General Information — Ceylon Wild Safaris

ABOUT SRI LANKA

The island of Sri Lanka is shaped like an enormous teardrop falling from the southern tip of India, separated by a series of stepping-stone coral islets. Formerly known as Ceylon and as Serendib, Sri Lanka has known Portuguese, Dutch and English colonization and today still displays a fascinating blend of local and old colonial cultures in a landscape of up country tea plantations, dense jungles teeming with wildlife and a coastline of palm-fringed beaches.
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Anuradapura
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Dambulla
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Galle Fort
heritage_kandy
Kandy
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Polonnaruwa
heritage_sigiriya
Sigiriya
heritage_sripada
Sripada
heritage_yapahuwa
Yapahuwa
heritage_yapahuwa
Yapahuwa
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Arugambay
attraction_botanical-garden
Botanical Garden
attraction_hikkaduwa coral gardens
Hikkaduwa - Coral Gardens
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Hikkaduwa
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Nilaweli
attraction_pigeon_island
Pigeon Island
attraction_pinnawela
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
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Stilt Fishing
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Tea Estate
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Train Track
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Unawatuna
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Trekking
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Unawatuna Diving Center
attraction_water falls
Water Falls
attraction_whale_watching
Whale Watching
attraction_white water rafting
White Water Rafting
festival_esalaperahara
Esala Perahera
festival_kataragama
Kataragama
festival_newyear
Sinhala and Tamil New Year
Poson
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Wesak
bliss_ayurvedic herbal treatment
Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment
bliss_breakfast meals
Breakfast Meals
bliss_meditation
Meditation
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Sri Lankan Food
bliss_tea
Tea
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Ayurvedic Herbal
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Bathik
essence_beralu
Beralu
essence_crafts
Crafts
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Fruits
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Leather Products
Sri Lankan gems and jewelery.
Gems and Jewelery
essence_handloom
Handloom
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Rush and Reed Ware
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Spices
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Tradition Dance
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Vegetables
Travel Information

It has been announced that with effect from 1st January 2012, all foreign travellers to Sri Lanka must have Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) when stepping into Sri Lankan soil. Even though applications for ETA can be requested through third parties, the applicable payments are to be made through www.eta.gov.lk. If you have made payments to another party other than www.eta.gov.lk please do note that it is not the correct procedure for obtaining a valid ETA.


What to Wear?

Cotton clothing is best recommended due the hot climate of Sri Lanka. But if you are planning to wander amidst the blue hills of the central highlands pack up, woollen clothing to keep yourself warm and cuddled. Apart from climatic necessities, when you are visiting a place of worship, you will have to wear modest light coloured clothing.


Photo Permits

There are certain places where you will need special permits in photographing highly valuable archaeological sites, while some places advice you on certain limitations of capturing the object in topic due to preservation procedures. (You'll be advised of the photography limitations by the authorized personal at the premises) Having said that, being a nation that is immersed in Buddhism, please care to note that taking pictures in front of Lord Buddha statue (facing your back to the statue) is considered disrespectful by the locals.


Banks

Banks are open from 09.00 – 15.00 Monday to Friday, while some branches of the banks are open Saturday and Sunday. Apart from that ATMs are spread across island wide for your monitory emergencies.


Credit Cards

Majority of the business entities allow credit card transactions. How ever in the rural area shops may have charge additional 3% for as Banks Charges.


Time Difference

Sri Lanka Standard Time is 5.30 hrs ahead of GMT


Language

While Sinhala and Tamil become the chief languages in Sri Lanka, English is commonly used for better interactions with different communities.


Sri Lankan Currency

We use Sri Lankan Rupee as our local currency, which is denominated as LKR and Rs. For user convenience Currency Notes are being issued up to the highest value Rs. 5,000, where Rs.2,000, Rs.1,000, Rs.500, Rs.100, Rs.50, Rs.20 and Rs.10 follows the king of notes. Currency coins are issued for Rs. 10, Rs.5, Rs.2 and Rs.1. Though at present, cents are rarely used, you will occasionally have to use cents 25 and cents 50 coins if you want to settle the transaction precisely to the last cent. Whatever said and done, in order to avoid uncomfortable moments, make sure you are well stocked with change, especially if you are using public transportation.

