, especially in the month of August serves as a corridor for migrating elephants. The park located close to the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa is blessed with a huge manmade water tank which attracts the elephants and other creatures calling the park home. A jeep safari into the bucolic folds of Minneriya, in high-season, will treat you to sights of elephant herds in the hundreds.

2

The Horton Plains National Park

This lush park is located at the islands highest point; famous for treks, its location at an altitude of 2000 feet, adds a chilly vibe to the entire place. Consisting of wide-open plains, framed by misty mountains, Horton Plains is most famous for the Worlds End lookout point and Bakers Falls. A loop trail covering both these attractions is one of the most famous treks offered there. On entering the park you will be treated to sights of foliage representing a European environment, quite unlike the flora associated with a tropical destination, while sambar can be seen roaming at the side of the roads. With permission from the proper authorities, it is possible to camp within the Horton Plains national park.

3

The Mighty Singharaja Forest Reserve

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Singharaja Forest was declared a national park in 1978. The country's last remaining tropical rainforest, the park harbours almost 50% of the islands endemic varieties of butterflies and mammals while interesting species of amphibians, reptiles, and insects are found within the park. The thick canopy of trees consists of many endemic varieties of trees and the lush forest cover dictates that only walking tours of the reserve are possible.

4

Sunny Pigeon Island

One of the islands only two marine national parks, Pigeon Island is a scuba divers haven. The place is located 2kms from the eastern coast of Trincomalee and is made up of two rocky islands, inhabited by a large colony of rock pigeons. The two islands are framed by a coral reef which makes scuba diving quite a thrill; April to September is the best season to visit the national park.

5

Home of the Vedda, Gal Oya

A less popular park, Gal Oya National Park is home to the islands ancient Vedda tribes. The place is most famous for the gigantic Senanayaka Samudraya, a manmade tank, on which you can enjoy a boat tour. Head out to the island in the middle and indulge in a leisurely picnic under sunny skies.