Sri Lanka Safaris

(Author)By: Sameera Gamage
Sri Lanka Destination Specialist
Created: 06-09-2020

If you ever wonder why Sri Lanka is one of the world’s best destinations for safari, the answer is simple. The high rate of observability and an impressive array of National parks, packed with wildlife including Big-five.

Yala Safari

1: The blue whale
2: The sperm whale
3: The srilankan leopard
4: The srilankan elephant
5: The srilankan sloth bear

There is an added reward to Sri Lanka Safari holiday, in recent past, somewhere around January 2020, The Wildlife Department has been able to rediscover the Sri Lankan Black Panther that was once declared to be long extinct.

Sri Lanka is the best place in Asia that containing the highest rates of biological endemism also it is the best all-round wildlife destinations in the world with its abundance of national parks, the easiest place to observe the Wildlife with more than 20 National parks all over the country with there scenery and a charming of natural wonder.

Yala National Park

Yala National Park is the best park in Sri Lanka in terms of observability. Yala is most popular for spotting leopards and elephants.

Yala national park divided into five blocks covering 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi), most visited blocks are 1 and 5 because most of the tour operators and travels agents (especially foreign ones) are capable of booking block 1 and 5, Only a few of them are doing the booking for block 2,3 and 4. Contact Go4Safari they might be able to help you.

During dry season (September and October) park will close to the public because of the extreme weather conditions and Wildlife Department use that time to give a break to animals and do maintenance during that time. Apart from that period, Yala is good to visit all year round.

With stunning landscapes varying from Savana like grasslands, dry and moist monsoon forests, marine wetlands, sandy beaches to marshes. with an incredible number of animals species.

If there is a negative side of Yala Safari it is its popularity, Hundreds of tourist with the same goal as you, enter the park with their jeeps, chasing animals. You can avoid this by visiting the park on unpopular times.

Yala Safari

Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park is the oldest and largest national park in Sri Lanka., world-renowned for its leopard population. Located on the Northwest coast with thick of wilderness, perfect safari destination for both the wet and dry season.

An uncommon feature of this park is the existence of "Willus" (Natural lakes). Very close to the historical city of Anuradhapura which is very good for an ideal backpacker. Popular for its leopard and resident & migratory water-birds.

Covered with thick jungle Wilpattu national park is still hiding lots of Buddhist archaeological sites yet to be discovered. One of the famous ancient ruins that have been uncovered in Wilpattu National Park is where a queen named Kuweni is said to have lived in the place known as Kalli Villu. Historical evidence also shows the fact that Prince Saliya, son of King Dutugemunu lived in Wilpattu over 2,000 years ago.

Wilpattu Safari

Wilpattu Safari is a must-do activity as a backpacker or a regular traveler. Park is most popular for leopards and lots of mammals, replies, and birds. You can do amazing wildlife Safari in this park because tourist numbers remain low throughout the year. If what you want is true sense of wilderness and experience the tranquility of nature, well this is the best park for it.

Wilpattu Safari

Lahugala Kitulana National Park

Lahugala Kitulana National Park is one of the smallest and hidden national parks in Sri Lanka. Lahugala, Kithulana and Sengamuwa reservoirs boarder this national park., It is an important habitat for Sri Lankan Elephant and endemic birds and many wetland birds as well as Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Sambhur, Leopards and Sloth Bear could also be seen found in Lahugala National Park. Elephants gather around the Lahugala Tank is the frequent sight in there.

Lahugala Kitulana National Park

Udawalawa National Park

If you are thinking about what is the best safari, to do in Sri Lanka, it is not a big deal to fuss about, especially if you are indecisive over Yala versus Udawalawe. A lot of blogs and travels are making it more complicated and pretend to be it is some advice stuff to deal with, just because they need the traffic to their blog and need commission from local tour operators.

First thing first, you need a direct booking with a local Safari Company. It is a lot cheaper and helps local people, Not wealthy tourists, and big companies. And don't be shy about negotiating a discount.

Abundantly clear Facts about Udawalawe Safari against Yala and other parks.

  • Udawalawe is the most beautiful national park in Sri Lanka situated in soring highlands.
  • You can visit this park anytime around the year. Every day is a good day to visit.
  • Park is relatively small, so you do not need full day Safaris.
  • Most famous for spotting elephants but not other animals. If you see more animals other than lots of birds, consider your self lucky.
  • Udawalawe National park is less crowded with tourists compared to Yala.

  • Udawalawe Safari Photo credit

    Minneriya National Park

    If you have a special place in your heart for elephants in love for, wildlife you should book a Safari in Minneriya National Park because Minneriya safari is all about elephants.

    Safari Park is good to visit all around the year but, best if you can visit during the dry season, From July to October because the largest Elephant gathering in the world happens during that period, you will witness one of the best spectacles in the world.

    The national park comprised of adjacent national parks. Your Safari provider will decide to take you to whichever park, where the Elephant herd is roaming at the time of your arrival. Parks are close to Sigiriya, Habrana, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, and Giritale.

    If You want to book a wildlife holiday or book accommodation all you need to do, click here.

    Minnariya Safari

    Gal Oya National Park

    Gal Oya National Park is one of the unpopular National Park in Sri Lanka, but I say it is a hidden gem. One of my favorites because there are no tourists at all, you can feel the real sense of wilderness and experience the tranquility and peace of mind at all times. Wherever you look, you will find jaw-droppingly beautiful nature your mind does not have an option, but to release dopamine that will cause euphoria.

