Travellanka October 2017

82 National Parks and Kataragama F urther more travelling into the jungles with camps deep within the National Parks is an undiscovered treasure in Sri Lanka on the world wildlife map. Unlike many of the parks in India and Africa, SriLanka’sarenotcommercial;thecharacter of yesteryear remains intact thanks to the deferred start into the tourism arena. Sri Lanka has an amazing variety of fauna and flora, with some of the world’s highest densities of leopards and elephants. A visit to the Sri Lankan jungles is to enter a whole new world where nature has largelystayedstill.Moreover,comparedwith Africa and India in a Sri Lankan wild life tour of two weeks you have the best potential of seeing and photographing five charismatic mammals at a lower cost. Describedas“oneofAsia’stopwildlife destinations”, there are several National Parks, of these the best known is the Ruhunu (Yala) National Park in the deep south of the Island. The other parks are Gal Oya, Udawalawe, Wasgomuwa, Minneriya, Wilpattu and Horton Plains. The topography and vegetation change from park to park, even the fauna and flora. Most common in these parks are elephants and bird life. Safari Camping Anewdevelopment insafaris is luxury-tented camps taking you overnight into the heart of the National Parks. The uniqueness of such camps is the complete ‘away from it all feeling’; with amazing water front sites, cool breezes & animal sightings. Although small, SriLankahasmanywild life locationssuitable According to wild life experts both local and foreign, Sri Lanka is ‘Best for Big Game Safaris outside Africa. Though difficult to imagine, this tiny island being the next to the gigantic African continent, when the likelihood and cost of seeing and photographing four or five charismatic animals (elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sperm whale and blue whale) in a two week safari, Sri Lanka is the best destination. National Parks and Kataragama [South East] Yala Bundala Kumana Maduru Oya Gal Oya Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home Udawalawe Lunugamvehera Wasgomuwa Minneriya Wilpattu Kaudulla Kirinda Tissamaharama Kataragama Lahugala Situlpahuwa 13 3 4 14 6 15 7 8 9 5 18 17 10 12 11 16 2 1 Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage NATIONAL PARKS Yala 1 Situlpahuwa 2 Kumana NP 3 Minneriya NP 4 Kaudulla NP 5 Wasgomuwa NP 6 Maduru Oya Wild Life Reserve 7 Gal Oya NP 8 Lahugala Kitulana NP 9 Udawalawe NP 10 Elephant Transit Home 11 Lunugamvehera NP 12 Bundala Bird Sanctuary 13 Wilpattu NP 14 Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage 15 Kataragama 16 Tissamaharama 17 Kirinda 18