The outstanding Yala National Park takes pride of place as the best known and most renowned national park in Sri Lanka. It is particularly famed for its population of leopards which prowl through the expanses of the park. However, Yala’s attractions do not end there as you will also find plenty of other interesting creatures like peacocks, elephants and many other denizens of the wild. You will find that this natural sanctuary stretches from the sea coast to areas of jungle further inland. Yala consists of a number of sectors, of which two may be visited by the public.
This interesting national park is situated in proximity to Anuradhapura, a historically significant city in Sri Lanka. This park is renowned for the numerous tanks, or reservoirs that collect rainwater, which can be found in its environs. These tanks make it possible for the various kinds of birds that can be found at Wilpattu to survive. Wilpattu is a very popular safari destination, with many visitors from abroad visiting it to experience its attractive flora and fauna including leopards, deer, bears and elephants. It is also possible to stay here overnight within a tented accommodation.
This remarkable natural sanctuary has the distinction of being the Sri Lankan national park to be situated at the greatest altitude. It is situated at an elevation of approximately 2,000 m and presents stunning scenery for the visitor. You will find that this area offers an excellent environment for hiking and trekking. In fact, the trek that will take you to World’s End, a steep drop-off offering panoramic views, is ranked amongst the most unforgettable treks in Sri Lanka.
Minneriya National Park has acquired international renown for the amazing sight known as ‘The Gathering’ where herds of elephants congregate at a water tank in the park. In fact, this event is considered to feature the greatest number of elephants to be found at one location in the entirety of Asia. The nearest city to this natural sanctuary is Polonnaruwa, another ancient capital of Sri Lanka. When it comes to adventure tours in Sri Lanka that will take you to Minneriya and other national parks, an option to consider would be Walkers Tours
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
This pristine forest reserve which has been identified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO is considered to be Sri Lanka’s last remaining extent of primaeval rainforest. In fact, the Sinharaja forest is considered to contain 50% of the endemic mammals native to Sri Lanka, in addition to a similar proportion of the endemic butterflies. Additionally, Sinharaja also boasts a wide selection of birds, insects and reptiles. You will find that this reserve features a number of unusual amphibians as well.
Captivating Pigeon Island is considered to be one of only a couple of marine national parks to be found in Sri Lanka. This area is regarded as being a splendid environment for scuba diving. In fact, Pigeon Island is the name given to two islands situated on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast where innumerable rock pigeons make their home. Beneath the waters here are a number of attractive coral reefs. The nature lover and the scuba diver alike will be enthralled by the attractions of Pigeon Island which is a unique national park worth exploring.