Visiting a zoo or a national park is surely an experience to look forward to. Sometimes, we get to see the glorious fauna from a very close quarter and then at times, we may wait to get just one glimpse and that waiting time never comes to an end. Or we may just end up getting a glimpse from a distance. Still we love to visit zoos and national parks. And when we walk out after taking a day long tour in a national park, we feel so refreshed and fulfilled inside our hearts that words fall short to express that.
Kumana National Park is one place where a group of people have dedicated their life for conservation and protection of animals, birds and plants that are native to that place. This is the place, where urban bred like us go for a vacation to meet their forgotten friends and get to know about them. So let’s get into Kumana National Park.
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Kumana National Park: Things To Do
You enter Kumana National park, all excited to see birds and animals in their natural habitat. So, take a look at some of the things you can do around the park!
Formerly known as Yala East National Park, Kumana National Park has earned its current name in the year 2006. It attracts some of the most spectacular migratory birds including waterfowls and wading birds from all over the world. Located on the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, Kumana National Park is a perfect heaven for bird lovers. The national park earns a healthy tourist footfall from all across the world coming to view the incredible avifauna comprising of a whooping 430 species of habitat as well as migratory birds.
Kumana National Park Safari offers three options to choose from. Tourists can choose a half-day morning, evening or a day long safari on a safari Jeep accompanied by a guide. Take a tour of the entire park under careful supervision through a designated ‘tracker’ who guides the jeep as soon as he spots a herd of animal so that the visitors get to good chance to see the animals in their natural habitat. Undeterred by the heavy footfall of tourists, you will find yourself to be in the wonderland with innumerable birds and animals roaming about freely all around. Just see them from afar. Refrain from interfering with them or feeding them. You are likely to spot elephants, jackal, wild boars, crocodiles, peacocks and many more depending on your luck.
The expansive national park is supported by a large number of shallow lagoons and tanks that often get filled up with sea water. The national park is a seat for tropical thorn forest with some of the rarest of the land and aquatic plant species such as arjuna, lotus, water lily, cassia fistula and many more. There are several trees and shrubs that we are hardly familiar with and some that we already know. They stall tall rooted in their place providing shed and shelter to the animals.
In our tryst to spot a leopard, we often ignore the tree providing a protective shed over the jeep or the beautiful play of green in the middle of the park that makes the place look ethereal. However, they are as much a part of the entire scenario as the leopard or a tiger that if we can spot, will make our safari tour worthwhile. There are a number of medicinal plants as well as some of the most ancient species alongside beautiful floral plants that are carefully conserved and protected just like the animals.
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One of the most popular breeding and nesting ground in Sri Lanka, Kumana Bird Sanctuary has a humongous variety of bird species that increases in number during between April to July each year when thousands of migratory birds join them in the Kumana swamp area. Some of the endemic inhabitants in Kumana include Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-necked Stork, great thick-knee while migratory birds include Pintail snipes, glossy ibis, purple heron, water cock and many more of such bird species from all over the world.
Apart from the birds, the swamp of Kumana is home to some of the rarest amphibians, aquatic and land animals. One of the most sought after view is spotting a herd of Sri Lankan Elephants. Indian flap-shelled turtle, Mugger crocodile, wild boar, European otter are some of the land animals found in Kumana National Park.
Kumana National Park: How To Reach
You can reach Kumana through flight, bus or by car. The most cost effective mode off course would be by road. It takes around quarter to seven hours and costs somewhere between Rs. 2,200- 3,300. Just set the Kumana National Park location on the GPRS and set off to the most amazing national park of this region. Alternatively, you can board a bus plying from Katunayake Airport Bus Station. And in case you are planning to go by air, it costs around Rs.21000-65000 and takes 5 hours to reach Hambantota from Colombo Airport. After which you need to hire a taxi to reach Kumana National Park.
Further Read: The Ultimate Guide To Sri Lanka’s Dambulla Cave Temple
When you come out, you are refreshed, enriched, much more aware and concerned about animals, birds and plants around you. The tour is so educative for kids as well as grownups that they automatically start walking the path of a more eco-friendly lifestyle. You can go through the Kumana National Park information at their office to know more about each and every species of animal and birds in the park. Plan your trip to Sri Lanka to witness this splendid national park with your loved ones and have an experience like never before!
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