Really relaxed atmosphere, plenty to see and do. Well worth a visit. One of the highlights of Sri Lanka
UDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK is located approximately 200 km south-east of Colombo city and is a major eco tourism destination in Sri Lanka . The 30,821 hectares dry zone game park has an annual rainfall of 1524 mm and an average temperature of 29.4°C.
It 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
This park is very famous for the Elephants. There are herds of elephant feeding in the grasslands. The Sambar deer , Spotted deer , Muntjac , wild boar and water buffalo are re-establishing themselves. Other mammals include: toque macaque endemic, common langur , jackal , toddy cat, leopard and black- napped hare and small Indian civet cat , endemic golden palm civet cat , three species of mongoose, an endemic shrew , gerbil , rat , Indian bush rat and the endemic
The avifauna includes large numbers of warblers , together with the usual lowcountry birds in forested areas, and a veriety of reptors. Water birds foun on the reservoir include rare visitors such as Indian cormorant and osprey. Notable endemic species are Sri Lanka spurfowl , Sri Lanka junglefowl, Malabar pied hornbill, endemic gray horonbill and brown- capped babbler
Recommended review time for sightseeing: 4 h
Really relaxed atmosphere, plenty to see and do. Well worth a visit. One of the highlights of Sri Lanka
we used the the hotel van to reach to the park from ranna 212. Then took a local jeep. It was real adventure to see the wild animals so close. It is a must place to visit when you come to Sri Lanka.
A stunningly beautiful park with plenty of wild elephants. Great for birds and all the other species advertised here. You just have to be patient as this is not a fancy zoo, these are wild animals after all. Take a decent camera and you will bring back some great pics.
If all you want to see is elephants then this park is great! It seems to only have elephants & water buffalo, along with some birds. All the jeeps seem to follow one particular route so you know what's coming if the jeep ahead has stopped.
Having said that, you can get some great pictures of elephants & you'd be hard pushed to not see some.
For me it was a great experience seeing elephants in the 'wild', although I was disappointed we only got two hours for our money & the jeep didn't seem to go very far.
We went to the Udawalawe National Park, and what a treasure it was. The Park is 30,000 acres devoted to elephants, and the wildlife who co-exist with them. This park limits the actions of tourists in the park to being passengers in a jeep. You cannot touch, or ride the elephants, they lead their natural life in their own herds and you can watch from a distance. I recognise that even our jeep ride has an impact, however, the jeep drives around a small area and the greater area of the park is off limits. Our guide organised a jeep and on arrival at the centre ticket office, we picked up our Park guide. He was very professional, knowledgeable and spoke great English. He not only knew about the elephants in the area in which we were allowed to drive, but knew of the birds and the general history of the area. I also loved that at one point we had obviously annoyed a matriarch by being in her area and he said we had to leave. We spent 3 hours driving around, looking also at other animals as we came across them. It was a great experience and the general impact is minimal.
The cost of the tickets was 2500 LKR, plus taxes plus 7000 LKR for the jeep and 2000 LKR each for the Park Guide and the driver. So for 5 people we paid around 4600 LKR each. The jeep seats 5 passengers plus the guide in the back.
Worth going on a safari through the park. We saw elephants, wild board, variety of birds and other animals. We went to a park where we saw baby elephants being given milk and food. Really beautiful. Must see.
We visited the Park in the afternoon and had a really lovely time. We saw plenty of elephants, a few meters away from the jeep. This was a very quiet day and we basically saw no other jeep around during the 3 hours we spent in the park.
We spotted also some jackals, buffalos, deers and plenty of birds.
What a treat! This National Park has it all. There were few jeeps driving around and our driver made sure to space us apart from the vehicles that did exist, ensuring that our family of 5 saw not only the plentiful elephant and monkey populations, but a jackal, trees of exotic birds and 2 leopards, one we watched for over 15 minutes lying and cleaning itself 4 meters from the car. I'm so glad I chose this park to explore.
Just a joy to see the elephants roaming free. Loads of other wildlife, crocodiles particularly special to see. Sadly very few Leopards and we were not lucky enough to catch a glimpse, but others had seen them that morning.
6am was a fantastic time to start the safari. We had feared about a queue of jeeps following each other around, but that was not the case at all. Occasionally sat with one or two others, but mostly on our own.
This is the best park for elephant viewing, and for coming across a lot of other animals. Other parks claim a lot, Udawalawe delivers. It is in fact a huge park, though one only realistically gets to travel in the southern part where the entrance is. It is possible to reserve a space to stay inside the park, but you need to contact the park people to do so.
We had a great experience here. Our driver was excellent at finding quiet places (we rarely saw another vehicle) with plenty of wildlife - we would stop suddenly and he would point out a kingfisher on a tree, or a crocodile hiding in a pond. Udawalawe exceeded our expectations - not only did we see many elephants, but also deer, mongoose, turtles, water buffalo, monitor lizards, crocodiles, monkeys, three different kinds of eagles, two different kinds of kingfishers, wild chicken, and an unbelievable number of other birds.
We did book a full day trip (this was about six hours in the park, and then a separate trip to the orphanage), so we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy the quiet of this amazing place. Just a note - we arranged the trip with our hotel (Nil Diya). They included breakfast, water, juices, and snacks, picked us up from and returned us to our hotel for a very reasonable fee ($60). (The entrance fee to the park is a separate and unavoidable fee). Our driver, although he had limited English, was amazing at spotting all kinds of animals and knew the English names of many of the birds. A beautiful day!
If you want to see Elephants roaming in their natural habitat this is one of the places you should visit. Better book a safari vehicle and not travel in your own vehicle. Should be able to see a lot of elephants of all sizes without any problem.
We did the safari and the elephant transit home. In hindsight I would have done a longer, say 5hrs Safari and then the ETH on my own perhaps. The jeep was 4500rs but shared with up to 6 people and the entrance fee is additional.
