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Udawalawe National Park
Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe National Park

The Basics

Udawalawe centers on the reservoir of the same name, which provides water for many of its animals, including its biggest draw—around 500 wild Asian elephants. Explore Udawalawe via 4WD game drives with a park driver-tracker. The park’s low scrub makes it perfect for spotting the elephants, as well as sambar deer, boar, waterbirds, and other animals. For more elephant interaction, visit the nearby Elephant Transit Home, an orphaned-elephant rehabilitation center.

To save time on the day of your trip, prebook admission and arrange a safari independently; or for extra ease, choose a tour that includes a safari and return transportation from places such as Colombo, Bentota, Galle, and Ella. Other possibilities include day-trip combos to Udawalawe and Yala National parks; multi-day wildlife photography or island packages that visit Udawalawe and other locations; and overnight safari experiences that include accommodation at park campsites and lodges.

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Udawalawe National Park Private Safari
Udawalawe National Park Private Safari
$14.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
The hosts were incredibly welcoming and...
The hosts were incredibly welcoming and went above and beyond to ensure we had a good time. Highly recommend!
Winifred C, Oct 2018

Recent reviews from experiences in Yala National Park

star-4
Great experience
Andrew K, Dec 2018
Udawalawe National Park Private Safari
We had a great safari and a nice driver. Would recommend a half day tour instead of a full day tour but beyond that this was a fantastic trip.
star-4
We had a great safari. Our guide was...
Wouter D, Sep 2017
Udawalawe National Park Private Safari
We had a great safari. Our guide was very good at spotting animals, perhaps with the exception of birds. During our full day private safari we saw elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, jackals, deer, peacocks and turtles. The tour was a wonderful experience. The breakfast and lunch were very good. The jeep could use some maintenance, and if the guide could speak better English he could probably inform us better about what we are seeing.
star-5
It is fantastic experience. The...
Zapryanka D, Feb 2018
Udawalawe National Park Private Safari
It is fantastic experience. The guide was really helpful, giving information about everything. It was breathing and exciting. I loved it.
star-5
Really enjoyed this tour. Summer dew...
Ciaran M, Feb 2018
Udawalawe National Park Safari trip from Galle/Mirissa/Ella
Really enjoyed this tour. Summer dew tours made this tour special and incredible. They are such a great company and the guide was excellent. Took us to places where there were no other crowds and knew the best spots. 5* all round.
star-5
Prompt pick up from out hotel in...
Austin A, Jun 2018
Udawalawe National Park Safari trip from Galle/Mirissa/Ella
Prompt pick up from out hotel in Galle and a wonderful day at the park! On the way back the driver stopped at several spots that were a wonderful addition to the trip.
star-5
Our guide Nandan was extremely...
Pritish A, Aug 2017
Udawalawe National Park Safari trip from Galle/Mirissa/Ella
Our guide Nandan was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. He picked us up on time and also dropped us to a couple of places we wanted to see along the way back to Galle. The safari itself was also very enjoyable, though we did not see an entire herd of elephants only a few individuals here and there, including one battle between alpha males.
star-5
Really nice day
Sarah, Mar 2020
Travel to Ella from Galle with Udawalawe national park safari on the way
I would highly recommend this company. Our booking was confirmed in several hours, then we were able to arrange being picked up from Weligama instead of Galle. The car driver was friendly. We then went to the elephant orphanage, very cheap for the lovely experience it was, then got taken to the Udawalawa park entrance where we ended up being the only people on our jeep. We were there late morning so I believe saw less active wildlife but still saw lots of elephants, monkeys, birds, a monitor lizzard and a cameleon. Were then taken by the same driver on to the mountains and Ella. This was a wonderful day and helped us to move from 1 place to another. We were very well looked after the whole day. Thank you!
star-4
Good but expensive!
Dennis Å, Apr 2019
Private Half Day Safari in Udawalawe National Park
Driver picked us up as expected on time at 05.30. The tour was great, we saw more animals than we expected (missed leopards though). Lots of jeeps at the entrance (maybe 30-ish) and sometimes when some animals were spotted, but it didn't really bother us that much, it's fun to watch other people too. The big issue was the price, we payed almost 20000LKR (~$115USD) and the owner of the lodge we stayed at almost laughed at us as he offered the same for around 8000LKR. That said we don't know what quality he offered, but looking at other jeeps on the trip we wouldn't expect it to be much different.
star-5
Guide was great! We had the jeep to...
carl r, Sep 2017
Udawalawe National Park Private Safari
Guide was great! We had the jeep to ourselves which was also wonderful. Definitely recommend this tour!!
star-5
There were so many elephants! Our...
Emily A, Apr 2017
Udawalawe National Park Safari trip from Galle/Mirissa/Ella
There were so many elephants! Our tour guide, Mahesh, was so knowledgeable and friendly, and he definitely went above and beyond for us. Definitely recommend this trip to anybody visiting Sri Lanka!
star-4
Tour guide was creepy. He kept...
tisa s, Jun 2016
Udawalawe National Park Private Safari
Tour guide was creepy. He kept touching me whenever he would try to show me something. It made me feel very uncomfortable. But otherwise if you are a dude or a girl thats not alone, this tour would be great. Guides were very knowledgable with identification and species information.
star-5
This tour was absolutely amazing...
Robin K, Jul 2016
Udawalawe National Park Private Safari
This tour was absolutely amazing!!!! The driver was spectacular. He was experienced and knew where to go and what to show us. He wanted us to have the best experience always on the look to see where the animals were and taking us to parts of the park that were so beautiful it took your breath away. We took the full day tour and it is by far the best way to see the park. It was a high lite for our entire family.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Safaris depart in the morning and afternoon and last about three hours.

  • Light clothing in colors that blend with the park’s scrubland is recommended.

  • Bring a camera, binoculars, sunhat, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

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How to Get There

Udawalawe National Park lies about 55 miles (88 kilometers) northeast of Galle, with its main entrance 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) off the Ratnapura-Hambantota A18 highway. While you can get there via cab or local bus-hopping from places such as Ella, Ratnapura, the easiest options are safari tours that incorporate a game drive, round-trip transportation, and hotel pickup and drop-off.

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When to Get There

Udawalawe opens daily from dawn to dusk. The best times for game drives are early morning and late afternoon, when the animals are most active. While wildlife can be spotted year-round, October to May is best for viewing elephants and migratory birds. The June to October dry season, however, also draws animals to specific waterholes, so is ideal for viewing elephants, buffalo, deer, and boar.

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Animals at Udawalawe National Park

Seeing elephants is virtually guaranteed at Udawalawe, with opportunities to view them up-close and in herds. The park’s rich biodiversity means that apart from deer, buffalo, and crocodiles, there’s plenty else to see, from water birds and monitor lizards to jackals and sloth bears. With luck, you might just see a leopard—but sightings are rare.

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