Wildlife Tourism in Sri lanka

Experience Adventurous Wildlife Tourism in Sri Lanka

The Big Five attractions of Sri Lankan wildlife are: the elephant, the leopard, the sloth bear, the Blue whale, and the Sperm whale. And, Sri Lanka, being the relatively small and compact island, it is one of the few countries where you have the chance to spot elephants and whales on the same day, so what is keeping you?
Wildlife Tourism in Sri Lanka takes 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.

Gal Oya National Park is one of the most prominent centers of ecotourism on the island. The specialty of this park is its bird island, where you can enjoy a plethora of specimens of our most beautifully colored and peculiarly shaped feathered friends. It is also the only park where there are boat safaris on offer. Located in the east or southeast of the country, it can be combined with stays in or visits to Badulla and Ella, two other hotspots for ecotourism in Sri Lanka.

In Horton Plains National Park the most visited places are Adam’s Peak, World’s End, and Baker’s Fall. Bringing your hiking gear is a good idea! It is located to the south of Nuwara Eliya, in the mountainous highlands in the center of the island. You can experience high altitude biodiversity here, which is distinctly different from the one found in the rest of the island. Close-by there are plantations specialized in growing a variety of spices – think pepper, vanilla, and cardamom – that you can smell as much as you can see them. That’s a nose safari right there!

  • For Adam’s Peakrock climbing the best season is from December through May. Along the way you will get breathtaking views of the surrounding forest and waterfalls. It is advised to be in good health and bring good gear to facilitate the climb to the most rewarding view from the top. Near the top there is a ‘sacred footprint’, which Buddhist tradition holds to be the Buddha’s footprint, Hindu tradition says it’s Shiva’s, and the Islamic and Christian traditions claim it’s Adam’s.
  • World’s Endis another one of the main attractions for tourists in Horton Plains NP, the only park where you are allowed to walk and don’t have to be inside a cross country jeep. It’s an easy hike towards World’s End and nowhere near the challenge of the Adam’s Peak climb. The trail will take you about 2 – 2,5 hours. And be forewarned: there are often clouds blocking the view once you’re up, so don’t feel bad about that. Enjoy the journey and the view along the way, as the Buddhists say!
  • Baker’s Fallis called after a famous explorer, Sir Samuel Baker, and cascades about 20 meters. It’s not the highest waterfall in the country, but it’s one of the most accessible. When you walk the World’s End trail you’ll walk right passed it.

Kumana National Park is located on the southeast coast. It has a swamp lake as its distinctive trait, bringing about a flora and fauna to suit it. It is another one of the locations catering to ecotourism. It also has a bird sanctuary and is best visited between April and July. The park is right next to Yala National Park and not too far from Kataragama, the most important shrine in the country where followers of the Buddhist, Hindu and Vedda tradition, the indigenous religion, all come to worship. The different festivities at the site take place in July.

Asian Island can tailor make itineraries, providing you with nature tours in Sri Lanka that focuses on any and all of the aspects of the parks and cultural places that will fit your preferences, budget and time best.

Explore the Unknown

traveller’s guide explore nature


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WILPATHU NATIONAL PARK in ONE DAY (Explore national park and witness Sri Lanka wild life)

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Wilpathu National Park


ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE & KANDY in ONE DAY (Famous Elephant orphanage and explore UNESCO world heritage city of Kandy)

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Visit the Elephant Orphanage & Kandy


GALLE, HIKKADUWA, BENTOTA AND KOSGODA in ONE DAY (Down south coastal belt with sceneries and activities)

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The Scenic South Coastal Belt

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SIGIRIYA & DAMBULLA in ONE DAY (Explore this NOT TO MISS attraction in Sri Lanka)

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Sigiriya & Dambulla


UDAWALAWA in ONE DAY (Explore Elephants in their habitat)

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Udawalawe National Park



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Sinharaja Rainforest