    You can do boat safaris, camping, and many other water activities. The location is relatively remote, but I am positive it will be an exciting road trip. You don't have to worry about safety in any way unless you are careless with swimming and diving. Sri Lanka people are very sweet and have a beautiful soul with kindness and compassion because of that you don't have to worry about anything if you are in trouble they will come to your help like guardian angles.

    Gal Oya National Park

    Wasgamuwa National Park. Wasgamuwa National Park

    Wasgamuwa National Park. Wasgamuwa National Park is a natural park in Sri Lanka Located in central of Sri Lanka. Wasgamuwa is the best place to observe Elephants, and the Best time to enjoy the sight of large herds of elephants from November to May. Visitors have a good chance of seeing Sri Lankan Sloth Bears in Wasgamuwa with their natural habitat. Wasgamuwa National Park is a less-visited national park, so the minimum number of tourism at all times.

    Wasgamuwa National Park

    Kaudulla National Park is a national park

    Kaudulla National Park is a national park located in the Polonnaruwa district of the north-central province which surrounded by the grasslands and scrubby forest, nearby Minneriya National Park.

    Kaudulla is most famous for its elephants and best to visit from July to December. Park is a compelling destination for bird watching because there are 160 species of birds and less crowded all time.

    Bundala National Park

    Bundala National Park the best choice for birders. Park is an internationally important Ramsar wintering ground, close to Yala National Park, yet much less visited and opening up an ideal condition for birdwatchers.

    Park comprises a stunning maze of waterways, which makes the national park natural habitat of 200 species of birds within its area. Park is not limited to birds, you also have a good chance of spotting many other animals like monitor lizards, elephants, wild boar, mongooses, and crocodiles.

    If you want to book Safari to Bundala National park just click here.

    Bundala national park

    The Kumana National Park

    Kumana is a world-renowned National park for bird habitat, once known as Yala East, a birdwatching paradise. Yes, you can see tons of birds, particularly wading birds and large flocks of migratory waterfowl. What you are going to love is, it never feels too crowded here throughout the year.

    Being contiguous with Yala It is quit common every now and then you might spot a leopard, elephant, white cobras, crocodiles, buffalo, and bears.

    Its big sister Yala is so close by, nevertheless, the park is much less frequently visited by tourists. As always, it will give you a genuine sense of wilderness. Click here to Book a Safari here

    The Kumana National Park

    Sinharaja forest reserve

    Sinharaja Forest Reserve is the country's last tropical rainforest capable of working successfully as a biodiversity hotspot. Because of its exceptional universal value, UNESCO declared it as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.

    Hilly virgin rainforest is home to over 50% of Sri Lanka's endemic species. More than 60% of Trees found here are rare and endemic, a little version of the Amazon rainforest covering an area of 88.64 km2.

    Destruction and deforestation

    In 2013, UNESCO was able to stop a road construction through the rain forest linking the Lankagama area to Deniyaya. However, on August 10, 2020, the Government of Sri Lanka has decided to go ahead with construction claiming to improve the livelihood of poor villagers of the area.

    Horton Plains National Park & World's End

    Horton Plains National Park is a highland plateau that encompasses cloud forest, also called a water forest, or tropical montane cloud forest and grassland.

    Full of starkly beautiful vistas, definitely well worth visit en route to follow If you're traveling from the Central Highlands down to the coastal areas of Sri Lanka.

    Besides the fabled viewpoint of the World's End the park is also considered as a very important birding area. Trekking and hiking are popular among travelers.

    You can spot many animals most commonly seen are the Sambar deer, Purple-faced langur, Giant squirrels, Toque macaques, Spotted chevrotain, Kelaart’s long-clawed shrews, Sri Lankan Leopard, Wild boar, Strip necked mongoose, Fishing cat, and Red slender loris.

    The Knuckles Mountain Range

    The Knuckles Mountain Range covers parts of the Kandy and Matale districts in Sri Lanka. A natural habitat for 31 species of mammals, four of them are endemic, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Jackal, and Black-naped Hare are the endemic ones. Well-known for its natural beauty and recognized as one of the most adventurous trekking paths in Sri Lanka. Mountain Range also a UNESCO natural world heritage site.

    The whale watching triangle, Mirissa, Kalpitiya, Trincomalee (Sri Lanka)

    Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world to do whale watching all because of the world's largest sperm whale gathering. Up to 300 individuals of Whales gather for feeding and breeding from November to April at Mirissa. Whale watching tours come coupled with dolphins watching.

    Mirissa is the best place for whale watching, during the above mention season. But not to worry, though if you miss that season you have Trincomalee as a good option. For Trincomalee, the best time will be from July to September. While Kalpitiya is best for dolphin watching but has a good chance of spotting whales as well, the best time for Kalpitiya is the same as Mirissa, which is November to April.

    Ridiyagama Safari Park (zoo in Ridiyagama area)

    Located in Sothern province in Ambalantota. It spread across 500 acres of land, and it is more than a zoo. Animals are roaming freely here. It was opened to the public in 2016 by the direction of The National Zoological Department of Sri Lanka. The first-ever Safari Zoo in Sri Lanka, built on the Ridiyagama area, But there are no facilities for camping like a regular national park. There are 22 different types of animals, including camels, zebras, and lions. Make a stop in your itinerary next time your visit Udawalawe or Yala.

    Lioness at Ridiyagama safari park