Check currency exchange rate published byCentral Bank Of Sri Lanka


Foreign Currency Regulations

If you are bringing more than US$10,000 please declare the total sum to the customs up on arrival. When returning to your homeland, all unspent rupees can be converted to the original currency state as long as you have the encashment receipts.


Health Measures

To enjoy the best of Sri Lanka holidays, please make sure you are immunized and well protected against the following

Getting Around

For the most part, we’ll be traveling by road. Roads in Sri Lanka are generally well-maintained, though traffic moves notoriously slowly in Colombo and its surrounds. Investment in recent years has brought about better roads from Colombo to Kandy, Puttalam and Galle.



Cabs


Train Travel

TukTuk Rides

Requesting your TukTuk is easy. Just open the app (Uber, PickMe, YoGo) and enter the location where you’re going. The app uses your location so your driver knows where to pick you up. You’ll see your driver’s picture, vehicle details, and can track their arrival on the map. Payment can be made by cash or credit card. After the ride, you can rate your driver. You’ll also get a receipt by email.
Drinking

Tap water is a big no. You should always boil and filter water. Due to the hustle and bustle hotels and restaurant may not properly go through with this procedure therefore its best recommended to help yourself with crystal clear bottled water (make sure the seal is still on). Other than that, help yourself to a King Coconut (in Sinhala we call it "Thambili") from a street vendor. It's a refreshing taste, and if you want something revitalizing why not sip a cup of Pure Ceylon Tea?


Sunburn

Sri Lanka is only 600km away from the equator. Therefore bring your whole sun protection gear, when you feel like sun bathing and even with that limit it to specific time, before you get extremely sun burnt.


Heatstroke

You can experience it if you are not too careful, because it is a condition which occurs when the heat-regulating mechanism is over heated and there is no way to cool it off. If you are spending too much time in the sun, please make sure you are well hydrated, by drinking plenty of water. The symptoms are throbbing headache, light-headedness, cramps, rapid heartbeat, and behavioural changes such as confusion, disorientation which can even go up to seizures.


WiFi Availablity

WiFi can usually be found in most hotels, restaurants and cafes in Sri Lanka although the speed and security of the connections can vary dramatically. Internet cafes can also be found throughout the country.

