Safari in Udawalawe
UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK is located approximately 200 km south-east of Colombo city and is a major eco tourism destination in Sri Lanka . The 30,821 hectares dry zone game park has an annual rainfall of 1524 mm and an average temperature of 29.4°C.
It is most famous for the many elephants that live there (about 400 in total). During a visit, it is not unusual to see whole herds of adults and young elephants- feeding or bathing and playing in the water! In addition to this main attraction, the park is home to many water buffalo, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard, as well as being an exciting location for bird enthusiasts.
Udawalawe is undoubtedly the best place in Sri Lanka to see wild Asian Elephants throughout the year: there are about 500 elephants in the park and they often roam in herds of up to 100. Udawalawe National Park is unique in terms of consistency in numbers of elephants roaming the park: it has no a seasonal variation in herds of elephants. The best hours to visit the park are in the mornings and evenings. Late evening also affords the photographic opportunities in the backdrop of loveliest sunsets.
Other than the elephants, the national park provides home for many other species of mammals such as the rusty-spotted cat, fishing cat, Sri Lankan leopard etc. The Sri Lankan sloth bear is rarely seen in Udawalawa national park. Sri Lankan sambar deer, Sri Lankan axis deer, Indian muntjac, Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain, wild boar and water buffalo are among other mammal species that could be seen. Golden jackal, Asian palm civet, Toque macaque, Tufted grey langur and Indian hare also reside in the park. The endemic Ceylon spiny mouse was also recorded in Udawalawe national park in 1989.
Udawalawe sanctuary is also known as a good bird watching site in Sri Lanka. Bird lovers would get a wonderful opportunity to observe many different varieties of birds including endemic species and migrants as well. Endemic birds such as Sri Lanka Spurfowl, Red-faced Malkoha, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill and Brown-capped babbler are among the birds found in Udawalawa national park. The reservoir attracts a huge variety of water birds such a cormorants, the Spot-billed pelican, Asian open-bill, Painted stork, Black-headed ibis and Eurasian spoonbill.
Moreover, the open parkland attracts birds of prey such as White-bellied sea eagle, Crested serpent-eagle, Grey-headed fish eagle, Booted eagle, and Changeable hawk-eagle. For the visitors, driving through the park in a 4WD safari jeep is the only permitted way of observing the Udawalawe national park. A half day or full day jeep safari in the Udawalawa national park would certainly become an unfading memory in your life. Explore the wonders of Sri Lanka wild life while gaining an unique experience with a touch of adventure.
Udawalawe National Park – tourist info for Udawalawe national park safari; is an excellent destination to see elephants, with herds of 50 to 60 individuals regularly seen and game drives are in open-top jeeps and accompanied by local wildlife guides.
The Sri Lankan elephant, a distinct sub-species of the mainland Asian elephant of India and Thailand, is the easiest to see. Its gentle demeanor and indomitable size has made this gentle giant a much-loved wildlife icon the world over.
Although as many as 10,000 elephant roamed Sri Lanka at the turn of the century, only some 5,000 live in the wild today. This is largely to the ‘Human Elephant Conflict’ (HEC) that leads to the death of 150-200 elephants each year, causing its classification as an endangered species.
Besides elephant, other mammal species in the park include, sambar, chital and wild boar. Dry zone birdlife includes greyheaded fish eagle, black-shouldered kite, changeable hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, white-bellied sea eagle, shikra, common kestrel, brown fish owl and western marsh harrier.Tags: safari, Sri Lanka, Udawalawe