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Imagine watching elephant families frolicing in a wateringhole, a leopard prowling the forest in search of its next meal, or the silhouette of a grazing sambar deer against a crimson sunset. These are just some of the spectacular sights you can expect at Udawalawe National Park.
Udawalawe is much smaller than it’s big sister Yala (a third of the size to be exact), but don’t be fooled. This is one of Sri Lanka’s top wildlife reserves, offering a rich variety of exotic species. Thanks to the high population of elephants, sightings of these majestic mammals are common, and you’ll get the rare opportunity to see them feed, bathe and play up-close. Another popular attraction of the park is the Elephant Transit Home, which helps to rehabilitate injured or orphaned calves and release them back into the wild.
Aside from Sri Lankan elephants, there’s an extensive variety of other mammals, reptiles, fish, birds and plant life in Udawalawe National Park. And it’s not all about animal encounters either. The park’s scenery is an attraction in itself - from the rolling hills to the glistening reservoir, you can’t help but feel awe-struck by this abundant natural habitat.
Ready to release your inner wildlife photographer? Bring your camera and get ready to capture some of shots of the world’s most magnificent creatures and pristine landscapes.
If you want to add Udawalawe National Park to your trip, start with our Sri Lanka Classic base itinerary. You can then click on the Nature or Heritage button or select Udawalawe using the interactive map. Finally, choose from a range of other exciting destinations to really make your trip your own. Head over to the itinerary builder now to get started.
Udawalawe National Park is also a bird-watcher’s paradise. Look out for endemic residents such as the Sri Lanka superfowl and junglefowl, red-faced malkoha and brown-capped babbler, as well as rare species such as the white wagtail.
Want to tailor your holiday around your own interests? Simply add an experience pack to your trip. Have a look at our Itinerary Builder to see what else you could be doing!
The main event here is the elephants. The park is home to hundreds of these magnificent mammals, and it’s not uncommon to see herds of up to 50 feeding and bathing near the reservoir and rivers. Another draw for animal-lovers is the Elephant Transit Home, where orphaned baby elephants are cared for until they’re ready to live in the wild. So far, more than 100 calves have been rehabilitated and released, many into Udawalawe National Park.Discover more
With unspoilt scenery and once-in-a-lifetime animal encounters, Udawalawe National Park safaris should be at the top of every nature-lover’s wish list. Have a read of our blogs for further inspiration and tips on how you can make the most of your trip.
Despite its compact size, Sri Lanka has a rich variety of flora and fauna, making it one of the top safari destinations in Asia.
We’ve handpicked Sri Lanka’s highlights – all of its must-see destinations – and curated a customisable base itinerary accordingly.
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