National Parks of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is rich in a variety of national parks that you can visit during your trip to our island. The national parks of Sri Lanka are protected by the Department of Wildlife and Conservation. When visiting national parks by foreign tourists it is necessary to observe a set of rules of conduct, which your guide will tell you. This, first of all, will concern your movement, compliance with routes, stops on the national park. Compliance with the rules will allow you to avoid unfavorable situations at the time of visiting the national park.

Kumana — National Park
The Kumana National Park covers an area of about 18,149 hectares of land. It is located in the south-eastern part of Sri Lanka. This sanctuary of birds is a tourist attraction for ornithologists. Kumana borders on the Yala National Park. Kumana was previously known as the Yala-East National Park, but changed the current name on September 5, 2006. The park was opened in March 2003 after it was closed since 1985 because of the civil war in Sri Lanka.
There is a marsh lake with an area of about 200 hectares, known as the Kumana Villu in the Kumana National Park. In May and June, numerous species of water birds nest around this marshy area.
In the National Park, birds such as herons, white herons, white ibises, spoonbills, painted storks and pelicans nest. They can easily be found in the Kumana National Park. Very rare species of storks with a black neck, with thick knees, Eurasian spoonbill and other species can also be found in this national park. The fauna of the park consists mainly of various mangrove. Trees of a camboo and a fern of a karan grow in this region.
In Kumana, various species of animals have been found, such as boar, elephant, otter, golden jackal and cat-fisher. Indian black turtle, quilted tortoiseshell, marsh crocodile also live here.

Kumbukkan Oya forms the southern border of the national park. About 20 lagoons and artificial lakes support an extensive bird habitat in the national park. The lagoons are shallow, with depths of less than 2 meters. Kumana Villu is sometimes flooded with sea water. The height of the area varies from sea level to 90 meters. The average annual temperature is 27.30°C and the area receives 1300 mm of precipitation a year.
Wetlands of the park are surrounded by a dry zone of tropical forests with spiked plants. The flora of the internal forests is dominated by Manikara Hexandra (Sinhalese: palu), Hemycilea sepiaea, Bauchinia racemose, Cassia (Echnela), sateen tree (Burutha) and Salvadora Persian. The dominant tree of Kumana Villu is the Sonneratia caseolaris, while the narrow-leaved cattail is the dominant reed. The Terminalia Arjuna dominates in the coastal forests along the Kumbukkan Oya. Common aquatic plants on the swamp are colorful — Ludwigia SPP., Lotus Komarov, Nymphaea fluffy, Aponegoton SPP. and Neptunia oleracea.

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Pigeon Island — National Park
This park is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka. The National Park is 1 km away. from the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal city in the Eastern Province. The name of the island comes from a blue dove, which colonized it. The national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka. Pigeon Island was designated as a sanctuary in 1963, and in 2003 it was renamed the National Park. This national park is the 17th in Sri Lanka. The island was used as a shooting ground in the colonial era. Pigeon Island is one of the protected areas affected by the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004.

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Gal Oya — National Park
After the end of the civil war in 2009, Gal Oya became a major tourist destination for local and foreign tourists in Sri Lanka. Gal Oya is 314 km away. from Colombo, and was established on 12 February 1954, in order to protect part of the 100,000 hectares of the catchment area of the massive Senanayake Samudra. There is a dam on a river called Gal Oya with the goal of opening up to 162,000 hectares of forest land for agricultural development. The object was transferred to the Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1965. Located in a tranquil area in the areas of Monaragala and Ampara. You can get here from the areas of the deep south and east of the country.

There are no hotels here, and to the nearest settlement Ekgal Aru — 23 km. in the east. It is a tall, beautiful structure with a large, beautiful garden, beautifully located overlooking the reservoir. The best way to really see the Gal Oya National Park and wildlife. Here you can arrange a trip by boat to the reservoir. The best time to visit is from March to July, when elephants of the district gather in shallow water to feed on aquatic vegetation. It is also a great place for bird watching. In addition to the abundance of birds, the park also covers a variety of mammals and reptiles common to the dry zone of Sri Lanka.
The vegetation structure of the park is a mixture of a thick, dry forest zone, savannah and meadows with some residual areas of Chen in the west. The highest point in this Govindahela region, with a height of 573 meters with the exposure of granites, is located next to the south-western part of the park.
Because of, perhaps, its slightly uncomfortable location, Gal Oya is often bypassed by guests both local and foreign. It is an unhindered nature combined with a truly awesome natural beauty makes the trip here so worthwhile. The park is also unique in the country.
In Gal-Oya you can get to the routes ColomboRatnapura, Pelmadulla, Udawalawe, Tanamalwila, Wellawaya, Monaragala, and then north from Siyamabalanduwa to Inginiyagala. The entrance to the park is 20 km away west of the city of Ampara in Inginiyagala. Inginiyagala gives tourists the opportunity to ride a boat along the large reservoir of Senanayake Samudra. Ampara can be reached either by domestic flight or bus through Hambantota and Monaragala (flight GalleBatticaloa).

