Udawalawe National Park is the third most popular park in Sri Lanka. The primary attraction is a herd of approximately 250 elephants which are generally found near the Udawalawe reservoir. It is also possible to spot leopards in the park although this is rare.
The main entrance lies about 12km along the road from Udawalawe village to Thanamalwila on the left hand side. Jeeps are available for hire at many points along this road which follows the park’s southern boundary.
Elephant Transit Home
The Elephant Transit Home is located in the south west corner of the park and can be accessed directly from the road in Udawalawe village. It is a more ethical alternative to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. They take orphaned elephants and care for them before releasing them into the wild. Human / elephant contact is not permitted although viewing of the feeding is permitted daily at 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm. and 6 pm.
Costs and Timings
Most people do a simple 3 hour half day safari in the park starting at 6 am or 3 pm. The entrance fee is about 25 – 30 USD per adult and the jeep hire is normally around 5000LKR for a half day safari. The jeep price is the same total for one, two, three, four, five or six people. The entrance fee for the Elephant Transit Home is 500LKR per person.