This park was absolutely beautiful! It was lovely to see a place in which so much effort was put into maintaining the natural environment for the hundreds of different animals we saw. The place is huge, which is a massive relief, knowing that the Elephants are not restricted to where they can wander & live their lives naturally. The drivers are also very good! Ours, called Niel, was very knowledgeable about the park & everything in it! They also work towards the conservation - at one point, we saw a silly tourist throwing Orange peel onto the floor near an area with crocodiles. Their driver bravely stepped out, picked up the peel & requested that the guest not do that again. I thought this was amazing!! All in all, a great visit for animal lovers!
This was a m a z i n g. Such great experience! Although the driver of the jeep wasn't very interested and didn't "guide" us through the safari as much as we'd hope for, but in general this was a great park and great experience. You should definietly go here! We saw loads of elephants; alligators; peacocks; eagles; buffalos along with lizards and turtles. We paid 3500 rp for the jeep + a fee in the entrance of the park, so approx 8000rp for the two of us!
We had an early morning and an afternoon drive here and enjoyed both. Lots of wildlife to see other than the Elephants but those wonderful trucked mammals were really what we came for. It was quite exciting to see a Coyote though. Well worth a visit.
We saw tons of elephants, buffalo, birds, monkeys, etc. It was an awesome place! Like many places in Sri Lanka, there are very few restroom facilities available, so take advantage of the facilities at the entrance. We had the afternoon/evening safari.
They drove to the national park to see the animals. We saw elephants, buffalo, peacocks, monkeys, various birds, crocodiles, wild boar, deer, leopard (So I personally do not, but others do). It was sometimes wild, but an amazing ride with our driver.
it took6 half hrs from where I was staying, so had to stay overnight" on my own, in the middle of know where, hoping for a glimpse of the famous leopard, unfortunately, all I saw was its head! As it scuttled away , he didn't want to pose for photos that day! But bird life a pleanty, wild Eagles, herons,and wild peacocks, lots of jungle, I now know the difference between jungle and bush!!scary,fortunately the driver I hired stayed the night( not with me I hasten to add!), but his own room, so he could join in the next day and take me back, for some reason, on your own I wouldn't re come Nd it, only if you were in a group" it's to far for a day trip, I wish I'd gone to one off the other parks, this wasn't for me me, very hot,
Saw elephants which is what this park is all about. There are also a lot of different coloured birds and huge numbers of water buffaloes.
Udawalawe is pretty good experience for the price. You will see lots of elephants, water buffalo, peacocks and other birds. The tours are 2.5 - 3 long and are pretty predictable in my opinion. Its more like a really big zoo that you drive though then a wild safari. It's definitely a fun experience but not a must do.
Be sure to get a group together before you go as most jeeps will hold 5 or more people, but once you get your jeep they don't give you a chance to join up with any other people (as this would mean another jeep not getting hired).
Unspoiled and beautiful. Tons of elephants !!! So worth the money. Should get here before commercialized. Like africa but better !!!
We visited the elephant orphanage attached to the park with some reservations, but on balance I think it has to receive our full support. The work they are undertaking with orphan and injured elephants is very important - you just need to see the ones they have successfully returned (we saw several on our safari the next day) and the long term resident with his prosthetic left rear leg to know they are doing good. Yes it can look as if they are being overly tough on some of them at feeding time, but I suspect that is in their best long term interests.
A must visit park with lots of elephants, birds, water buffalo's, monkeys, crocs and other animals. The park looks very nice and is well maintained. The weather was really nice and we did enjoy the whole trip.
We went on the safari and saw lots of elephants and buffalo. Not a patch on Wilpattu but worth the trip to see elephants in the wild.
we seen many animals elephant,peacock, and so many
whether was very nice in Dec 2014,
We started the journey before 6 AM and reach the pack by 6 and had a 3 hour tour
recommended for animal lovers
A visit to Uda Walawa National Park is definitely to be recommended if you are interested in bird life (take binoculars!). You will also see elephants and water buffalo and probably crocodiles though rarer animals are a matter of good fortune and time of day of visit. If possible we recommend going early in the morning or at dusk when there is far more activity among the animals that in the heat of the mid part of the day. It is well worth paying for a good jeep and guide who is knowledgeable about bird varieties. Aside from binoculars, do take water and head cover.
We were trying to decide between here and Yala? After reading that Yala was very busy and many people never saw any elephants we decided to pass on Yala. So glad we did! We had a safari truck to ourself, the driver and tickets were cheaper ($30 for driver that picked us up from our hotel and $64 for the two of us for the entrance tickets)
We saw so many elephants the morning we went, momma's, baby's and males. A leopard was there that day but we were unable to see it. No shortage of wildlife and a good guide and driver. I would highly recommend this park!
When we arrived it started raining. Our driver told us that we can either wait 20 minutes and it will stop raining or we can go but its not worth to cover the jeep with rain cover as we won't see anything. We decided to wait. It loosen up so we entered the park. It was quite cold after the rain. Most people we're were t-shirts but we regretted not talking any.
We were with our almost 2yo that perfectly stayed calm and amused by the animals for a whole one hour trip.
Our driver was very nice and he was really trying to do his best to show us as much as possible. We saw around 30 elephants, 5 crocodiles, buffaloes, and loads of eagles, peacocks and other birds.
We were close to give up the trip coz of the rain and we we're worried that animals are gonna hide but our driver did a great job!
A very good natural area closest to Colombo. The bird life is excellent and our guide was as well. We camped in the park and the staff couldn't have been more attentive and prepared. I did wish the company had provided our very good guide with a bird book for his and our use.
