Blogpost Bradtguides – Big Five
by Jetwing · Published · Updated
Being such a small island, you would not suspect Sri Lanka to have its own Big Five of animals. Different from the well-known Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Buffalo and Leopard, but no less impressive, the following five mammals dominate the wilds of Sri Lanka.
Let’s start with the Blue Whale, the largest animal that has ever lived on planet earth. You can find this incredible creature on the shores of Mirissa. This southern city is a popular beach hotspot for travelers. Many whale watching companies offer you tours to catch a glimpse of this gigantic animal. From March to April, the Blue Whale can also be seen around the Trincomalee waters.
The second animal is always mentioned together with the Blue Whale, namely the Sperm Whale. Known for being the world’s largest toothed whale, this creature can be recognized by its squared head. Just as any other mammal, the Sperm Whale has to reach the surface for taking a breath. This moment is the one you want to catch on camera. The perfect locations for spotting the Sperm Whale is Trincomalee and Kalpitiya. If you are lucky, you may even spot a super-pod!
Enough with the marine life, now to land with The Asian Elephant! This biologically fascinating animal is a little smaller than the African, but bigger than the Indian elephants and can be found in many national parks in Sri Lanka. Udawalawe in the south can even make the promise of 100% guaranteed views of the mammal. The biggest event in the elephant world is the Gathering in Minneriya and Kaudulla National Park. Up to hundreds of elephants can be seen in herds during August and September, leaving many travelers speechless.
Being the only bear species in Sri Lanka, the Sloth Bear is our fourth animal. Although they are nocturnal, Sri Lanka bestows you the opportunity to spot the animals in National Parks like Wilpattu and Yala, as they are more used to people in these areas. The last mentioned is even considered the best place in the world to see this creature.
As usual, save the best for last! The largest of the four cat species and beautifully patterned, the Leopard is the highlight for many travelers. With its high density and being the top predator on the island, Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world to see it. Yala National Park is known for having one of the highest densities of leopards in the world. Apart from Yala, Wilpattu National Park is also renowned for being able to get a glimpse of the Leopard.
Tempted to discover our wildlife yourself? We welcome you with open arms and are ready to create the perfect ‘Big Five’ trip for you!