Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift By
Posted 14 Oct, 2013 | No comments
Posted in: Places

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.

bird in sri lankaImage Credit: Sri Lanka Frogmouth

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.

Yala West

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.

sri lanka leopardImage Credit: The leopard, Panthera pardus, is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four “big cats” in the genus Panthera

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.

Uda Walawe
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.

sri lanka elephantsImage Credit: Family of Elephants in Sri Lanka

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.

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, we receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra and in many cases you receive a special discount. We appreciate your support!

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Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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