Kaudulla National Park

Another major national park in Sri Lanka for the elephant population, the Kaudulla National Park is quite a similar park when it comes to the flora and fauna of its bigger brother, the Minneriya National Park. Although similar in many ways, it still is a unique park due to the differing number of elephant herds that take refuge near the Kaudulla Tank, sometimes going up to 250 elephants at a time. Compared to its more popular Minneriya brother, the Kaudulla National Park is less crowded even during seasonal times, making a safari here all the more authentic and enticing.

Best Known For

  • The national park is famed for being one of the premier parks that boasts one of the largest gatherings of Asian elephants in South Asia, similar to that of the Minneriya National Park.
  • Apart from the number of elephant herds that gather around the watering holes, the park is also home to some rare and endangered animals too such as the Sri Lankan leopard and the Sri Lankan sloth bear.
  • Kaudulla has also proven to be a prime location for bird watching, as the park is home to a great many species of endemic and migrant birds. Thus the reason as to why the park is also a designated Important Bird Area (IBA) of the country.

Interesting Facts

  • Known to be a sibling to the world renowned Minneriya National Park, the Kaudulla National Park has quite a relatively small history, as it was only declared a national park in 2002.
  • The reason for being designated a national park was due to the many elephants that use it as a corridor to move from the Minneriya National Park to the Wasgamuwa National Park.
  • