Elephants, leopards, birdlife and abundance of flora and fauna, Sri Lanka is much more than its beaches and tea gardens. With great weather all year around it is a great mix of game drives, jungle landscapes and some amazing marine life too.
Sri Lanka is blessed with a range of altitudes and biodiversity, which makes it a thriving place to observe wildlife. To help you explore the best of the jungles in this tropical country, here are five wildlife parks to enjoy a true adventure.
1. Yala National Park
This is undoubtedly the most premier park on the island. With leopards and many animals roaming freely on its vast landscape, a safari here is a rewarding experience. The mighty elephants strutting around the park showcasing their valour is a stunning sight. With freshwater and scrub, there is a high density of birds bestowed on this park too. Named as a national park in 1938, it is closed from September to mid October every year.
2. Minneriya National Park
This one is where the famous congregation of elephants takes place known as “The Gathering”.
With a vast expanse of wilderness and a diversity of animals, a safari here is truly power packed with excitement. You must come here between July and October to witness one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth; herds of elephants in one place which is a sight to behold. With many indigenous birds and other mammals, Minneriya is a special place to be.
4. Sinharaja Forest Reserve
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Sinharaja is a tropical rainforest. The name means ‘Lion Kingdom’ and it was declared a forest reserve in 1875. Surrounded by two rivers, this undisturbed natural reserve is a feast for the eyes. One can spot endemic plants, reptiles, birds and occasionally a mammal if you are lucky. Spend a day or a half day here to truly soak in the beauty of this forest.
If you love the sea and its marine life, Pigeon Island is one of the two most important marine parks in Sri Lanka. Designated as a marine sanctuary in 1963, it is a unique natural phenomenon made up of two islands called the Large and Small Pigeon Islands
Popular for scuba diving and snorkelling, it is also the gateway to the city of Trincomalee. This pristine island is vibrant with marine life, coral reefs, rock formations and a stunning ecosystem. The Large Pigeon Island is 200m long and 100m wide, holding over 100 species of exquisite corals making it an unmatched reef anywhere else in Sri Lanka.
Let your underwater fantasy come true in this true blue haven.
6. Wilpattu National Park
You cannot leave Sri Lanka without an excursion inside Wilpattu. It is famous for its rainwater reservoirs which is a lifeline for the birds and animals here.
With open grasslands and a dense forest, this park holds a diverse mix of wildlife. You can spot leopards, deers, elephants, sloth bears and reptiles like crocodiles. Birds are in abundance here too such as peacocks, Sri Lankan jungle fowl, black capped bulbul and many more. Wilpattu’s rugged beauty will surely leave you enchanted.
So pick your park and answer the call of the wild in these majestic wild plains of Sri Lanka.