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    National Parks For Safari In Sri Lanka

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    Cover Image Credit: Pxhere

    Sri Lanka is among the top five hotspots for biodiversity in the world. A journey to this island nation can be simply defined as a bliss. The country is rich in flora and fauna and a trip here with Safari in the itinerary becomes an expedition for a lifetime.

    Top National Parks For Safari In Sri Lanka

    The listicle below has a quick enlisting of the top 10 National Parks for Safari in Sri Lanka without which a journey to this beautiful island nation will be incomplete:

    1. Yala National Park

    Yala National Park

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    Being home to the most famous elephant safari in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park is home to a huge variety of wildlife including Elephants, Wild Boars, Deer, Peacocks, and Jungle Fowl—the National Animal of Sri Lanka. On a wildlife safari, it all depends on your luck to spot the animals, especially the rare ones such as Leopards and Bears. The best way for getting around in Yala is to hire a jeep and a driver.

    Key Attractions: Ample greenery, Elephant Safari, Private tour, special Leopard Safari Tour, Buduruwagala, Okhanda Devalaya and Kebiliththa-Siyambalawa Devalaya are worth visiting.
    Weather:There is an average temperature varying around 30 degree celsius, and with an average rainfall of 3-9 days in a month.
    Places to Stay: Big Game Camp Yala, Eco Island Sri Lanka Tented Safari Camp, Kulu Safaris and Kele Yala Sri Lanka.
    Nearest Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake.

    Must Read: 15 Things To Do In Ella In 2020 To Take Your Sri Lanka Trip To The Next Level


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    2. Wilpattu National Park

    Wilpattu National Park

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    Wilpattu National Park has certain unique features that keep it apart – especially known for its Leopard population is the main source of entertainment. Apart from leopards, this park has an abundance of many fascinating birds and animals which make it a must-visit place for animal and bird lovers. As this park has many ancient ruins, it becomes a place to assess the golden past of the region.

    Key Attractions: Ancient ruins, diversity of wildlife and migratory birds.
    Weather: Situated at the dry zone of Sri Lanka, it is quite hot and humid during the year with an annual temperature between 27 to 37 degrees celsius.
    Places to Stay: Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris, Leopard Trails Camp Wilpattu Sri Lanka, Wilpattu Tree House, Mahoora Tented Safari Camp Wilpattu.
    Nearest Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake, Sri Lanka.

    Suggested Read: 4 Best Resorts in Katunayake For A Fulfilling Experience In Sri Lanka

    3. Udawalawe National Park

    Udawalawe National Park

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    It is one of the best National Parks for safari in Sri Lanka which holds its place for many reasons. It is home to several hundred elephants and rare wildlife animals as well as plants. Approach a private guide to tour to this place for maximum exploration in minimum time. You also get to see Water Buffaloes, Land Monitors, Deer, Jackals and various species of birds including Kingfishers, Crested Eagle and Peacock.

    Key Attractions: Jungle Safari, Cultural tours, Lanka Tracker-Day Tours, Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage and Elephant Transit Home.
    Weather: Hot and humid with a mean annual temperature between 27 to 37 degrees Celsius.
    Places to Stay: Mansala Safari Resort, Big Game Camp-Udawalawe, Lizard Safari Lodge.
    Nearest Airport: Mattala Rajapaksa de Hambantota International Airport, Mattala, Sri Lanka.

    Suggested Read: 3 Top Restaurants in Katunayake With The Best Food In Sri Lanka

    4. Minneriya National Park

    Minneriya National Park

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    Not all Sri Lankan National Parks facilitate you to go on safari to watch wild animals like Udawalawe, Yala and Wilpaththu et al. Minneriya National Park remains unique and considered best for safari in Sri Lanka. It is different from the rest due to housing a wider variety of elephants. A visit to this National Park with a drive through its wonderful woodland areas is something you shouldn’t miss during a tour.

    Key Attractions: Minneriya Safari Tours, Pidurangala Rock, Jeep Safari, Habarana Lake.
    Weather: Mixed climatic conditions prevail throughout the year. June to September are the driest and January to April frequently sunny. The tropical climate has a humidity of around 80% most of the time.
    Places to Stay: Ayu Resort, The Elephant Hide, Elephant Watch Hut, Nicoya Safari Resort, Border, Sanoga Resort.
    Nearest Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake, Sri Lanka.

    Suggested Read: 5 Things To Do In Moratuwa In Winter To Soak In THe Sun In Sri Lanka!

    5. Horton Plains National Park

    Horton Plains National Park

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    This park is an important botanical park which is home to a large chunk of wild animals. The most frequent site of Wildlife at Horton Plains include herds of Sambar Deer. Among other mammals in this park are stripe-necked Mongoose, Long-tailed Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, endemic Bear Monkey and Toque Monkey.

    Centuries ago, the Horton plains used to be rich with elephants, but gradually they were hunted down to extinction by the British colonialists in Sri Lanka.

    Key Attractions: World’s End Cliff, Hiking, Photography, Sight-seeing, walk through Nature, Baker’s Falls.
    Weather: Cold throughout the year with a minimum of 8 degrees to a maximum of 21 degrees.
    Places to Stay: Sushi Guest, Belihuloya Rest House, Forest Cyniciam Holiday Bungalow, Lourdes Hotel.
    Nearest Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake, Sri Lanka.

    Suggested Read: Spend Just 5 Days In Sri Lanka In 2020 To Explore The Tropical Paradise That It Is!

    6. Wasgamuwa National Park

    Wasgamuwa National Park

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    To experience best wildlife safari in Sri Lanka, this National Park maintains its unique identity. Located in the Matale district, Wasgamuwa National Park has plenty of birds and animals which tourists witness during Safari rides. As the weather condition of this area remains pleasant from November to May, tourists keep flocking during that period to explore it and spot elephants and other wild animals.

