Sri Lanka: Kaudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park is a national park on the island of Sri Lanka located 197 kilometres away from the largest city, Colombo. It was designated a national park on April 1, 2002 becoming the 15th such area on the island.

Historically Kaudulla was one of the 16 irrigation tanks built by King Mahasen. Following a period of abandonment it was reconstructed in 1959. It now attracts and supports a variety of plant and animal life, including large mammals, fish and reptiles.

Spanning through entire 62 square km reserve, our adventure begins riding in this open hood safari jeep together with our guide and driver.

At first we saw one elephant in the side of the road, we were very excited taking photos and watching this lovable giant. Feels like we time-travelled to our childhood days, where seeing these enormous, wild but kind-natured animals roaming freely on their habitat is so unreal. 

Not until we reached the open area of the park where slowly from one to five to tens, we started panicking as we saw herds of elephants near the lake feasting the grass and preparing for their afternoon bathe. This is the greatest number of elephants I have seen in my entire life. It's mind blowing!

We also captured one herd trying to cross the pathway and it's amazing to watch how most of the jeeps slowly maneuver to give way to them as they slowly pass over in group.

Aside from hundreds of Asian elephants, Kaudulla National Park is also home to other wild animals - 24 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 160 species of bird.  Some of them managed to give us a show in their own special way like the monkeys, squirrels, peacock, iguana and variety of birds like eagle, pelicans, fish eater, etc. Total freedom and bliss for all these amazing creatures of God.

Overall Kaudulla is a must visit place in Sri Lanka.  It is very engaging to watch undomesticated animal species do their own thing, living harmoniously with other wildlife in their natural habitat instead of seeing them in cages.

Photo credits to Kathy and Cristine 😊


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