If you’re looking to escape the busy city life in Sri Lanka and escape to nature, camping is one fine way to do so. Here are some excellent sites to get your tent out, set up, and enjoy uninterrupted, stunning landscapes.
Udawalawe National Park
Known for its elephant population, Udawalawe National Park stretches over 30,000 hectares. Animals such as wild boar, jackals, common langurs, sambar dear and over 180 species of birds call this park their home. To travel here, get one of the many self-drive cars in Sri Lanka, offered by the likes of Malkey Rent A Car, where you can drive at your own pace. Depending on the area of the park that you want to camp in, the price may vary.
The central highlands of Sri Lanka emit beauty so splendid that you’ll never want to leave. Famous for its lush green hills and now thriving party scene, Ella will not disappoint hopeful campers! You can also hike Little Adam’s Peak and visit Ravana caves.
Knuckles Mountain Range
Another spectacular location found in central Sri Lanka, Knuckles boasts many forest trails and sites ideal for camping. In fact, this location is ideal for eco-camping, so now only are you enjoying yourself, but you’re also conserving the environment.
Yala National Park
The most renowned National Park in Sri Lanka, Yala is full of picture-perfect sceneries, bordering the Indian Ocean. You will spot many mammals, birds and insects while you’re here, that’s a given! Camping with the sounds of nature and wildlife around you is surreal in Yala. There are also onsite washrooms and barbeque facilities.
The elephant gathering at Minneriya is one of the most famous wildlife phenomena in the world! Elephants from different herds all gather together to travel in search of water to Minneriya Wewa. One could even call it the elephant’s summer home for their summer vacation.
When and where?
Located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, Minneriya National Park is the spot where elephants from all over the country gather. This occurs during the dry season from July to October.
During the dry season of Sri Lanka, the water available for these huge mammals decrease in other parts of the country. Minneriya National Park has plenty of water and shelter for these giants of the wild.
How can I see the gathering?
This is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka. You can rent a vehicle from Malkey Rent A Car and drive up to this region. There are a few hotels that provide easy access to this national park at which you could stay and set out with a guide at the right time.
Best time to go
Although you’ve got time from July to October, the best time to visit for the best experience would be in August and September.
The city of Kandy in Sri Lanka is surrounded by hills and is blessed with many places to see. Compared to the other parts of the country, Kandy has a unique vibe and that’s something very special about it.
Kandy Lake has been constructed in 1807 by the last Kandyan ruler. The feeling you get when walking around this lake while enjoying a mango pickle (what they call as ‘achcharu’) is simply amazing.
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Also known as ‘Sri DaladaMaigawa’, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the holiest places for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It houses the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha.
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Peradeniya Botanical Garden located on the banks of the Mahaweli River is a beautiful park that has thousands of plants and trees which are nicely maintained.
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
Although the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is a little outside of Kandy, with a friendly and cooperative Sri Lanka car hire service the likes of Malkey Rent a Car you’ll be able to cover this attraction also in the same tour. Feeding the baby elephants, bathing them and there are many more interesting moments to be explored here.
Sri Lanka is a Birdwatcher’s Paradise and bird watching sites are dotted all around the island. The country has more than 400 bird species comprising of endemic, resident and migrant birds. There are approximately 23 endemic and 200 migratory birds recorded within the island. The climate and environment of Sri Lanka is very conducive to the well-being of bird life. One of the best things to do in Sri Lanka is bird watching and when travelling around the island, if you are in need of a superbly conditioned vehicle, rental companies such as Malkey Rent a Car would be a good choice.
Kumana National Park (Yala East) 361 km from Colombo on the southeastern coast is the island’s most popular bird sanctuary and famed for its large migratory waterfowl and wading birds. An important feature here is a 200ha water body known as the Kumana Villu which is powered by the Kumbukkan Oya. It is here that many birds nest in May and June. It has been recorded that more than 225 species of birds have been found here, including the rare species of Lesser adjutant, Black necked stork and Eurasian spoonbill. Other birds here include pelicans, spoon bills and painted storks. Bundala National Park is in the Hambantota district of southern Sri Lanka and is the island’s Ramsar wetland site. It is said that each and every water bird in Sri Lanka visits Bundala. It is an internationally recognized wintering site for migrant birds especially the Greater Flamingo who migrate here in large numbers. Kalametiya in the south is the island’s oldest bird sanctuary and the best time to visit is from November to March. Birds here include the Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl, the Sri Lanka Black Capped Purple Kingfisher, and the Indian Reef Heron.
Other great bird watching sites are Kithulgala, the Peak Wilderness, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Udawattekele Sanctuary in Kandy, Horton Plains National Park, Knuckles World Heritage Area, Kandalama Sanctuary, Wilpattu, Chilaw Sand Pits, Anavilundawa Sanctuary, Mannar and Vankalai Sanctuary. Closer to Colombo, the Talangama Tank and Marshes and the Bellanwila –Attidiya Sanctuary are good bird watching areas.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.