Self Holidays

Best Safari Places in Sri Lanka: Things to Do in Sri Lanka 2022

Sri Lanka is a great place to travel. For starters, it has almost everything that a traveler would look for and for adventure seekers Sri Lanka has some good activities.

Travelers who like wildlife and safaris, Sri Lanka has some great safari places. Sri Lanka has a wide range of national parks. You’ll see a lot of animals & birds plus you will find that most are suitable for families.

Traveling into the jungles of Sri Lanka with camps set deep within the national parks is yet an undiscovered treasure. Throughout the island camps, tented cottages and hotels are set up to assist travelers to observe nature. Here are some of the best safari places in Sri Lanka that you can travel today!

1 – Yala National Park

Yala National Park is situated in the southeast of Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean. It is home for wildlife, for leopards, elephants, birds, and even crocodiles!

Yala is the most popular and most visited on this list mostly because people like to watch leopards. If you want to have a unique experience we recommend you take a stay at one of the tented chalets in Yala and do the jeep safari.

Yala is approximately 5 hours away from Colombo. You can easily rent our a jeep for the safari. Yala National Park is open from 6 AM to 6 PM, within this time you can do you safari easily. Yala Safari is a unique safari experience in Sri Lanka.

2- Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park is situated in the north-central province of Sri Lanka. The park is 2 hours away from Kandy and 5 hours away from Colombo. Minneriya Safari is very famous among international travelers.

Minneriya should be your choice in case you want to see the wildlife of elephants. You can also expect to see 300-400 elephants together at a time!

It is recommended to make your stay at Habarana, Sigiriya or Dambulla since it is just 45 minutes away. Minneriya National Park is open from 6 AM to 6 PM, you can schedule your safari between this. Jeep Safari is recommended.

3 – Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe is situated in the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka. Udawalawa National Park is well known for elephants and water birds. The park is a 4 hours drive from Colombo.

The prominent advantage over Minneriya Natural Park is that you can see elephants in close quarters. You can easily find accommodation as most hotels are located near the park entrance. You can also have a look at the Udawalawe Reservoir after the safari.

Half-day and Full-day safari are available while the park is open from 6 AM to 6 PM. Jeep Safari is recommended.

4- Bundala National Park

Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory waterbirds in Sri Lanka. The park is very famous among bird lovers and watchers.

The park is just 1 hour away from Yala, therefore, you can take accommodation in Yala and cover Bundala National Park safari after you complete Yala Jeep Safari. The park has around 197 species of birds.

You can go for bird watching during this timings: 6 AM to 10 AM / 3 PM to 6 PM.

5- Wilpatu National Park

Wilpatu National Park is located on the northwest coast of Sri Lanka. Wilpatu National Park is a 5 hours drive from Colombo.

It is considered as one of the most beautiful national parks in Sri Lanka as well as this is the second most popular place to see leopards after Yala. Anuradhapura is 1 hour away from the park, you can take accommodation there too which seems more ideal.

The park is open from 6 AM to 6 PM, you can plan your Willpatu Safari between this team.

6- Kumana National Park

The eastern side of Yala National Park is known as Kumana National Park. Kumana safari is well known mostly for elephants and birds.

Kumana is closeby to Arugam bay and the entry for this National Park is from Panama village.

7 – Wasgamuva National Park

Wasgamuwa National Park is situated closeby Polonnaruwa or you can say as the north side of Kandy. It is about 3 hours drive from Kandy.

Mostly you can see wild elephants. People prefer Wasgamuva National Park because it is a less crowded safari place in Sri Lanka.

8 – Gal Oya National Park

Gal Oya National Park is more on the southeast side of Sri Lanka. The park is 3 hours drive from Kandy.

If you like to see swimming elephants, Gal Oya National Park is the best. You can view elephants swimming across the large lake to reach small islands in between. The boat safari is more recommended here.

9 – Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains National Park which is very closeby to Nuwara Eliya (around 35km). Horton Plains features cloud forests & montane grasslands, plus rivers & waterfalls and attracts lots of tourists.

Many species are found here. As it is closeby to Nuwara Eliya, so you can stay at Nuwara Eliya and do Horton Plains safari as an activity.

10 – Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a forest reserve and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka, very well recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Sinharaja is situated in the southern province and is about 175KM

You can do a walking or bird watching tour and be close to nature.

Those were the best Safari places in Sri Lanka. Are you looking to travel to Sri Lanka? Then you should at least allocate one day just for the wildlife adventure. Happy Traveling!