When you think of a safari, what springs to your mind? Yes, Africa of course… but don’t misjudge the resplendence of a Sri Lankan Safari. Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, possesses. 16% of its fauna and 23% of its flora are unique to the country, which means that it is one of the highest biological endemism in the world. With a plenitude of more than 400 species of exotic birds. They are also blessed with their very own ‘big five’: elephants, leopards, sloth bears, blue whales and sperm whales. Sri Lanka is one of the few places where people can arrange to go whale watching with a land safari on the same day.
There is a LOT of choices when it comes to choosing a destination to go on a safari in Sri Lanka. There are 26 national parks owned by the state, covering an area of 5,734 square kilometres, which is protected by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation.
So, to make your life easier, here’s a guide covering all you need to know about safaris in Sri Lanka, highlighting the best safaris in Sri Lanka.
Yala National Park Safaris
Yala national park is probably the most popular and prominent safari in all of Sri Lanka. Being the second-largest national park in Sri Lanka, it’s a wonderful safari experience for all, especially if you are travelling with families. Yala Safari is located just around six hours from Colombo. You have a very high chance of seeing lots of elephants, so if you love elephants, then this place is your best choice! Yala has the highest number of leopards in the world you could see leopards in their natural element & the Sri Lankan Sloth bear.
If you’re wondering when the best time to visit Yala national park is, then be aware that Yala is closed during the drought season from September to October, but you can visit other national parks during this period.
Suggested Reads: All about safari: It’s a wild world out there.
Minneriya National Park Safaris
Minneriya is only a short drive from Sigiriya, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. Over 8,800 hectares (21,745 acres) are home to hundreds of Sri Lankan elephants that likes to gather around an old reservoir. The seasonal congregation of elephants takes place during September and October by the side of the Minneriya Lake, which dries up during those months and is replaced with a lush grassland.
Udawalawe National Park Safaris
Less crowded with safari Jeeps than Yala and Minneriya, Udawalawe is known as the best place in Asia for observing elephants in the wild, around 400 elephants are calling it home. It also owns the Elephant Transit, where you would find abandoned or orphaned elephant calves that are cared for and treated before being set free, back into the wild. Elephant sightings are fairly certain in this location, but also if you are lucky enough you could spot the endangered rusty-spotted cats as well.
Gal Oya National Park Safaris
This safari tour is considerably good too. This is a less popular location that offers boat safaris and the opportunity to see crocodiles in the Senanayake Samudraya, Sri Lanka’s largest reservoir. Here, you could join the Veddas; descents of the indigenous population of the island, on a nature walk. These Vaddas continue to follow the traditional ways of farming and hunting with bows and arrows, and there is only a handful of them left.
Suggested Reads: Africa served on a platter: What food to expect on a Safari
Options of safari tours: Land, foot, boat and sky safari
The most popular way to get around is by a Jeep safari, a walking safari is always accompanied by a tracker and ranger is another great way to encounter with the animals, at a slower pace. There are tours are available from morning to late at night, where you can witness nocturnal creatures that hide during the day. Another way to see wildlife in Sri Lanka is from a hot-air balloon as well.
A choice of accommodation in ideal locations
You might want to consider staying inside the national parks and being at the heart of the action. Sri Lanka boasts some of the most amazing safari camps, lodges and hotels in the world.
Call Travel Center UK today and will be more than happy to help you find the most undeniable flight deals and promotions to Sri Lanka so that you could explore, enjoy & encounter the best Safaris!