We did the evening safari this afternoon at Udawalawa national park. We had a jeep with driver and guide. They were both wonderful working together to get us in the best spots to see the animals. The safari left at about 3pm and we had 3 hours driving through the park. There are animals everywhere, lots of elephants up very close, water buffalo and beautiful birds. We watched a leopard not far of the track and felt very privileged to have been able to see it. It was a great experience and not to be missed in Sri Lanka
Lot's of wild life. Crocks, birds, water-buffalos and packed with elephants. Guide spoke no English, but sign language worked well.
Lovely to see animals in their natural surroundings. You can also spot birds, buffaloes and crocodiles. Recommended to animal lovers.
We went with Grizzly safaris and we had 3 drives. They were fantastic, we saw lots of birds on the first trip as well as a few elephants and on the second/ third trip which was on the same day we saw loads of elephants, deer, jackals... it was great fun.
It was a beautiful national park with decent amount of wild life - we didn't see as many elephants as what we heard (we went in the afternoon - apparently the morning is better) but we still enjoyed being driven around in the beautiful landscape with lots of birds.
Such a superb wild setting in which to appreciate and observe these incredible animals. Great. We were able to get so close to the elephants and spent over three hours in the park arriving early at 6am.
We did an evening and an early morning safari and saw plenty of grasing elephants, peacocks, lots of different beautiful birds, a fox and a glimps of a jungle cat and quite a lot of bathing Buffaloes. On the second trip we spotted more animals than our tracker who was busy on his phone a lot. He also asked for an outrageously high tip at the end. Apart from that definitely worth going with a preference for the late afternoon timing due to more animal activity.
We visited this place for half a day. Our local agency walk with jith (www.walkwithjith) arranged everything very well. So were happy with this. We saw elephants and lots of birds. It is also possible to see leopards here.
We drove around in a jeep spotting the wildlife in the park. Our guide could have been better, but the nature and wildlife was amazing, and safe.
This park is definitely worth a visit. Lots of elephants, birds, water buffalo's, monkeys, crocs and other animals. The park looks very nice and is well maintained. Even since the weather wasn't very good it was a joy to visite and have a safari. The volunteer guide was good as well and had a great sense for spotting animals. He especially had a lot of knowledge about the birds (which I'm not that much interested in) so he kind of made me enthusiastic about birds as well.
As we had intended to visit Yala park first it was to our great disappointment that we found it was shut due to the drought season, so we ended up here at Udawalawe. We used a local tour company based in Unawatuna who organised a car/driver and our entry fees, plus the all important guide and our park transport for around $100. Which takes the stress out of having to find the right people when you arrive, as there are so many rip off merchants hanging around outside the park awaiting the gullible and the unwary. The drive up from Unawatuna took around an hour and a half taking in some sights along the way, and not having any fellow passengers was a real pleasure in it's self as I've met them all in my travels..
Upon entering the park we picked up our young guide and a safari truck which we had to ourselves brilliant..! As we set off and around five minutes later we came across a herd of around thirty elephants complete with babies in tow, talk about luck here.? This was a real bonus straight away and they were right in front of us feeding, and unlike that "Concentration camp orphanage" up at Pinnawela where the poor sods are chained 24/7, they looked really good and well contented, a great start I thought.?
Unfortunately this was the first and last highlight of our visit, as the park was starting it's dry season and there wasn't a lot of animals to be seen. I didn't expect to see any leopards either as they're pretty reclusive here, in fact our guide told us he's only seen two in all his time here of twelve years.! So we ended up bouncing along looking at eagles, deer, a small crocodile, many birds, lizards etc. There was also one big gathering of water buffalo in a water hole cooling off which reminded me of the safaris we did in Kenya and around Africa, where you see so many animals it's mind boggling. But, back here there was a serious lack of wildlife due to the intense heat and lack of water. What surprised me more was, when we stopped for a break and we were allowed off to wander about in the middle of nowhere, and it does give you a chance to disappear behind a bush for a wee if needs must. Just make sure you check what's behind the bush first .?
Was this worth the money to come all the way up here.? Absolutely, as this was things as it should be especially for the much maligned elephants who always seem to get a bad press in Sri Lanka. But, if it's herds of big game your after then I'm afraid you'll be disappointed and I'd recommend you visit Africa instead, as this is where I saw many wild leopards. But, for a first timer then this will suffice and is a great introduction to a safari, just remember to bring water/snacks/binoculars/hat etc, and don't forget to tip your guide around 500 Rupees if your happy with him, they don't get paid that much here. Would I recommend this park.? Of course I would as it beats sitting around a beach turning into a vegetable and listening to some boring fellow tourist yapping on their phone..! Plus you get the chance to see elephants as they should be, in their natural state minus the chains..
We had a great time in the park. It was not too busy, we only saw a few other jeeps over three hours, we saw about 20 elephants inclusiveness babies, lots of birds, lizards, water buffalo, a few crocs and jackals. No leopards unfortunately but I did not expect this and know they are tough even to spot in Yala. Great to see happy animals especially elephants who are often not looking great. Went in thinking this is a lot of money, came our thinking the price is completely justified.
Took a day trip here as part of our honeymoon to Sri Lanka in September. We saw so much wildlife and the guide was very knowledgeable. Would definitely recommend!
