Bundala National Park

The Bundala National Park is endowed with 2 distinctive features that sets it apart from other national reserves in the area. Such noted features are the relative absence of a mass of safari jeeps and camera clicking tourists and its gates being opened throughout the year, as opposed to its neighbor. The Yala National Park. Therefore, making for a great eco-tourism destination to witness a myriad of species, should you be the wildlife junkie looking for a wet-season fix.

Best Known For

  • The Bundala National Park is without doubt famed for its rare, endemic birdlife that can be witnessed all year round and is further accentuated by the arrival of migratory species of birds, coming all the way from Siberia in certain months. Thus, making it the ideal location for those hardcore birders.
  • On a lesser note, the national park in Sri Lanka is also noted for possessing a variety of other species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and a number of invertebrates. Coupled with the fact that the gates are open throughout the year for visitors, it is deemed perfect for the wildlife junkie.
  • Moreover, the park is known to be one of the more serene parks in the country that is relatively, void of mass tourism, making a safari here, all the more authentic and enticing as a whole.

Interesting Facts

  • The Bundala National Park is a 3,339 hectare colossal wildlife reserve that features, both rain forest and mangrove eco systems, making it a biodiversity hotspot for a great many species of flora and fauna.
  • The park was initially declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and was eventually elevated to the status of a National Park in 1993.
  • The reserve is also a designated Ramsar Wetland area (an international treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of wetland areas) and was subsequently the first national park in Sri Lanka to be designated in 1990.
  • The significance of the national park in Sri Lanka was further elevated after being designated a UNESCO site under the Man and Biosphere Programme in 2005.
  • According to the Department of Wildlife, the Bundala National Park is known to be a refuge for 32 species of fish, 15 species of amphibians, 48 species of reptiles, 197 species of birds and 32 species of mammals.
  • Moreover, a sizable population of butterfly species dwell within the boundaries of the park, 52 species to be precise.
  • The park is also home to exquisite floral species too, sporting a total of 383 plant species belonging to 90 families have been recorded.
  • The highlight of the park, however, are the migratory water birds in Sri Lanka, especially the Ibis, Pelicans, Painted Storks, Black-necked Stork, Terns, Gulls, Sand-pipers, Snipes, Teals, Egrets and Spoonbills. Thus the reason as to why it is a designated Important Bird Area (IBA) of the country.
  • Moreover, the park is also known to have endangered species in the form of Asian Elephants, Fishing Cats and even Leopards, along with some other endangered turtle species like the Loggerhead Turtle, the Green Turtle, the Hawk’s Bill Turtle and the Olive Ridley Turtle.
  • The Bundala National Park, when compared to the Yala National Park, is an easier park to access, as the gates are open throughout the year, making it possible to witness the changing patterns of bird migratory patterns of the area. Therefore, making it perfect for the hardcore birder.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The park is open daily from 6.00am to 6.00pm, however, the best time to partake in a safari is during the wee hours of the morning and during the late afternoon.
  • Do take note that the last entrance is at 4.30pm.
  • The season to visit the national park generally spans from September to March, as the favourable weather conditions make it ideal to witness the many mammals and migratory birds that take refuge in its foliage.
  • It is important to note that there are other costs that have to be incurred, apart from the entrance fee.
  • 2 such costs that have to be incurred are the taxes and the service charges of the tour guide.
  • In addition to that, the cost of hiring a 4 wheel drive vehicle is also a mandatory one.
  • It is highly advised though, that you pre book your safari with your accommodation provider, so as to avoid the hassle of finding a tour guide and a vehicle.
  • It is important to be clad appropriately for a safari, therefore be prepared with snacks, water and other safari essentials.
  • Please adhere to the rules and instructions set forth by the Wildlife Department and your tour guide.
  • Please do refrain from taking polythene or any other pollutants to the park.
  • Do not forget your camera though, it would be a pity if you forget such an essential item.

All in all, the Bundala National Park, with its relatively lesser crowd of safari jeeps and its operation throughout the year, as opposed to its Yala neighbour, makes for a perfect wildlife excursion for the hardcore wildlife junkie.

The information displayed is provided by Bundala National Park


September - March


LKR 1,600
LKR 800

Tickets At


Nature and Outdoors

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