    Key Attractions: Wasgamuwa National Park Safari, Ancient Buduruwayaya Ruins, Camping, Elephants, Bears.
    Best Time to Visit: November to May
    Weather: Usually the temperature is between 22 to 31 degree celsius.
    Places to Stay: Lavendish Wild Safari, Wasgamu Safari Lodge, Hotel Elephant Border, Kandyan Rest.
    Nearest Airport: Sigiriya (GIU) Airport, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.

    Suggested Read: 4 Things To Do In Kolonnawa, Sri Lanka For An Amazing Holiday!

    7. Gal Oya National Park

    Gal Oya National Park

    Gal Oya National Park

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    The Gal Oya National Park is considered as a major ecotourist venue in Sri Lanka. Being rich in flora and fauna, it is considered a perfect location for jungle safari in Sri Lanka. About 45% of the park is covered by evergreen forests while approximately 33% is taken up by the savanna areas. This park is also famous for its boat safaris operated by the Wildlife Department. The striking features of this park are witnessing swimming elephants in the Senanayake Reservoir.

    Key Attractions: Buddhangala Monastery, Senanayake Reservoir, Spectacular Sunrise, Bird Watching, Wildlife Safari.
    Weather: The climate here is tropical. Winters are rainier than the summers in Gal Oya. Average temperature is 27 degree celsius.
    Places to Stay: Charitha Rest, Rathnapriya Safari Guest Galoya, Gal Oya Lodge, The Symbol of Ella.
    Nearest Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake, Sri Lanka.

    Suggested Read: 4 Things To Do In Moratuwa For Party Freaks In Sri Lanka!

    8. Ridiyagama Safari Park

    Ridiyagama Safari Park

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    It is considered one of the best National Parks in Sri Lanka for safari. You can see the animals roaming hither and thither without being caged or chained. Bengal Tiger zone is a new addition to this park where you can witness several tigers very closely.

    Key Attractions: Mahapelessa Hot Springs, Madunagala Hermitage, Birds Research Centre and Resort.
    Weather: Temperature varies from maximum 32 to minimum 23 degree celsius.
    Places to Stay: Hotel Centauria Lake Resort, Turtle Bay, Jade Green Hambantota.
    Nearest Airport: Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, Mattala, Sri Lanka.

    Suggested Read: 3 Religious Things To Do In Moratuwa For A Divine Holiday In Sri Lanka!

    9. Hurulu Eco Park

    Hurulu Eco Park

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    The Hurulu Eco Park is famous for providing rich Sri Lanka safari experience. Delving into adventure safari here would certainly be a thrilling experience for any elephant lover. This park ensures a feast of sight – Leopards, rusty-spotted Cats, Star Tortoise, Jungle Fowl, Parrots and Hawks present all kinds of ecosystem from dense shrublands to thick forests.

    Key Attractions: Bird watching, Lankan Wildlife Safari, Pidurangala Rock.
    Weather: Average temperature is approximately around 27.3 degree celsius.
    Places to Stay: Elephant Watch Hut, Salaman Guest House, Sorowwa Resort and Spa, NSN Guesthouse.
    Nearest Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake, Sri Lanka.

    Suggested Read: 10 Exciting Things To Do In Moratuwa In Summer For A Blissful Vacation In Sri Lanka!

    10. Maduru Oya National Park

    Maduru Oya National Park

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    Opened in the year 1983, it provides shade to a large variety of wildlife. Visited by a large chunk of travellers throughout the year, the speciality of this park is that you can find lots of endemic species both in the form of animals and plants. It also has ancient ruins which are an important part of the history of this country. That is why history lovers equally enjoy this park understanding the flora while experiencing an enjoyable elephant safari in Sri Lanka for lifetime memories.

    Key Attractions: Jeep Safari, Ancient Ruins, Wildlife Photography, witness a large variety of flora and fauna.
    Best Time to Visit: From March to September.
    Weather: Average temperature is 27 degree Celsius.
    Places to Stay: Blue Lake Ridge, Gal Oya Lodge, Yuhibuhi Forest Resort, Karpaha Sands.
    Nearest Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka.

    Further Read: 10 Places To Visit Near Sinharaja Forest Reserve With Friends On Your Sri Lanka Trip

    The Island nation Sri Lanka has much to offer to its tourists from around the world. Indeed, the country’s top National Parks are famous for safari in Sri Lanka that makes it a global destination for wildlife exploration. Visit this Island nation that offers plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy a momentous vacation.

    Frequently Asked Questions National Parks For Safari In Sri Lanka


    Q. Which is the best park for Safari in Sri Lanka?

    A. Yala National Park is the most popular one for Safari amongst all Sri Lankan parks.


    Q. What is the best time to visit the Wilpattu National Park?

    A. The best time to visit this National Park is from February to October.


    Q. What animals can I see in Sri Lanka?

    A. Some of the exclusive animals which you can see in Sri Lanka are Elephants, Sri Lankan Leopards, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer, Water Buffalo etc. 


    Q. Can I get to see Tigers in Sri Lanka?

    A. Yes they are but only a select few. Sri Lanka has enough number of elephants thus Elephant Safaris are common there.


    Q. What is essential to plan for a Safari tour?

    A. There are a few things which you should not forget for a Safari tour like binoculars, sunscreen and zoom lenses. 


    Q. Where is the best place to see elephants in Sri Lanka?

    A. Some of the best parks to see elephants in Sri Lanka are the Kaudulla National Park, Yala National Park, the Minneriya National Park, and the Udawalawe National Park.


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