Safarisin Udawalawe National Park
The Udawalawe National Park is famed for being home to large herds of Asian elephants that can be frequently seen at the watering holes within the park. Located in the south of the country, the park is just over 30,000 hectares, making it relatively smaller than its counterparts. However, there is much to see in this space, including a number of mammals, reptiles, birds and plants.
According to official reports, the park is home to 250 or so Asian Elephants, along with rare and endemic species of mammals such as the Sri Lankan sambar deer, and the Sri Lankan sloth bear. Bird species are another major attraction in the park, as more than 200 species of avifauna wander around its foliage. The malkoha, the Sri Lankan spurfowl, Sri Lankan jungle fowl and the Sri Lankan grey hornbill are just some of the more endemic varieties that can be encountered during your safari. Similarly, a great many species of reptiles, amphibians, fish and other invertebrates can also be witnessed, especially during the dry season that runs from May to October.
The ideal times to witness the congregation of the animals at the watering holes is during sunrise and sunset, as the animals come en masse to quench their thirst. Make sure you come prepared with the right clothing and gear, and of course remember to follow to the instructions given by the park rangers.
Organize a safari in Udawalawe in advance to avoid any disappointment, as entrance can be limited during the season.