Yala National Park

The Yala National Park (979 Sq Km) is Sri Lanka’s most well-known and second largest national park, located close to the holy city of Kataragama. Yala and the neighbouring Kumana Bird Park have 215 species of birds out of which seven species are endemic to Sri Lanka. It is home to 44 species of mammals including the famous Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya). There is also a large herd of elephants. Two important pilgrimage sites namely, Sithulpawwa and Magul Vihara are situated within the Yala National Park. The best time to visit the Yala National Park is the dry season from February to June when a wide variety of animals can be spotted. The weekends can be crowded, it is best to visit the park during a weekday when the safari jeep traffic is much less as the park is less crowded. Always ride with a tracker/ranger inside the park to ensure your safety.

Distance Address Google Map Contact Number
40 km No81, Sella road, Katharagama 91400 Show in Map 0473 489 297

Lunugamwehera National Park

Easily reached from Kataragama, this park serves as a link between the Yala Protected Area Complex on its east and Udawalawe National Park to its west and facilitates the passage of elephants to and from areas such as Haldummulla and Koslanda in Uva and the Southern region of Sri Lanka. The Lunugamwehera National Park was declared in 1995, with the intention of protecting the catchment area of the Lunugamwehera reservoir and wildlife of the area. It is an important habitat for water birds and elephants. The catchment area is vital to maintain the water levels of the five tanks in the downstream of Kirindi Oya and the wetland characteristics of the Bundala National Park. This National Park also serves as a corridor for elephants to migrate between the Yala National Park and the Udawalawe National Park.

Distance Address Google Map Contact Number
21 km Tanamalwila Sri Lanka Show in Map 047 223 7332

Ridiyagama National Park

The Ridiyagama Safari Park is a 500 acre, drive-through safari park and is the first-ever safari park to be opened in Sri Lanka. The main attractions at the park are the African Lions, Bengal Tigers and the Sri Lankan Elephants who can be seen in a natural environment sans cages. The Ridiyagama Safari Park is in the Southern Province of Sri Lankan in the Ridiyagama area of the Hambantota district. The park is close to Kataragama, Tissamaharama and Yala and is around 220 Km away from Colombo city (3 hr 20 min drive) through the E01 Expressway.

Distance Address Google Map Contact Number
60 km Ridiyagama , Siyabalagoda Show in Map 047 362 0410

Bundala National Park

The Bundala National Park is also within easy reach of Kataragama. All water birds found in Sri Lanka are believed to visit the Bundala National Park. Nearly 200 species of birds have been recorded within the park, out of which 58 species are migratory, with some coming from as far as the Arctic Tundra. During September and March, hoards of migrants arrive in Bundala; among them are Marsh and Curlew Sandpiper, Curlew and Greenshank Golden and Kentish Plover, Large and Lesser Sand Plovers. While the Broad-billed Sandpiper and Red-necked Phalarope are rare visitors, the most famous migratory bird is the greater flamingo. Hoards of flamingos are one of the most common sights here.

Distance Address Google Map Contact Number
33 km Weligatta, bundala 82004 Show in Map 0473 489 070

Weeravila Tissa Sanctuary

The Weeravila Sanctuary located in Weerawila, Tissamaharama, is one of the most picturesque locations in Sri Lanka and a perfect spot for bird watching. The specialty of this location is the extensive lake system that attracts more than 400 species of birds including 200 migratory species. It has many reservoirs such as Askongaha Lake, Mutiamma Lake, Tissa Lake and Dabarawewa. Water buffaloes and monkeys can also be spotted at the Weeravila Sanctuary although the birds are the highlight. Located close to the Bundala National Park, the Weeravila Tissa Sanctuary is the perfect meeting point for bird watching enthusiasts from around the world. For those who visit by air, both Weeravila and Mattala airports are in the vicinity.

Distance Address Google Map Contact Number
20 km Weeravila , Hambanthota Show in Map 071 355 7925

Dry Zone (Mirijjawila) Botanical Garden

The Mirijjawila Botanical Gardens, one of the five dedicated Botanical Gardens in the island, was opened in 2013. Although new, the gardens are known to possess a large number of plant and flower species many of which are considered rare and endemic to the island, making it an important biodiversity hotspot. The gardens, sprawled over 300 acres of lush green lands, is an idyllic place to witness different sceneries of the port town of Hambantota, just a stone’s throw away.

Distance Address Google Map Contact Number
60 km Garden lane, Hambantota Show in Map 047 7429976

Kumana National Park & Birds Sanctuary

The Kumana National Park spreads over an area of 35,664 hectares. In the west, the Park is bordered by the Kumubukkan Oya; to the south is the south-eastern coast that runs to Paanama in Ampara. A 200 hectare mangrove swamp called “Kumana Villu” within the Park is subject to occasional inundation with sea water. It is in this swamp that many water birds nest, during the months of May and June. Scattered in the Kumana National Park are several water pools that are favorite spots of wildlife: Kudawila Wewa, Thummulla Wewa and Kotalinda Wewa. The Kumana National Park provides an excellent feeding and resting habitat for a large number of threatened wetland species, including three turtle species such as the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta), and the Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivaceae). Among other threatened species of reptiles are the globally vulnerable Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris).

Distance Address Google Map Contact Number
160 km Okanda , Kumana, Sri Lanka Show in Map 011 2888585