𝗠𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗧𝗵𝗿𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗪𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗦𝗮𝗳𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗦𝗿𝗶 𝗟𝗮𝗻𝗸𝗮
One of the many reasons as to why people visit Sri Lanka is because of its very diverse wildlife. From flora to fauna, a lot of species are only endemic to Sri Lanka. A lot of people, even the locals come to nature reserves and forests to get a glimpse of rare creatures for maybe once in their whole lifetime. Alot of nature reserves and santuaries are in Sri Lanka in order to protect the wildlife from human interests that might harm the animals including poaching. Visitors are allowed in to these reserves where you can take safari trips with a trained guide provided by the reserves themselves.
𝗬𝗮𝗹𝗮 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗸
Yala National Park is situated in the south-east region of Sri Lanka and is the 2nd largest National Park in the island, situated some 300 km away from Colombo. It was at first established in the early 1890s as a game sanctuary . The park is located in the dry-zone region where the drought season is very long .The day time average temperature is over 30 degrees which is not uncommon in the region. The parkland makes up most of the reserve but also includes lakes, beaches, jungle, rivers and scrubland. This variety in habitats provides an excellent range in wildlife. The largest concentration of Leopards can be seen in this region though the chances of seeing this animal are very low, and the creature is said to be one of the most endangered species. About 32 species of mammals, 125 species of birds and many reptiles and lagoon fauna species have been recorded in the park. The Yala National Park is famous among visitors as the best place to view large mammals within one territory.
𝗪𝗮𝘀𝗴𝗮𝗺𝘂𝘄𝗮 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗸
Wasgamuwa National Park is one of the many national parks in Sri Lanka. It earned its name as a national park during the Mahaweli Development Project in 1984 in which it provide refuge to countless displaced wild animals. Originally it was supposedly considered as a nature reserve in 1938, and then in the early 1970’s the park was regarded as a strict nature reserve. This is one of the places in Sri Lanka where elephants can be seen in very large numbers. It also rises up to prominence for bird-watchers too , and is also considered as one of the Important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka. The name of Wasgamuwa is a derivative of two words Walas Gamuwa where Walasa is the Sinhala word for the Sloth Bear ( who are also present but in very small numbers ) and Gamuwa which means wood. The park is simply just about 225 km away from the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.
𝗪𝗶𝗹𝗽𝗮𝘁𝘁𝘂 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗸
Located along the north-west coast 26km from Puttalam, famous for its unique lakes called Villus. The park covers 425 sq ft of the coastal area.This is generally a dry zone but still is able to accomadate an impressive number of wildlife. It is also one of the largest and oldest national parks of the country. Since the park is located in a dry zone the average temperature is about 27 degrees. Despite its climate and location the park is covered with very dense shrubbery, a large expanse of grasslands, and an abundant amount of water for a park located in a dry area. The major attractions in the park are the endemic sloth bears, leopards, barking deers and elephants. This is yet another bird-watching paradise where endemic birds are most common such as the jungle fowl ( the ntaional bird of Sri Lanka ). Mammals are not the only attractions here, reptiles, amphibians and insects such as butterflies , the Great Egg Fly and Common Rose just to name a few, also claim popularity among the visitors. Crocodiles and a wide range of snakes also makes Wilpattu National Park their home.
𝗨𝗱𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗹𝗮𝘄𝗲 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗸
Established during 1972, with a dry land of area 119 square miles. It generally has a very humid but warm climate, very famourable for most species that live there. It is home to even plants such as Satin trees, ebony , etc. However the main attraction is the elephants of which this reserve is very famous for. The endangered Sambar deer and leopards along with a lot of mammals can be seen while on Safari. Birdwatching is done here to see the Sri lankan spurfowl an endemic species along with a lot of other birds.
𝗕𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗹𝗮 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗸
Famous for its aquatic bird life, Bundala is located at South-east os the country. A handful of elephants reside here along with reptiles, birds and mammals. Bundala is very famous for its crocodiles , its is the only place where you can get a glimpse of both species (the mugger and the Estuarine) that live in Sri Lanka. Aquatic birds such as the black-necked stork , pelicans and other birds including birds who have migrated if you visit the park during the end of the year. The endangered sloth bears, leopards, sambar and barking deer sightings are an integral part of making your visit to the park memorable.
𝗚𝗮𝗹 𝗢𝘆𝗮 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗸
Situated in the eastern province. Established in 1954, thought of as one of the major reserves in Sri Lanka since it has a very rich biodiverity in its 25,900 hectare area. A famous site for bird-watching since about 150 birds can be observed within the santuary. Boat rides are taken to visit the Bird Island which have a very high concentration of birds. This National Park came about when protecting the largest lake in Sri Lanka, the Senanayaka Samudraya.
This reserve is on top of the highest plateau in Sri Lanka established during 1988 officially. You can see a breath-taking view below from the plateau itself, the World’s End is one of best places to get a great view. Visitations should be done early in the morning to get a head start since during the evenings the mist tends to set in.
𝗞𝗮𝘂𝗱𝘂𝗹𝗹𝗮 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲
The latest national park to be opened in Sri Lanka ( 2002 ). Located just 6 km away from the Habarana to Trincomalee road. A really great place to have safaris where you can see endangered species of leopards, bears and elephants almost close up within the 6900 hectare park. The best time to visit is between August to December.
𝗠𝗮𝗱𝘂𝗿𝘂 𝗢𝘆𝗮 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗸
Maduru Oya National Park covers parts of 3 districts, namely Polonnaruwa, Badulla and Ampara. The park covers more than 50,000 hectares and was established on 1983. The park has a archeological significance as well, where Buddha statues are found within the park. The park is home to many animals due to its vast area. Elephants, reptiles, birds, and leopards are a few among the many animals residing in the park. This national park is one of the main bird-watching sites in the country, including aquatic birds such as the white bellied sea eagle.Wild animals that roam the park comprises elephants, bears, leopards, sambhur, water buffalo, purple monkey, variety of deer, reptiles etc. Aquatic birds thriving, associated with the water bodies here are numerous as the white bellied sea eagle, great cormorant, little cormorant, painted stosk.. Omer species of birds are the Sri Lankan jungle fowl, tailorbird, white ramped shama, black hooded oriole, red faced malkoha etc.
𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗶𝘆𝗮 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗸
Covers an impressive area of more than 8000 hectares between Polonnaruwa and Habarana. Home to elephants, leopards and deers providing them with excellent habitats of dense shrubberies and trees along vth a vast grassland. The non-living attraction of the park is the tank built by King Mahasena during the 3rd century before christ. Cold-blooded animals also reside in this park namely , amphibians, reptiles and even fish, and like most of the parks this is another bird-watching paradise with over 130 species of birds. One of the best places to visit for all those nature enthusiasts.