Wilderness Updates

All what You need to know about Planning a Wildlife Safari in Sri Lanka

All what You need to know about Planning a Wildlife Safari in Sri Lanka

By Nathasha Piyumali - Safari Specialist Eco Team Pvt ltd

How do I plan a wildlife tour in Sri Lanka ?

Leopard Safari Yala Sri LankaMention ‘Wildlife of Sri Lanka’ and what comes to mind? The majestic Sri Lanka elephant, the elusive Sri Lanka leopard, the grey slender loris and so much more. Without a doubt, wildlife in Sri Lanka is rich in diversity and in healthy numbers. Depending where you go, you will be enthralled by the wildlife seen in Sri Lanka. So you may be wondering: where should I go to see the best wildlife in Sri Lanka? It is all about timing; which season, which places and when...So let me tell you about the exciting options of exploring wildlife Sri Lanka: from its endemic species to the wondrous whales and marine life that surrounds this island.

However, before contacting me or anyone I believe you need the relevant information to meet your expectations of a wildlife tour in Sri Lanka. Is it sighting the endemics? or is it about well-known mammals? Are you thinking about a slow phase tour, happy to wait for things to happen? Or do you want to pursue leopards and more leopards? Also keep in mind, who you will be travelling with, and whether you share the same expectations.

What are the best Sri Lankan Wildlife Parks ?

Elephants in Sri LankaThere are several national parks located all over the island. But the best place for wildlife in Sri Lanka would include: Yala, Wilpattu, Udawalawe (the more popular parks) and lesser known parks such as: Wasgamuwa, Lunugamvehera, Galoya, Maduruoya and Kumana - to name a few. However, this is my opinion. What’s best for you would depend on what you want and I am happy to take you through the decision making process.

What is it that you are interested in? There are some wildlife parks / nature reserves in Sri Lanka that boast of avifauna of both endemic and migratory species, like the Ceylon blue magpie, Red faced Malkoha, that you will see in parks /nature reserves like. Singharaja and Kithulgala.

The Sri Lankan leopard mostly inhabit parks such as Yala, Kumana and Wilpattu, making them very popular wildlife parks in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan elephant is found in many parks, numbering in their hundreds in several parks including Lunugamvehera and Kaudulla. Sambar deer, the ring-tailed civet cat, purple-faced leaf monkey, wild buffalo, crocodile… there is so much to see. Many of these sites are wonderful safari parks in Sri Lanka and I can help you plan your exploration!

Wildlife conservation in Sri Lanka

At the turn of the 19th century, Britishbirding sri lanka colonisers recognised the destruction of wildlife resources and the exporting of hides and horns that they were causing had to be curtailed.

Wildlife conservation in Sri Lanka began to gain more structure between the 1930s and 1960s. Suitable lands were identified as wildlife reserves and elephant corridors, the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance came into being and its enforcement and the illegal killing of animals was being halted - in order to enforce wildlife conservation.

Interestingly, the first national park was Yala National Park, first designated as a national reserve in 1900. Wilpattu was the second National Park, recognised in 1938.

Historically, there has been engagement between the Department of Wildlife, the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, UNDP, UNEP and many local NGOs and environmental groups, to protect and strengthen wildlife conservation in Sri Lanka. The urgency to implement policies that protect our wildlife and ecosystems, while ensuring the livelihood and safety of communities, has meant wildlife conservation needs continuous education and long term sustainable development.

However, what you need to be aware of as a visitor, are the rules and regulations in terms of buying / collecting certain items like: animal teeth, nails & skins or plants, as you may violate laws under the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance and be prosecuted accordingly. It is crucial that the laws are abided by and the natural resources of Sri Lanka are respected for their conservation.

How do I arrange Safaris in Sri Lanka ?

Whale watching sri lankaThe Sri Lanka safari is a must-do when you tour the island and there will be many included if you book a fully fledged Wildlife Holiday in Sri Lanka with your Wildlife Travel Specialist.

However, if you want to book your safaris a-la-carte, there are several options and packages available when looking at wildlife safari in Sri Lanka. Initially, your complete itinerary, the duration of your holiday, your budget, personal preferences and travel partners will need to be factored in to make a decision. You will have to think about what kind of safari you desire: a full day/half day one? Is it a Family Safari or a Honeymoon Safari? If it’s Wildlife Photography Safari or a Birding Safari there will be many other aspects like: professional safari guides with special skills, customized safari jeeps and scheduling the safaris - which we would need to consider. It's crucial to match your expectations with a customised and thoughtfully planned wildlife safari, let me know what you are looking for and I will be happy to assist.

Why should you consider Sri Lanka for your next Wildlife Tour?

Widllife Safaris Sri LankaForbes said, “ Sri Lanka is the best safari destination next to Africa” and that says it all.

The experience of wildlife tours in Sri Lanka is a wanderlust dream because you are spoilt for choice. Sri Lanka safari holidays will have you traverse the island, seeing elephants one day and the next day you can be hitting the waters awed by the sight of whales. No other country can offer this diversity in such a short travelling time span.

It is about making memories, living your wildest dream and being in the midst of an exciting itinerary that makes a Sri Lankan safari tour like no other. Sri Lanka’s wildlife tourism offers itineraries around the year that can be planned to suit what you are looking for. With great hospitality, diversity in cuisine, personalised services on offer - I am here to answer any questions you may have when browsing through Sri Lankan wildlife tour packages, to decide what you would like to do next!

Wildlife Photography in Sri Lanka

Sighting a leopard tend to her cubs, or a grey hornbill perched pensively on a branch… are all gems waiting for the photographer in you to capture forever. The beauty of Sri Lankan wildlife is unsurpassed in this part of the world, for its richness in species, biodiversity and even numbers. Beautiful migratory birds join endemic species in the winter, casting colour like no other time - a feast for wildlife photography in Sri Lanka. Riding the waves alongside dolphins on the eastern coast or hitting the dust in the national parks, you can have your itinerary customised to satisfy your adventure of wildlife photography in Sri Lanka.

We have some of the best guides and safari jeep drivers, to take you to the best spots, getting there at the right time - to capture the magic unfolding.

Mahoora tented safari camps Sri Lanka.

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Colombo 08,
Sri Lanka

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