Uda Walawe National Park
Uda Walawe National Park is a lush haven for elephants in southern Sri Lanka, and many feel it rivals the endless plains of the African savannah for natural beauty. Elephant watching is sensational here, and visitors can sit in jeeps on the dramatic grasslands and watch herds of these Sri Lankan giants walk calmly by.
Uda Walawe National Park sits on the boundary between Uva province and Sabaragamuwa province, located 200km South East of Colombo. The dry seasons run from February to March and May to September.
We love that there are a number of campsites at Uda Walawe, most of which are comfortable tented accommodation, equipped with linens, fruit baskets, showers and toilets. Spending the night in the national park can turn your safari into a real adventure, as you lie in the refuge of your tent and listen to the animals running through the undergrowth. For those that like more classic comfort, Uda Walawe offers a number of small and simple hotels.
On a safari through Uda Walawe, visitors often witness the breathtaking sight of herds of elephants feeding and playing in the water, splashing around and spraying each other – a remarkable and memorable experience. The elephants come to the park to be close to the Uda Walawe reservoir, which provides them with food and water all year round and is surrounded by lush jungle trees. There are estimated to be about 500 Sri Lankan elephants in Uda Walawe and they often roam in herds of up to 100, so spotting them is certain to be an unforgettable sight. The best time to visit the park are the early mornings and in the evenings, where budding photographers might be able to capture an elephant herd set against the backdrop of a breathtaking Sri Lankan sunset.
The park is home to a great number of other species, including Water Buffalo, Mongooses and Wild boar. It is rarer, but there is also a possibility of spotting leopards, fishing cats and jungle cats in Uda Walawe too. Birders also enjoy Uda Walawe as its one of the best places to spot Raptors in Sri Lanka.
The park boasts a plethora of both endemic and migrant birds, from Green bee-eaters to Black-capped Kingfishers. As you drive across the park’s grassy plains you will notice a huge variety of beautiful butterflies, as they are attracted to the satin trees. A trip to Uda Walawe National Park is a Sri Lankan delight, featuring some of its biggest and smallest natural treasures.