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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 24, 2020
Headline for Sri Lanka's abundant wildlife is making it the new hotspot for Ecotourism – The best of Wildlife on the Island
Joanna James Joanna James
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Sri Lanka's abundant wildlife is making it the new hotspot for Ecotourism – The best of Wildlife on the Island

If you are a wildlife enthusiast and you've opted for Sri Lanka as your next holiday destination, well, you chose correctly! This may be a small island, but it has loads of wildlife to offer the animal lovers out there. In order to protect its unique wildlife, Sri Lanka has several national parks, each offering an experience different from the other. Here are a few you must visit.


Yala National Park

This is the most popular national park on the island and perhaps in Asia as well for the many mammals that live here. The park is located on the south-eastern coast of the island and is home to the exotic Sri Lankan leopard that many look forward to seeing on safaris. The marine life is rich here as well. More animals to look out for at Yala National Park would be the sambar deer, sloth bear, buffaloes, spotted dear, wild pigs, mongooses, toque monkeys, langurs, Indian palm civets and golden jackals. There are over 200 species of birds for bird lovers as well. If you are staying at Yala resort the likes of Chena Huts, organising a safari through the hotel will be much easier.


Udawalawe National Park

This park was initiated as a means to protect the Udawalawe Reservoir. The land here is grassy and this is the best nature reserve in the continent if you want to see Asian elephants. You are guaranteed to see then without fail on a safari. There aren't many other animals to specifically look for when on your visit. But the bird watchers can spot serpent eagles, grey-headed fish eagles, hawk eagles and much more!


Kumana National Park

This is also called the Yala East National Park and shelters 20 lagoons and reservoirs. The Kumana Villu mangrove is flooded with seawater to create a unique ecosystem. Bird watchers can spot as many as 200 species of endemic birds and migratory birds as well. The mammals in the park are the same as those seen in Yala National Park.


Sinharaja Forest Reserve

This is a rainforest that has been around since ancient times and is recognised by UNESCO as well. There are a variety of bird species that you don't want to miss at the Sinharaja Forest; Green-billed coucal Red-faced malkoha, Sri Lankan blue magpie are just a few of them. The purple-faced langurs, various species of squirrels, barking deer and leopards are some mammals worth spotting as well.


Wilpattu National Park

This is yet another well-loved national park with several species of mammals like the sloth bears, Asian elephants, sambar deer, jackals water buffaloes and more! Amphibians are also popular here with about 50 wetlands within the park. Crocodiles can be spotted easily as well. There are several birds as well for birdwatchers to see.


Horton Plains National Park

Being the highest plateau in Sri Lanka, the greenery here is unlike the vegetation down south by the coast of Sri Lanka. Here, it has adapted to the cooler climes and the wildlife too is slightly different. The Sri Lankan bush warbler and Sri Lankan whistling thrush are the highlights here.

  • 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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