Top Reasons to Visit Sri Lanka

While the island of Sri Lanka may be relatively small, within this land one will find a diverse range of attractions and things to do. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit.

Exciting Adventures
Thrill-seekers have much to enjoy when it comes to an adventure tour; Sri Lanka is an ideal place for trekking in the Knuckles Mountain Range, white water rafting along the Kelani River in Kitulgala and hiking to the summit of Adam’s Peak which has around 5,500steps!

Gorgeous Beaches

Praveenshashika, Secret beach – Mirissa Sri Lanka, CC BY-SA 4.0

There are some truly sublime beaches around the island which can easily be explored with tour specialists like Walkers Tours. South coast highlights include the Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa and Bentota beaches, while on the east coast you get Pasikuda and Arugam Bay, the latter being a surfing hotspot too.

Rich Heritage
The island has a rich heritage which can be experienced at many historical attractions in Sri Lanka including the iconic Sigiriya rock fortress and the archaeological sites in Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura. Other cultural sites include the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy and the colonial Dutch Fort in Galle.

Diverse Wildlife
There are many national parks in the country which provide encounters with a range of animal and bird species. Wildlife safaris in Sri Lanka give you a chance to spot leopards inYala andWilpattu, elephants in Minneriya and Udawalawe, birdlife in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve and even blue whales in Mirissa!

 

 

Thrilling Safaris at Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Ever had the thrill of seeing regal leopards and majestic elephants roam free in their natural habitats? Such wildlife encounters and a whole lot more awaits at the Yala National Park!

Plan Your Safari
Located in the southeast part of the country, this park can be accessed via the gates at locations such as Palatupana and Katagamuwa. For a safari tour, Sri Lanka is best explored via 4WD vehicles and Yala is no exception. A little after 6:00am and again after 4:00pm are generally the best times for spotting wildlife.

Kings of Yala
The apex predator at the park is the Sri Lankan leopard; safaris here are very popular since it has the world’s highest density of leopards in the wild. Such wildlife drives can be organised by local travel specialists the likes of Walkers Tours as part of unforgettable excursions to spot these stealthy felines.

Other Wildlife
On your adventures in Yala, you mayobserve many other creatures too including elephants who may be gentle giants, but shouldn’t be disturbed! Keep watch to also spot sloth bears, water buffalos, spotted deer, toque macaques and mugger crocodiles. Part of the park encompasses the coast where sea turtles are known to visit too.

Diverse Birdlife
Equally impressive are the diverse bird species at Yala; one of the best places for birdwatching in Sri Lanka, the park has recorded around 215 bird species. These includeendemic varieties such as the Sri Lanka wood pigeon, Sri Lanka grey hornbill and Sri Lankan junglefowl which is also the nation’s national bird.

 

 

Yala National Park Sri Lanka

If you’re planning to tour Sri Lanka, you should definitely make plans to view the island’s amazing wildlife. In recent times, Sri Lanka has been cited as a premier destination for safari-goers outside of Africa. This is in large part due to the numerous national parks doted around the island, and among these ones clearly stands out – Yala National Park.

The Location

Yala is situated in the South-Eastern edge of Sri Lanka, bordered by the waters of the Indian Ocean to the south. The park stretches for over 130,000 hectares and consists of a variety of biomes, from dense scrub forests to lagoons surrounded by fertile grassland. Due to Sri Lanka’s highly developed road network, reaching the park mis relatively easy by car – it’s a 300km drive from Colombo via the Southern Express Highway.

Leopard Watching at Yala

If there’s one thing Yala is known for above all else, it’s for its leopards. In fact, Yala boasts one of the highest concentrations of leopard anywhere in the world! Due to a large number of vehicles that pass through Yala near every day, these big cats have become habituated to safari jeeps and do not shy way from them. As such many safari operators – like Walkers Tours – make a point to seek out these elusive big cats, providing you with some excellent photo opportunities.

The Elephant Herds of Yala

Leopards aren’t the only stars of Yala, as the park is home to several herds of majestic Sri Lankan elephant. There exists a natural corridor that connects Yala to Uda Walwe National Park, and the elephants regularly use it to travel back and forth between the two protected areas. If you’re aching to get a good look at these gentle pachyderms, the dry season which lasts from May to August is the best time to visit.

