Sri Lanka for Wildlife lovers – Exploring the wilderness of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country with a rich bio-diversity and many landscapes. Here is a list of the best national parks, spread across the island, giving you a taste of the different environments.

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Yala National Park

Yala National Park is located 260km from Colombo. It will approximately take you 3 hours to reach Yala. There are three sanctuaries and five smaller national parks. Yala is very popular among tourists as well as local nature lovers. The location of the park, climate and the leopard population are some of the key factors that attract many travellers to the park.


Udawalawe National Park is 5 hours away from Colombo. The park is in the South East part of Sri Lanka, belonging to the Uva Province. You can arrange a camping trip to Udawalawe and spend the night. Bonfires and the quiet forest will be a highlight of your vacation. A Sinharaja eco lodge in Sri Lanka the likes of Rainforest EcoLodge would be a good accommodation choice.


This is one of the more scenic wildlife parks on the island. The park is located 5 hours away from Colombo and is closer to the town of Anuradhapura. October is the best month to visit Wilpattu.


Kumana is different from the rest of the national parks. It is popular for being the home for thousands of bird species. There are many endangered species and migrant birds in the park. The wading bird and waterfowls are some of the most popular immigrant birds here. Don’t visit the park during May because that’s when the birds settle into their nests.

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Explore the Rainforests in Sri Lanka – Discover the Bounty of Nature

A vital part of the country’s ecosystem, the rainforests of Sri Lanka are rich storehouses of endemic flora and fauna, each one offering something new to discover.

Udawatta Kele

Udawatta Kele | Image Credit : Nyanatusita, Udawattakele Forest scene 4, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Sinharaja Rainforest

When it comes to primary tropical rainforests in Sri Lanka, Sinharaja is the last viable area and thus of immense importance. Nature lovers can stay at a Sinharaja eco lodge Sri Lanka has to offer at the reserve’s border such as The Rainforest Ecolodge and explore this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve; it is home to over 147 bird species as well as a vast amount of endemic trees, butterflies, mammals and reptiles.

The Makandawa Forest Reserve

Located near the island’s white water rafting hotspot of Kitulgala, this pristine reserve features a secondary lowland rainforest. The forest ecosystem is blessed with waterfalls, rock pools and a wide number of rare fish, bird, butterfly and dragonfly species.

The Kanneliya Forest Reserve

Another UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Sri Lanka, Kanneliya has lowland rainforests which have plenty of endemic flora and fauna. Amongst the highlights here are the varied snake, fish, lizard and bird species along with natural attractions like the Narangas and Anagimale waterfalls.

The Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

Located in the hill capital, Kandy, this sanctuary is made up of small forest areas where one will find a wide range of plant species as well as endemic bird species. Easy to explore, the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary is also known for its endemic mammals as well as amphibians and reptiles.

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The Enchanting Sinharaja Rainforest in Sri Lanka – A Natural and National Treasure

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sinharaja Rainforest is a rich storehouse of biodiversity home to an array of endemic flora and fauna. If you love communing with nature this is definitely a place you should explore!

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Planning a Trip

This rainforest can be found in the south-west part of the island; it can be reached via Ratnapura, Deniyaya or Rakwana depending on where you are coming from. Of course, to fully utilise your time here choosing accommodation options like The Rainforest Ecolodge – Sinharaja which lies at the fringes of the reserve is a good idea.

Exploring the Trails

Those staying at a Sinharaja eco lodge Sri Lanka has to offer can look forward to spending lots of time trekking through the rainforest. The two main trails here are the Mulawella and Sinhagala trails, both of which offer a wonderful chance to experience the beauty of this World Biosphere Reserve.


The Sinharaja Rainforest is ideal for birdwatching and in fact, 21 of the country’s 26 endemic bird species have been recorded here. Keep a look out for sightings of the Ceylon grey hornbill, Ceylon wood pigeon, Ceylon blue magpie, Layard’s parakeet and Sri Lankan junglefowl to name but a few.

Other Wildlife

On your adventures, you may spot other endemic creatures as well including the torque macaque, purple-faced leaf monkey and giant squirrel. The rainforest is also home to many butterfly and reptile species too which add to its allure.

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