Sri Lanka National Parks

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About Sri Lanka National Parks National Parks

Sri Lanka’s national parks offer a captivating journey through some of the island’s most pristine and diverse landscapes, showcasing its rich biodiversity and natural beauty. From the lush rainforests of Sinharaja Forest Reserve to the iconic wilderness of Yala National Park, each park presents a unique and immersive wildlife experience.

Yala National Park, renowned for its high density of leopards, is also home to elephants, sloth bears, and a myriad of bird species. Udawalawe National Park, nestled amidst the scenic beauty of the Uva Province, offers excellent opportunities for elephant watching. Wilpattu National Park, with its picturesque lakes and ancient ruins, provides a serene setting for wildlife enthusiasts.

These national parks not only preserve Sri Lanka’s natural heritage but also offer opportunities for safari adventures, birdwatching, and eco-tourism, making them essential destinations for travelers seeking authentic wildlife encounters on the island.

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Sri Lanka National Parks's National Parks

Yala National Park elephants playing in river

Yala National Park

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FAQ’s

1. How many national parks are there in Sri Lanka?

There are a total of 26 national parks in Sri Lanka. These national parks protect a wide range of ecosystems, including tropical rainforests, dry forests, wetlands, coastal areas, and mountainous regions. They are home to diverse flora and fauna, including many endemic and endangered species.

Sri Lanka’s national parks offer opportunities for wildlife watching, birdwatching, safari tours, trekking, and eco-tourism, attracting visitors from around the world who come to experience the island’s natural beauty and biodiversity.

2. What is the largest national park in Sri Lanka?

The largest national park in Sri Lanka is Wilpattu National Park. Located in the northwest coast of Sri Lanka, in the North Western and North Central provinces, Wilpattu National Park covers an area of approximately 1,317 square kilometers (about 508 square miles).

It is known for its diverse habitats, including dense forests, scrublands, grasslands, and numerous lakes or ‘villus’. Wilpattu National Park is renowned for its population of Sri Lankan leopards, as well as other wildlife such as elephants, sloth bears, deer, crocodiles, and various bird species.

The park’s vast wilderness and scenic beauty attract visitors for safari tours, birdwatching, and nature photography. It is considered one of the top destinations for wildlife enthusiasts and eco-tourists in Sri Lanka.

3. What is the smallest national park in Sri Lanka?

The smallest national park in Sri Lanka is the Gal Oya National Park. Covering an area of approximately 62.21 square kilometers (about 24 square miles), Gal Oya National Park is located in the Uva Province of eastern Sri Lanka.

Despite its relatively small size, the park is significant for its diverse ecosystems, including evergreen forests, savannas, and grasslands, as well as the Senanayake Samudraya reservoir, which is the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka. Gal Oya National Park is known for its population of Sri Lankan elephants, as well as other wildlife such as leopards, sloth bears, deer, and various bird species.

The park offers opportunities for wildlife safaris, boat tours, and nature walks, providing visitors with a chance to experience the natural beauty and biodiversity of eastern Sri Lanka.

4. What was the first national park in Sri Lanka?

The first national park established in Sri Lanka is the Yala National Park. Originally designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, it was officially recognized as a national park in 1938, making it the oldest national park in the country.

Located in the southeast region of Sri Lanka, spanning across the Southern and Uva provinces, Yala National Park covers an area of approximately 979 square kilometers (about 378 square miles).

Yala National Park is renowned for its diverse ecosystems, including dense forests, grasslands, scrublands, and coastal lagoons, as well as its rich wildlife, including a high density of Sri Lankan leopards, elephants, sloth bears, deer, crocodiles, and numerous bird species.

The park offers opportunities for safari tours, birdwatching, and nature photography, attracting visitors from around the world who come to experience its natural beauty and biodiversity.