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bundala national park sri lanka

Wildlife safaris at the Bundala National Park Sri Lanka

PioneerLogoThe Bundala National Park is widely noted for the various species of Sri Lankan avifauna that reside or migrate here. It is of particular interest for its water birds as every single species is said to visit here. 



History and Description of the Bundala National Park Sri Lanka

Covering an area of slightly more than 6,200 hectares, the Bundala National Park is located in the southern district of Hambantota in Sri Lanka. It falls within the dry zone and its climate can be described as hot and arid. The vegetation is predominantly of a dry thorny scrubland variety which provides a natural barrier to the wind and the terrain is flat with sand dunes that border the coastline.

The Park features a series of lagoons which are an important habitat for wintering water birds. It is due to this fact that Bundala was declared Sri Lanka's first Ramsar wetland. The best time to visit the Bundala National Park is between August and April when shore bird numbers can reach as high as 20,000.

Flora and Fauna at the Bundala National Park

Many different species can be observed on a wildlife safari at Bundala. There are a total of 383 species of plants, including six endemics and seven species which are considered threatened in Sri Lanka. It is also home to 32 different species of mammals, five of which are classified as threatened. These include the Sri Lankan Elephant, Sambar, Barking and Spotted Deer. Sri Lankan Leopards have been recorded in the Park too, but sightings are rare. Bundala is also the only national park where you can see both marsh and estuarine crocodiles on the same safari drive.

For keen birdwatchers, the wetland system harbours an incredibly rich bird life with approximately 197 species, including several species of migratory waterfowl. Every species of water bird found in the country is said to visit here. The rare Black-necked Stork and Great Thick-knee are particular birding highlights. The Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Red Shank, Spot-billed Pelican, Blue-faced Malkoha, Crested Hawk Eagle and Brown Shrike are easily seen. Migrants and vagrants make the journey from as far as Siberia and over 15,000 shore birds might be feeding at any one time between October and March.


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Excellent photographer's package

"Amazing experience. We'd been on safaris before so was immensely happy that the photographer's package included our own jeep and a naturalist guide who's also a photographer!"
James - Sydney, Australia
January 2017

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