Udawalawe National Park

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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: December to March Read More

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"One of the oldest national parks in Sri Lanka!"

Udawalawe National Park Tourism

Udawalawe National Park is a stunning sanctuary renowned for its diverse wildlife and picturesque landscapes, located in the southern part of Sri Lanka. Covering an area of over 30,000 hectares, Udawalawe is best known for its large population of Asian elephants. The park provides a natural habitat for these majestic creatures, offering visitors the opportunity to observe them in their natural environment. Jeep safaris are a popular way to explore the park, allowing visitors to venture deep into the wilderness and encounter elephants, along with other wildlife such as buffalo, deer, monkeys, and a variety of bird species.

In addition to wildlife safaris, Udawalawe National Park offers other activities such as birdwatching, nature walks, and camping experiences. The landscape of Udawalawe National Park is diverse, comprising grasslands, forests, and wetlands, all of which provide ideal habitats for different species of animals and plants. The centerpiece of the park is the Udawalawe Reservoir, which not only serves as a vital water source for the wildlife but also adds to the scenic beauty of the surroundings.

Udawalawe National Park is easily accessible from various parts of Sri Lanka, including the popular tourist destinations of Kandy and Ella. The park is located approximately 165 kilometers southeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital, and can be reached by road in about four hours.

While Udawalawe itself is not a large town, several accommodation options are available near the park to suit different budgets and preferences. You can choose from eco-lodges, safari camps, guesthouses, and resorts located near the park, offering comfortable lodging and easy access to wildlife experiences. Whether you're a nature lover, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape into the wilderness, a visit to Udawalawe promises an unforgettable adventure.

Things to do in Udawalawe National Park

1. Elephant Watching

Udawalawe is renowned for its elephant sightings, with the park being home to over 500 individuals. Witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat as they roam freely through the park, ofte (Read More)n congregating near water sources such as the Udawalawe Reservoir. The best time one can see the herds of elephants is between 6:00 AM to 10:30 AM and then again from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM. If you are lucky, you might be able to enjoy a long walk or stroll with elephant herds walking with their little ones.

2. Bird Watching

With its diverse ecosystems, Udawalawe National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers, boasting over 200 bird species, including endemic and migratory birds. Keep an eye out for colorful kingfishers, ma (Read More)jestic eagles, vibrant peacocks, and elusive waterfowl as you explore the park's wetlands, grasslands, and forested areas.

3. Nature Trails

Lace up your hiking boots and embark on one of the park's nature trails, which wind through scenic landscapes and offer opportunities for up-close encounters with wildlife and stunning views of the su (Read More)rrounding countryside. Guided nature walks are available for visitors interested in learning about the park's flora, fauna, and conservation efforts from knowledgeable rangers and naturalists.

4. Overnight Camping

For a truly immersive wilderness experience, consider camping overnight near Udawalawe National Park. Spend the night under the stars, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the jungle, and wake up to (Read More) the calls of birds and the rustling of leaves. Camping facilities are available for those who wish to extend their stay and experience the park after dark.

Must Know Before You Travel to Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe Entrance Fees:
USD 29 per person (including  15% VAT) + USD 14 group fee per car
Children (6 to 12 years): USD 15 + VAT
Children (below 6 years): Free
Jeep Charge: LKR 250
Overnight Stay: USD 50 per adult, USD 30 per child
The ticket does not need to be bought in advance and is easily available at the entrance gate
USD and LKR both are accepted
Jeep Safari: Regular Jeep (up to 6 persons): USD 40 - USD 60 for half day tour
Half Day Safari: Around 3-4 hours. Most commonly opted 
Full-Day Safari: Around 7 hours. More suitable for wildlife photographers
Overnight Options: You can book a bungalow on the Department of Wildlife Conservation eService website (https://dwc.lankagate.gov.lk/homeAction.action). It costs USD 125 per person and USD 200 per couple. However, you need to buy full day safari tickets

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Flora in Udawalawe National Park

At the Udawalawe National Park, not only are a number of species of animals and birds, but you can also spot various plants and trees here. The national park is home to a variety of Jasmines (those that grow in India and Sri Lanka), Arjun Tree, Blady Grass and Guinea grass (which are the food sources of elephants), Haldina Cordifolia, which is a deciduous tree, Haldina Cordifolia tree is endemic to Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam and other Asian countries, Milla Vitex is another tree found in this national park, the wood of which is used in making furnitures and other wood items.

Fauna in Udawalawe National Park

The reports of surveys done in the national park suggest that there are nearly 500 elephants here. You will also find mongooses, foxes, leopards, buffaloes, bears, crocodiles and monitor lizards. One can also locate wild boars and jackals. Many jungle cats roam around freely here. Among birds you can witness heron, storks, Green Bee-eater, Kingfisher, Hornbill, Pigeon and many more. There are over a hundred species of birds in this park because of which it is considered a heaven for bird watching. The best way to witness these animals is seeing them in their natural habitat.

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Udawalawe National Park Photos

Udawalawe National Park
Elephants at Udawalawe National Park
Painted Stork at Udawalawe
Wild buffalo at Udawalawe

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FAQs on Udawalawe National Park

What is the best time to visit Udawalawe national park?

Although Sri Lanka is considered to be a year-round destination that's why you'll find a lot of tourists throughout the year. But still, most of them visit during the period of December to March. Wildlife attraction is a lot during this period and there are chances that you'll actually see some leopards, elephants or other wild animals. This park is open throughout the year with safari facility. During September and October, you'll find the water level here going down and if you really want to see some big herds of Asiatic elephants then you must visit between October and January. One interesting fact about Sri Lanka is that it offers guaranteed elephant sightseeing. So your money won't go wasted.
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What are the places near Udawalawe national park?

The top places near to Udawalawe national park are Galle which is 88 km from Udawalawe national park, Kandy which is located 95 km from Udawalawe national park, Nuwara eliya which is located 54 km from Udawalawe national park, Colombo which is located 125 km from Udawalawe national park, Sigiriya which is located 165 km from Udawalawe national park

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