A Guide to Wildlife in Sri Lanka


If you are looking for a “wild” holiday which is more about wildlife encounters than nightlife fun, then Sri Lanka is an ideal destination! Here’s a glimpse into the many species you may come across.

Sri Lanka has over 100 mammal species including the endemic leopard and elephant. Leopards can be spotted at the Yala National Park, while elephants can be seen at Minneriya National Park near Habarana; hotel options in the area such as Cinnamon Lodge Habarana offer excursions to see “The Gathering” of hundreds of elephants around July. The sloth bear, sambar deer, toque macaque and European otter are some of the other local mammals.

Over 500 species of birds have been recorded in Sri Lanka which encompasses endemic (like the Sri Lankanjunglefowl and Sri Lanka spurfowl) and migratory (like the Pacific golden plover and greater flamingo) species.The Sinharaja Forest Reserve andBundala National Park are two bird watching hotspots.

There are plenty of reptile species in the island which include a great many snakes such as the sand boa, green vine snake andIndian cobra. Also grouped amongst reptiles are the mugger and saltwater crocodiles as well as five sea turtle species like olive ridley, hawksbill and green turtles.

Marine Species
Out at sea, Sri Lanka is blessed with more diversity and one will find over 900 marine fish species; these include reef fish as well as larger varieties like marlin and sailfish. The country also offers one a chance to spot marine mammals from blue and sperm whales to spinner and bottlenose dolphins.\