Our second day of Safari went to Udawalawe national park (our first day was Yala). We were located near Yala and somewhat underestimated the drive to Udawalawe (which took us up to 2 hours). Might be something to keep in mind when you're planning to travel in this direction further to book a accommodation that's closer to the park. If you have to make a longer drive, take a full day or else you'll spend longer on the road then in the park. (Many people have accommodations closer to Yala because that's where most people start their Safari journey.). Once in the park we didn't have to wait long. We saw a small group of elephants within 5 minutes and later some other separate animals. As you must see Bundala for it's birds you visit Udawalawe for it's elephants. Don't expect ago see a big variety besides elephants and peacocks. We did however had a really close encounter with a fish eagle and later a serpent eagle. The front of the park had lover vegetation and more open space, the back part was more forest-like which made it harder to spot the animals. During noon we had the occasional break of 2 hours because it is too hot to spot animals, but in the afternoon we spent about 2 hours driving, not seeing anything. Off course safari is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get. We ended the day by one of the lakes in the park and there we had an orgasm of elephant. No better way to describe it. There were several groups around the waterfront and we could get really close. After a while 2 other jeeps joined us, but it wasn't too crowded. One of the other drivers became a bit careless and drove to close to a young elephant. Immediately the older animals gathered around it and started trumpeting and threatening to keep our distance. When you see something like that, you Immediately know why Sri Lankan people are more afraid of elephants. If you're into elephants this place is heaven. Was it worth our time after visiting Yala? Absolutely. The landscape also shows an entirely different view on Sri Lanka. One downside was the common lack of English... The entire day consisted of "look elephant" or "look elephant drinking water". It's not that the guides don't know anything, because he could converse with our driver more who in his turn could speak better English and then gave some info back to us. But when the guide says "later big elephant group" and you ask him if there is just one or more big groups in the park and the response is "yes, big group, many elephant" you know that you'll probably won't learn too much new information on this day.
This is the best national park to see elephants. You can see more elephants at once at anytime of the day. Very nice park with thrilling game drives. I like it very much.
we had a wonderful visit to the park - this is a great outing for young children as wildlife is plentiful and easy to see. plus they enjoy the safari style cars and all the offroading! saw loads of elephants, a couple of crocs, deer, lizards and many different types of birds. the park is gorgeous and so green at this time of year.
We wanted to see leopards, but the best park for that is Yala, which unfortunately was closed due to drought. We are glad we came to Uduwalawe instead. We knew the fauna that inhabits this park and saw practically all of it, including lovely birds, elephants, deer, buffalo etc
After a disastrous wildlife safari jaunt at Yala National Park, this park was the saving grace on an otherwise great holiday. We saw so many herds of elephants and was very privileged to watch no less than 5 baby elephants playing with their parents and a tiny 3 week old who was out in the open and not hiding amongst his mother's legs. Watching them behave in their most natural setting was insightful and amazing. An absolute must go if you stop by in this town.
We woke up early to get to the park at 8:00. It was cold and the landscape while arriving was stunning. We did not even enter in the park and there was a Malé walking around the initial Lake and we thought it was going to be great. After 3h wondering around we hardly saw 5 elephants, many water buffalos (you see thousand of dozens in South Asia without paying for a safari), a tucan, an eagle, some flamingos or similar, many peacocks, a couple of iguanas and a baby crocodile. We did not go to Mineriya thinking that they would have moved and decided Uda Walawe, but we were wrong, as other travellers saw dozens of elephants there and the rainy season was delayed for Uda Walawe. I guess that this is 80% luck, even though the landscape was nice and the experience is OK, but I would recommend to go to Yala as for the same price you get 6-7h safari.
An enjoyable three hours at the National Park. During the safari we saw five different groups of elephants, as well as buffalo, deer, a baby croc, several peacocks and many bird species including a few Eagles.
There are two parts to the cost of entry; one is the park entry fee (the amount depends on how many of you in a group), the other is the jeep fee (this can be negotiated at the gate or you can find some online). We looked online and found Vishwa from Udawalawe Wild Safaris. Not only was the price reasonable but he took his time to ensure we saw as much as possible, and helped our guide in pointing out some of the animals as we drove around.
Overall it was a great experience and i'd highly recommend it!
The long road that leads you in to the park is pretty cool and breathtaking during sunset. I am all in support of a national preserve but I think they need more animals in this park as we drove for long hours and didn’t see too many at one time. However you will see elephants, lots and lots of birds, crocodiles, water buffalo and I think we did see the backside of the one Leopard that they have on the massive ground in a far off distance. If you have children this would be a lovely thing to do with them as it is safe and see will see the animals in their true habitat. When it comes to selecting a tour company to guide you, there are many along the way as you come close the park so feel free to get a price and negotiate one against the other, also for those who are thinking of maybe staying the night, we actually moved on as there is really nothing near by worth staying at so if you can make it to the next town, that would be my recommendation if you are on your way up to Kandy or down to Galle.
This is something not to be missed - so much wildlife to see in one place, some species endemic, others endangered. We were lucky to see something every few minutes, plenty of elephants, buffalo, jackals, iguanas, chameleons and many species of birds. A guide is essential for spotting the wildlife. Remember it is wildlife so it all depends on luck on what you see - I guess luck was on our side for our visit! Oh, we went on the 6am safari, could have made a difference?
That was a waste of time, money and effort! I didn't see many elephants as I had expected. A guide with a very poor English was provided. It was raining during the safari so some Jeeps including mine got stuck in the mud more than once. NOT recommended for anyone who has done an African safari!
best place to see elephants,you have to go in a proper vehicle with four weel drive and winch. i had the best experience in this place.
This National park is a must, seeing the animals in their natural surrounding is so interesting . What is so good is this park is so basic and uncommercial . A very worth while trip.
Well worth the visit and the cost! Loads of wildlife friendly park staff. Would have liked to seen more!
liked bird life including species of birds of prey, reptiles, and of course elephants- small numbers observed but I think still well disbursed over a very large area.
Didn't see much beyond elephants, peacocks, water buffalo, one alligator, some storks and birds....but it was fun bombing around in the jeep!
Fabulous, elephants by the score, crocodiles, water buffalos and more species of birds than you can shake a stick at, fantastic surroundings all in all a fabulous day out.
The animals were all around and easy to see, elephants were plenty and some with young, kites and other birds of prey seen along with lizards, water buffalo all close to us.
We really enjoyed our safari in Uda Walawe! Our experience was particularly special because we stayed overnight with Master Campers. Our guides were very pleasant and knowledgeable about the animals and the park.