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Dehiwala — Zoological Park
Approximately 10 kilometers from the capital of Colombo is the best and oldest zoo in Asia — the Zoological Garden of Dehiwala. On the territory of the zoo there are about 4000 animals, more than 350 different species. Every evening at the zoo, performances are performed by trained elephants. In addition to animal enclosures, you can visit the Butterfly Garden, lake with reptiles, aquarium and souvenir shop.
Like any zoo, the goal of the Dehiwala Zoo is to preserve and protect various forms of animal life. The zoo was originally founded by John Hargenberg. He collected and saved the animals in the place of the present zoo, which was then in his possession. Hargenberg also sent animals to Europe for his brother, who was a prominent animal dealer at the time.
A large number of various animals can be found here. These include 100 species of mammals, 110 species of birds and 35 species of reptiles. Also here are various fish, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and marine invertebrates.
Some of the brightest animals that can be found here include leopards, dwarf hippos, deer, jackals, and spider monkeys.
Birds inhabit an enclosure that provides guests with passage through an area that is filled with various plants from different parts of Sri Lanka. Discover the jungle of birds, swans and parrots.
The zoo contains turtles, snakes, and of course crocodiles from the mouths, which can initially be found in many coastal rivers and lakes of Sri Lanka.
The star attraction of the zoo is its aquarium, where an impressive array of marine life is located. Here, too, is a collection of corals, echinodermata, arthropods and mollusks.
Butterfly lovers will not be disappointed by the visit to the zoo, since it is home to the relatively small but charming collection of these creatures. Placed in a special place butterflies live in bushes bushes, on flowers and vines that are grown here.
Nature lovers will be delighted by the visit to the Dehiwala Zoo, which is also ideal for a walk with the family.

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Bundala — National Park
Located about 15 kilometers east of Hambantota, Bundala National Park is one of the leading areas in Sri Lanka for ornithologists, protecting an important area of coastal wetlands known for their abundant aquatic environment of birds. In 1991, Bundala became the first wetland that was announced on the site by the Ramsar site in Sri Lanka. In 2005, the national park was designated as the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the 4th biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka. National Park is located 245 kilometers south-east from Colombo. The park is also home to significant populations of elephants, marsh and mouth crocodiles, turtles and other fauna, including the leopard. Stretching along the coast to the east of Hambantota, Bundala is ideal for instant gratification: 4 hours drive by jeep, you can see elephants, crocodiles, giant squirrels and flamingos. In the afternoon safari in the dry season (December — May) is the best chance to see wildlife.

This area was declared a wildlife sanctuary on December 5, 1969, and was upgraded to the status of a national park on January 4, 1993 with a land plot of 6,216 hectares. However, later the original park was reduced to 3698 hectares. In January 2006, the area next to the Bundala with an area of 3339.38 hectares was declared a Wilmann sanctuary.
324 species of vertebrate animals are registered in the national park, including 32 fish species, 15 species of amphibians, 48 species of reptiles, 197 bird species and 32 species of mammals. In addition, the Bundala has 52 species of butterflies and other invertebrates.
In the lakes are found a variety of fish, both freshwater and marine. The beach adjacent to the national park is a masonry place for all five endangered species of sea turtles visiting Sri Lanka. Also in the Bundal live two species of crocodiles — combed and marsh. The herpetofauna is represented by at least two endemics: the South Ceylon toad and the serpent of the xenochrophis asperiium species.
Bundala is the most important transit point for many kinds of migratory birds that spend the winter here. More than 20 000 migratory birds annually rest and feed on the territory of the national park. This, above all, the population of pink flamingos, ibis, marabou, pelicans, shells, ducks, teals, herons, spoonbills, coots, plovers, and so on.
In savannas and forests are home to the Sri Lankan subspecies of the Indian elephant, Sri Lankan subspecies of sambar, leopard, wild boar, Indian gray mongoose, sloth bear, the Sri Lankan Axis, small civet, jackal, porcupine, buffalo and other animals. Park is about one and a half hours to drive from the Lankarus location.

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Minneriya — National Park
The Minneriya National Park is located in the north-central Plain of Sri Lanka, 20 km. from Polonnaruwa. Even if it is one of the smallest national parks in the country, covering only 8,889 acres, this is a paradise with many natural wonders. The park encompasses the beautiful artificial lake of Minneriya, built by King Mahasena in the 3rd century AD. This tank is an incredible place to watch the elephants that come to swim and graze on the grass. There are huge flocks of cormorants, painted storks, pelicans and many species of birds who come to fish in shallow water.

