Explore Sri Lanka’s Wildlife – A haven for wildlife enthusiasts!

As one of the world’s greatest Biodiversity hotspots, Sri Lanka, is an excellent place to witness wildlife. The island has numerous, amazing wildlife sanctuaries, here are some top spots.

Minneriya|Img via Nature Odyssey

Yala National Park

Being the second largest national park in Sri Lanka, the Yala National Park has been a favourite hotspot among many tourists who visit the country. If you want to spot a leopard, there will be no better place than this! Sloth bears, elephants, and many other creatures can be experienced up close. This dry zone park is just one of the rustic wildlife reserves Nature Odyssey and other leading tour operators in Sri Lanka cover.

Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu is undoubtedly one of the, if not the most, beautiful wildlife park in the country. Situated about 30km from Sri Lanka’s ancient capital, Anuradhapura, Wilpattu is the nation’s oldest national park and its largest one. The National Park’s most prominent feature is its unique complex of more than 50 natural lakes, called ‘Villus’ which largely contribute to both its natural beauty and its lush fertility.

Minneriya National Park

A park that is always covered in most popular adventure tours in Sri Lanka, Minneriya is best known for its large population of migratory elephants. The park is also home to diverse species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even fish. The surroundings too are quite beautiful with dense shrubberies and vast grassy plains.

Bundala National Park

This park is well-known as a wildlife hotspot for aquatic bird life! The most impressive aspect of the park is its terrain made up of sand dunes, scrub jungle, salt pans, lagoons and long stretches of coastline.

 

 

Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting. Google+

Thrilling White Water Rafting in Sri Lanka – An Adrenaline-fuelled Ride!

If your idea of a perfect holiday involves lots of action-packed thrills, then white water rafting in Sri Lanka is for you! Here’s what you need to know about this activity in this tropical island paradise.

White Water Rafting| Img by: Timeworks via Pixabay

Rapids of Sri Lanka

The premier place for white water rafting is Kitulgala, a favourite stop on adventure tours in Sri Lanka. The Kelani River here offers grade two to three rapids ideal for younger participants too. Those with more experience can look to tackle the rapids at the Sitawaka (grade three to four), Mahaweli (grade two to five) or Kotmale (grade four to five) rivers.

The Kitulgala Rapids

Those enjoying white water rafting offered by adventure specialists the likes of Nature Odyssey can look forward to challenging several of the Kelani River’s distinctive rapids. The experience lasts for around 90 minutes and the rapids have uniquely named sections such as Killer Fall, Head Chopper and Butter Crunch!

The Ideal Period

The months from May to December are generally considered the best time for this activity in Kitulgala; this is mainly because the seasonal south-western monsoon makes the river swell which leads to faster rapids too.

Other Activities

The ideal complement to Kitulgala white water rafting is the many activities you can enjoy in and around the Kelani River. These include waterfall abseiling, rainforest trekking, canyoning and performing confidence jumps from varying heights to rock pools below!

 

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Discovering the Amazing Wildlife of Sri Lanka – Encounters in the Wild

One of Sri Lanka’s most captivating highlights is its exotic wildlife. Be it fearsome, feathery, menacing, majestic, stealthy or slithery, these diverse species each have their own unique character!

wildlife SriLanka | Img by: pen_ash via pixabay

Where to Go

The country’s national parks are great places to see local wildlife in their natural habitats. Yala and Minneriya are two of the most popular national parks and are included on excursions by tour operators like Silvertree Travel. Wilpattu, Udawalawe, Bundala and Wasgamuwa are a few of the other parks you can visit too.

Mammals

There are over 120 mammal species including leopards, elephants, sloth bears and toque macaques which can be spotted on adventure tours in Sri Lanka. The sambar deer, giant squirrel, wild boar and porcupine are a few of the other species here. Not to be forgotten are the marine mammals such as whales and dolphins that can be found in the surrounding Indian Ocean.

Birds

A birdwatcher’s paradise, Sri Lanka has recorded a little over 440 bird species. Amongst the endemic species are the Sri Lankan junglefowl, Sri Lanka spurfowl, Layard’s parakeet and yellow-fronted barbet. The island also attracts many migratory species like the lesser sand plover, blue-tailed bee-eater and greater flamingo.

