Udawalawe National Park

Location: South East, 210 kilometers from Colomboo

Area: 30.8 square kilometers
Avg. Temperature: 29.4 °C
Avg. Annual Rainfall: 1525 mm

Udawalawe National Park was first established as a sanctuary for wild animals that had been displaced during the construction of the Udawalawe reservoir on the Walawe River. As its significance grew, it was noticed that wildlife species thrived within the park! Nowadays it is the third most visited park in the country and is a home to one of the best habitats of water birds and wild elephants. There are about 400 elephants in total; this the largest known population in a specific area designated as a national park in Sri Lanka!

Udawalawe’s extensive flora is a mixture of abandoned teak plantations, grassland, thorny scrub jungle and marsh along the Walawe River and Mau Ara. Satinwood, Ebony and Trincomalee Wood trees grow abundantly in the area and the river banks are dotted with water-loving Kumbuk trees. The Udawalawe Reservoir, which is replenished by the Walawe River, supplies water for the whole area and is an essential supporter of the abundant wildlife that call this national park home.

The fauna of Udawalawe is comprised of a wide selection of species. Endemic bird species found in the park include the Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Ceylon Spurfowl, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Ceylon Woodshrike and Ceylon Swallow. In forested areas Sirkeer and Blue-faced Malkohas are common. Mammal species found here include the Toque Monkey, Hanuman Langur, Sambar and Spotted Deer, Wild Pig, Black-napped Hare and Ruddy Mongoose. Leopards prowl the thick vegetation but are rarely seen.

Getting there:

The park entrance is on the B 427 between Timbolketiya and Tanamanwila, near the 11 km post. From Colombo take the A8 to Ratnapura, A4 to Pelmadulla and A18 to Timbolketiya. It takes around three and a half hours to drive the 180 km.

Accommodation Options:

Kalu’s Hideaway
Safari Village
Centauria Tourist Hotel
Governor’s Camp
Elephant Lane

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