Biodiversity of Sri Lanka

Approximately...
  • 90 + species of land mammals
  • 26 species of sea mammals 435 + species of birds 244 species of butterflies 120 species of dragonflies 78 species of fresh water fish 1,800 + Saltwater fish 59 species of freshwater crustaceans 356 species of ground beetles 99 species of frogs 95 + species of land snake 236 species of land snails 400 + species of spider 4,143 species of flowering plants 1,920 species of fungi 200+ species of lichen 756 species of mosses and liverworts
      Many of these species can be seen without difficulty in our national parks and sanctuaries, of which there are over 15.
Leopards of Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya), colloquially known as Kotiya in Sinhala and Puli in Tamil, is a subspecies of leopard native to Sri Lanka. Classified as Endangered by IUCN, the population is believed to be declining due to numerous threats including poaching for trade and human-leopard conflicts.
Local Names
Panthera pardus kotiya is the kotiyā proper.But due to a nomenclature mishap that occurred in the late 1980s, "kotiyā" has now become the colloquial Sinhala term for tiger, and "diviyā" is used for the leopard. In late 80s and early 90s, the word 'kotiya' was being frequently incorrectly translated into English as "tiger" in Sri Lankan media due to incorrect information that was received from the then head of the Wildlife Department in Sri Lanka.He had allegedly said that "there are no kotiyas (tigers) in Sri Lanka but diviyās", misinterpreting Panthera pardus kotiya as "diviyā", the Sinhala term used for small wild cats. Although it is correct that there are no tigers in Sri Lanka, the formal Sinhala word for tiger is "viyagraya" and not "kotiyā". Sri Lankans started to use "kotiyā" to mean "tiger", so "diviyā" was chosen for "leopard". The term "diviyā" has been used for centuries in Sri Lanka to refer to smaller wild species of the cat family such as "Handun Diviyā" or "Kola Diviyā" (both names are used interchangeably for the Fishing Cat and the Rusty-spotted cat). A further complicating factor is that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers) were colloquially known to the Sinhala-speaking community as 'Koti', the plural form of 'Kotiyā'.
Characteristics
The Sri Lankan leopard has a tawny or rusty yellow coat with dark spots and close-set rosettes, which are smaller than in Indian leopards. Seven females measured in the early 20th century averaged a weight of 64 lb (29 kg) and had a mean head-to-body-length of 3 ft 5 in (1.04 m) with a 2 ft 6.5 in (77.5 cm) long tail, the largest being 3 ft 9 in (1.14 m) with a 2 ft 9 in (84 cm) long tail; 11 males averaged 124 lb (56 kg), the largest being 170 lb (77 kg), and measured 4 ft 2 in (1.27 m) with a 2 ft 10 in (86 cm) long tail, the largest being 4 ft 8 in (1.42 m) with a 3 ft 2 in (97 cm) long tail.
Distribution and habitat
The Sri Lankan leopard is the country's top predator. Little has been known about it in the past, but ongoing studies in the framework of The Leopard Project, run by The Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust, indicate that they are still distributed throughout the island both inside and outside of protected areas. The leopard has been observed in a variety of habitats including dry evergreen monsoon forest, arid scrub jungle, low and upper highland forest, rainforest, and wet zone intermediate forests.
Ecology and behaviour
A study in Yala National Park indicates that Sri Lankan leopards are not any more social than other leopard subspecies. They are solitary hunters, with the exception of females with young. Both sexes live in overlapping territories with the ranges of males overlapping the smaller ranges of several females, as well as overlapping the ranges of neighbouring males. They prefer hunting at night, but are also active during dawn and dusk, and daytime hours. They rarely haul their kills into trees, which is likely due to the lack of competition and the relative abundance of prey. Since leopards are the apex predators they don't need to protect their prey. Like most cats, the Sri Lanka leopard is pragmatic in its choice of diet which can include small mammals, birds, reptiles as well as larger animals. Axis or spotted deer make up the majority of its diet in the dry zone. The animal also preys on sambar, barking deer, wild boar and monkeys. The cat has been known to tackle almost fully grown buffalos. The Sri Lankan leopard hunts like other leopards, silently stalking its prey until it is within striking distance where it unleashes a burst of speed to quickly pursue and pounce on its victim. The prey is usually dispatched with a single bite to the throat. There appears to be no birth season or peak, with births scattered across months.A litter usually consists of 2 cubs.
Where to see the Leopards
A recent study has shown that Yala National Park has one of the highest recorded densities of leopards in the world, although this animal is still considered to be endangered. The Wilpattu National Park is also known as a good place to watch leopards. Leopards tend to be more readily observed in parts of Sri Lanka than in other countries where they share their habitat with more dominant competitors, such as lions or hyaenas.
How to see the Leopards
Your best chance to see a leopard is generally first thing in the morning and then again at dusk. The male leopards in Yala are very confident animals and they are often seen walking the tracks during the day. Young males in particular seem to have no fear of the jeep, which can lead to some excellent photographic opportunities. Leopard watching is different from being on an Ceylon Wild Safaris. You have to stay at a distance and gain the trust of the animal. It may move out of sight if you make any noise and some people are una­ware of this. Elephants may come charg­ing towards you but not the leopards. If you get too close though it may spoil the experience for everyone else. The visitors must remain still in the jeeps as the leop­ard doesn't enjoy human movement and tends to move away from it." Leopards can be seen at anytime of the day but heavy rain must be avoided since they won't come to the water pools or road sides providing less chance of seeing them. More visits to the park may bring more chances of seeing leopards and as such it is advisable for the visitors to plan a two night trip to Yala.

