Lying within the Indomalaya ecozone, Sri Lanka is one of 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world. Although the country is relatively small in size, it has the highest biodiversity density in Asia. A remarkably high proportion of the species among its flora and fauna. Sri Lanka has declared 24 wildlife reserves, which are home to a wide range of native species such as Asian elephants, leopards, sloth bears, the unique small loris, a variety of deer, the purple-faced langur, the endangered wild boar, porcupines and Indian pangolins.
Yala National Park in the southeast protects herds of elephant, deer, and peacocks. The Wilpattu National Park in the northwest, the largest national park, preserves the habitats of many water birds such as storks, pelicans, ibis, and spoonbills. The island has four biosphere reserves: Bundala, Hurulu Forest Reserve, the Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya, and Sinharaja. Of these, Sinharaja forest reserve is home to 26 endemic birds and 20 rainforest species, including the elusive red-faced malkoha, the green-billed coucal and the Sri Lanka blue magpie.
Major Wildlife Reserves
YALA NATIONAL PARK
The Yala National Park is the most visited park in Sri Lanka. Yala National Park is a huge area of forest, grassland and lagoons bordering the Indian Ocean, in southeast Sri Lanka. It’s home to wildlife such as leopards, elephants and crocodiles, as well as hundreds of bird species. The rocky outcrops scattered over the park provides vantage points to enjoy the sprawling areas with Sri Lanka’s dry zone landscape, low scrub and woods. Stillmore, the southern border of the park being the south-eastern coast, the brackish lagoons and dunes enhances the distinctive charm of the Yala National Park.
Wilpattu National Park Sri Lanka.
Wilpattu National Park has a good network of gravel roads, particularly between the water holes which are the best places to observe wild life. A unique complex of over 50 wetlands like “everglades” called “Villu” is the most prominent feature of the national park jungle. Jeep Safari is the regular norm in exploring the Wilpattu National Park. While the big 4 of Sri Lankan wild life the Leopard, Elephant, Sloth bear, Deer, endemic birds can be sighted easily during the safari. February to October is the best time to visit Wilpattu.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve meaning ‘Lion Kingdom’ is the best known Rain Forest in the country and has been identified as important biodiversity hotspot. The Park was originally declared a forest reserve in 1875 and due to its international importance it was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.
The forest cover is denser than other dry zone parks making it more secure for the wildlife yet making it a little harder for visitors to take a glimpse of the larger mammals such as the Leopard and Elephants. This tropical rain forest believed to be home for almost 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic wildlife draws thousands of visitors wanting to explore and experience this natural wonder that is rich in endemism; an inevitable treasure trove bursting with various species of flora and fauna.
The high diversity of vegetation within the reserve has made it a favorable sanctuary for various species of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, fish, amphibians and plant life; all co-existing within the ecosystem.
Sinharaja has recorded over 154 species of birds and is known to have a ‘mixed-species feeding flocks’ or informally called a ‘bird wave’ where two or more species feed and move together. This unique sight witnessed at Sinharaja sometimes consists of flocks containing 30-50 birds of various species sometimes 10-12 species, erupting in various bird sounds as they feed and move within a short time. Taking lead in this exercise is the Orange-billed babbler and the Crested drongo.
Mirissa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka, located in the Matara District of the Southern Province. It is approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) south of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 4 metres (13 ft) above sea level. Mirissa’s beach and nightlife make it a popular tourist destination. It is also a fishing port and one of the island’s main whale and dolphin watching locations.
One of the best places in the world to see one of the only recorded resident blue whale colonies in their natural habitat. Dolphins are regularly spotted on whale watching trips organized from Mirissa and Dondra head on the south coast.
Good to know
Srilankan Visa can be obtained online.
Travel - Nearest Airport
Colombo International Airport is the main serving International Airport in Sri Lanka. All our trips to Sri Lanka would begin from Colombo.
Yalla National Park, Mirissa for Whale Watching.
Best time to Visit.
The best time to visit the west and south coasts and hill country is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September. For Forest and Birding Tours The Best time would be December to March.
Let’s Plan your Safaris !
JungleTrail Expeditions is a full service travel agency and tour operator. Not only does this give you peace of mind in preparing for such expedition such as this one , but it also gives us control of all ground operations in SriLanka, ensuring a seamless experience for you. Before your departure our team of experts will personally advice you facilitating all aspects of your preparation. On the ground, your Sri Lanka based expedition manager will ensure that all logistical details are addressed , so you can simply enjoy the journey.