Of course, the main attraction in Udawalawe is the flora and fauna - and the best way to experience this rich biodiversity is with a safari tour. As you travel across the park’s vast grasslands, forests and marshes, keep your eyes peeled for wild cats, sambars, axis deer, wild boars and water buffalos. If you're interested in reptiles, you’re in luck - lizards, crocodiles, monitors and around 30 species of snakes can be found lurking in the park.
Udawalawe National Park is also a bird-watcher’s paradise. Look out for endemic residents such as the Sri Lanka superfowl and junglefowl, red-faced malkoha and brown-capped babbler, as well as rare species such as the white wagtail. The reservoir is where you’ll find the park’s aquatic birds, including pelicans and storks.
If you want to learn more about the conservation work that is being done in Udawalawe, be sure to visit the Elephant Transit Home on the park’s western border. Opened in 1995, this facility has helped to rehabilitate more than 100 elephants and release them back into the wild. As well as learning about the behaviour and ancestry of these gentle giants, you’ll get to watch calves frolic and feed.
There’s also the option to add to your wildlife experience with a traditional Sri Lankan lunch. Savour the rich flavours and spices used in authentic local dishes and discover why the food is such an important part of the country’s unique culture and heritage.
The main event here is the elephants. The park is home to hundreds of these magnificent mammals, and it’s not uncommon to see herds of up to 50 feeding and bathing near the reservoir and rivers. Another draw for animal-lovers is the Elephant Transit Home, where orphaned baby elephants are cared for until they’re ready to live in the wild. So far, more than 100 calves have been rehabilitated and released, many into Udawalawe National Park.Discover more
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