The island of Sri Lanka with only a land area of around 65500 sq. kM, is well endowed with the mother Nature's blessings, one can say. The whole island is a mass of land where the plant life is very rich and vibrant with all shades of Green colour leaves. There are around 3500 Flora species in Sri Lanka and about one quarter of that is endemic to the country.

The vegetation types of the island mainly varies with the climate and the topography. The rainfall and the temperature are the most important factors of the climatic conditions.
There are four major zones of vegetation types in Sri Lanka.
The Arid Zone has a temperature between 32-36 degrees Celsius. The Rainfall is below 100 mm per year and the Altitude is less than 300 meters. The forest type is referred as Tropical Thorn Scrub.
The Dry Zone has a temperature between 28-32 degrees Celsius. The Rainfall is between 1000-1500 mm per year and the Altitude is less than 500 meters. The forest type is referred as Tropical Dry Mixed Evergreen.
The Intermediate Zone has a temperature between 24-28 degrees Celsius. The Rainfall is between 1250-2000 mm per year and the Altitude is between 500-1500 meters. The forest type is referred as Tropical Moist Evergreen.
The Wet Zone has a temperature between 16-28 degrees Celsius. The Rainfall is above 2000 mm per year and the Altitude range is divided in to three categories.
The vegetation type in the altitude range of between 300-1000 meters is called as Tropical Lowland Wet Evergreen forests.
The vegetation type in the altitude range of between 900-1500 meters is called as Tropical Sub Montane forests.
The vegetation type in the altitude range of above 1500 meters is called as Tropical Upper Montane forests.

National Parks of Sri Lanka

National parks are a class of protected areas in Sri Lanka and are administered by the Department of Wildlife Conservation. National parks are governed by the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (No. 2) of 1937 and may be created, amended or abolished by ministerial order. All of the land in national parks are state-owned and the entire habitat is protected. Activities prohibited in national parks include hunting, killing or removing any wild animal; destroying eggs/nests of birds and reptiles; disturbing of wild animals; interfering in the breeding of any animal; felling/damaging of any plant; breaking up land for cultivation/mining/other purpose; kindling/carrying of fire; and possessing/using any trap/explosive/poison to damage animal or plant life. Visitors are allowed to enter national parks but only for the purpose of observing flora and fauna and with a permit. There are currently 26 national parks which together cover an area of 5,734 km2 (2,214 sq mi)

Nearly a quarter of Sri Lanka has dense forest cover and approximately half of that is devoted to wildlife protection. There are 16 National Parks and two Marine Parks covering the entire range of the island’s eco systems and its flora and fauna. Among these are the Horton Plains National Park which represents the montane wet-zone eco systems and the world famous Ruhunu (Yala) National Park in the southeast popular for watching elephants and leopards.

Other parks open to visitors include Udawalawe in the interior and Wilpattu adjoining the island’s northwest coast. All the parks are reserved for wildlife and people can only visit with a permit issued by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, which can be arranged through CWS. CWS can also arrange hotel accommodation near the parks to give guests a chance to stay close to nature, in comfort.

Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Actually it consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public; and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names also, like Ruhuna National Park for the (best known) block 1 and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu it was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants and aquatic birds.

There are six national parks and three wildlife sanctuaries in the vicinity of Yala. The park is situated in the dry semi-arid climatic region and rain is received mainly during the northeast monsoon. Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands. It is one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka. Yala harbours 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. The number of mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44, and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.

The area around Yala has hosted several ancient civilisations. Two important pilgrim sites, Sithulpahuwa and Magul Vihara, are situated within the park.

