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Check the best time to visit any National Park in Sri Lanka. Our calendar tells you which wildlife safari is the best for your travel in Sri Lanka.


Sri Lanka’s national parks are home to a diverse endemic flora and fauna. Thus, national parks need to be explored with respect to its environment and the animals living in it. Always stay at a safe distance from wildlife and never litter or pollute the area. When planning your safari tour watch out for those tour guides who are also respecting these rules. 


1 12 16 BIRD SANCTUARIES

There are diverse bird sanctuaries to visit in Sri Lanka. While Bundala Birds Sanctuary and Chundikulan Birds Sanctuary are famous for flamingo and pelican watching, Kumana National Park is the best place to spot Black Necked storks, Yellow Footed Green pigeons and Greater Racket-tailed Drongo.

Best time

November - February (1 Chundikulan)

April - July (12 Kuman)

September - March (16 Bundala)

 

3 PIGEON ISLAND

This outstanding marine national park is named after the endangered bird species Blue Rock pigeon. It is known to have one of the best remaining coral reefs in Sri Lanka which are also home to 300 diverse coral reef fish.

Best time

May - August (snorkeling with turtles)

 

2 6 ELEPHANT SPOTTING

Besides popular national parks such as Mineriya, Yala, Udawalawa, Wilpattu; Wasgamuwa National Park and Mullaitivu National Park are less touristy places to spot huge herds of elephants.

Best time

September - October (2 Mullaitivu NP)

November - May (6 Wasgamuwa NP)

5 7 ELEPHANT GATHERING

If you are keen to see herds of elephants up to 150 then this area is the best place to go. This place is well-known for elephant’s migration.

More to see

deer, buffalos, monkeys, 170 birds species, crocodiles, lizards

Best time

July - September(7 Mineriya NP)

November - May (5 Kaudulla NP)

 

8 WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK

Wilpattu National Park is less touristy than Yala National Park, but still a good place to spot elephants and leopards. Wilpattu National Park can be visited throughout the year.

More to see

deer, birds 

Best time

February – October

10 11 VEDDAH CLANS

Gal Oya National Park (11) and Maduru Oya National Park (10) are not only well-known for their water reservoirs which attract manifolds animals, but also for the fact that the indigenous people called Veddah clans still live in these areas.

More to see

elephants, sloth bears, deer, water buffalos, monkeys

Best time

March- July

14 HORTON NATIONAL PARK

With 2000m above sea level Horton Plains is the highest plateau in Sri Lanka. Pure nature (grasslands, patches of dense forest, waterfalls and lakes) combined with Sri Lanka’s wildlife (wild boar, shaggy bear-monkey, toque macaque) is awaiting you.

Best time

November – March

13 YALA NATIONAL PARK

Yala is the most popular national park in Sri Lanka, not only because of its various elephants, but also because of the high density of leopards within the area.

More to see

mongooses, jackals, sloth bears, 230 species of birds

 

Best time

May - September (leopards)

October - April (migrating birds)

January - March (leopards cubs)

17 21 TURTLES BREEDING

The South of Sri Lanka is especially favored by tourists as turtles use to lay their eggs along the beaches in Kosgoda, Rekawa, Induruwa and Beruwela. Known to be shy, during breeding it is the only possibility to get very close to turtles.

Best time

October - April

20 SINHARAJA RAIN FOREST

If you are looking for a national park combined with physical exercise Sinharaja Rain Forest is your best choice. It is well-known to be the only untouched rain forest in Sri Lanka and offers a high density of endemic animals and manifold birds. Sinharaja Rain Forest can only be experienced by foot.

More to see

butterflies, 40 species of reptiles, high density of amphibians, snakes

 

Best time

December - April

August - September

6 8 13 SRI LANKAN SLOTH BEAR

Sri Lanka’s endemic specie of sloth bears are mainly seen during the pulu fruit season. They can be spotted in Yala (13), Wasgamuwa (6) and Wilpattu National Park (8).

Best time

May – July

18 UDAWALAWA NATIONAL PARK

Whenever you come to Sri Lanka this national park gives you always the possibility to spot many elephants.

More to see

buffalos, sloth bears, crocodiles, monitor lizards, butterflies

 

Best time

May - September

15 KITUGALA

If tourists read about Kitulgala, it is always linked to Kitulgala’s white-water rafting. However, Kitulgala’s rain forest area is also home to manifolds endemic bird, fish and amphibian species.

 

Best time

May – November

16 UDAWALAWA NATIONAL PARK

Whenever you come to Sri Lanka this national park gives you always the possibility to spot many elephants.

More to see

buffalos, sloth bears, crocodiles, monitor lizards, butterflies

 

Best time

May - September

4 9 19 WHALE AND DOLPHIN  WATCHING

As whales and dolphins migrate counter clockwise around Sri Lanka, watching them is always possible throughout the whole year.

Best time

May- August (4 Trincomalee)

December - April (9 Kalpitiya)

November - December,   March - April (19 Mirissa)