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Written by Kajani Shivam on June 4, 2021 Share on

Sri Lanka’s Udawalawe: A Wildlife Guide

Sri Lanka is one of the best countries which is well known for its wildlife. Agreed? I am sure whenever we search for Sri Lanka, somewhere at the end we always land seeing a picture of an elephant or get stunned by its marvellous wildlife. Interested to know more about wildlife in Sri Lanka? Well, we here at Pickyourtrail have covered an important national park in Sri Lanka which would give you a detailed idea about the wildlife. And yes, the place is Udawalawe National Park!

Also Read: The Do’s and Don’ts guide for your Srilanka vacation

A group of elephants
Image Credits: Unsplash

Also Read: Things To Know Before Travelling To Sri Lanka – The Complete Guide!

Table Of Context

Udawalawe National Park – A Quick Overview
Best Time To Visit
How To Reach?
– Timings
Things To Do In Udawalawe National Park
Places to visit near Udawalawe National Park

Also Read: Top Things to do in Sri Lanka for Couples On Your Next Vacation

Udawalawe National Park – A Quick Overview

A peacock
Image Credits: Unsplash

The Udawalawe National Park is one of the famous tourist spots in Udawalawe town. The main purpose of having this national park is to provide a sanctuary to the wild animals which have lost their habitat due to the construction program of Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River. This place houses 184 birds, 33 reptiles, 43 mammals and 135 different species of butterflies. Massive, huh? If you are heading to the southern part of Sri Lanka, a visit to the Udawalawe National Park is totally a worthy one. Especially if you are a wildlife admirer, you can never even imagine skipping this place.


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Best Time To Visit Udawalawe National Park

Surprisingly, Udawalawe National Park doesn’t have any specific best time to visit as all the animals can be seen any time of the year. The national park is open for the entire year. Let it be the safaris or sightseeing the animals, any time is a good time to plan your visit to this place.

How To Reach Udawalawe National Park?

One can easily reach the national park from Colombo via flight, bus or private transport. The distance between Colombo and the Udawalawe is approximately 103 miles.


As we all know, travelling via flight is one of the easiest ways to reach Udawalawe. To reach Udawalawe you can take a flight from the Colombo International Airport and reach the Dickwella Airport. After reaching the Dickwella Airport, you will have to take a taxi ride which might take up to an hour.


If you choose to travel via bus from Colombo, be prepared for a 6 hours ride to reach the destination. It may be a long ride, but if you would love to cover some beautiful nature spots, you may happily take a bus ride. Also, this option is very efficient for budget travellers.

Private Transport

Taking private transport from Colombo is one of the comfortable ways to reach the national park. However, it might take a maximum of four hours to reach.


The national park is open all day from 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Things To Do In Udawalawe National Park

Here are the top 3 things to do in the Udawalawe National Park which you can’t afford to miss.

  • Take a safari ride
  • Spend time with the elephants
  • Have a look at the transit home of the elephants

Take a safari ride

A safari ride
Image Credits: Unsplash

Taking a safari ride is one of the best things to do in the Udawalawe National Park. The safari ride will surely take all the travellers into a new world where one can see beautiful animals and birds. The safari ride will give you a lovely feel where you can connect with nature as well. In addition, you will find many tour operators who are ready to offer different kind of safari rides according to the individual’s interest and budget. So, you may choose one which suits your requirements.

Spend time with the elephants

Are you one of those who jump out of excitement as soon as you see an elephant? If yes, this is for you folks. The Udawalawe National Park is very famous for its elephants. In this part of the activity, one can take a stroll with the elephants, watch the baby elephants and have a fun time with them. However, one can see a wide range of baby elephants only from the month of October to January. If you are very specific about the baby elephants, you may plan a visit to this national park between the above mentioned months.

Have a look at the transit home of the elephants

An elephant in the wild
Image Credits: Unsplash

Now you might be wondering what is this transit home for the elephants, right? Well, this place is for the injured, sick or for homeless elephants. In other words, this place is where the elephants are been take care of. The elephant will be only released into the wild area once it has been cured completely. Even after releasing the elephants into the wild, the representatives always have a close look at the elephants for their own safety purpose.


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Places to visit near Udawalawe National Park

Find out the top 2 places to visit near Udawalawe National Park

  • Kuragala Ancient Buddhist Monastery
  • Udawalawe Dam

Kuragala Ancient Buddhist Monastery

The Kuragala Ancient Buddhist Monastery is exactly situated in between the Balangoda – Kaltota road. This is exactly an archaeological site that is of an early human settlement during the late Pleistocene period and has the ruins of the ancient Buddhist cave temple complex which dates back to the 2nd century.

Udawalawe Dam

Udawalawe Dam is one of the closest places to visit near the national park and is a treat to the eyes. This dam is the largest irrigation dam in Udawalawe and is used for hydroelectric power generation by powering the three 2MV units. A visit to the Udawalawe Dam will surely guarantee every traveller some chilling moments which will always be remembered over years. You can stroll around the dam and also have a nice chat moment with your loved ones.

The Udawalawe National Park is undoubtedly a real treat to any traveller who is interested in wildlife. Even though you aren’t much interested in wildlife, I am sure this place won’t be a disappointment for you. You will find something interesting in this place which keeps you going! Already excited to plan your vacation to Sri Lanka to visit such places? Well, click on to Pickyourtrail website and check on the super amazing Sri Lanka holiday packages.

Life is all about exploring new places!

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