Sri Lanka Recognized as the Best Safari Destination Outside of Africa

Sri Lanka is world-renowned for its rich endowment of luscious greenery and abundant wildlife. This beautiful subtropical island nation, steeped in culture and history stretching back to the ancient spice routes has been identified by Forbes as the Best Safari Destination outside of Africa. It is truly an honor for this little paradise island to have been identified as one of the Best safari destinations in the world. With the abundance of wildlife that Sri Lanka is home to, it is no doubt that some of the best safari experiences in the world can be found here. What makes it even better is the hospitality and comfort offered by Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts while you’re mesmerized.
general safari

Enjoy the best wildlife holidays in Sri Lanka by visiting the following parks on your tour of Sri Lanka;

1. Wasgamuwa National Park

Wasgamuwa National Park is located in the Matale and Polonnaruwa Districts of Sri Lanka covering an area of 39322 ha. Witness a gathering of a multitude of elephants and varied species of birds at the park. While you’re around, do visit the world-famous cave temples in Dambulla to witness local artistry at its best.

Animals to spot- Elephants, Purple-faced Langur, Golden Palm Civet, Mugger Crocodile, Red-faced Malkoha and various bird species.

Entrance fee- USD 10

How to get there and where to stay: It’s a 5-hour drive from Colombo and you can easily book your stay at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana and Habarana Village by Cinnamon located in close proximity to the park.
Photo Credits: Blue Dot Tours

2. Yala National Park

Yala National Park is one of the most famous safari parks in the island right now covering an area of 378 square miles. Both locals and foreigners have been mesmerized by the breathtaking leopard-spottings in Yala.

Animals to spot- Sloth bear, Leopards, Sri Lankan Elephants and Wild Water Buffalo

Entrance fee- USD 15

How to get there and where to stay- Yala is situated 195km away from Colombo and is around a 6-hour drive from Colombo. Make your stay worthwhile and comfortable by staying with us at Cinnamon Wild Yala.
Photo Credits: Isabelleapit

3. Bundala National Park

Famed as a winter resort for the migratory water birds from around the world, Bundala National Park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2005. Covering around 3, 339 hectares, the park harbours 197 species of birds.

Animals to spot- Elephants, Whistling Duck, Indian Cormorant, Large Water Birds, Grey Heron, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Asian Openbill, Painted Stork, Black-necked Stork, Wild boar.

Entrance fee- USD 10

How to get there- A 5-hour drive from Colombo will get you to the park in Bundala.
Photo Credits: Sunset2sunset

4. Kaudulla National Park

Sri Lanka Safari Packages are quite popular, but don’t miss out on a Jeep Safari at Kaudulla National Park in which you can witness 24 species of mammals, all of which have been spotted there on numerous occasions.

Animals to spot- Apart from the mammals, the park is home to over 435 species of birds and 26 species of fish.

Entrance fee- USD 10

How to get there- Situated 210 km away from Colombo, you can reach the park in around 4.5 hours.

5. Minneriya National Park

If you’re in love with the majestic creatures that Sri Lanka homes, do visit the Minneriya National Park to witness hundreds of Elephants roam and graze in their natural habitat. Safari through the grassland and along the lakes and be astonished by one of the worlds’ largest wild Asian elephant gatherings.

Animals to spot- Elephants, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer, Wild Buffalo, Wild Pig, Grey Langers, Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, three species of Mongoose, Porcupine and Indian Pangolin.

Entrance fee- USD 15

How to get there and where to stay- Minneriya is located 190km away from Colombo which is approximately a 5.5-hour drive from Colombo. You can also book your stay at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana or Habarana Village by Cinnamon where our in-house naturalists will do the needful for a perfect safari.
Nirvan Anantha
Photo Credits: Nirvan Anantha

6. Gal Oya National Park

Gal Oya National Park is the main catchment area for the largest reservoir in Sri Lanka, Senanayake Samudraya. The Park spans over a large area and is known as a rich reserve of Elephants in Sri Lanka. A highlight at the Gal Oya National Park is a boat Safari in the Senanayake Reservoir with the swimming Elephants who swim across the Senanayake Reservoir to the islands in the lake in search of food.

Animals to Spot- Sri Lankan elephant, Axis Deer, Muntjac, Water Buffalo, Sri Lankan Sambar Deer, Leopard, Toque Monkey and Wild boar. The park also has reptiles as mugger crocodile and star tortoise and a number of bird species.

Entrance Fee- USD 10

How to get there- Gal Oya is located 314 km away from Colombo and about a 6-7-hour drive from Colombo.
Photo Credits: I fly too high

7. Udawalawe National Park

Located on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, the Udawalawe National Park was created as a safe haven for the animals displaced during the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir and spans over 30, 821 hectares.

Animals to spot- Elephants, Water Buffalo, Wild boar, Chital, Deer, Indian Hare, Mongoose, Fox, Bandicoots, Grey Langers and Jackals
Entrance Fee- USD 15

How to get there- Udawalawe is situated the closest and is only a 4-hour drive from Colombo
Bruno Chiappe
Photo Credits: Bruno Chiappe

Author: Shenella Fonseka

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