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udawalawe national park sri lanka

Accommodation and Safaris at Udawalawe National Park Sri Lanka

PioneerLogoThe Udawalawe National Park is famed for its resident elephant population and is one of the oldest national parks in Sri Lanka. It is also instrumental in the establishment of the Elephant Transit Home which is an important project that is geared towards the conservation of elephants in Sri Lanka.

 

Finding right accommodation in Udawalawe National Park Sri Lanka

This national park spans approximately 31,000 hectares and is located in the southern dry zone. The park cuts across two of the Southern Provinces and includes the Udawalawe Reservoir. The most prominent peak called Ulgala is located in the west of the park. It rises up to a height of nearly 380 metres from the lowest point in the area which is at 100 metres above sea level. The most topographical features are the Kalthota Escarpment and the spectacular Diyawinne Falls to the north.

The reservoir itself is situated inside the park, and draws its water from the Horton Plains Reserve, the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary and the Haputale area. It retains its status as an important area for aquatic birds. Udawalawe is the second most popular park after Yala and is famed for its resident Sri Lankan Elephant population which can be seen in large herds.

The Udawalawe National Park is also instrumental in the Elephant Transit Home - a project that is geared towards the conservation of the Sri Lankan Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) which is a recognized subspecies of the Asian Elephant and is now endangered. This transit camp is an orphanage of sorts where abandoned, injured or orphaned elephants are treated and then released back into the park. It is possible to observe these elephants from a safe distance.

Getting the most out of your Udawalawe National Park Safari

The Udawalawe National Park is the only place where an elephant sighting is guaranteed on every single safari drive. There are around 600 to 700 Sri Lankan Elephants in this wildlife park and it is not unusual to see large herds gather to drink water and feed. 

In addition to the Elephants there are Spotted deer, Monitor lizards, Sambar deer, Wild boar, Common Langurs, Jackals, Toddy cats and the endemic Toque Macaque. The Sri Lankan Leopard has also been sighted here, but unlike in the Yala National Park these sightings are very rare.

A total of 183 species of birds have been recorded here, some of which are resident and the others, migrant. The endemic Sri Lanka junglefowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Malabar pied Hornbill and the Sri Lanka Spurfowl are of particular importance to birders. Of the water birds, the rare Osprey and Indian Cormorant are of note too.

Thirty species of snakes, Mugger crocodiles, Oriental garden lizards, Water monitors and Bengal Monitors also call Udawalawe home. 

In terms of floral species, much of the forest canopy in Udawalawe has been destroyed through slash and burn cultivation - only savannah grasslands and thorn scrub now prevail. Trees such as Satin, Ehala, Lunumidella and Kumbuk can be found. The Mandorang tree too can be found here and is endemic to Sri Lanka.

More about Udawlawe National Park

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Wonderful stay at Mahoora Tented Safari Camp Yala

"From the moment we were picked up to the moment we sadly had to leave, Mahoora staff provided us with an experience we will never forget. We did 2 safaris, 1 afternoon and 1 the next morning. So lucky to witness leopard up close and be able to watch her hunt!!! 

 All staff at the camp are to be highly commended. We loved every minute of it and hope to be back for longer next time"
The Allan Family, Australia
April 2018

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