The main entrance to the park of Minneriya is located in front of the road of Habarana — Polonnaruwa (A11). From Colombo to reach Habarana, you can go through Kurunegala, Dambulla (A1, A6), then turn the right from Habarana to Polonnaruwa. The trip is 10 km. In the direction of Polonnaruwa ends with the entrance to the National Park of Minneriya. The distance from Colombo is about 182 km., And the total driving time is about 4-5 hours.
The best months to visit Minneriya are from June to September. Hundreds of elephants from the vicinity come here for food and water. As a rule, you can observe from 5 to 10 elephants, and occasionally from 20 to 50 individuals of all age groups.
In Minneriya there are 9 species of amphibians, 24 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish (three of which are endangered), 75 species of butterflies and 160 species of birds. Keeping your way through the park, you will see spotted deer, as well as samba, that is, deer without spots. If you are lucky, the leopard in search of food can cross your path. Equally intriguing are frogs and lizards. Among the reptiles there is a red-lipped lizard and skink. Both endemic to Sri Lanka, are under threat. Frogs tend to jump over your feet or sit near the footpath. Sri Lanka, where more than 400 species of birds live, has long become a paradise for ornithologists. In Minneriya, only 160 species crowd on trees or near the water of the lake. You can see stained storks, large white pelicans, gray herons. Here live jungle birds, Sri Lankan hanging parakeets, Sri Lankan brown bubble and gray rhinoceros. You will not meet them anywhere else, except Sri Lanka. Even if you are not an enthusiast in the study of birds, at least, you will be able to brag a trip, saying your interlocutors some exotic names of birds.

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Ussangoda — National Park
On the high road of the South Highway you will reach Ambalantota, the nearest town near the residence of Lankarus, and undoubtedly, pointers with the name of Ussangoda, will attract your attention. The road turns to the sea, and a few minutes drive and after climbing the mountain, you will reach a kind of landscape that is shrouded in mystery and has not been properly studied.
The landscape that opens before you and strange and wonderful. The vast majority of the land, which extends in all directions, is hardly covered by tall trees and short grass or moss. In some places, also circular islands of vegetation are defined, but no tall trees! The land here is dark red, giving the landscape a Martian look. This place, as it is believed in the people, has strange and mystical powers. Many legends and stories about it go from mouth to mouth among the locals.

Here, as some believe, a meteorite has fallen a long time ago, which explains the barren nature of the soil and the peculiar model of vegetation growth.
This peculiar land attracts many small wild animals and a variety of birds, and is also a haven for rare medicinal plants.
Here experiments were conducted on the introduction of tree planting in different years, but none succeeded, because, for unclear reasons, there was a disturbance of the soil, and not every plant here takes root.
The path of the natural park also leads to the sea coast, and suddenly you will find yourself standing on the edge of a cliff of red earth. From here opens to nothing incomparable, alien view of the beach and the ocean with its deep turquoise waters, noisy blue waves and white foam surf on the red sand. A charming picture of freedom, nature in its best and exotic manifestation, just a few kilometers from Kahandamodara — the residence place of Lankarus.

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Yala — National ParkThe national park is situated in the south-eastern part of the island. Its total length is 97881 hectares. The Yala Park is divided into 5 blocks. At the entrance to the park there are several partner hotels of Lankarus.

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Udawalawe — National Park
National Park in Udalave is located in the dry zone of the island. The total area is 30 821 hectares. It was founded in 1972. It takes about 1 hour to drive from Kahandamodara.

Wasgamuwa — National Park
The National Park of Wagamuwa was founded in 1938 as a closed for visiting reserve, but, in accordance with the decision of the Government of Sri Lanka, in 1984 it acquired the status of the National Park. Its territory covers the central and northern parts of the island and is 39 322 hectares.

Maduru Oya — National Park
Maduru Oya is located in the east Sri Lanka. Of great interest to travelers is the richness of the flora and fauna of this national park. Here you can observe a unique spectacle — large herds of elephants migrate to the Maduru Oya reservoir.

Weerawila — Nature Reserve
Weerawila is a nature reserve, the main attraction of which is that on its territory there are three magnificent lakes — Weerawila Wewa, Debara Wewa and Pannagamuva Wewa. Yodha Wewa and Tissa Wewa are two more lakes that are located near the reserve. These lakes are ideal places for bird habitat.

Horton Plains — National Park
Plateau of Horton is the main feature of this national park. It is located on the highest plateau of the country. It was founded in 1988. The total area is 3160 hectares.

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Wilpattu — National Park
Wilpattu is one of the oldest national parks, located in the northwest part of the island, on the coast. The total area is 131693 hectares. A unique feature of this park is the existence of natural lakes (in Sinhala: willu).

Giritale — National Park
Giritale is a creation of nature with an ancient reservoir, wild life and the community of agriculture.

Habarana — National Park
Elephants are the main attraction in the National Park of Habarana on the way to the north of Sri Lanka. The reservoir, forest and peaceful environment of the Habarans will be appreciated by any tourist who enjoys wild life or safari for elephants, birds and a trip by nature.

Lahugala — National Park
Lahugala — beautiful National Park in east coast near Arugam Bay. This is the place where you can see wild elephants right from the shore. You can see a herd of elephants that differ from others in other national parks.

Randenigala — Wildlife Preserve
Located in the central part of Sri Lanka Randenigala is an ecologically clean place and the National Park which centered around the reservoir of Randenigala. Here wildlife lives in many communities of plants and animals.

Visit during your stay in Sri Lanka in one of the many national parks and reserves, because without a visit you simply miss the unique beauty of nature one of the most exciting countries in the world, which can then be long regret! Please contact your Lankarus manager to make plan for your route and accommodation in the protected area in the best hotels of Sri Lanka.


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