Sri Lanka remains to be the best place for seeing wildlife in the entire Asia. The isolated island of Sri Lanka experiences heavy monsoon rainfall due to variety of altitudes, which have given the country varied climatic conditions. This suitable climate allows existence of different wildlife, found across the Asian continent. The country’s land is less developed, despite the exploding human population that is increasingly causing high pressure on ecosystem.
Large chunks of land in the island converted to national parks and national reserves, which reflects the traditional Buddhist concern for biodiversity. Natural heritage preservation has been reflected in the swatches of land that have been converted to sanctuaries. Mihintale is the oldest reserve (sanctuary) in the world, and was created in the 3rd Century, BC. These protected areas are one of the tourists’ attractions in Sri Lanka, best suitable for holiday trips and vacations. Let’s look at the best five national parks, where travellers must visit.
Yala-West National Park
This is a premier Park, found in the south-eastern part of Sri Lanka. It’s an appealing low lying landscape along the coastline, with dry scrubs and rocks. Its top attraction is the leopard species among other mammals, which occur abundantly in the park. For every 1 sq Km, you’ll see a leopard. Other appealing animals found in this park include; samba deer, buffalo, spotted deer, wild pig, languor monkey, and golden jackal among others. There’re birds with high diversity, due to availability of varied ecosystems. Freshwater, marine, woodland, and scrub provide homes for many different types of birds and other wildlife. The park is six hours drive from Colombo, and travellers enjoy surfing in the Aru gam Bay that is near the park.
The Uda Walawe National Park
This park is situated in the south of central mountains, and has extensive grassland and scrub vegetation. It was purposely made to conserve the enormous watershed, the Uda Walawe Reservoir. Its top attraction is the Asian elephants found in the grassland, and the jungle birds. It’s not quite rich in mammals’ diversity, but birdwatchers get full fun here. Birds that are found here include; hawks and serpent eagles, and grey fish eagle. The park is located in a four-hour drive from Colombo.
Wasgomuwa National Park
This park is found in North Central Province. It’s a low lying landscape found near Knuckles Massif, where diverse biodiversity exist. Many mammals are found here, such as elephants. Travellers enjoy observing elephants as they move together with their young ones. From Colombo, it’s five hour-hour drive. Near the park are the fascinating Buddha caves of Dam bulla, where travellers visit after touring the park.
Minneriva and Kaudulla National Parks
The two parks are found close to one another, and it takes travellers only 30 minutes’ drive from one park to the other. They’re found in North Central Province, located near two expansive water reservoirs. The mammals in the scrub jungle are major draw, but game watching is not consisted throughout. However, seasonal assemblies of elephants make it wonderful.
Near these parks are the ancient monasteries and palaces of Polonnaruwa, where travellers can still visit and view ancient site.
The Horton Plains Park
Horton plains are well viewed from the central highlands. It’s the highest plateau in the island of Sri Lanka, rich in indigenous plants and animals. The major draw is the birds, for instance, the whistling thrush and the bush warbler of Sri Lanka.
Another amazing attraction is the dwarf lizard of montane zone, which give birth to young ones instead of laying eggs. Driving hours from Colombo is usually four to five hours. The colonial hill of Nuwara Eliya is located near the parks, and travellers can still visit to view the amazing site.
Travellers from other countries must have visit visas before travelling to Sri Lanka. The visas can be obtained easily through online, by filling in an application form. It’s the easiest method of getting your Sri Lankan visa, without much hassle.