Bundala National Park Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: October to March Read More

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"Spectacle of Migratory Aquatic Birds!"

Bundala National Park Tourism

Bundala National Park is situated off the Sri Lankan coast, around 12 km away from the port town of Hambantota. Harbouring 197 colourful species of birds each year, the park is an internationally eminent, UNESCO-listed wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka. Bundala is undoubtedly the island nation’s best bird-watching region, home to the rare bird species of painted stork, purple heron and black-headed ibis. Over 50 migratory species, including the greater flamingo, arrive in large flocks during winter, making it a prime attraction for bird watchers, photographers and ornithologists.

In 1969, Bundala National Park was acclaimed as a wildlife sanctuary and biosphere reserve. Ever since, it has been one of Sri Lanka’s most exciting places for jeep safaris, hiking and adventure tourism. Spanning 6,216 hectares, the park’s landscape is a spectacular tapestry of five brackish lagoons with salt pans in three verdant scrubs, marshes and sand dunes. The three most picturesque lagoons with a greater concentration of birds are the Bundala, Ambilikala and Malala lagoons. Ornithologists and nature aficionados can enjoy sighting waterfowls, grey herons, Indian cormorants, and painted storks. In the abundance of Hydrilla in Koholankala lagoon, the thriving species are the Eurasian spoonbill, openbill, small waders and coot.

Bundala National Park’s beaches are breeding grounds for five endangered sea turtle species. Other animals like Sri Lankan elephants, langurs, grey-naped hares, civets, porcupines, monitor lizards, ruddy mongoose, golden jackals, macaque monkeys and crocodiles are also inhabitants of the park.

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Wildlife Safari at Bundala National Park

A wildlife safari is undoubtedly the highlight of a visit to Bundala National Park. Several travel firms organize safaris across the park by jeep at various times of the day. Local guides, well-versed in the knowledge of both the species and the park, join visitors on these safaris.

Fauna at Bundala National Park

The fauna at Bundala comprises around 197 species of birds, most of them being aquatic. These mainly include storks, pelicans, ibises, peafowl, cormorants and sandpipers. Many species migrate to Bundala for the winter, the most famous among them being the greater flamingo. Greater flamingoes are known to migrate in large numbers from the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India. The animal species at Bundala include Asian elephants, grey langurs, wild boars, rusty-spotted cats, macaque, spotted deer, crocodiles, mongoose, and five species of globally endangered sea turtles. In addition to this, around 32 species of fishes and 52 species of butterflies make Bundala their home.

Restaurants and Local Food in Bundala National Park

If you have opted for either a morning or afternoon safari, you can have a meal at the hotel or resort at which you are staying. Full-day excursions at Bundala National Park frequently include both breakfast and lunch. However, many restaurants are in the vicinity of the national park, serving both local as well as international fare.

History of Bundala National Park

As a wintering ground for migratory birds, Bundala was chosen as a wildlife sanctuary under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance in 1969. In 1991, Bundala became the first Ramsar wetland site in Sri Lanka due to its rich diversity of waterfowl. Two years later, Bundala was declared as a national park. In 2005, Bundala National Park was given the status of a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. It is the fourth such biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka.

Best Time to Visit Bundala National Park

Bundala National Park Photos

Bundala National Park
Bundala National Park

FAQs on Bundala National Park

What is the best time to visit Bundala national park?

The best time to visit Bundala National Park is around October to March, as the migratory birds flock to the country in the winter. December is considered to be the best month for birdwatching excursions.

Various safaris are available to explore the national park, ranging from three to four-hour trips to full day tours. The entrance fee to the park is frequently included in these packages. These tours are enjoyable and equally informative as local guides, excellent at identifying both common as well as little-known species, accompany visitors to the park.

It is advisable to opt for an early morning safari to make the most out of a visit to the park. The fauna, particularly the birds, are often numerous and easier to spot in the early hours of dawn; besides, the park is not so crowded, facilitating an incredibly smooth experience. Another preferred time of safari is the late afternoon.
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What are the places near Bundala national park?

The top places near to Bundala national park are Nuwara eliya which is 94 km from Bundala national park, Galle which is located 107 km from Bundala national park, Colombo which is located 167 km from Bundala national park, Kandy which is located 136 km from Bundala national park, Udawalawe national park which is located 44 km from Bundala national park

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