Wilpattu National Park (Willu-pattu; Land of Lakes) is a park located on the island of Sri Lanka. The unique feature of this park is the existence of "Willus" (Natural lakes) - Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Located in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka. The park is located 30 km west Anuradhapura and located 26 km north of Puttalam (approximately 180 km north of Colombo). The park is 131, 693 hectares and ranges from 0 to 152 meters above sea level. Nearly sixty lakes (Willu) and tanks are found spread throughout Wilpattu. Wilpattu is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is among the top national parks world renowned for its Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) population. The Leopard population in Wilpattu is still not yet known.
Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka. The 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 catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area and was established on 30 June 1972. Before the designation of the national park, the area was used for shifting cultivation (chena farming). The farmers were gradually removed once the national park was declared. The park is 165 kilometres (103 mi) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan Elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country. Udawalawe lies on the boundary of Sri Lanka's wet and dry zones. Plains dominate the topography, though there are also some mountainous areas. The Kalthota Range and Diyawini Falls are in the north of the park and the outcrops of Bambaragala and Reminikotha lie within it. The park has an annual rainfall of 1,500 millimetres (59 in), most of which falls during the months of October to January and March to May. The average annual temperature is about 27–28 °C (81–82 °F), while relative humidity varies from 70% to 82%. Well-drained reddish-brown soil is the predominant soil type, with poorly drained low humic grey soils found in the valley bottoms. Mainly alluvial soils form the beds of the watercourses. The habitat surrounding the reservoir includes marshes, the Walawe river and its tributaries, forests and grasslands. Dead tree standing in the reservoir are visual reminders of the extent of forest cover before dam construction. Green algae, including Pediastrum and Scenedesmus spp., and blue green algae species such as Microsystis, occur in the reservoir. Areas of open grassland are abundant as a result of former chena farming practices. There is a plantation of teak beyond the southern boundary, below the dam, which was planted before the declaration of the park. Species recorded from the park include 94 plants, 21 fish, 12 amphibians, 33 reptiles, 184 birds (33 of which are migratory), and 43 mammals. Additionally 135 species of butterflies are among the invertebrates found in Udawalawe.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a National Park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It is of international significance and has been designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rain forests ecoregion, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as Kingdom of the Lion. The reserve is only 21 km from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Because of the dense vegetation, wildlife is not as easily seen as at dry-zone national parks such as Yala. There are about 3 elephants and the 15 or so leopards are rarely seen. The commonest larger mammal is the endemic Purple-faced Langur. An interesting phenomenon is that birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks, invariably led by the fearless Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the noisy Orange-billed Babbler. Of Sri Lanka's 26 endemic birds, the 20 rainforest species all occur here, including the elusive Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie. Reptiles include the endemic Green pit viper and Hump-nosed vipers, and there are a large variety of amphibians, especially tree frogs. Invertebrates include the endemic Common Birdwing butterfly and the inevitable leeches.
Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated a national park in 1988. It is also a popular tourist destination and is situated 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Nuwara Eliya and 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Ohiya. The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala the plains are known as Maha Eliya Plains. Stone tools dating back to Balangoda culture have been found here. The plains' vegetation is grasslands interspersed with montane forest, and includes many endemic woody plants. Large herds of Sri Lankan Sambar Deer feature as typical mammals, and the park is also an Important Bird Area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the Horton Plains. Forest dieback is one of the major threats to the park and some studies suggest that it is caused by a natural phenomenon. The sheer precipice of World's End and Baker's Falls are among the tourist attractions of the park. Horton Plains is located on the southern plateau of the central highlands of Sri Lanka. The peaks of Kirigalpoththa (2,389 metres (7,838 ft)) and Thotupola Kanda (2,357 metres (7,733 ft)), the second and the third highest of Sri Lanka, are situated to the west and north respectively. The park's elevation ranges from 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft). The rocks found in the park belong to the Archaean age and belong to the high series of the Precambrian era and are made up of Khondalites, Charnockites and granitic gneisses. The soil type is of the red-yellow podsolic group and the surface layer is covered with decayed organic matter. The mean annual rainfall is greater than 2,000 millimetres (79 in). Frequent cloudy cover limits the amount of sunlight that is available to plants. The mean annual temperature is 13 °C (55 °F) but the temperature varies considerably during the course of a day, reaching as high as 27 °C (81 °F) during the day time, and dipping as low as 5 °C (41 °F) at night. During the southwest Monsoon season, the wind speed sometimes reaches gale force. Although some rain falls throughout the year, a dry season occurs from January–March. The ground frost is common in February. Mist can persist in the most of the day during the wet season. Many pools and waterfalls can be seen in the park, and Horton Plains is considered the most important watershed in Sri Lanka. The Horton Plains are the headwaters of important rivers such as the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. The plains also feeds Belihul Oya, Agra Oya, Kiriketi Oya, Uma Oya, and Bogawantalawa Oya. Due to its high elevation, fog and cloud deposit a considerable amount of moisture on the land. Slow moving streams, swamps, and waterfalls are the important wetland habitats of the park. The vegetation of the park is classified into two distinctive groups, 2,000 hectares (7.7 sq mi) of wet patana (Sinhalese for "montane grasslands") and 1,160 hectares (4.5 sq mi) of subtropical montane evergreen forests. Nearly 750 species of plants belonging to 20 families have been recorded from the park. The forest canopy reaches the height of 20 metres (66 ft) and features Calophyllum walkeri, forming communities with varieties of Myrtaceae species such as Syzygium rotundifolium, and S. sclerophyllum, and Lauraceae members including Litsea, Cinnamomum, and Actinodaphne speciosa. The undergrowth layer is characterised by Strobilanthes spp. The thickness of the Strobilanthes vegetation hinders the development of a herb layer. Dwarf bamboo species such Indocalamus and Ochlandra also found in the undergrowth layer. Rhodomyrtus tomentosa bushes specially grow in forest margin and near the mountain peaks. Species such as Gordonia and Rhododendron arboreum have spread to Sri Lanka, along the Western Ghats of South India from the Himalayas and are now common. Nearly 54 woody plant species have been recorded from the park, of which 27 (50%) are endemic to Sri Lanka. The vertebrate fauna of the region includes 24 species of mammals, 87 species of birds, nine species of reptiles and eight species of amphibians. The Sri Lankan Elephant disappeared from the region in the 1940s at the latest. At present, the largest and the most commonly seen mammal is the Sambar Deer. Some research findings estimate the population of Sambar Deer to be around 1500 to 2000, possibly more than the carrying capacity of the plains. Other mammal species found in the park include Kelaart's Long-clawed Shrews, Toque Macaques, Purple-faced Langurs, Rusty-spotted Cat, Sri Lankan Leopards, Wild boars, Stripe-necked Mongooses, Sri Lankan Spotted Chevrotains, Indian Muntjacs, and Grizzled giant squirrels. Fishing Cats and European Otters visit the wetlands of the park to prey on aquatic animals. A subspecies of Red Slender Loris, the Horton Plains Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus nycticeboides formerly sometimes considered as Loris lydekkerianus nycticeboides) is found only in highlands of Sri Lanka and is considered one of the world's most endangered primates. In July 2010 a group of researchers from the Zoological Society of London was able to photograph the mammal for the first time.
