Udawalawe National Park

In Sri Lanka we have the possibility of doing several and very different safaris. On this occasion we are going to refer to the Udawalawe National Park, where about 400 wild elephants live that can be easily seen when a safari is done in this vast place.

To all this we must add that we can also do a Safari to see large herds of elephants in the following:

Minneriya National Park
Kaudulla National Park


The Udawalawe National Park is in the South of Sri Lanka, on the border of the provinces of Sabaragamuwa and Uva.

Specifically, the park is 165 kilometres from Colombo.

Udawalawe National Park Sri Lanka Eden Travels
Udawalawe National Park Sri Lanka Eden Travels

Brief historical reference

The Udawalawe National Park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the reservoir catchment area.

Physical characteristics

The reserve was created in 1972. It covers a total of 30,821 hectares, about 308 square kilometers.

The habitat surrounding the reservoir includes swamps, the Walawe River and its tributaries, forests and pastures.

The dead trees in the reservoir are a visual reminder of the extent of forest cover before the construction of the Udawalawe dam.

Udawalawe is located on the edge of the wet and dry areas of Sri Lanka. The plains dominate the topography, although there are also some mountainous areas.

Price of admission:

Like all the natural parks of Sri Lanka, the entrance fee is $ 25.

Visiting hours:

From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Although it is best to do the safari in the early morning (from 7 to 10 am) or in the late afternoon from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Temperature and rainfall

The average annual temperature is approximately 27-28 ° C (81-82 ° F), while the relative humidity varies from 70% to 82%.

The park has an annual rainfall of 1,500 millimetres. Most of the rains occur during the months of October to January and March to May.


The species registered in the park include 94 plants, 21 fish, 12 amphibians, 33 reptiles, 184 birds (33 of which are migratory) and 43 mammals. In addition to 135 species of types of butterflies.

Flora in the Udawalawe National Park
Flora in the Udawalawe National Park


Four endemic floral species are registered in this park. In addition, there are plants of high medicinal value.



It is estimated that 350 to 400 elephants live in this park. Most are concentrated in the Udawalawe reservoir.

The following animals also live in the Udawalawe National Park:

rusty spots cat
fishing cat
Sri Lanka leopard
water buffalo
wild pig
golden jackal
endemic mouse of Ceylon


The painted storks are among the many aquatic birds that migrate to the park. Here we can also see the Sri Lanka rooster , the red-faced malkoha, the gray calabash, the black-cloaked fisherman, cormorants, pelicans, black-headed ibis, among others.

Udawalawe is also a good place to watch birds.

The open park attracts raptors such as the white-bellied eagle, the crested eagle-snake, the gray-headed osprey, the booted eagle and the changing hawk-eagle.

Reptiles and fish

Oriental garden lizards, painted lip lizards, assault crocodiles, Asian water monitors, Bengal monitors and 30 snake species are found in the park.

Tourism in the Udawalawe National Park

It is a very popular tourist destination among travellers to Sri Lanka. Especially for families with children.

The Udawalawe National Park is the third most visited park in the country.