Sri Lanka is a country that is enriched with beaches, mountains, forests and National Parks that are preserved as wildlife sanctuaries. The island is comprised of different types of weather patterns in different parts, and is rich with wildlife. The main National parks allow visitors in without disturbing the natural habitat of the animals.
Yala National Park
This national park is the most visited and the second largest in Sri Lanka. With two blocks opened to the public, this park has five blocks in total. The two parks are called Ruhuna National Park and Kumana National Park. Yala belongs to the South-East part of the country in the Southern and Uva Province; being one of the first National Parks that was designed as a Wildlife sanctuary in 1900. Predominantly known for the wild animals that exist in the park, officials have noted the importance of conserving Sri Lankan Elephants, Sri Lankan Leopards and aquatic birds.
WIlpattu National Park
Located in the west coast in close proximity to Anuradhapura, an ancient historical city in Sri Lanka, the Wilpattu Sanctuary was declared a National park in 1938. Open to tourists and visitors, the best time to visit is between 6.00am and 6.00pm in a safari jeep. A traveller will be able to witness a variety of wildlife; the Sri Lankan Elephant, the Sri Lankan Leopard, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Spotted Deer, Buffalo, Sambar and Mongoose, along with a variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians.
Horton Plains National Park
This protected area is in the highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane, clouds and grassland. This National Park was declared as one for this region in 1988, where there is rich biodiversity and many species which are endemic to this region. The headwaters of the most popular rivers in Sri Lanka, Mahaweli, Kelani and Walawe start from The Horton Plains. Amongst these woody plains, the traveller would be able to find large herds of Sri Lankan Sambar Deer and an Important Bird Area with a variety of species restricted to The Horton Plains. This National Park is popular amongst tourists as the main attractions are “Worlds End” a sheer precipice, and “Baker’s Fall” a beautiful waterfall.
Minneriya National Park
Situated 182 kilometres from the city of Colombo, the Minneriya National park is in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. As the National Park is enriched with historical importance, the designation of the area being a “National Park” was established in order to protect the catchment of the Mineriya Tank built by King Mahasen. For the elephant population living in the forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee, the park is a dry season feeding ground. There are many other species of birds, butterflies, mammals living in this park as well.