There is a lot of hassle before entering the park to get a fair priced jeep but is soon forgotten once you see the first elephant. We saw up to 60 or 70 elephants in their herds which was amazing! We caught a taxi from Ella and got dropped off at only one company, so there was not much negotiation in prices as there was no where else to go.
We started our safari at 11am and were expecting low turnout of elephants. The climate was around 28 to 29c, humid and with fresh forest air. The first sight of a baby elephant playing in water just at the entrance made it good start. Since the start until the end i would have sighted more than 50 elephants playing in large lake, eating grass to playing with baby elephants...what a great sight. wish to go back...
i do udawalawe N.P safari morning 6.00 am this jeep arrange kottawatta hotel price very good very reasonable jeep also very comfortable my driver mr. nishantha was amazing man why i seen some one write there guide not god but you use kottawatta hotel jeep there provide you free of charge very nice guide what you have question there give you real answer. so i seen lot of elephant including two leopard .
Getting up early and paying the price for a jeep and guide was well worth it. The scenery is spectacular and there were plenty of elephants, buffalo, eagles, monkeys, jackals, snakes and peacocks when I went. There clearly are leopards there as my guide pointed out 3 separate tracks in the sand but I didn't see any that day. It's not that busy in low season so I felt I had the whole park to myself. Really a great place if you want to see elephants.
This was the perfect place to go as people looking for a safari experience in Sri Lanka. The camping overnight allowed us to take full advantage of the trip early in the morning in the jeep through the reserve, which offered as much as you could ever hope for. There were Elephants and other large animals in abundance, and the bird watching was also superb, with helpful and attentive guides always spotting the best wildlife and picking the most ideal locations. The trips in the Udawalawe Park have provided us with some of the most memorable photos that we've taken on any trip, and so it rightly deserves a 5 star review.
My second safari and it was magical. From 15 elephants less than 6ft away from me, including a month old baby. Many other animals to see, but the herds of elephants bathing in the waterholes is truly a magical experience.
if you need to go any park sri lanka this is the best park we can see more animal's this park better then other park of sri lanka.
My daughter and I travelled from our beach hotel near Negombo and stayed overnight nearby,
As we had originally been due to visit Kenya and had our trip there cancelled due to unrest, we travelled to Sri Lanka not expecting to have such a fantastic time.
The driver and guide were both so great at spotting wildlife.We saw lone male elephants as well as a very curious female who came right up to our jeep and almost silently went on her way.
There were also small herds with some very young babies. The guides spotted eagles, owls and many pairs of peacocks. As the late afternoon sun was starting to set animals came to the lake and while crocodiles waited expectantly, a group of beautiful spotted deer were gently chased away by 3 elephants back into the bush, thus saved from being a meal.
We also saw monkeys, jackal,very large lizards. Many groups of elephants, colourful birds.
With just 2 of us plus our driver, the safari was relaxed, friendly and incredibly informative. Please do not be put off by the thought of it being too far to travel, the journey there and back took in some fantastic scenery, small villages and wonderful beaches. A great trip.
I've always been fascinated with elephants, so this was my first trip to actually see them outside of a zoo setting, And Udawalawe didn't disappoint.
I had a great tracker that my guide, Dhammika Perera, found for me. Lionel knew everything about every animal and bird we saw that day, which was a lot!
The safari lasted for about four hours. The reserve is huge. I saw many elephant families, solo males, and it was amazing to watch them go about their business, completely ignoring us in the jeep.
This was one of the most exciting adventures of my life.
we went there as a big group of 20 people( some of them are Europeans and Sri lankans) reach there lunch time, and had lunch at" Bath Kade", very resonable and tasty rice and curry. Looking for a place to stay in the night, there is good place we found through a man call " Priyantha" , he has a Three Saffari Jeeps, call "Crocodile saffari", he mad our life is very easy and helping us every way he can, the place we stay was clean and relaxing place, care taker call" Ananda", he cooks very good food and keep the place neet and tidy, next morning crocodile saffari bring us to see Elephants and crocodiles, it was unreal experiance so many elephants so close to our jeeps, every one had a very good time, guids are very helpful and explain every thing
Udawalawe National Park was fabulous. It's lush and green and not overcrowded and you get so close to the animals. Being metres from elephants and watching them is amazing, but then there are crocs, a mongoose, birdlife, deer etc all AMAZING. The safari was my favourite part of Sri Lanka. Don't miss it, especially in the off season
It's a very interesting place to visit.we saw lots of elephant and other animals,love the place so much,must visit place if you're in Sri Lanka
We spent a rewarding half day at this convenient but not overly busy national park. Spotted numerous elephants, water buffalo, several varieties of stork, monkeys, various birds including beefeaters , rollers, peafowl as well as a mongoose and crocodiles amongst other things. Very enthusiastic guide and driver.
A beautiful setting with mountain backdrop and tress everywhere and we were lucky enough to see several elephants including groups playing in the water and groups with babies. A really special experience.
This was my first Safari outside Africa and I was not expecting much - I was pleasantly surprised. The animal life is mainly elephants - but in a good volume and they were very active. We also saw some foxes which was a decent spot. The deer are skittish but we managed 2 viewing including one mother with a very young child. Bird life was good and we also saw a couple of alligator and iguana.
Had a wonderful vacation in Sri Lanka after long time. Spent two days inside the national park and had a memorable and relaxed holiday.
Had a great visit to the park and saw about 12 elephants, many birds , a star shell tortoise which is very rare to see, crocs deer and more. Our driver was very polite and well mannered and his truck was extremely comfortable with big leather chairs ( name is Max and charges the same as everyone else email@example.com.
Enjoyed our time with him in the park
Also can highly recommend staying at the Nature House
The highlight of this park is the elephants. There are plenty to see and at the right time of year there are lots of young ones too. Leopards are a rarity at this park but there are no shortage of beautiful birds, buffalo, and crocs to accompany the elephants...we were also fortunate enough to see some jackals and deer along the way.
