Udawalawe National Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, renowned for its incredible biodiversity, stunning landscapes, and diverse flora and fauna. Located in the southern part of the country, this protected area is home to a variety of animals, including Sri Lankan elephants, leopards, water buffalo, and sambar deer, among others. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Udawalawe National Park and offer tips on how to make the most of your visit.

Introduction to Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe National Park covers an area of 30,821 hectares and was established in 1972 as a sanctuary for Sri Lankan elephants. The park is situated in the Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka and is one of the most popular wildlife reserves in the country. Udawalawe is a dry zone, and the landscape is dominated by grasslands, forests, and scrublands.

Flora in Udawalawe National Park

The vegetation in Udawalawe National Park is diverse and includes dry mixed evergreen forests, thorn forests, and grasslands. The park is home to over 160 species of trees, 135 species of shrubs, and over 80 species of herbs. Some of the most common plant species found in the park are the palu (Manilkara hexandra), weera (Drypetes sepiaria), kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna), and kadol (Diospyros ebenum).

Fauna in Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe National Park is known for its impressive diversity of wildlife. The park is home to around 250 species of birds, 39 species of mammals, 21 species of reptiles, and 12 species of amphibians. The most famous animal species found in the park are the Sri Lankan elephants, which can be seen in large herds throughout the park. Visitors can also spot other animals such as leopards, water buffalo, sambar deer, wild boar, and jackals, among others.

Udawalawe National Park Lepoards
Udawalawe National Park Leopards | Image Credits: traveltriangle.com

Birdwatching in Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with a variety of species found in the park. Some of the most popular birds found in the park include the Sri Lankan junglefowl, Malabar pied hornbill, white-bellied sea eagle, and crested serpent eagle. Visitors can also spot migratory birds such as the painted stork and the open-billed stork.

Udawalawe National Park Birds
Udawalawe National Park Birds | Image Credits: overatours.com

Safari Tours in Udawalawe National Park

One of the best ways to explore Udawalawe National Park is by taking a safari tour. The park offers a range of safari tours, including jeep safaris and walking safaris. The best time to take a safari tour is in the early morning or late afternoon when the animals are most active. It is important to note that visitors are not allowed to get out of their vehicles while inside the park.

Udawalawe National Park Safari
Udawalawe National Park Safari | Image Credit: www.lookphotos.com

Conservation Efforts

Udawalawe National Park is dedicated to the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants and their habitats. The park has implemented various conservation measures, including elephant translocations, habitat restoration, and anti-poaching patrols. The park also works closely with local communities to promote sustainable tourism and protect the natural resources of the park.

Conclusion

Udawalawe National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts visiting Sri Lanka. With its incredible biodiversity and stunning landscapes, the park offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re interested in spotting Sri Lankan elephants, birdwatching, or taking a safari tour, Udawalawe National Park has something for everyone. As you plan your visit, remember to respect the park’s conservation efforts and follow the rules and regulations set in place to protect the park’s wildlife and natural resources. With its commitment to conservation and sustainable tourism, Udawalawe National Park is not only a haven for wildlife but also a model for responsible tourism.

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