The Other Denizens

While the big cats and elephants are the park’s main attractions, they are by no means its only residents. Yala is, in fact, a bird lover’s paradise – it is home to over 130 species of birds, including the rare black-necked stork and raptors like the crested serpent eagle. If you visit the banks of the park’s many lagoons and tanks, you’re bound to spot basking mugger crocodiles and the odd monitor lizard. Ungulates like chital and sambar – favourite prey of the leopard – are also a common site.

 

 

Top reasons to visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is indeed a great destination for any type of traveller, from any part of the world. Although it’s just a small island, the heritage, scenic beauty and the hospitality of its people are just unmatchable with any other country in the world.

It’s a paradise for surfers

If adventure is the main purpose of your tour in Sri Lanka, why miss a great surfing session on the Sri Lankan seas that have the best waves and reef breaks that are ideal for this!?

Sri Lankan local cuisine is mind-blowing

Arrange your tour with popular travel partners like Walkers Tours and explore the local lives of the Sri Lankans within a day or two. Try some of their local food items that are simple and of course the most delicious!

It’s so rich in wildlife biodiversity

 

Img via Walkers Tours

Sri Lanka is one of the best biodiversity hotspots in the world. Considering the number of national parks, elephant and bird sanctuaries that it has, it’s no wonder that this country is the best for any nature lover.

Its culture is just so magical

The proud heritage that this country holds is beyond our average imagination. Enjoy the festivals and rituals that Sri Lankans celebrate quite so regularly, and you will feel this uniqueness.

 

Wildlife in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island with a priceless variety, so as its wildlife- ranging from authentic birds, mammals like elephants and even colourful marine life. The safari parks and sanctuaries there have been designed in such a way that they give the best experiences to their visitors, and this is why you should allocate some time to admire the wildlife in Sri Lanka- once you visit it.

Image by: Pexels via pixabay | CC0

The Birdlife

During your tour in Sri Lanka, travel to Kumana, Yala, Horton Plains or even the Sinharaja Rainforest with Walkers Tours and enjoy the best of birdlife in the country. Discover the behaviours of the migrant species as well as the endemic ones.

The Mammals

As the country is blessed with a diverse climate, vegetation and altitude, there are different species of mammals extensively distributed in Sri Lanka. If you visit any national park here, you will be blessed to see mammals moving in herds in the wild so make sure you capture these rare moments as memories.

The Marine Life

During your tour in Sri Lanka visiting the beaches will obviously be one of your top priorities. Make sure you allocate some time to admire the whales, dolphins, whale sharks and marine turtles- which can be explored via excursions arranged as per your requirements.

The top attractions

While all the above-mentioned experiences are worth enjoying, there are also some super special sceneries that you won’t need to miss. The leopard at Yala National Park, herds of Elephants roaming at Uda Walawe National Park and the monkey population at Polonnaruwa are just some of them.

 

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. Google+

Elephants in Sri Lanka

An iconic animal, elephants in Sri Lanka are very much a part of the island’s identity. However, conservation efforts are vital if these gentle giants are to survive.

Image credit- Pixabay,photoliver,CC0

Endemic Species
The largest subspecies of the Asian elephant, the Sri Lankan Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) is endemic to the island. While the country was once home to around 20,000 elephants, currently there are only about 5,000 some of which can be seen on a safari tour in Sri Lanka.

Elephant Safaris
National parks including those at Minneriya, Yala, Udawalawe and Kaudulla are ideal for elephant safaris organised by tour specialists such as Walkers Tours. One of the key elephant hotspots is Minneriya where between June and September you can witness “The Gathering” that features hundreds of elephants in and around the park’s reservoir.

Human-Elephant Conflict
Sadly, due to the expansion of human habitation and the loss of natural habitats, the human-elephant conflict has claimed many lives, mostly elephants. Farmers and villagers look to protect their crops and lands, while elephants are driven to find food and water; this deadly cycle continues every year. Throw illegal poaching into the mix and you will see why elephant conservation is vital.

Conservation Efforts
Amongst the efforts being made to conserve this endangered animal is the introduction of tougher penalties for those harming or poaching wild elephants. Other initiatives include using electrical fences or infrared alarm systems to keep out elephants from human habitations without harming them and the proposed setting up of Managed Elephant Reserves (MER). Hopefully, such efforts will help in conserving these majestic animals.