We loved our safari in Uda Walawe National Park, we saw loads of elephants and managed to get really close in the jeep and just sit and watch them for ages. We are so glad we decided to come here and we later went to Yala national park and only saw one elephant.
The park was full of animals that we had hoped to see, in particular the leopards. We were lucky enough to see two leopard cubs, three adult leopards, jackals, elephants, deer, elephants, crocodiles, buffalo and many many species of birds. Our safari driver was excellent in his knowledge and ability to spot birds and wildlife.
Excellent national park. With a good guide as we had you will see lots of animals and birds. Our guide was supplied by Mahoora tented safari camp and he was really excellent. We really didn't need the tracker as supplied by the park although this was probably mandatory. All in all an excellent experience.
We had both a morning and afternoon Jeep Safari in Udawalawe NP. The main attraction here is being able to see Wild Elephants. I'd say the afternoon safari was better than the morning as you get to watch the Elephants come down for a bathe in the lake. They are such a beautiful animal and I could sit and watch them for hours. Please don't expect to see lots and lots of different species, this park is about Ellies.
What a great morning. We went on a morning safari and had a great time. The (mandatory) guide from the park was great. He and our driver worked in tandem to point out animals, birds, and the plants to us. The guide was very knowledgeable and wanted to make sure we saw as much as possible. We ended up observing 3 different herds of elephants. What a great experience. Up close and personal but safe.
Go to see elephants and birds in an uncrowded environment.
We did two safaris in the park and managed to see an awful lot of animals and birds, it was brilliant, a park ranger accompanied us in our jeep and he was just brilliant at spotting things and naming the birds that we saw, which was really helpful. When we visit Sri Lanka again we will definitely visit the park again, highly recommended
We booked an afternoon safari and was absolutely happy with it. You can observe lots of elephants in their natural habitat, bathing or playing with small ones, which is amazing experience. It's very different from Yala, so better visit both.
I have been lot of park to sri lanka this is a best one.(I have been Minneriya,Kaudulla,Yala).so We very luck, saw nearly 100 elephants,Crocodiles,Wild cats,Peacocks,Horn-bills,Water buffaloes, deers.Our safari jeep driver well aware about the park and the animals.He make us wonderful 3 hours.Safari arranged to us Owin Rich Resort-Udawalawe for reasonable rate.Thanks Own Rich.
We went at 6 am for a 2 hour jeep safari and saw lots of elephants.. many groups of females with young ones and at 2 different times we saw lone male ones that got very close to the jeep.
The park is not crowded and we were able to stay and watch the groups of elephants up close for a very long time.
While Yala National Park is undoubtedly a great place to see wildlife, its smaller "cousin" Udawalawe has loads to recommend it too. The park was not too crowded, and we felt we had plenty of time to stop and just look at or look for animal and bird life. Our guide was charming and knowledgeable, and we were also able to get out and walk about a bit by the side of a large (artificial, apparently) lake, where we could view more wildlife. It was a really good experience, particularly notable for its elephants.
We took a morning half-day safari in December 2013, started at 7am. There were usually no other jeeps around, very occasionally one other vehicle and at one point where the park rangers were medicating an elephant there was a film crew and a couple of other jeeps watching. We saw so many of elephants, very active and close by. Well worth it and not crowded like in Yala.
We saw loads of elephants, birds, mammals and beautiful scenery from the comfort of a safari jeep. If you like wildlife you'll love this place.
Wild elephants! That's why we came and that's what we saw! So cool to see them in the wild, truly in the wild, not rescued, not chained, not performing, but healthy, happy & real. No feeding or getting off the vehicle! Hired a land rover & driver near the gate. We were late, mid morning, but had a great experience and saw lots of other wildlife as well. Expensive 'tour' for us on our budget, but worth it! Great photos.
We had an amazing time on our game drives in Uda Walawe. Within minutes of being in the park we saw our first elephant and it pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day as we saw a large number of elephants including spending some time with a herd which included two young calves. This experience was made even more fantastic as we were the only jeep with the herd so we didn't feel like the elephants were being crowded as can happen in other national parks around the world. We were able to turn off the engine and just sit and watch the elephants and they went about their day. Other animals we saw included Buffaloes, Jackals, a Jungle Cat, Crocodiles, Lizards, Monkeys, Peacocks and numerous other birds. It is definitely true that wildlife watching in Africa includes more mammals but if you are wanting a great experience watching Asian Elephants this place is fantastic.
If you had a great experience in Kruguer Park in South Africa you will not like this park. I just saw some elephants, peecocks and other birds and buffalos. The tickets to the park are very expensive and the some guides don't know how to speak english, so they don't give you any information. In my case, I saw first more animals than the guide. But I really had a great experience at Kruguer.
Wow this place is just amazing. we were lucky to see many elephants around us. it was stunning.
we also saw Buffaloes, peacocks, lizards and even a crocodile! it was a great experience and exciting to be in a real jungle and see all the animals in the wide wild nature. don't miss that experience!
We did Udawalawe with Master Campers and had a magical time.
A safari through the park was an experience not only rich with elephants - more than we could count from very young to a very large Male who wanted to get friendly with our jeep - but also many other animals and birds.
A favourite thing for our four year old, who hasn't and won't forget Sri Lanka and the elephants.
We went with Ajith safaris who were absolutely brilliant.we had a very early start at 5, stopped for lunch for a couple of hours and then went off again. We did see a lot of elephants and monkeys, and peacocks and other birds, but whether it was the time of year i dont know but it did feel as though we were looking for wildlife that wasnt there. No critisism of the company we went with, but we had a much better half day at Bundala
the jeep was good,the driver is also wonderful! Start early,if not you may not see anything and burned by the sunshine.
