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A sanctuary that wild elephants call ‘Home’.

Situated beneath the imposing Great Western mountain range, Udawalawe Nature Reserve is defined by its expansive landscapes and the Udawalawe reservoir at its heart. The park’s most iconic inhabitants are its elephants, numbering over 600 individuals, often seen in herds of up to 50—a spectacle that’s not uncommon. The park’s open plains and sparse vegetation make it an ideal sanctuary to observe these majestic creatures in their natural environment.

In addition to elephants, Udawalawe is teeming with diverse wildlife, including buffalo, crocodiles, deer, sambur, and a plethora of bird species. While sightings of leopards and bears are less frequent, the park’s rich biodiversity ensures a rewarding experience for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Here are more details about Udawalawe:

Geographical Location: Udawalawe National Park is located in the Sabaragamuwa and Uva provinces of Sri Lanka, covering an area of approximately 30,821 hectares. It is situated in the southeastern part of the island, approximately 165 kilometers southeast of Colombo, the capital city.

Natural Habitat: The landscape of Udawalawe is characterized by vast plains, grasslands, and scrub forests, interspersed with rocky outcrops and the meandering Walawe River. The centerpiece of the park is the Udawalawe Reservoir, which serves as a vital water source for the park’s wildlife and supports a thriving ecosystem.

Wildlife: Udawalawe National Park is renowned for its diverse array of wildlife, with elephants being the star attraction. The park is home to an estimated 600 elephants, making it one of the best places in Sri Lanka to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Visitors can witness herds of elephants grazing, bathing, and interacting with each other, providing memorable wildlife encounters.

Other Wildlife: In addition to elephants, Udawalawe is inhabited by a variety of other wildlife species, including buffalo, sambar deer, spotted deer, wild boar, water monitor lizards, and mugger crocodiles. The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 200 species of birds recorded, including numerous endemic and migratory species.

Safari Experience: One of the best ways to explore Udawalawe National Park is by embarking on a safari excursion. Visitors can choose from jeep safaris, guided walking tours, or even elephant-back safaris to traverse the park’s diverse terrain and observe its wildlife up close. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the park’s ecology, behavior of its inhabitants, and conservation efforts.

Conservation Efforts: Udawalawe plays a crucial role in the conservation of Sri Lanka’s biodiversity, particularly in protecting its elephant population. The park is actively involved in research, monitoring, and conservation initiatives aimed at safeguarding its wildlife and their habitats. Visitors can learn about these efforts at the park’s visitor center and through guided tours.

Overall, Udawalawe National Park offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, biodiversity, and wildlife experiences, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers visiting Sri Lanka.

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