The sheer diversity of wildlife in Sri Lanka is astonishing and is a complete contrast to its size. Sri Lanka is the only country where you can see the biggest land and sea mammal – the Elephant and the Blue Whale.
Sri Lanka’s has its own “big five” – Blue Whales, Sperm Whales, Leopards, Asian Elephants and Sloth Bears. Along with one of the highest species densities in the world, Sri Lanka also boasts one of the highest levels of endemism in the world and 34 species of endemic birds.
Elusive Sri Lankan leopards, majestic elephants, shaggy, shambling sloth bears, ferocious crocodiles and a dizzying hundreds of scaled amphibians are just some of the island’s exciting wildlife. Along with an assortment of feathered creatures, such as storm petrels, flamingos and pelicans walk this paradise island mean that Sri Lanka offers a tremendous range of opportunities for year-round wildlife experiences.
ELEPHANTS AT MINNERIYA
Encountering the elephant gathering at Minneriya Lake is like no other experience.
By the end of the dry season most water sources have long disappeared. However, the lake at Minneriya retains water and attracts elephants from near and far. More than 300 of these gentle giants can congregate here every year and it is the largest Asian Elephant gathering known to exist on the planet. To see so many together with their babies, playing, eating, swimming is nothing short of breath-taking.
Look above the water line for the many species of whales from humpbacks to sperm whales including the largest animal on earth, the Blue Whale.
Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world for whale and dolphin watching on South and North-West coasts. Super pods of whales and scores of dolphins cut through the brilliant blue sea, leaping and frolicking and even allowing some lucky onlookers to swim alongside with them.
SAFARI IN YALA’S NATIONAL PARK
Sri Lanka has the highest density of leopards in the world. A safari into Yala’s National Park – Sri Lanka’s second largest park will reward its visitor with a chance to spy the iconic leopard.
Experienced trackers will advise that the early hours are the best times to see the many wonders that the park has to offer. Setting off into Yala as the sun rises is an epic experience and gives the best chance of spotting the elusive leopard and the impressive array of wildlife that inhabits this arid zone. The sights and sounds of the park will leave you awestruck and wanting to return again and again.
Sloth Bear During Palu
Both Yala & Wilpattu National Parks are good places to see the Sloth Bear, especially during Palu fruit season in June and July.
The Sloth Bear has an elongated snout with no front teeth. Its mouth is effectively a vacuum cleaner and means that the bear can suck in termites very easily then using its powerful claws to ravage the termite homes. ⠀