For those looking to get back to grips with nature, a holiday in Sri Lanka could be the perfect opportunity. Famous for its stunning beaches and ancient cities, Sri Lanka is also home to a vast range of national parks that give the public chance to witness exotic animals in their natural habitat.
From leopards to elephants, birds and rare plant life, there is something for everyone to visit and enjoy in this beautiful country. With the volume of sanctuaries and national parks being so large, they’re the perfect way to plan a trip around the country.
Based in the south-east, Yala West is the most predominant national park of Sri Lanka due in part to its sheer size, but primarily thanks to the range of rare wildlife that makes its flat plains their home.
The Sri Lankan leopards are one of the biggest attractions to this area, especially given their bold behaviour, despite typically being quite shy mammals. Lucky visitors will also get the chance to catch site of the sloth bears, sambar, deer, buffalo and even wild pigs and mongoose.
When visiting the area, make sure to travel to Arugam Bay, one of the best places in Asia for water sports. Whether you prefer to stand and watch or actually take part, the area is famous for its world-class surfing talent, making quite a spectacular show.
While this particular national park was created in order to protect the expansive reservoir in the area, one of the biggest attractions comes in the form of the Asian elephants that roam the lands here.
You’ll get the chance to trek through the vast jungles and forest in the park, while most will be almost guaranteed to see some of the 500 elephants that take residence in the area. It’s also a great spot for lovers of birds and reptiles, with the serpent eagle flying around the area.
While visiting, you’ll also get chance to catch another staple of Sri Lankan culture – the famous tea plantations. With the hillsides covered in the plants, you’ll catch sight of the traditional work of the area. Check out the Ella hill area for great views of the tea plantations, lush mountains and beautiful waterfalls!
Besides all of the amazing wildlife in this tiny country, there are many other reasons why Sri Lanka is an amazing travel destination. We spent three weeks there and loved every minute of it. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and book your flight…now is the perfect time to visit Sri Lanka.
For more information on travelling to this diverse country, check out our Budget Guide To Backpacking Sri Lanka.