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Travel Guides

Wild Life Parks in Sri Lanka

peacock @ Yala sri lanka - wildlife guide by The Fantasy Escape

Is Sri Lanka wildlife parks considered as one of the world’s finest wildlife destinations beside of Africa? We proudly say it is. Including thousands of varieties of life forms and plants, our tiny island makes it the perfect biodiversity hotspot! Not to mention the diversity of geographical and climatic zones these Sri Lanka wildlife parks offer.

With more than 20 Sri Lanka wildlife parks, the island is at the top of its natural vegetation in the whole Asian region. Sri Lanka safari in any of the national parks is promising and exciting. From the iconic elephants to leopards, bears, birds and even the whales. It comes with two monsoons, a range of altitude variations and climates. To choose the desirable Sri Lanka safari for you, let’s get into some more details about Sri Lanka wildlife parks!

Yala National Park

With an epic proportion of wildlife experience Yala national park Sri Lanka gives you the best safari alongside the untamed world. For centuries it had been an excellent spot for many nature lovers both foreign and local.

Situated in a hot semi-arid environment Yala national park Sri Lanka is home to many wildlife creatures including few tigers. On Yala national park safari, you’ll notice the lush green occur due to the 300-Celsius temperature around the park. From September to December the Yala national park safari would endure some rain effect. But most of the time it’s dry and hot, which is best for the wildlife creatures. The park consists of 5 main blocks covering over 130,000 hectares of land. And will include all kinds of grasslands, tanks, and scrubs.

Yala sri lanka - wildlife guide by The Fantasy EscapeYala sri lanka - wildlife guide by The Fantasy Escape
Udawalawe National Park

One of the best-known parks for Elephant safari! If you ever think a national park-like “Yala” is too busy or over expensive for a wildlife safari. The best spot would be the Udawalawe National Park. Plus the park is medium in size so you can cover the whole ground within one day. However, if you’re planning to spend a night in the park, there are plenty of places to stay as well.

Many would advise starting the Udawalawe national park safari around 6.00 am. Just like any other safari, you can easily arrange a jeep for the journey. The park is located 200km away from the capital city and with only a handful of visitors. Initially, the park was designed for the animals exiled from the reservoir project in Udawalewa. Now it has become the major attraction of visitors for Elephant watching. So if you’re focusing only on elephants here’s the best destination for you.

Yala sri lanka - wildlife guide by The Fantasy Escapesri lanka wildlife guide by The Fantasy Escape

Wilpattu National Park

Out of all the varieties of wildlife parks in Sri Lanka, Wilpattu National Park is the biggest of all. It’s located on the west coast of near Anuradhapura province. The forest was declared as a national park in 1938. Even though the National park locates in a dry zone, the forest is considerably thick. And it maintains its natural vegetation with dots of villus and lakes.

Over 30 species are currently living on the location. Among them, the Asian elephant, Srilankan leopard, and Sloth Bear are eye-catching figures during the safari. Herds of spotted deers and Buffalos are also a common occurrence on Willpatuwa national park. Reserve a safari ride online and make your trip unforgetable.

birds @ Wilpattu sri lanka - wildlife guide by The Fantasy Escape birds @ Minneriya sri lanka - wildlife guide by The Fantasy Escape


Minneriya National Park

Other than Udawalawe national park this is a genuine place to watch wild elephants in huge numbers. The park is dominated by the ancient lake called “Minneriya Wawe” while other parts are filled with forests and scrubs. Minneriya National Park runs up to 88.9 sq km of ground providing shelter to many wildlife creatures. Among them the toque macaques, crocodiles, and sambar deer are special.

Minneriya Wildlife Park will not be the best if you’re looking to go into deep woods. But you’ll definitely enjoy the Minneriya national park safari ride along the “MINNERIYA WEWA.” April to October would be a great time to visit Minneriya national park as many animals would gather around the lake at that time. Sometimes over 200 elephants will come to the lake at a single time. Not to mention the massive variety of birds you’ll be able to see. Visitors can easily reserve a Safari ride from here.


Crocodile @ Wilpattu sri lanka - wildlife guide by The Fantasy Escape elephants @ Minneriya sri lanka - wildlife guide by The Fantasy Escape

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Being the largest lowland rain forest of Sri Lanka, Sinharaja rain forest occupies the board range at the heart of the wet zone. It’s even listed under the UNESCO world heritage list. Sinharaja rain forest is richly biodiverse with rivers, mountains, and wildlife. It also includes many rare varieties of species that are endemic to Sri Lanka. Unlike all other national parks earlier mentioned the only way to access Sinharaja is by foot. So you’re probably going to need a guide as well.

The trail along the Sinharaja forest allows you to watch many things including birds, animals, and rare insects and plants. If you are planning to see more micro animals from insects to small reptiles like snakes, Sinharaja rain forest is the perfect national park in Sri Lanka to visit.

There’s only a handful of settlements available near the forest. So make sure to find a place to stay in nearby villages like Deniyaya or Kudawa. Rainforest Eco Lodge is a nice and well-maintained accommodation site reside in the heart of the rain forest.

sri lanka wildlife guide


Horton Plains

With the breathtaking viewpoint in the World’s End, Horton Plains national park makes it the most beautiful Park on the island. And if you are planning to go on foot it’s the perfect hike of all times which will include Sri Lanka’s second and third highest mountains along the route.

Also, the trail includes stunning waterfalls (baker’s falls), lakes and surprising diversity of the landscape. I won’t guarantee you with many wildlife sightings like other national parks in Sri Lanka. Yet, Horton plains national park is home for many animals like mouse-deers and leopards. However, the bird watchers will be well rewarded within the lands of Horton plains national park.

The viewpoint of the World’s end Horton Plains will take you to heaven on clouds. You can have a spectacular view if there is a clear sky. I strictly advise you to behave cautiously out there especially when you take selfies. Few people died falling down in the attempts of taking pictures.

Find the list of all the National parks in Sri Lanka.

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