Udawalawe National Park is located approximately 200 km south-east of Colombo city and is a major eco tourism destination in Sri Lanka. The Udawalawa national park was established on 30 th July 1972.It lies in the lower catchment of Udawalawa Reservoir in the country’s Intermediate Lowland region. This area falls into two administrative districts in two provinces. The parkland on the right bank of Walawe ganga is within Ratnapura district in the province of sabaragamuwa and the parkland on the left bank falls within Moneragala district in the province of Uva.
This park is most famous for the many elephants that live there (about 400 in total). During a visit, it is not unusual to see whole herds of adults and young elephants– feeding or bathing and playing in the water! In addition to this main attraction, the park is home to many water buffalo, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard, as well as being an exciting location for bird enthusiasts. A 4WD open-top safari is the only way to see all the wonders that this protected reserve has to offer and our experienced and knowledgeable nature guides will make this an unforgettable experience.
Gently flowing through the Udawalawe National Park, the Walawe River provides water for a multitude of species of mesmerising fauna. The Udawalawe reservoir was constructed across the Walawe River in the mid-twentieth century in order to mainly form a wildlife sanctuary. Several species of deer and other herbivores flock besides the river for their essential necessities. Additionally, the majestic Sri Lankan elephant also frequent the river. Furthermore, creatures like the water buffalo are also often observed near the river. Dozens of different species of birds, all of them vividly coloured and marvellously alluring, enhance the overall beauty of the Walawe River.
The Udawalawe National Park in all its glory is situated near the site of the Sankapala Temple. Many wildlife enthusiasts who seek to enjoy the excitement and thrills vociferously gifted by the Udawalawe Park and its energetic wildlife occasionally visit the Sankapala Temple, mainly due to its natural caves. Many visitors will also observe that the vibrant modern human society that enlivens the Pallebedda city is in stark contrast to the laid-back and mystical site of the Sankapala Temple.
The climate in the park is characterized by a seasonal rainfall and uniformly high temperature conditions. The average annual rainfall is about 1500mm in the south end, and it gradually increases towards the north. The annual average temperature is about 32 C. The rainfall experienced in the Park is characterized by a bimodal pattern of distribution in both monthly and weekly rainfall. Two rainfall peaks occur in an year, one in April- May and the other in the October – November. A short dry spell is experienced in February- March and a prolonged dry period is observed from mid May to end of September.