|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 (Ratnapura and Monaragala Districts) 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. The best time to see Elephants in the 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 a full day. Vans are also allowed into the park. They can travel on almost all the tracks in the dry season. But during the rainy season, it’s best to hire a jeep. If you want to enjoy the trip go there on a weekday. 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 up to ten persons each, are located near major water sources which provide better opportunities for viewing elephants. Additionally, two campsites are available for occupation at Pansadhara and Aliwadiya.
For me, the best one is the “Thimbiriyamankada bungalow”. Made completely out of wood This offers an 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 high-level road and the other is through Panadura – Horana Road. From Ratnapura take the route to Palmadulla. From Palmadulla Take the Embilipitiya Road. After travelling about 43 km on this route turn left from the Thimbolkatiya Junction towards the Thanamalwila. The entrance to the park can be found after about 7 km on this road.
Udawalawe National Park Entrance Ticket Prices
|Description (Fees Applicable for Category 1 Park)
|Local – Adults
|Local – Children (6-12 years)
|Local – Student
|Local – Children (below 6 years)
|Local – Group Fee (per vehicle)
|Foreign – Adults
|Foreign – Children (6-12 years)
|Foreign SAARC Countries – Adults
|Foreign SAARC Countries – Children (6-12 years)
|Foreign – Children (below 6 years)
|Foreign – Group Fee (per vehicle)
|Taxes on total cost
|Entrance Fee per vehicle
for example, for 2 foreigners with 1 child between 6-12 will have the cost of
The above costs 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 made in USD or equivalent LKR by foreigners. You can call 1919 (government information center) for the latest ticket prices. If you hire a private safari Jeep, the prices vary from LKR 11,000 to LKR 15,000 for a half day (4 hours) based on the park. For a full day, it’s 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