The best thing about Sri Lanka is its wildlife. You can meet wild elephants just on your scooter ride to the next village, you can meet wild crocodiles on your walk to explore the surroundings…
It´s just an amazing country with wildlife everywhere. But if you wanna learn little more and higher your chances of seeing elephants, leopards, crocodiles and many other animals, National parks are the great option!
Animals here are free in their elements and you can see them from the jeep.
In Sri Lanka is more National Safari parks to choose from.
WHICH SRI LANKA SAFARI SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
This one would be the best known and therefore the most popular National park. The biggest reason is wild leopards which they say there is almost one leopard per one square km! We didn’t choose to visit Yala because of the number of jeeps being let in at the same time.
Udawalawe was our choice because there is except leopards the same wildlife to be seen, yet less busy with jeeps. As well this park is one of the main parks for whole Asia regarding wild elephants.
Kumana is smaller National park near to Arugam Bay. Part of it you can explore on your own without paying entrance or renting a jeep. It’s not as rich on wild animals as other big National parks but we think it’s a really good option if you are near Arugam Bay and maybe don’t have enough time to travel to Yala.
PRICE OF UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK
Price deepens on your negotiation skills and mainly on how many people are in your jeep to do the tour for the Udawalawe Safari.
There are many companies you can go through and most of them have similar prices. The price includes entrance ticket and renting a vehicle with driver. One jeep is for a maximum of 6 people and the total price should be somewhere between 10,000 – 20,000 rupees. (200-400 AUD)
We arrived on our own scooter for the afternoon tour. As we didn’t plan it that well, we didn’t book anything in advice and just went with somebody in front of the gate and were pretty happy with it.
To hire the jeep with the driver we paid 3000 rupees for the whole afternoon, and then paid our own entrance ticket to Udawalawe National Park. The price was 7000 rupees for 2 people. So together for both of us, it cost 10,000 rupees, we had a private jeep and around 4-hour safari. ( 200 AUD, 3200 CZK)
ABOUT UDAWALAWE SAFARI NATIONAL PARK
They do two tours per day:
➳The morning safari starts at 7 am
➳Afternoon safari starts around 2.30pm
We chose the afternoon one for two reasons:
➳First, it was much more comfortable for us as we were driving our scooter from Mirissa which is around 3 hours scooter ride.
➳And mainly a lot of people say you should be able to see more elephants in the afternoon hours as they are going to their watering holes.
Hard to say if we were just very lucky or if it’s actually true but we saw so many elephants we were blown away!
So once you have your entrance ticket and driver with a jeep you are all ready to go to explore all the wildlife.
And it didn’t take long for us to see a family of elephants! Our guide was great as well and all the time trying his hardest to spot some animals, drive as close as possible and feeding us with an enormous amount of information about every single of them. You should be able to see water buffalos, crocodiles, eagles, monkeys, peacocks…
Udawalawe National park was for us one of the highlights of our travels and we can highly recommend it to you.
You can watch our video ↡
To check out the prices of places to stay in Udawalawe, click here.