Minneriya National Park is a national park in North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The area was designated as a national park on 12 August 1997, having been originally declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. The reason for declaring the area as protected is to protect the catchment of Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. The tank is of historical importance, having been built by King Mahasen in third century AD. The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee districts. The park earned revenue of Rs. 10.7 millions in the six months ending in August 2009. Along with Kaudulla and Girithale, Minneriya forms one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Sri Lanka.[3] The park is situated 182 kilometres (113 mi) from Colombo. The area is situated in dry zone of Sri Lanka and receives an average rainfall of 1,500–2,000 millimetres (59–79 in). The lowest temperature and highest of the park are 20.6 °C (69.1 °F) and 34.5 °C (94.1 °F) respectively. The main sources of water for the tank are a diversion of Amban River and Elahera canal. The wet season lasts during the north eastern monsoon from October to January and from May to September considered as the dry season. The main habitats of Minneriya are of several types, including low-canopy montane forests, intermediate high-canopy secondary forests, scrublands, abandoned chena lands, grasslands, rocky outcrops, and wetlands. The national park's faunal species include 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies. Large numbers of Sri Lankan elephants are attracted to grass fields on the edges of the reservoir during the dry season. The Minneriya tank contributes to sustain a large herd of elephants. Individuals of elephants gathered here is numbering around 150-200. Some reports account number of elephants to as high as 700. They migrate here from Wasgamuwa National Park and benefited from food and shelter of the park's forest. Tourists visit Minneriya largely because of elephants, especially in dry season.
Wasgamuwa National Park is a natural park in Sri Lanka situated in the Matale and Polonnaruwa Districts . It was declared to protect and to make a refuge for the displaced wild animals during the Mahaweli Development Project in 1984 and is one of the four National Parks designated under the Project. Originally it was designated as a nature reserve in 1938, and then in the early 1970s the area was regraded as a strict nature reserve. Wasgamuwa is one of protected areas where Sri Lankan Elephants can be seen in large herds. It is also one of the Important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka. The name of the Wasgamuwa has derived through the words "Walas Gamuwa". "Walasa" is Sinhala for Sloth bear and "Gamuwa" means a wood. The park is situated 225 km away from Colombo. The National Park's annual daily temperature is 28 °C (82 °F) and has a dry zone climate. Annual rainfall ranges between 1650–2100 mm. Rain is received during the north-eastern monsoon, from October to January. July–September is the dry season. Highest elevation of the National Park is Sudu Kanda (White mountain), which is 470 metres (1,540 ft) of height. The soil of the national park contains quartz and marble. The forests of Wasgamuwa represent Sri Lanka dry-zone dry evergreen forests. The park consists of primary, secondary, riverine forests and grasslands. Ruins of Malagamuwa, Wilmitiya, Dasthota irrigation tanks and Kalinga Yoda Ela canal which are built by Parākramabāhu I remain in the national park. In the past water was irrigated from the Minipe anicut's left bank canal to Parakrama Samudra by Amban ganga which had run through Wasgamuwa. Wasgamuwa National Park exhibits one of the highest biodiversity among the protected areas in Sri Lanka. More than 150 floral species have recorded from the park. Wasgamuwa National Park is home to 23 species of mammals. The park is inhabited by a herd of 150 Sri Lankan Elephants. Marsh elephant (Elephas maximus vil-aliya) roams in the Mahaweli river area. Both monkeys found in the park, Purple-faced Langur and Toque Macaque, are endemic to Sri Lanka. While Water Buffalo and Sri Lankan Axis Deer are common to observe, Sri Lanka Leopard and Sloth Bear are rare. Small Golden Palm Civet is another rare endemic mammal. The number of bird species recorded from the park is 143. This includes 8 endemic species. Endemic Red-faced Malkoha is a resident bird in this national park.
In addition to there are other NPs around the county. Such as Gal Oya, Kumana, Maduru Oya, Bundala, Somawathiya, Lunugamvehera, Kaudulla, Hikkaduwa, Pigeon Island, Horagolla, Galway's Land, Angammedilla, Ussangoda, Mullaitivu National Park.Read More