Reptiles

When it comes to snakes one can find species such as the Indian cobra, Russell’s viper and sand boa. Reptile species don’t only include snakes though; mugger and saltwater crocodiles, five turtle species including the green turtle and olive ridley sea turtle, rough-horned and pygmy lizards and water monitors can be found here too.

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A Thrilling Safari at Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka – A Ride to the Wild Side!

From stealthy leopards and grinning crocodiles to majestic eagles and iconic elephants, the Wilpattu National Park in Sri Lanka offers an unforgettable safari into the wild.

Wilpattu National Park| Img by: Hasitha Tudugalle via FlickrCC BY 2.0

 

Getting There

Wilpattu is located around 188 km away from Colombo and the main Hunuwilgama Entrance can be easily accessed from Anuradhapura or Puttalam. The best times for a safari are generally from 6am to 10am and from 3pm to 6pm. Excursions organised by wildlife tour specialists like Nature Odyssey are an ideal option since they offer transport, accommodation and guided jeep safaris.

Mammals

On your adventure tours in Sri Lanka at Wilpattu National Park, you have the chance to see leopards, sloth bears and elephants which are amongst the biggest draws at the park. Spotted deer, water buffalos and wild pigs may also be spotted here.

Birdlife

Wilpattu is made up of “villus” or natural lakes which attract a large variety of bird species. The whistling teal, white ibis and garganey are a few of the wetland bird species that can be spotted, while the Sri Lankan junglefowl, painted stork and eagles also call this park home.

Reptiles

The mugger crocodile is one of the most prominent reptile species in Wilpattu and makes for a great photo opportunity too! The common cobra, Indian python, soft-shelled turtle and monitor lizard are also found at the park.

 

 

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Wildlife in Sri Lanka – A venture into the wilderness

Despite being a relatively small country, the wildlife in Sri Lanka is one of the finest. You’ll be surprised at the number of habitats, herds of elephants, different species of birds, leopards and schools of dolphins are a few to name. The biodiversity on the island is one that will not cease to amaze you.

National Park | Image Credit - Ji-Elle, CC BY-SA 3.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

National Park | Image Credit – Ji-Elle, CC BY-SA 3.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

Yala National Park

Yala forms a total area of 1269 sq. km, 260 km southeast of Colombo. This huge area of grassland, lagoons and the light forest is home to plenty of wildlife. adventure tours in Sri Lanka include Yala National Park as a must visit, since it boasts animals from leopards, elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, etc.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sinhajara is a vast area of tropical rain forest bounded by rivers on three sides, another biodiversity hot spot found in the Island. You can opt for a tour package such as the likes of Silvertree Travel to coordinate and plan.

Pigeon Island National Park

A marine national park in Sri Lanka has located 312 km from Colombo. The sanctuary spans 471.4 hectares in total. On entering the Island, the first thing you’ll witness would be Blue Rock pigeons, an endangered species, nesting and breeding. The island possesses 100 species of exquisite corals, making it a breeding ground for over 300 species of fish.

Uda Walawe National park

This park centres the Uda Walawe reservoir and is ideal for elephant watching. Besides elephants, you’ll spot deer, buffalos, jackals, crocodiles, etc as the lack of dense vegetation makes way for easy spotting.

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Guide to Wildlife Safari in Yala – What you should expect

The mesmerising and informative Yala Safari is something every visitor or native should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Image Credit - Walkers Tours

Image Credit – Walkers Tours

Where to go

Adventure tours in Sri Lanka are rarely planned without including a safari or two in it and of all the places to go to on the island, the Yala National Park attracts the most visitors every year. A Yala Safari can be arranged with the help of any travel agency, Walkers Tours, for example, and you will have a fun-filled day where you watch the wildlife in their natural habitats.

Image Credit - Walkers Tours

Image Credit – Walkers Tours

About Yala Safari Park

Being the second biggest national park in Sri Lanka, it is also known as the Ruhuna National park. Spreading over a massive 979 square kilometres, this reserve is home to many endemic animals and birds, and a few endangered ones too.

The Safari

They pride themselves on providing the best tours and safaris on the island and a guide will take you through the jungles as he explains and shares fun facts about every animal or bird you spot.

What to expect

The Sri Lankan leopard and the Sloth bear are the most sought-after animals, closely followed by the deer, elephants, and crocodiles.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.

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