Birds, beasts
And bio-hotspots
Birds, beasts and bio-hotspots

The call of the wild – if you need to heed it, Sri Lanka is an Eden where Mother Nature unveils everything from rainforests to arid deserts, scrub jungles to lush mountains in one small island. The diversity of climates is also reflected in our fauna and flora. With over 26 National Parks and reserves around the country, there’s plenty to interest you, both on the trails well-travelled and off the beaten track.

Elephant, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Buffalo and Crocodile – Sri Lanka’s ‘Big Five’ are found in the main parks of Wilpattu, Yala, Udawalawe and Wasgamuwa as well as others in the dry zones. For avid birdwatchers the Kumana, Bundala, Kalametiya and Mannar sanctuaries are avian havens. In complete contrast the bio hotspots of Horton Plains, Knuckles and Adam’s Peak Wilderness parks in the mountains offer astounding diversity with virgin forests and cloud plateaus; and the World Heritage Site of Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve – home to most of Sri Lanka’s endemic species, is a unique primeval paradise.

How you explore, is up to you: wildernessresorts, eco villas, rustic dwellings; even luxury tented camps close to the perimeter of the parks, each offer a different experience – and all modern conveniences, of course.

A world biodiversity hotspot, Sri Lanka is considered one of the best all-round wildlife destinations in the world. Our Wildlife & Nature experience will help you find out why it is so.


You Must Explore


One of Sri Lanka’s oldest national parks, Wilpattu comprises varying habitats: coastal belt, natural lakes (villus), cliff tops, scrublands, open grasslands and dense forest. The `big five’ in Sri Lanka including elephant, sloth bear, water buffalo, and spotted dear can be found here – as well as the elusive Leopard.


Comprising mainly thorny-shrub jungle with grasslands, Udawalawe is an ideal place to observe elephants. Located south of the Central Highlands which provide an incredible backdrop, the park is home to a diverse array of wildlife from crocs to wild buffalo. The Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home is worth a visit too.


Often referred to as Yala East National Park, Kumana is located on the South-Eastern coast. A bird lover’s paradise, from April to July, thousands of birds migrate to the swamp area with nearly 255 species being recorded in the park. Over 20 lagoons serve to support this wealth of avifauna.

Gal Oya

This large national park covering over 62, 937 ha is located between the Eastern and Uva provinces and is home to over 32 species of mammals including elephant, leopard and sloth bear, and over 150 species of birds. Less crowded, it offers better opportunities to observe wildlife ‘in the wild’.

Pigeon Island

Named after the Rock Pigeons that call it home, it is one of the two marine national parks in Sri Lanka. Set off the coast of Nilaveli, the clear, shallow reef – one of the best remaining in the island – is perfect for snorkelling amongst reef fish and turtles.

Hortan Plains

With breath-taking landscape of montane grassland and cloud forest, Horton Plains is the highest plateau in Sri Lanka. Located in the central highlands it ends dramatically with a sheer drop of 870 m called World’s End. The reserve is a biodiversity hotspot with many endemic species and the rare leopard.