If beautiful beaches, delicious food, rich culture and stunning landscape aren’t enough to convince you to hop on a plane to Sri Lanka, then take a look at the amazing wildlife that this little island in the Indian Ocean offers. Despite its size, the country possesses an extremely high degree of biodiversity and is considered one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world. Going on a safari in Sri Lanka is one of the best things to add to your itinerary.
Love elephants and wondering where to see elephants in Sri Lanka? Go on a wildlife safari in Udawalawa National Park where hundreds of elephants roam free – read on for everything you need to know to help plan your Udawalawa National Park Sri Lanka Day Tour!
If you are visiting Sri Lanka and (especially the southern province), then chances are that you are weighing up between a safari in Yala National Park or Udawalawa National Park. Both are fantastic and within a few hours’ drive of each other, but Udawalawa is popular among those who want guaranteed elephant sightings; Udawalawa is also about a third of the size of Yala and typically less crowded.
Udawalawa National Park is located in the south of Sri Lanka and is a popular destination for those hoping to spot wild elephants. It is quite possibly the best place in Sri Lanka to see elephants throughout the year as there are a few hundred elephants within the park, and you can sometimes witness a herd of females moving or bathing together in the wild. According to the World Animal Protection Organization’s Research Report on the conditions for elephants used in tourism in Asia, Sri Lanka has the highest density of wild Asian elephants worldwide: an estimated five to six thousand in the wild and 120 to 200 in captivity. I would argue that Sri Lanka is one of the top destinations in Asia if you want to see an elephant in the wild, as Sri Lanka has done a wonderful job of protecting its wildlife while also making it accessible to visitors.
How do get to Udawalawa National Park?
The best way to get to Udawalawa is Evergreen Travels. If you are traveling from Colombo to Udawalawa National Park be prepared for a 4-5 hour car ride. If you think Sri Lanka Classic tour is the best way of Evergreen Travels.
When should I visit Udawalawa National Park?
Udawalawa is in a hot, semi-arid environment and the annual average temperature is about 32 degrees Celsius. The chance of witnessing a herd of Sri Lankan elephants is extremely high near rivers and the reservoir of Udawalawa, and this chance increases during the dry season when the elephants gather near bodies of water. The dry season of the region is between May and September.
What should I bring on the safari?
Udawalawa National Park is an amazing destination for wildlife photography. Bring a camera and zoom lens (75 mm-300 mm or even more zoomed in if you have one), you’re unlikely to get any good shots using your smartphone.
Which national park is better? Udawalawa National Park or Yala National Park?
As both national parks are in the Southern Province, many people find themselves debating whether to visit Udawalawa or Yala National Park – which safari in Sri Lanka you go on depends on several factors. I’ve been to both, and I can wholeheartedly say that they are different enough to warrant a visit to both. If you only have time for 1, then you’ll have to decide what animals you’re hoping to see. If you’re desperate for a chance of spotting a leopard, then Yala National Park is your best bet as it boasts one of the highest leopard densities in the world. Like all safaris though, a sighting is not guaranteed – I’ve been on three safaris in Yala and have yet to see a leopard. You are also likely to see a few elephants, though not as many as if you were to visit Udawalawa National Park as it is three times the size and animals are more spread out.