The Best Safari National Parks in Sri Lanka
Outside of Africa, Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world for a safari, which may surprise you. Given the country’s wonderful wildlife, which includes the ‘Sri Lanka Big Four,’ it’s no surprise that Sri Lanka safaris are popular (elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and blue whales). Because there are so many excellent national parks to explore in Sri Lanka, deciding where to go on safari can be tough. The following is a list of the best national parks in Sri Lanka.
When is the most ideal time to visit Safari?
The two monsoon seasons in Sri Lanka are the northeast monsoon season, which lasts from October to January, and the southwest monsoon season, which lasts from May to July. It’s best to avoid these times because animals will seek shelter and become more difficult to spot. Animals emerge from their hiding places in search of water during the dry seasons, making them perfect for visiting Sri Lanka’s national parks.
When is the ideal time to travel to Africa for a safari?
The northeast monsoon season (October to January) and the southwest monsoon season (February to May) are the two monsoon seasons in Sri Lanka (May to July). It’s best to avoid these times because animals will seek shelter and become harder to find during heavy rains. Animals emerge from their hiding places in search of water during the dry seasons, making them perfect for exploring Sri Lankan national parks.
Safari in the morning or afternoon
Consider going on safari at a different time of day. Because the animals will seek cover during the afternoon sun, this is best done early in the morning or late in the evening. Early in the morning or late in the evening is also a great time to see a breathtaking sunrise or sunset over Sri Lanka’s beautiful surroundings.
Find other individuals to go on the safari with you so that you may split the cost of the jeep rental, lowering the cost of visiting a Sri Lankan national park.
In Sri Lanka, where can you discover wildlife?
Yala National Park in Sri Lanka is one of the country’s most beautiful destinations.
Yala is the most visited national park in Sri Lanka, and with good reason! It is noted for having the highest leopard density in the world (40-50 leopards per square kilometer in Yala). Despite this, because to its elusive nature, sighting a leopard is not certain. However, witnessing a leopard in Yala is significantly more likely than seeing one in any other Sri Lankan park.
Other animals, like as herds of stately elephants and the uncommon sloth bear, reproduce in the lagoons, bushlands, and grasslands.
Cons: Due to its popularity, Yala may become overcrowded. Only a small fraction of the park is open to the public in order to protect the ecosystem and animals. Always act ethically and attempt to travel in a sustainable manner.
Yala’s neighbor, Udawalawe, is a lesser-known island. Despite being less popular, it is an excellent place to see wildlife because of its small size and extensive vistas. It’s particularly good for spotting elephants, as the park has roughly 400-500 of them, which is an unusually high density for such a small area! It’s also a fantastic area for birdwatching, and it’s regarded as one of the best in the country.
Udawalawe is Sri Lanka’s best national park for intimate encounters with elephants! This is due to the fact that the elephants in this area are rather confident and may approach cars quite close. Udawalawe has the added benefit of being primarily open grassland (not many trees or bushes). As a result, it’s a lot easier.simpler to locate the animals and take in the stunning vistas of Sri Lanka’s plains.
Seeing leopards is difficult (there are about half as many as in Yala), and there aren’t many other species to see besides birds and elephants.
Udawalawe is Sri Lanka’s best national park for intimate encounters with elephants! This is due to the fact that the elephants in this area are rather confident and may approach cars quite close. Udawalawe has the added benefit of being primarily open grassland (not many trees or bushes). As a result, finding the animals and admiring the stunning views of Sri Lanka’s plains is much easier.
There aren’t many other species to view besides birds and elephants, and seeing leopards is tough (there are roughly half as many as in Yala).
Minnerriya is known for its incredible ‘elephant gathering.’ In September/October, the lake dries out, and elephants congregate around it to graze on the grassland. Seeing hundreds of elephants crammed into a small space is one of the most incredible sights. Bird enthusiasts will enjoy the lake because it is home to a broad diversity of birds.
Downsides: Except for elephants and birds, visitors are unlikely to see the same variety of species as they would in other Sri Lankan national parks.
Despite the fact that Minerriya is significantly more well-known, Kaudulla is right next door and has amazing flora. Elephants travel freely between habitats, therefore large herds of elephants may be seen here. There aren’t as many jeeps in the area because the park isn’t as vast or well-known as others, making for a much peaceful experience. Leopards have even been spotted by tourists on rare occasions.
Willpatu National Park in Sri Lanka is a hidden gem famed for sightings of the secretive sloth bear. It was Sri Lanka’s first national park (together with Yala) and is the country’s largest. It was established in 1938. The park is densely populated, and leopard sightings are second only to Yala’s.
It has the potential to surpass Yala in terms of magnificent beauty and tranquil settings. Because there aren’t many other jeeps in the park, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one there. Willpatu also has the best infrastructure, so if you’re looking for a terrific jeep excursion, here is the place to go.
Which national park in Sri Lanka is the best?
The verdict is Willpatu! The beauty of this park is breathtaking, and it’s made much more so by the fact that it’s relatively unknown and peaceful. Because it’s so tranquil, it’s an excellent place to see wildlife, and there’s a strong chance you’ll see a variety of species. Given all of these benefits, the cost is reasonable, and the chances of seeing leopards are comparable to those seen in Yala.
Things to Remember When Preparing for a Safari
- Wear clothes that are unobtrusive, loose, and comfortable. Bring additional layers in case the weather changes.
- Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty if you get out of the vehicle.
- Zoom lens and camera
- Sun cream