I visited Udawalawe in Aug 2013 with my wife and another couple and we were recommended to use a driver called Max (Max Safari). The park was way beyond our expectations and was the highlight of our 12 days in beautiful Sri Lanka. The number of different animals and the access to them was fantastic, but thankfully due to the skills of our driver and his obvious love of this environment we were able to see so much more.
Every time Max stopped the Jeep we would all start looking for what he had found... and then he would gently draw our attention to another species that we hadn't seen. We were continually amazed at how he could have spotted these very well camouflaged animals whilst driving and manipulating the tight tracks around the park - but we were so glad he could.
We highly recommend this experience to all.
Had a really good time here. I have been to Yala twice which is great but this is THE safari for elephants. We saw plenty of them and there were probably hundreds around the watering hole. The afternoon turned to fun when the rains started and jeeps were getting stuck in mud and swamps. It was really a fantastic day and our driver was great. Would recommend.
Udawalawe is a pretty expensive national park(8000 rupees to enter the park and the jeep itself costs about 3500 rupees). Best to go with as many people as possible. If you are traveling alone you can wait at the entrance of the park and go on a jeep that already has people. The park provides you with a local guide that comes on th keep with you. Unlike Yalla park, this park isn't packed with jeeps and so sometimes (during off season) we were the only ones. We went during the evening (between 3pm and 6 pm) and got to see over 100 elephants, water buffaloes, different kind of monkeys and much more.
We would advise not to stay near the park. Accommodations are expensive and not worth the value and the area isn't nice at night, instead go to Embilipitiya.
Excellent location to view wild elephants, endemic and migratory birds, occasional Leopard (very rare), breathtaking landscape, can be reached from within a few hours from the southern beaches and Colombo.
It's a must to do a safari, you get a driver with only your party on the jeep. They collect you from the hotel. Your get a tracker with you showing you all the animals and answering any questions.
We went to see elephants, and elephants we saw. Loads and loads of them. We were exceptionally lucky to get to see the leopard, he was only maybe 500 yards away in a clearing so we got a good look at the magnificence of him. My favourite memory is sitting in the jeep at sunset surrounded by about 80 elephants of all ages and sizes peacefully grazing and babies playing at the waters edge. There is a lot of wildlife to see and I would definitely go back.
PLEASE go and visit this very important place.
It houses the orphan elephants and ensures that they have very little human contact to ensure that they can return to the wild once big, and strong, enough.
The money they recieve from tourists is key to its survival, and yes you wont get to be close to them and YES you wont get to feed them but you will see them feeding and more importantly you WILL be supporting the only centre which encourages the elephants to return to the wild with as little human contact as possible.
This national park is home to an elephant orphanage that cares for young elephants and then releases them back to the wild. Elephants as young as a couple of months are cared for here and are allowed to roam free until they are ready to go back to the wild.
They are fed at 9am, when they are brought to the observation pen, and are given milk and then allowed to feed on leaves. There is a museum here that also tells how the elephants are looked after.
This is definitely something for the family to enjoy. Outside in the car park are local ladies selling souvenirs and gifts.
A visit to the elephant orphanage at feeding time before entering the park is a must! The park itself did not disappoint: crocodiles, water buffalo, eagles, monitor lizards, and LOADS of wild elephants! A really worthwhile visit!
While touring Southern Sri Lanka, visiting Udawalawe National Park cannot be missed. It is a big park, on the shores of a beautiful reservoir, with not so many visitors and a herd of over 500 wild elephants of all ages and sizes. We booked our tour through Flamingo's Jeep Safari. The driver and the guide were quite good and very eager to point us all different animals that would cross on our way: elephants, water buffalos, crocodiles, deers, lizards, peacocks, parrots and many, many other birds and animals. The only but was the jeep that Flamingo's has put at our service: a very old and precarious jeep, not offering the minimum comfort one would expect, principally on such a bumpy road. But it was, I guess, part of the emotion and the adrenaline coming out from the wilderness of Udawalawe National Park. Enjoy!
There were plenty of elephants at this park. Plenty of infants as well. We also had the experience of a few elephants trying to charge us. But because the tracker had good experience with these elephants, he knew what to do.
A bit disappointed. Maybe we were there too early in day ( about 3 pm). Didn't see many animals. Only a very thin elephant. Some eagles in the distant and some deer crossing the road. Driver and guide not interested and it was a very short tour.
I visited this national park yesterday with my girlfriend. It was amazing! So, so many wild elephants. We got so close to them. Including a baby elephant no older than a week. Absolutely incredible. The reviews I have read of other safari parks meant that I was a little sceptical about going. However this place was incredible. The safari tour lasts a few hours but if you love elephants. This is the place to go!!!
Great for budget safaris - we drove through this on our way home from Kataragama. Saw some wonderful rock, mountain and water views in addition to some wild elephants and water buffalo. Highly recommended.
This was a marvellous safari into the national park. The jeep contained just us two, the driver and our guide and was an experience in itself, The best part was the elephants. We saw over 25 including young bulls and family groups.
Yala National Park is increasingly crowded and overrun with tourists and a visit to Udawalawe is always a breath of fresh air since it is generally empty. This beautiful jungle area looks north to the mountains of Sri Lanka's escarpment including Horton Plains and World's End. It is home to huge herds of elephants who have plenty of space in which to roam. Well worth a visit.
We did an early am safari which is the best time to see animals. There were lots of elephants from Mum and Baby to herds of eight or so. We picked up a guide at the entrance who was very informative and did not cost extra. Only a tip at the end for his time which was appreciated. The vegetation is not thick like Yala so spotting the elephants and other animals is easier. There were heaps of peacocks, water buffalo, one crocodile asleep on the riverbank and lots of bird life also. We even saw a jackal.
