Udawalawe National Park
Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka. The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area and was established on 30 June 1972. Before the designation of the national park, the area was used for shifting cultivation (chena farming). The farmers were gradually removed once the national park was declared. The park is 165 kilometers (103 mi) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.
Yala National Park
Yala (යාල) National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as Ruhuna National Park (Block 1), and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometers (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometers (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards, and aquatic birds.
Yala National Park is particularly popular as it offers the chance to see one of the most beautiful big cats, the leopard. Many visitors to Sri Lanka will choose Yala as they not only want to see elephants, birds, buffalo etc, but they really want to see one of these majestic cats in the wild!
Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu National Park (Willu-pattu; Land of Lakes) is a park located on the island of Sri Lanka. The unique feature of this park is the existence of "Willus" (Natural lakes) - Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. Located in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka. The park is located 30 km west Anuradhapura and located 26 km north of Puttalam (approximately 180 km north of Colombo). The park is 1,317 square kilometers (131, 693 hectares) and ranges from 0 to 152 meters above sea level. Nearly sixty lakes (Willu) and tanks are found spread throughout Wilpattu. Wilpattu is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is among the top national parks world-renowned for its leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) population. A remote camera survey was conducted in Wilpattu from July to October 2015 by the Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust. A sample of forty-nine individual leopards was photo-captured in the surveyed area and the core area density was between that of Yala National Park's Block I and Horton Plains National Park.
There are approximately 30 species of mammals in the Wilpattu National Park which include the Sri Lankan Elephant, Sri Lankan Leopard, Lankan Sloth Bear, Sri, Spotted Deer, Buffalo, Sambar, and Mongoose. The Wilpattu National Park include the Garganey, Pintail, Whistling Teal, Spoonbill, White Ibis, Large White Egret, Cattle Egret, and Purple Heron. Also, many species of Gulls, Terns, Owls, Kites, and Eagles are also lives here. The endemic Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Little Cormorant, and the Painted Stork can also be seen.