National Parks

There are many National Parks you can visit in Sri Lanka. Yala is the largest national park. The National Parks of Sri Lanka are managed by the department of Wild Life and Conservation. National Parks are bit different from Wild Life sanctuaries which allow free movements. You need to obtain permission and a guide provided by the park. You are not supposed to get out from the vehicle under any circumstances. You need drive a 4 WD vehicle and stay only in specified roads.


Sri Lanka’s 22 national parks are supervised by the:Department of Wildlife Conservation
Travel Information
Visiting hours: 6.30am to 6.30pm

Period from 12.00 noon of the starting day to 11.00am the following day counts as one night. Contact Department of Wildlife



Further reading: A Guide to the National Parks of Sri Lanka by the Department of Wildlife Conservation

General Park Ethics
Ø  National parks are home to animals and you are a fleeting visitor

Ø  Guides, obligatory on all excursions within a park, are available at the entrance

Ø  Keep strictly to the tracks inside the parks. During travel always remain in your vehicle. In any case, walking is not allowed

Ø  Keep a good distance between vehicles. Allow the animals time to settle down and get used to the presence of vehicle.

Ø  Animals have the right of way. Stop your vehicle if an animal is crossing the road. In addition, it provides a good opportunity to observe the animals

Ø  Most animals have a keen sense of hearing and alien sounds startle them. Do not sound the vehicle’s horn or talk loudly

Ø  Avoid feeding the animals since they are capable of finding their own food.

Ø  A forest has its own particular sounds. When in a forest, why listen to other sounds? Do not bring audio equipment

Ø  Do not use flash photography. Sudden blinding light alarms the animals

Ø  While on excursions, avoid smoking. Forests are vulnerable to fire, especially

Ø  Notice how wonderfully the animals are camouflaged. You too should blend in with the surroundings. Avoid wearing colours that jar on the eye: earthy colours such as brown and green are ideal

Ø  Do not throw litter, cigarette butts or live matches around the park

Ø  Keep a safe distance from the animals. Respect their privacy and you will be rewarded with hours of undisturbed viewing

Ø  Do not collect or destroy wild flowers and plants available in the park

Ø  Do not bring plants and pets (especially dogs and cats) to the park

Ø  Do not bathe or emit wastes into the natural water bodies