Uda Walawe is a national park better known for the herds of elephants that roam in the wild. A few of these elephants can be even seen from the main road-way that passes through. Also home to many other species of birds, fish and wild life, Uda Walawe is most frequented by the wild life enthusiasts.
Udawalawe national park consists of over 30,000 hectares of wild nature reserve bordering the dry zone, and is known for its wild Elephants, Wildboar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Jackal, Sambar and Water Buffalo as well as migratory birds. Udawalawa also contains a transit home for baby Elephants that are disabled or orphaned.
The Lunugamwehera national park is mostly scrublands and grasslands and is an important habitat for water birds and elephants that use this park as the corridor to connect Yala and Udawalawe. The park is home to over 20 species of fish, over 10 amphibians, over 30 types of reptiles and hundreds of birds. The mammals in the park include the Sri Lankan elephant, water buffalo, sambar deer, giant squirrel and a host of others.
The near-by ancient Buddhist temple of Tissamaharama dating back to 3rd century BC and the sacred site of Kataragama revered by Hindus Buddhists and Muslims gives a visitor a cultural experience like no other. A further distance away, one could also visit the ancient temples and ruins of Yudaganawa temple (2nd Century BC), Maligawila statues (7th Century BC), Dematamal Viharaya (3rd Century BC) and the rock carvings at Buduruwagala (dated between 8 – 10 century BC) off the Kataragama – Wellawaya highway.
The nearby villages off the towns of Deberaweva and Thissamaharama produce some of the best curd in the country. Known as "Meekiri" in Sinhalese, it is a traditional nutritious dairy product (has the consistency of yogurt) made with buffalo milk.
Yala National Park with a protected area of 126,768 hectares consisting of shrubs, lagoons and rocks, is home to Elephants, Crocodiles, Wild Boar, Deer, Sambar, Peacocks and dozens of birds. Known to have the highest density of Leopards in the world, the Park is also home to Sloth bears. The second largest National park in the country, Yala also offers the wild life enthusiasts with overnight camping experiences.
Bundala is a 6,216 hectare scenic National Park that borders a coastal lagoon and is better known for birds. The most prominent visitor to the park is the beautiful flamingo that adds a striking color to the scenery. Bundala is the only National Park in Sri Lanka that is home to both the estuarine and the fresh water crocodiles - the two species of crocodiles endemic to the country.