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The Udawalawe National Park is the only National Park in Sri Lanka where an elephant can be seen on every single game drive.


Sri Lankan Elephants in the Udawalawe National Park

Widely known for its population of Sri Lankan Elephants (which are a recognized subspecies of their Asian counterparts) the Udawalawe National Park is the only place where an elephant sighting is guaranteed on every single safari drive. There are around 600 to 700 Sri Lankan Elephants in this wildlife park and it is not unusual to see large herds gather to drink water and feed.

The Udawalawe National Park is also instrumental in the Elephant Transit Home - a project that is geared towards the conservation of this species which is now considered endangered. The Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home is a halfway house of sorts where abandoned, injured or orphaned elephants are treated and then released back into the Park. It is possible to observe the elephants here from a safe enough distance.


Choosing your Udawalawe safari accommodation

There is much to see in the Udawalawe National Park and a short amount of time to see it in. So, when choosing your accommodation you need to look at options that do not require that much travel time. With Big Game Safari accommodation options your tented safari camp will be set up within a 25 minute drive to the park entrance and just 200m away from its boundaries. The campsite, which is in a semi wilderness area overlooking a small lake,i s frequently visited by wild elephants. For more Big Game safari accommodation options please visit our accommodation page.


A closer look at the Udawalawe National Park

The Udawalawe National Park is in the southern dry-zone of Sri Lanka, and spans approximately 31,000 hectares. The Park cuts across two Provinces in the South of Sri Lanka and includes the Udawalawe Reservoir. It is second in popularity only to the Yala National Park and attracts many visitors every year. The Udawalawe Reservoir is ensconced in open plains and foothills. The most prominent peak Ulgala is located in the west of the Park and rises up to a height of nearly 380 metres from the lowest point in the area which is about 100 metres above sea level. The most topographical features are the Kalthota Escarpment and the spectacular Diyawinne Falls to the north.

The dry land area of the Udawalawe National Park is about 308 square kilometers excluding the reservoir, which is approximately 29,000 hectares in extent. The reservoir itself is situated inside the Park, and draws its water from the Horton Plains Reserve, the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary and the Haputale area. It retains its status as an important area for aquatic birds.


Wildlife safari encounters in the Udawalawe National Park

Apart from the elephants there are numerous other aspects that attract visitors to this National Park. The wildlife is diverse and many spectacular animals can be seen while on a safari drive. The Park is also home to Spotted Deer, Monitor Lizards, Sambar Deer, Wild Boar, the common Langur, Jackal, Toddy Cat and the endemic Toque Macaque. The Sri Lankan Leopard has also been sighted here, but unlike in the Yala National Park these sightings are rare.


Bird Life in the Udawalawe National Park

birding safari in the Udawalawe National Park will not leave you disappointed with a total of 183 species having been recorded as permanent residents here. In addition, a significant number also pass through on their migratory routes. Birdlife here is a great mix of Warblers, low country birds and Raptors. The endemic Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Malabar pied Hornbill and the Sri Lankan Spurfowl are of particular importance to birders. Of the water birds, the rare Osprey and Indian Cormorant are of note too.


Reptiles and amphibians in the Udawalawe National Park

Thirty species of snakes call Udawalawe home and the Park is also home to Mugger Crocodiles, Oriental Garden Lizards, Water Monitors and Bengal Monitors


Climate in the Udawalawe National Park

The temperature in Udawalawe is usually high with some seasonal rainfall. The average temperature is 32°C. The rainy season is from April to May and then again from October to November. The dry season is from May right through to September.


Flora in the Udawalawe National Park 

Much of the forest canopy in Udawalawe has been destroyed due to slash and burn cultivation, so now only savannah grasslands and thorn scrub prevail. Trees such as Satin, Ehala, Lunumidella and Kumbuk can also be found here together with the endemic Mandorang tree.


The best times to visit Udawalawe

The Udawalawe National Park can be visited throughout the year. However the migrant birds can only be seen from November to March. The dry season is the best for elephants as they come out in large herds to drink at the waterholes.


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Sanctuary & Secret Safari

All campsites are maintained as mini nature reserves that go deeper than homing wildlife; this is also a sanctuary for families with kids, couples, and wildlife enthusiasts looking for soulful magic and adventure in the wild, while on a budget. Enjoy a secret safari by simply sitting by your tent and getting better acquainted with everything from Giant Squirrels to Spotted Deer passing by. You might even have the best safari in Sri Lanka, without even trying!





Live where elephants roam, peacocks dance, and jungle cats prowl.

Different Camps. Unique Settings.


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Carbon Neutrality, Sustainability & Conservation

Your stay at Sri Lanka Big Game Safaris has no negative impact on the environment in terms of CO2 emission. Additionally, accommodation has been built on an eco-friendly foundation – metaphorically and literally; along with a ‘no plastic policy’ where glass bottles are used for water and juice, we use EMT (Effective Micro-organism Technology) to manage our waste at campsites, solar power to generate electricity, and less artificial lights to minimise light pollution. By choosing Sri Lanka Big Game Safaris, you are directly contributing to Eco Tourism Sri Lanka, minimising human / leopard conflict, and human/elephant conflict on the island.





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We could not fault this place. The tent was comfy, well ventilated and with comfy beds. All of the food we had there was delicious and plentiful. The hosts could not do enough for us. Eating breakfast watching monkeys and giant squirrels playing just by us was a highlight. Heartily recommended.

Stayed January 2020, traveled as a couple
Lesley A, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom


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Dear Industry Partners / Explorers,

We are glad to announce that all of our Camps, Lodges and services are now ready to open under strict adherence to Health and Safety Guidelines stipulated by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, as advised by the Ministry of Health following the WHO regulations.  

These regulations include daily briefings with all staff members, careful health monitoring of staff & guests, strict hygiene measures, regular disinfection of every touchpoint from check-in to check-out and a dedicated emergency evacuation plan. 

As the benchmark for luxury tented camps & lodges in Sri Lanka, we provide unparalleled guest experiences to discerning travellers from across the globe and our expertise in paying attention to detail is now more critical than ever.

For guests with existing bookings or those who are planning to book their stay in the near future, we have introduced extremely flexible terms, allowing them to postpone their travels up to the 15th of December 2021 without any penalty.

We are so excited to share a sense of much-needed optimism in the world and to help spread a new appreciation for healthy and unconfined life which is uniquely and charismatically embedded into all our properties.

We thank you, for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you back to Eco Team Camps & Lodges represented under the brands of Mahoora, Ahaspokuna, Big Game Camps and Explorer by Mahoora, each in its own unique location.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Sri Lanka.  Until then, stay safe. 

Anuruddha Bandara 
Founder / Managing Director 
Eco Team Pvt Ltd  

Owning Company of:
Mahoora Tented Safari Camps 
Explorer by Mahoora 
Ahaspokuna Bush Walks Camp
Big Game Camps & lodges