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. Google+

 

Spotting Dolphins in Sri Lanka

Playful and swift, dolphins are amongst the most fascinating creatures that call the ocean home and can be found off the coasts of Sri Lanka.

 

Spinner Dolphins
Also referred to as the long snouted dolphin, spinner dolphins are relatively small in size. This species can be seen in areas like Kalpitiya as part of dolphin watching excursions offered by tour specialists like Walkers Tours. One of the features of spinner dolphins is that they are known for their acrobatics, and sometimes leap in the air!

Bottlenose Dolphin
One of the most well known species, bottlenose dolphins can easily be seen on a dolphin watching tour Sri Lanka has to offer in areas like Mirissa. This species has a diet that’s mainly forage fish and is generally known to be part of pods that can be 10 to 30 in number.

Risso’s Dolphin
One of the largest species of dolphins, Risso’s dolphins can also be spotted off the island’s coastlines. While this species has a sizable anterior body, it can sometimes grow to lengths of around 14 feet! You can look to spot them while on excursions out to sea in Trincomalee on the country’s east coast.

Striped Dolphin
Commonly found in tropical and temperate waters, the striped dolphin is relatively smaller in size and generally feeds on squid and pelagic fish. One of the characteristics of this species is its body colour, which is different from other dolphins and makes it easier to spot as well.

Arugam Bay

Located in the southeast coast of Sri Lanka’s dry zone, 320 km east of Colombo, Arugam Bay is a 7-hour ride from Colombo. The first international surfing competition was held in the summer of 2004. Golden beaches, amazing surf spots, tiny cafes along the beach and ample wildlife is what Arugam Bay has to offer to its visitors!

Arugam Bay | Image Credit - Indi Samarajiva, CC BY 2.0 Via Wikimedia Commons
Arugam Bay | Image Credit – Indi Samarajiva, CC BY 2.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

The beaches

World famous for the waves during high season, Arugam Bay is an excellent spot to bring out the surfer in you. Even if you’re just a beginner, surfing in Sri Lanka isn’t difficult as there are surfing schools around the beach area to help you get started! The beaches in Arugam Bay are also home to different species of tropical fish, ideal for a colourful snorkelling experience.

Elephant rock

This rock is a small climb, after which you can treat your eyes to scenic 360 views of the spectacular landscape around you.

Kumana National Park

You can opt for a tour package, such as the likes of Walkers Tours, if you want to experience the wildlife ventures Arugam Bay has to offer to you. Catch the mesmerizing spectacle of elephants in their natural habitat. The most popular feature of the park is the 200-hectare bird reserve.

Panama Lagoon Eco Safari

Travel through the mangroves by boat whilst getting to experience the life underwater, on the marshes and up above. This wildlife watching journey is sure to leave you in admiration.

Muhudu Maha Viharaya

Located between Arugam Bay and Pottuvil, this temple can be spotted from the Arugam Bay beach. It’s thought that this temple is where Princess Vihara Maha Devi embarked.

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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Snorkeling in Sri Lanka

When on vacation, you often find yourself searching for fun things to do. Sri Lanka often referred to as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, has world-class snorkeling and scuba-diving tours that will keep you enchanted right throughout your trip.

Snorkeling | Image Credit - tata_aka_T, CC BY 2.0 Via Wikimedia Commons
Snorkeling | Image Credit – tata_aka_T, CC BY 2.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

Why Snorkeling
Snorkeling is one of the best ways to view under-water life without damaging them. The shallow seas of Sri Lanka allow you to do this without a hassle. View colourful coral reefs and shoals of fish by snorkeling in the warm waters of the Indian ocean while holidaying in Sri Lanka.

Locations
For snorkeling and scuba diving in Sri Lanka, the best locations are Hikkaduwa, Weligama, and Kirinda. If you are heading towards the west, you could check out ‘Bar Reef’, which is Sri Lanka’s largest coral reef, located just off Puttalam. The best way to check out all these locations is if you go through a good tour company such as Walkers Tours, that specialize in customized tour packages for their clients

Get Ready to Snorkel
Obviously, to go snorkeling you need to have the proper gear. You can rent some from shops that are located alongside the Sri Lankan beaches or you could even bring your own. All under-water activities are normally conducted by well trained and experienced UDI and PADI instructors to ensure the utmost safety and enjoyment of all travelers, so you have nothing to worry about!

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world.

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Guide to Wildlife Safari in Yala

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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