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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Top 5 Nature & Wildlife Areas in Sri Lanka - Get closer to the fascinating flora and fauna of the tropical island nation
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Nature & Wildlife Areas in Sri Lanka - Get closer to the fascinating flora and fauna of the tropical island nation

The South Asian country of Sri Lanka is home to a rather astonishing 22 national parks and 5 botanical gardens, making the island nation a land of breathtaking flora and fauna. Get up close to tropical wildlife and be enthralled by scenic nature and enjoy the island's beautiful natural wonders.


Yala National Park - Sri Lanka's elusive big, black-spotted leopard encounters

Tucked away in the southeast corner of the island nation, bordering the wide-open Indian Ocean, Yala is, without a doubt, the most visited national park in Sri Lanka. While a wide variety of animals, such as elephants, sloth bears, wild boars, and crocodiles, as well as hundreds of species of birdlife, call the sprawling nature reserve home, what pulls in most crowds is Sri Lanka's elusive leopards. The chances of spotting one of these big black-spotted cats can be slim, but if you are to spot one, it would be here at Yala National Park.


Udawalawe National Park - Incredible Sri Lankan wild elephant spotting

Sharing borders with Sabaragamuwa and Uva provinces, Udawalawe is one of the most popular national parks in the Indian Ocean island nation, renowned for its incredible Sri Lankan wild elephant population, reportedly a mind-blowing 700. The protected nature haven is mostly covered with low-lying scrub, so there's nothing obstructing your view of majestic elephants. Hop on a mighty safari jeep, preferably at sunrise or sunset, and venture into the tropical wilderness, and if it's your lucky day, it won't take long to spot a herd.


Horton Plains National Park - Adventurous hiking and trekking

Nestled high away in the misty hills of the central highlands, Horton Plains is unlike any other national park in Sri Lanka. The serene nature park is just 28 kilometres away from the touristy hill station of Nuwara Eliya and pulls in almost every visitor to the city, mostly thanks to the short hour's drive. The star attraction of the national park is the World's End, a sheer cliff with a drop of 4,000 feet, which is complemented by a montane grassland and cloud forest, making for some adventurous hiking and trekking.


Hakgala Botanical Gardens - Oodles of nature and beauty

Nuwara Eliya, affectionately monikered Little England, is arguably the most scenic city in tropical Sri Lanka and what better example to prove the point than the breathtaking Hakgala Botanical Gardens. It is, without a doubt, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Sri Lanka and just a glimpse of the nature haven will make you realise why. Vacationing tourists could also find a slew of fine hotels and resorts in the gorgeous city, such as the ones offered by popular chains such as Reveal the Collection.


Royal Botanic Gardens - Tranquil moments with wondrous nature

Set right in the heart of Peradeniya just outside the capital of central hills, the picturesque Kandy city, Royal Botanic Gardens is an absolute oasis of serenity. Extending over a whopping 147 acres, it is the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka. Take a stroll through the sprawling nature and lose yourself in its unreal jaw-dropping beauty.

  • 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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