We saw really a great number of elephants so that was really satisfying. But we saw NO other animals except a few birds and buffalos.
had a day with a driver and tracker in the park - a brilliant day, with elephant at close quarters, water buffalo, crocs, buck and birds of all descriptions. Thank you
We have never been on a safari and were pleasantly surprised. We saw many grown elephants as well as babies. They seemed very relaxed and not to bothered about tourist in noisy cars. They just did their "elephant thing" and it was a joy to watch. In general there weren't many tourists there which was nice. We came around 3 pm but were recommended to go earlier next time. Also we only had a driver and not a guide. The driver did not speak much English so a guide would have been good.
All in all it was a great experience.
Loved that the park was uncrowded (unlike all the reports of Yala), saw many Elephants close up and plenty of other wildlife, the highlight being the rare Jungle Cat. Great guide that showed us round and had a keen eye for spotting wildlife.
We came to see elephant and elephants we saw. It was AMAZING! our guide was excellent and we felt safe with his driving as the dirt tracks were quite tricky at times. He did not reac around and fight for the best spot as they unfortuanately did in Yala.
we also went to see the orphaned baby elephant at the transit centre at feeding time which was amazing too......... if you go to Sri Lanka and love elephants then go to both of these places.
We came here expecting to see what we saw and that was, predominantly, Elephants and birds. We were NOT expecting the Serengeti like many people we met did. The drive we did was excellent and the driver and guide top quality. We saw a huge variety of birds including several species of Eagle. The whole experience was friendly, informal and informative and anyone going to Yala should certainly take in Udawalawe too. Highly recommended.
We went early morning (left hotel in Embilipitiya at 5.30am) and this worked really well as on the way out of the park it was warming up and there was noticably less elephants near the road. Got to see wild elephants very close up which was a great experience. The guide was definately worth paying for (one of the few times in Sri Lanka when we actually were happy to pay for a guide rather than feel we were paying for something you didn't need).
There are a few national parks in Sri Lanka and we were pleased that we picked Uda as we had a good experience and it was not crowded with other vehicles (we were the forth vehicle into the park).
As much as I makes me sound ungrateful to have been able to experience this I have to say how many elephants can one person see in a day.
In fact we were there 2 days in total, I thought I'd better book 2 days just to give it the best shot of seeing things.
2 hours was enough, as impressive as they are, 15 minutes watching them chewing grass for me is enough.
Same with the crocs, spotted dear, bee eaters etc etc.
Glad they are doing well but basically an animal overdose.
This was my first safari in Sri Lanka and what an amazing experience it turned out to be. i was told that there are 2 options for safari, morning or evening. After much consultation, i was opted for morning safari, this means you have to wakeup very early. But boy !!! its all worth it. I came from Embilipitiya and morning ride over the lake was breath taking. And just as we entered the park within the 5 minutes we (me, guide and the driver) saw an elephant. And it got better and better. We encountered many more elephants within the day together with many other variety of birds and animals.
From the beginning i was told that uda walawe is famous for elephants. And take it from me. IT IS. If you are a nature lower and an elephant lover. then this is a must visit park in sri lanka.
Did you know that peacocks sleep on trees? If you visit Udawalawe national park early in the morning you will see hundreds of peacocks still up on the trees. Of course, Sri Lankan elephants, buffaloes, millions of birds, crocs, plenty of wild lief in the park. Good safari guides will show you birds hidden in the trees and bushes and will tell you a lot of details about the park and wildlife.
This park is not like the game reserves in Africa. Mostly elephants and birds. There were people coming to camp for a few nights but a few hours was enough. The jeep safari was good although when wet which it was felt a bit dangerous at times
we went to udawala nationl park morning 7 am ... we see lot of elephant .. i love .. we want go again with my friend
We preferred Udawalawe National Park to Yala as when we entered it at 6am we were on our own as at Yala we were in a traffic jam with at least 50 other vehicles. In Yala as soon as something is spotted they text each other and loads of vehicles arrive at high speed to see it. None of those problems here; we only saw 4 other vehicles in the whole 5 hours.
We did however see hundreds of elephants, lots of different birds and a few foxes and deer. The views are simply spectacular with the mountains in the background.
One thing we did not know was that we could not go to the main lake/tank as it had rained and the roads were impassable. This was disappointing but I guess it shows it really is a wildlife park.
The other benefit of Udawalawe National Park over Yala is that you pay one set of park entry fees, which for us was 5200 Rupee (c£30) for the whole day and you can come and go as often as you like – a real bonus in this heat. At Yala it is this price each time you enter.
I went to udawalawa last summer and i can say it was one of the best places to see elephants. I stayied at Centuria hotel located in an old village with all modern facilties good food, air-con rooms ,exccelent pool and very friendly staff
have just returned from two week holiday, the safari around the park was vey enjoyable,only down side in our jeep we did not have a guide unlike the other jeep, the tour guide stayed with us and he was not much use in relation to giving any advice about animals or the land.plenty of elephants and crocs. stayed at the centuria hotel this hotel needs a lot of money spent on it our room was poor with a need of a refurbishment,sink leaked and the shower area was mouldy with a water spray that soaked everything but the user, other people on tour also said theirs was the same. food the usual not a great standard.,,
dont use this if you can go some where else
We went to UdaWalawe last February whilst staying in Dickwella. It was a bit of a drive and I don't think our driver went there that often, as he seemed to have trouble finding it but once we were there we were assigned our jeep and guide and off we went.
Like all the guides we've had in Sri Lanka, this guy had amazing eyesight and spotted all sorts of animals that we would have missed. OK no Lepoards but no-one had promised we would see one as they are very rare. What we did see was more elephants than you could shake a stick at! Best of all there were lots of babies and unlike in Pinnawella, they were real wild animals as I nearly discovered while we were waiting outside the park!
We did meet people who had been to Yala but it sounded more "regimented" and we enjoyed having the personal touch of our own guide at our own pace.
Well worth it.