Bundala National Park (බුන්දල ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය)

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Size6,216 hectares
Main attractionElephants and a large number of migratory and resident birds.

Bundala National Park is situated in the southeast part of the country in the semi-arid zone in the Hambantota District of the Southern Province. The park area consists mainly of dry thorny scrubland and lagoons. In addition, there are streams, seasonal water holes, tanks, salt marshes, mangroves, seashores and salterns, aspects that add to the diversity of habitat and the richness of its biodiversity.

The abundance of lagoons has made Bundala an ideal location for a large number of migratory and resident birds. Up to 2,000 Grater Flamingos have been recorded during the November – January season and the total bird population can exceed 20,000 during migratory season. This has made Bundala a top-priority location for the bird enthusiast.

Bundala is also popular for its elephant population. Though physically smaller than the elephants in the other regions, they are reputed to be more violent than their cousins in other parts of the country.

In This coastal area also attracts four out of Sri Lanka’s five sea turtle species, which come ashore to lay their eggs. This park is much less visited than Yala so largely voids the weekend crowds.

Bundala was declared a sanctuary in 1969 and upgraded to a national park in 1992. In 1990, under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance for Migratory Waterfowl, Bundala was declared a RAMSAR site, becoming the first RAMSAR site in this country. In 2005 the national park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the fourth biosphere reserve in Sri Lanka.

As Bundala National Park is located in a semi-arid zone, rainfall is highly seasonal. The main source of rainfall is Northeast monsoons (December- February). The area experiences a prolonged drought from May to October. The temperature during this period can exceed 30C.

Access

There are two regular routes from Colombo, viz Along the coast via Galle, Matara, Tangalle, Hambantota (approx. 160 miles/256 km) Via Ratnapura, Pelmadulla, Embilipitiya, Hambantota (approx. 152 miles/245 km)

Visitors and Visitor Facilities

Accommodation is available outside the park at Tissmaharama, Wirawila and Hambantota, from where jeeps are available for hire. There are several watchtowers in the park. A newly opened visitor centre is at the park entrance.

Entrance Fees for Bundala National Park

Description (Fees Applicable for Category 2 Parks)Price
Local – AdultsLKR 60
Local – Children (6-12 years)LKR 30
Local – StudentLKR 20
Local – Children (below 6 years)FOC
Local – Group Fee (per vehicle)LKR 400
Foreign – AdultsUSD 12
Foreign – Children (6-12 years)USD 6
Foreign SAARC Countries – AdultsUSD 10
Foreign SAARC Countries – Children (6-12 years)USD 5
Foreign – Children (below 6 years)FOC
Foreign – Group Fee (per vehicle)USD 10
Taxes on total cost15%
Entrance Fee per vehicleLKR 300
Ticket Price Schedule as gazetted in 2022

For example, for 2 foreigners with 1 child between 6 and 12 will have the cost of

DescriptionCost
2 adultsUSD 24.00
1 childUSD 6.00
Group FeeUSD 10.00
Total USD 40.00
Tax (15%)USD 6.00
TotalUSD 46.00
The above costs are for entry tickets for persons. A ticket for the vehicle, as given above, has to be purchased separately

Payments can be made in USD or equivalent LKR by foreigners. You can call 1919 (government information center) for the latest ticket prices. If you are hiring a private safari Jeep, the prices vary from LKR 11,000 to LKR 15,000 for half a day (4 hours) based on the park. For a full day, it’s double the cost of a half day.

Also See

Map of  Bundala National Park

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
.

The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Travel Directions to Bundala National Park

Route from Colombo to Bundala National Park Entrance Route II from Colombo to Bundala National Park Entrance
Through : Southern Expressway – Matara – Tangalle – Hambantota
Distance : 260 km
Travel time : 5 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Ratnapura – Madampe – Embilipitiya – Hambantota
Distance : 230 km
Travel time : 5 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map

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