Udawalawa National Park
Udawalawa park also like other popular parks in Sri Lanka houses herds of elephants, wild buffalo, sambar deer and leopards. The park is of 30, 821 hectares and centre on the large Uda Walawe Reservoir. Apart from stands of teak near the river, there's little forest in the park. The tall pohon grass, which grows in place of the forest, can make wildlife-watching difficult, except during dry months.
This is one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see elephants – there are about 500 in the park in herds of up to 100. There's an elephant-proof fence around the perimeter of the park, preventing elephants from getting out and cattle from getting in. The best time to observe elephant herds is from 6.30am to 10am and again from 4pm to 6.30pm; they're usually near water. Other creatures that call Uda Walawe home are sambar deer, wild buffaloes (their numbers boosted by domesticated buffaloes), mongooses, bandicoots, foxes, water monitor lizards, crocodiles, sloth bears and the occasional leopard. There are 30 varieties of snake and a wealth of birdlife; northern migrants join the residents between November and April.