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Udawalawe National Park

Spot herds of majestic Asian elephants, wild cats and myriad birdlife at this sprawling wildlife reserve on the edge of the Hill Country.

Udawalawe National Park is a sprawling lowland park that covers an area of 76,160 acres (30,821 hectares). Come here for one of the best places in Sri Lanka to observe Asian elephants in their natural habitat. Look for deer, wild cats and water buffalo as well. Udawalawe National Park was established to protect the wildlife that depends on the water from the Udawalawe Reservoir. It consists of lightly vegetated vast grasslands located in the shadow of the Hill Country’s tea plantations and escarpment.

The park’s undisputed main attractions are the more than 400 elephants that roam freely between the stark landscapes and reservoir. The high density makes sighting practically guaranteed throughout the year. Other mammals include buffalo, macaque, sambar deer, Sri Lankan leopard and wild boar. Sightings of crocodile and sloth bear are also common. See babblers, eagles, hornbills and pelicans, among other birds.

Access to the reserve is via organized half-day and full-day jeep safaris only. Tours include sharp-eyed guides who possess uncanny abilities to spot animals and provide valuable information about them. The absence of thick vegetation also makes game-watching an effortless task from an open-top jeep. Have your camera poised to snap memorable photos as you get close to the park’s inhabitants.

Located in the park’s southwestern corner is the Elephant Transit Home. It protects, rears and bottle feeds orphaned elephants before releasing them back into the wild. Come here for the daily feeding sessions to learn about their protection and development.

The park straddles the border of the Uva and Sabaragamuwa provinces in south-central Sri Lanka. It’s about a 4-hour drive from Colombo and a 3-hour drive from the popular beach town of Mirissa. Many jeep tours offer a pick-up and drop-off service from hotels in Ambilipitya, Avitiya and Udawalawe.

Udawalawe National Park is a year-round destination. There is a fee for entrance. Visit after dawn or just before dusk for the best chance of spotting large amounts of animals. Arrive from January to April and July to September to avoid the rainy season.


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See all 1,032 properties near Udawalawe National Park
Ruhunu Safari Camping - Udawalawe
Ruhunu Safari Camping - Udawalawe

Ruhunu Safari Camping - Udawalawe

Udawalawe National Park, Thanamalvila
     
    2.5 out of 5.0

    Situated in Thanamalvila, this tentalow is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Udawalawe National Park and within 6 miles (10 km) of Uda Walawe National Park and Udawalawe Reservoir. Mau Ara Lake and Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage are also within 9 miles (15 km).

    Centauria Wild £81
    Centauria Wild

    Centauria Wild

    Tanamalwila Road, Sevanagala
       
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Situated in Sevanagala, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Udawalawe Reservoir and Udawalawe National Park. Uda Walawe National Park and Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage are also within 9 miles (15 km).

      Elephant Trail £57
      Elephant Trail

      Elephant Trail

      35, 5th Mile Post, Sevanagala
         
        3.5 out of 5.0

        Situated in Sevanagala, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Udawalawe Reservoir and Udawalawe National Park. Uda Walawe National Park and Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage are also within 9 miles (15 km).

        Elephant Rest Udawalawa £24
        Elephant Rest Udawalawa

        Elephant Rest Udawalawa

        431 Ananda Gama, Hulankapolla, Sevanagala
           
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Sevanagala, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Udawalawe National Park and within 9 miles (15 km) of Uda Walawe National Park and Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage. Mau Ara Lake and Udawalawe Reservoir are also within 9 miles (15 km).

          Royal Tusker Udawalawa £36
          Royal Tusker Udawalawa

          Royal Tusker Udawalawa

          Thanamalvila Rd, Sevanagala, UP
             
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Situated in Sevanagala, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Udawalawe Reservoir and Udawalawe National Park. Uda Walawe National Park and Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage are also within 9 miles (15 km).

            Le Green Udawalawe Resort £25
            Le Green Udawalawe Resort

            Le Green Udawalawe Resort

            4, Ekamuthugama, Thanamalwila Road, Sewanagala, Thanamalvila
               
              3.5 out of 5.0

              Situated in a national park, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Udawalawe National Park and Udawalawe Reservoir.

              La Pentera £78
              La Pentera

              La Pentera

              Lake Road, Thanamalvila
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in Thanamalvila, this lodge is 2.5 mi (4 km) from Udawalawe National Park and within 20 miles (32 km) of Uda Walawe National Park and Lunugamvehera National Park. Udawalawe Reservoir and Samanalawewa Reservoir are also within 25 miles (40 km).

                Sihilro Regency £22
                Sihilro Regency

                Sihilro Regency

                776, Sampathgama, Sevanagala
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Situated in Sevanagala, this guesthouse is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Udawalawe National Park and within 9 miles (15 km) of Uda Walawe National Park and Mau Ara Lake. Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage and Udawalawe Reservoir are also within 9 miles (15 km).