Sri Lanka is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse natural landscapes in the world. From lush green tea plantations to pristine beaches, the island nation is a paradise for nature lovers. One of the hidden gems of Sri Lanka is the Kumana National Park, located in the southeastern part of the island. Also known as Yala East National Park, it is a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers.
Location and History of Kumana National Park
Kumana National Park is located in the Ampara district of Sri Lanka, about 391 km away from Colombo. The park covers an area of 35,664 hectares and is adjacent to the Yala National Park. Kumana was declared a national park in 1970, mainly to protect the bird species that inhabit the area. The park was also a popular hunting ground for British rulers during colonial times.
Flora and Fauna of Kumana National Park
Kumana National Park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The park has a mixture of dry and wet zone vegetation, including savanna grasslands, scrublands, and forests. The most iconic animal species found in the park are the Sri Lankan elephant, leopard, and sloth bear. Other species such as spotted deer, sambar deer, and wild boar can also be spotted.
Bird Watching in Kumana National Park
Kumana National Park is famous for its avian population. The park is home to over 430 bird species, including several migratory species. The best time for bird watching in Kumana National Park is from April to July when thousands of birds migrate to the area. Some of the bird species that can be spotted in the park are the painted stork, Asian openbill, and great white pelican.
Safari Experience in Kumana National Park
A safari experience in Kumana National Park is a must-do activity for any visitor. The park offers two types of safaris, jeep safaris, and camping safaris. The jeep safaris are perfect for those who want to explore the park during the day, while camping safaris are perfect for those who want to experience the park’s nightlife. The best time for a safari in Kumana National Park is during the dry season from May to September.
Best Time to Visit Kumana National Park
The best time to visit Kumana National Park is during the dry season from May to September. During this time, the park is less humid, and the animals are more visible. The bird migration season from April to July is also an excellent time to visit the park for bird watchers.
Accommodation Options Near Kumana National Park
There are several accommodation options near Kumana National Park, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Some of the popular options are the Kottukal Beach House by Jetwing, Jetwing Yala, and Cinnamon Wild Yala.
Kumana National Park is a hidden gem of Sri Lanka, waiting to be explored. With its diverse flora and fauna, beautiful landscapes, and unique bird population, the park offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience for nature lovers. So, pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey to Kumana National Park.