Weather Condition

Sri Lanka is tropical, with distinct dry and wet seasons. The seasons are slightly complicated by having two monsoons. From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half, while the dry season here lasts from December to March. The southwest has the highest rainfall – up to 4000mm a year. The Maha monsoon blows from October to January, bringing rain to the North and East, while the dry season is from May to September. The North and East are comparatively dry, with around 1000mm of rain annually. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island.

Colombo and the low-lying coastal regions have an average temperature of 27°C. At Kandy (altitude 500m), the average temperature is 20°C, while Nuwara Eliya (at 1889m) has a temperate 16°C average. The sea stays at around 27°C all year.

When to go

Climatically speaking, the driest (and best) seasons in Sri Lanka are from December to March for the west coast, the south coast and the Hill Country, and from April to September for the ancient cities region and the east coast.

December through March are also the months when most foreign tourists visit, the majority of them escaping the European winter. During the Christmas to New Year holiday season, in particular, accommodation anywhere on the island can be tight due to the huge influx of foreign visitors.

July/August is the time of the Kandy Esala Perahera, the 10-day festival honouring the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha, and also the time for the Kataragama festival in the South. In both towns accommodation just before, during and immediately after the festivals is very difficult to come by, and rates usually double or treble. Be sure to book rooms well in advance.

Sri Lanka’s climate means that it is always the ‘right’ beach season somewhere on the coast. The weather doesn’t follow strict rules, though – it often seems to be raining where it should be sunny, and sunny where it should be raining. Rainfall tends to be emphatic – streets can become flooded in what seems like only minutes.

Out-of-season travel has its advantages – not only do the crowds go away but many air fares and accommodation prices drop right down. Nor does it rain all the time during the low season

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Weather condition in Parks

Yala National Park is situated in the dry zone of Sri Lanka and the climate is hot and humid. The mean annual temperature is 27 degrees Celsius, although in the dry season temperatures can reach 37 Celsius during the hottest part of the day. Rains bring relief to the fauna and flora during the North east monsoon from November to January. The rain often comes in short and dramatic bursts before clearing up. Some of the best photographic opportunities present themselves when the jungle takes on a richer color palette during the monsoon with seasonal flowers and lush green vegetation. Unpredictable inter-monsoonal rains occur in March or April. This period from October to April can be the best time of year to view elephants and migratory birds. The birds fly thousands of kilometers to avoid the harsh winter conditions from as far north as Siberia to Yala, one of the most southern points of their migration.

The main dry season spreads from May/June to October. The park is particularly dusty during this time of year and many water holes dry up and others become concentrated with fish allowing the birdlife and crocodiles to make easy pickings. Leopards and other mammals with distinct ranges can be forced to come to specific waterholes to get a drink. This time of year is ideal to camp under the shady river banks where elephants, buffalo, spotted deer, wild boar, eagles, owls and kingfishers can be spotted from camp. The level of water in the River is also ideal to take a dip.

Leopards and other wildlife can be viewed all year round in Yala and we recommend visiting Yala at any time of the year. Unlike parks in India and Africa it is possible to visit and travel around Yala during the wet season. The possibility of rain should not dampen your spirits. Should it rain you will be protected from the rain in your large en suite water proof customer tent, as well as in the dining tent. For mobility within camp we provide umbrellas and raincoats if required. During sunshine hours after heavy rainfall many animals such as leopards may come out into the sun to dry themselves.

Weather condition in Parks

Yala National Park is situated in the dry zone of Sri Lanka and the climate is hot and humid. The mean annual temperature is 27 degrees Celsius, although in the dry season temperatures can reach 37 Celsius during the hottest part of the day. Rains bring relief to the fauna and flora during the North east monsoon from November to January. The rain often comes in short and dramatic bursts before clearing up. Some of the best photographic opportunities present themselves when the jungle takes on a richer color palette during the monsoon with seasonal flowers and lush green vegetation. Unpredictable inter-monsoonal rains occur in March or April. This period from October to April can be the best time of year to view elephants and migratory birds. The birds fly thousands of kilometers to avoid the harsh winter conditions from as far north as Siberia to Yala, one of the most southern points of their migration.

The main dry season spreads from May/June to October. The park is particularly dusty during this time of year and many water holes dry up and others become concentrated with fish allowing the birdlife and crocodiles to make easy pickings. Leopards and other mammals with distinct ranges can be forced to come to specific waterholes to get a drink. This time of year is ideal to camp under the shady river banks where elephants, buffalo, spotted deer, wild boar, eagles, owls and kingfishers can be spotted from camp. The level of water in the River is also ideal to take a dip.

Leopards and other wildlife can be viewed all year round in Yala and we recommend visiting Yala at any time of the year. Unlike parks in India and Africa it is possible to visit and travel around Yala during the wet season. The possibility of rain should not dampen your spirits. Should it rain you will be protected from the rain in your large en suite water proof customer tent, as well as in the dining tent. For mobility within camp we provide umbrellas and raincoats if required. During sunshine hours after heavy rainfall many animals such as leopards may come out into the sun to dry themselves.

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