Udawalawe National Park

Location:

the boundaries of the Sabarangamuwa and Uva Provinces in Sri Lanka

the third most visited park in the country

a sanctuary for wild animals

Udawalawe National Park Pristine Sri Lanka

Lying on the boundaries of the Sabarangamuwa and Uva Provinces in Sri Lanka, Udawalawe National Park is the home to hundreds of mammals, reptiles, birds, and fishes. The habitats include grasslands, forests, water, and marshes. The park was established to provide space for wild animals and to provide catchment for the Walawe River. With a covered area of nearly 4000 hectares, the park is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.

 

The park is located at a distance of 165 kilometers from the capital Colombo, and one can reach within 5 to 6 hours of a bus ride. The park is open for the entire year, and one can see the animals, especially elephants bathing and strolling around with their calves. You can be lucky to find wild leopards in the evening and spot jackals, deer, and buffalos. The Udawalawe dam lies at the boundary of the park.

 

Biodiversity

 

The lake is a habitat for a variety of fishes and reptiles. At the same time, it is visited by the water birds like the spot-billed pelican, cormorants, and Eurasian spoonbill. Whether you are into wildlife photography, excited about camping and trekking, or interested to take safaris, keen on biodiversity in Sri Lanka, the Udawalawe National Park has a lot to offer.

Dead trees standing in the reservoir are visual reminders of the extent of forest cover before the construction of the Udawalawe Dam. Green algae, including Pediastrum and Scenedesmus spp., and blue-green algae species such as Microsystis, occur in the reservoir. Areas of open grassland are abundant as a result of former chena farming practices. There is a plantation of teak beyond the southern boundary, below the dam, which was planted before the declaration of the park. Species recorded from the park include 94 plants, 21 fish, 12 amphibians, 33 reptiles, 184 birds (33 of which are migratory), and 43 mammals. Additionally, 135 species of butterflies are among the invertebrates found in Udawalawe.” – Wikipedia

Safety First for Residents and You:

 

You can either opt for residing in nearby hotels or can opt to stay in the safari camp. It is necessary to follow safety precautions. While you are visiting the park as unnecessary gestures can put one’s life in danger. One should stay at a safe distance from the herd of animals and should talk to each other in whispers. Also, it is advised to respect and follow the prohibitions when it comes to drinking and eating inside the reserves.

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