Experiential journeys will make you a storyteller
About Udawalawe

Udawalawe has grasslands and is one of the wild life sanctuaries in Sri Lanka. The Udawalawe National Park is a home to many wild animals, birds, and reptiles. You will find many water birds and elephants in this sanctuary. 200 kilometers from Colombo is Udawalawe National Park, spread across more than thirty thousand hectares, and things to do here. You can take open safaris at this place and trek in a few areas. The climate at this park is uniform throughout the year except for the rainfalls. Rich in vegetation and wild life, you will find species of many shrubs, trees that cover most of the forest and grassland.

You can book the luxury resorts near the national park for a stay and take safaris to have a look at the wildlife. These look similar to savannah reserves in Africa. This is one of the dry regions of Sri Lanka. You will find waterfalls in a few areas of this region. This is one of the popular tourists places when you visit Colombo in Sri Lanka. There are temples, dams, rivers, waterfalls, caves, and hot water springs that you can visit in these areas. Especially, during the flowering season the wild jasmine and many other species of plants and flowers bloom and make this place look scenic.
Read More

Udawalawe FAQ's

Travel advice

  • It takes 4 to 5 hours from Colombo to drive to this park. You can take a flight to Colombo and hire transportation to this park.

  • Your chances of seeing an elephant in this park is nearly 99%.

  • Wear light, casual clothing and trekking shoes when visiting this park. You can carry snacks water bottles, and travel kits sightseeing here.

  • A jeep can carry maximum of 6 people. So, take extra precautions when travelling with kids to this area.

  • You are not allowed to smoke or take recreational drugs when trekking and camping in the park.

  • Pack cameras, sun screen, sun glasses, hats, swim wear, and binoculars when taking tours at this place.

  • Avoid wearing white or bright colored clothing when taking a safari. Always wear dark colored clothing that camouflages with the vegetation of the park.

  • Talk in whispers and do not use loud pitch of voice to talk when taking safaris.

  • Never ever feed wild animals during safaris and keep a safe distance from them. This can prevent you from attacks and being hurt.

  • Do not alight from the jeep and wander in the areas of the park.

Drinking Law

Do not drink inside the reserve or when trekking, camping, and taking safaris in the reserve. Bringing liquor inside the park is strictly prohibited.

Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?

Wild Life Park and sanctuary

At the wild life sanctuary, you will easily find a herd of elephants bathing, strolling, and having fun in the water of the reservoir. You are also likely to find leopards in the evenings. You can also spot water buffalos, deer, jackal, langur monkeys, civet cat, mongoose, kingfishers, pelicans, black headed ibis, sea eagles, garden lizards, painted lip lizards, many species of snakes, and more exotic mammals and birds at this sanctuary. You can go bird watching at the reservoirs, take to guided camping at places in the sanctuary, and spend time amidst nature and wildlife. There are no water sports activities at the reserve. Your activities are only limited to safaris and trekking.

Elephant transit home

Near the park, you will find elephant transit home, where elephant herds are grazing freely and having a good time. You can watch them from a distance, take pictures, and take a stroll in the grasslands of this place. This is one of the unique ways you can spend your holidays.

Udawalawe dam

At the boundaries of this national park, you will find the Udawalawe Dam, which is one of the well known landmarks in Sri Lanka. You are highly likely to find an elephant at a closer range that has come out of the reservoir to take a stroll near the dam. Closer to the dam are picturesque lush green forests and water bodies that look pristine in the early mornings. You can take a swim at the reservoir in the waters that are fresh and serene.

Waterfalls, rivers, and hot springs

The Duwili Ella waterfalls have a captivating view in the Sinharaja forest. Visitors enjoy the scenic view of these waterfalls cascading through the lush greens and rocks of the forest. The Walave River is one of the most revered rivers in Sri Lanka. You will find many species of deers and herbivorous animals taking a stroll and grazing near the river. It gives a picturesque country side view to anyone visiting this river. The Wavulpane limestone cave located 900 meters above the sea level has its own waterfalls and series of caves within. Inside this cave, you can find fossils, and species of reptiles, bats, and mammals. You can also find nearly 100 species of flora near the water falls of this cave. Hot springs in Madunagala have medicinal properties. Closer to the site, you will also find the Sankalpa temple which has a beautiful landscape and caves.

What you will like there?

Wildlife safaris and sightseeing

You will enjoy spotting species of mammals, birds, and reptiles as you take a safari in this sanctuary. You will enjoy the drive on the acres of lush greenery, waterfalls, and climate that is amicable most of the year. You will also enjoy sightseeing nearby reservoirs and dam. Especially, elephants are one of the main tourist attractions at this place.

Wildlife photography

You will enjoy taking photographs of the wild life. You have to be careful when taking photographs during the safaris, as you will not be allowed to step out in the open, and place your tripod for a longer period. You can, however, take a lot of pictures of birds and lush greens that you see when you visit the sanctuary and reservoir. Do not expect a night life or a shopping spree here, as there is no scope for that. There are many national parks nearby in the vicinity. You can visit them too in your day trips.

Recommended reads for destination

Website :

Udawalawe National Park

Forum :

Travel Forum

Books :

A Pictorial Guide to UDA Walawe National Park by Sarath Kotagama


Why Choose Thrillophilia