|Main attractions||Large herds of Elephants, spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking deer and Langur, Wild Bow, Crocodiles, Water Buffalo, Peacocks and many migratory birds.|
Udawalawe National Park straddles the Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces and includes the Udawalawe Reservoir, together with much of its catchment area. Its altitudes range from about 330 ft. (100m) on the plains to 1225 ft. (373m) at the top of Ulgala, the highest point within the park. The park is surrounded by cultivated land.
Located in the Dry Zone Udawalawe comprises grasslands and thorn scrubs. Best time to see Elephants in park is the early morning and late evening. The park opens at 6 am. It is best to be at the gate by this time. In this park you will never come out without seeing some elephants. If you are lucky you might see herds over 100 elephants. You can hire a jeep right at the gate. They cost around Rs 1500/- per half day and Rs 3000/- for full day. Vans are also allowed in to the park. They can travel on almost all the tracks on the dry season. But during the rain season its best to hire a jeep. If you want to enjoy the trip go there on a week day. Weekends can get overcrowded with vehicles everywhere.
There are four Wildlife Department circuit bungalows within the park, located at Thimbirigasmankada, Veheragolla, Sinuggala and Gonaviddagala. All these bungalows, which can accommodate upto ten persons each, are located near major water sources which provide better opportunities of viewing elephants. Additionally, two campsites are available for occupation at Pansadhara and Aliwadiya.
To me the best one is the “Thimbiriyamankada bungalow”. Made completely out of wood This offers a excellent experience of a wildlife sanctuary. If you like more luxury you can book the “Veheragolla Bungalow”.
The park can be reached through Ratnapura and is approximately 180 Km from Colombo. There are two ways of reaching Ratnapura. One is using the hi level road and the the other is thorough Panadura – Horana Road. From Ratnapura take the route to Palmadulla. From Palmadulla Take the Embilipitiya Road. After traveling about 43 kms on this route turn left from the Thimbolkatiya Junction towards the Thanamalwila. The entrance to the park can be found after about 7 kms on this road.
Udawalawe National Park Entrance Ticket Prices
|Description (Fees Applicable for Category 1 Park)||Price|
|Local – Adults||LKR 150|
|Local – Children (6-12 years)||LKR 100|
|Local – Student||LKR 20|
|Local – Children (below 6 years)||FOC|
|Local – Group Fee (per vehicle)||LKR 400|
|Foreign – Adults||USD 25|
|Foreign – Children (6-12 years)||USD 15|
|Foreign SAARC Countries – Adults||USD 20|
|Foreign SAARC Countries – Children (6-12 years)||USD 10|
|Foreign – Children (below 6 years)||FOC|
|Foreign – Group Fee (per vehicle)||USD 10|
|Taxes on total cost||15%|
|Entrance Fee per vehicle||LKR 300|
for example, for 2 foreigners with 1 child between 6-12 will have the cost of
|2 x adults||USD 50.00|
|1 x child||USD 15.00|
|Group Fee||USD 10.00|
|Tax (15%)||USD 11.25|
The Above cost are for entry tickets for persons as gazetted in 2022. A ticket for the vehicle as given above has to be purchased separately.
Payments can be paid 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 11,000-15,000 for half day (4 hours) based on the park. For a full day, its double the cost of a half day.
Map of Udawalawe National Park and Other Places of Interest
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 Udawalawe National Park
Route from Colombo to Udawalawe National Park
|Though : Horana – Ratnapura – Pelmadulla – Kahawatta – Madampe|
distance :170 km
Travel time : 3-4 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map