Nature & Wildlife
The Big Five of Sri Lankan wildlife are: the elephant, the leopard, the sloth bear, the Blue whale, and the Sperm whale. And, being the relatively small and compact island that Sri Lanka is, it’s one of the few countries where you have the chance to spot elephants and whales on the same day, so what is keeping you?
We’ll take you through the best spots to see the variety of the most interesting species of the country, a lot of which are endemic to the island.
Wilpattu National Park is the largest of the parks on the island and it has the highest eco-density, i.e. diversity of vegetation and animal population in a designated area. If you like to see the leopard, this is the best park to do it. But because it is a nocturnal and shy animal, we recommend you stay at least 3 nights to maximize your chances of seeing one. Wilpattu is in the northern part of the island, near Anuradhapura and the other cities in the cultural triangle, so a combination with the main cultural sites of the island is easily made.
Wasgamuwa National Park is in effect the basin of the Mahaweli and Amban rivers. All animals of Sri Lankan wildlife can be seen here, but what the park is most special for, is the wealth of darting, colorful butterflies. If you see them flying around you, you’ll be enchanted by their beauty, and understand why Sri Lanka was called Serendip, chance discovery, by the Arabs. Wasgamuwa is located near Polunnaruwa, Dambulla and Sigiriya, and can be easily accessed from there, as well as combined with a visit to them, of course.