Sri lanka tourism is powered by both natural and man-made attractions, from exploring ancient Buddhist monuments to experiencing its exquisite cuisine – this island truly has it all!
Whale watching excursions departing Mirissa harbour can guarantee sightings of both sperm and blue whales, while Yala wildlife park boasts majestic elephants as well as the rare leopard.
Colombo is Sri Lanka’s capital and largest city. It serves as the seat of executive and judicial government as well as being an important commercial center.
Colombo’s past as a Dutch, British, and Portuguese colony can be seen throughout its culture; one evidenced at the Colombo Dutch Museum by artifacts like artwork, furniture, weapons, and militaria displayed there.
Beyond museums, the city offers ample shopping and dining opportunities. A number of major local and international companies maintain offices here as a hub of commerce.
City transportation options in Colombo include buses operated both privately and by the state-run Sri Lanka Transport Board, with primary bus terminals in Bastian Mawatha, Central, Gunasinghapura. There are also tram services and privately owned three-wheelers (known as taxis).
Uda Walawe National Park
Udawalawe National Park offers visitors a stunning safari adventure through an abundant ecosystem full of bird species and unique flora – making it one of Sri Lanka’s top tourist spots and an ideal setting for nature enthusiasts alike.
Visit the park during the dry season when animals are most active, though visiting in any season remains an incredible adventure! However, the park remains an amazing destination even during wetter weather!
The park is located 164 km away from Colombo and can easily be reached with either hiring a car or joining an organized tour. It provides easy access to hill towns like Ella and the southern coast. Due to current economic circumstances, food and medical items may be scarcer but most hotels still provide backup supplies. Travelers should always consult with their travel provider prior to making bookings as updates may have changed significantly since then; visitors are also encouraged to remain quiet during jeep safaris.
Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu National Park (Land of Lakes) is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest national parks and lies within its northwest lowland dry zone, comprising forests, swamps and open plains as well as sixty two natural lakes or “villus”.
Sri Lanka is home to an abundance of mammals such as Sri Lankan elephants, sloth bears, water buffalos, reptiles such as monitor lizards and Indian pythons as well as abundant bird watching opportunities including painted storks, whistling teals and Sri Lankan junglefowl.
The park is steeped in history and legend. Some ancient relics have been identified in it, such as Kudiramalai Point or Horse Point and Kali Villu where Prince Vijaya landed and married Queen Kuweni who is considered mother of Sinhala people. It’s worth visiting as both cultural site as well as wildlife/flora sanctuary.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve lies to the southwest of Sri Lanka and contains an array of rare mammals, birds and reptiles endemic to this environment. Primarily lowland rainforest with many types of trees lining its paths; birding in particular can be highly rewarding; over 20 endemic bird species such as Red Faced Malkoha and Green-billed Coucal can be found. Birds tend to move in mixed feeding flocks making them easy to spot and photograph.
Research has established Sinharaja as an area with high biodiversity and endemism levels. Protection was finally secured during the 1970s when respect for its symbolic role prevented mechanized logging to produce plywood (Hoffmann 1979).
Sinharaja can best be explored on foot with a national guide. Three entrances can be entered from three sides; Deniyaya and Pitadeniya being the two most frequently chosen ones from each. Driving times to each location range between three to four hours from Colombo in the north and four from Galle in the south respectively.