The rich flora and fauna of Sri Lanka will amaze you! It is home to wild animals like leopards, sloth bears, elephants, Toque Macaques and wild buffaloes. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, the national parks of this island are must-visits for you.
Yala National Park
Sri Lanka is famous all over the world for its population of leopards and Yala National Park is the place to spot the animal! A Sri Lankan leopard is recognised as a sub-specie of the Indian counterpart. Leopards can be spotted in most parts of the national park, especially in the months from January to July. You can even spot the elephants, though summer would be the more conducive period for their sightings. Birds such as Eurasian Curlew, Yellow Wattled Lapwing, and Crested Serpent Eagle can also be spotted. Yala National Park is roughly 280 kilometres from the country’s capital Colombo.
Udawalawe National Park
Declared a National Park in 1972, the Udawalawe National Park is a place where you can see big herds of elephants. In summers, from May to September, they can easily be spotted near the river. Wild boar, spotted deer, jackal and Gray Langers are the other inhabitants of the park. Lying in the heart of Udawalawe National Park is the Udawalawe Reserve. Take a park guide with you to learn about the region and the wild beasts roaming in here.
Kaudulla National Park
Habarana’s Kaudulla National Park, the 15th and newest wildlife reserve in the nation, has animals like leopards, sambar deer, fishing cats and sloth bears. There are 24 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fishes and 160 species of birds. Over 200 elephants can be found here between August and December. Thus, the perfect time to visit Kaudulla National Park is this period.
Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu National Park is one of the oldest protected areas of the country. Upgraded from a sanctuary to national park in 1938, this place supports a wide range of resident and migratory birds. Animals such as leopards, elephants, sloth bears, and spotted deer can be spotted here. Moreover, the national park is teeming with beautiful lakes. Presently, just about 25% of the Wilpattu National Park is explorable. The best times to visit Wilpattu are the months of February and October.