Sri Lanka, despite being a small Island it is gifted with many wildlife attractions such as Big Games Parks, Rain Forests and Scenic Forests & Mountainous Reserves. Some of these offer easy safari game viewing by Jeeps while others required to be explored only by walking/trekking.
Sri Lanka is popular for its large population of Leopards and Elephants. But there are many other species like Sloth Bears, Crocodiles, Different verities of Deers, Monkeys, and over 400 verities of Birds which over 200 are resident and 26 are endemic.
Following are the most visited and most popular National parks and Protected Reserves in Sri Lanka,
Yala National Park – Located in the southernmost part of Sri Lanka and it’s a 6 to 8 hours of drive from Colombo/Airport. Popular for its Leopards density. This is the most visited and most popular National Park in the country.
Udawalawe National Park – Famous for its large Elephant population and the best and the easiest place to watch Elephants. It’s a 4 hours drive from Colombo/Airport.
Wilpattu National Park – The largest National park of Sri Lanka and it was very popular for its Leopards population. But the Park was closed for nearly 20 years due to recently ended war. Now it is opened for the public. The Jungle is very beautiful and very wild. The thickness of the jungle makes it little difficult to spot the animals. It is located in the North-West province of Sri Lanka and its 4 to 5 hours of drive from Colombo/Airport.
Sinharaja Rain Forest – UNESCO named a World Heritage site of the world. A natural rain forest and a very important bio diversity area. Though you cannot spot big mammals it is a beautiful place to see Flora, Reptiles, insects, birds and butterflies. To explore Sinharaja Rain Forest you must walk and cannot go by jeeps or any other vehicle.
Horton Plains National Park – A scenic plain in the Central highlands of Sri Lanka is another World Heritage site and undoubtedly one of the world’s best nature reserves. It was a home for large number Elephant population but they were killed during the colonial era. Horton Plains is the birth place of many rivers in Sri Lanka. Horton Plains can be accessed from Nuwara Eliya and Ohiya and its 6 hours drive from capitol Colombo/Airport.
Wasgamuwa National Park – Located in the North Central province of Sri Lanka and its popular for its aggressive and large herds of Elephants. It is approximately 5 hours drive from Colombo/Airport.
Knuckles Mountain Range Nature Reserve – Located in the Central province of Sri Lanka is very scenic mountainous and plain like nature reserve. It’s a trekker’s paradise. There are many trekking and hiking possibilities. Knuckles mountain range is popular for its scenic landscapes and rural and authentic Sri Lankan villages. It is approximately 6 hours drive from Colombo/Airport.
Sri Lankan Expeditions operate Safari Jeep Tours, Hiking Trails and Tented Safari Camps inside the above National Parks and Nature Reserves. Safari Jeep Tours can be arranged from Half days to full days with guides, entrance fees, Jeeps and refreshments in Yala, Udawalawe, Wilpattu and Wasgamuwa while Horton Plains, Knuckles Mountains and Sinharaja Rain Forests are explored by walking with a guide. If you are interested in camping inside in any of these National Parks, we have a tested product which offers you an unforgettable camping experience in the heart of the wilderness. See the following links for further details on Camping,
- Yala Safari Camp
- Udawalawe Safari Camp
- Wilpattu Safari Camp
- Sinharaja Rain Forest Kudawa Camp
- Sinharaja Rain Forest Morningside Camp
- Horton Plains Camp
- Knuckles Mountain Range Camp