Location: North Central, 260 kilometres from Colombo
Area: 376.45 square kilometres
Average Rainfall: 1500 mm
Declared a national Park in 1986, the park provides protection to a distinctive habitat of riverine ‘Villus’ and food plains as well as a home to the largest concentration of elephants in the country. The water basins or the villus located in the central flood plains are reflected by the prevalence of water-tolerant grasses and aquatic flora.
The significance of Somawathiya National Park is mainly attributed to the wealth of elephants, which are estimated to be 400 within the park and the rich birdlife. The park is a home to mammals as the Sambar, Golden Jackal, fishing Cat, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo and porcupine amongst others. Resident birds as the painted Stork and purple Coot amongst others frequent the park.
Naturally, the marshes of the food plains are home to a collection of avifauna, including 75 migrant species, which are known to winter in the marshes.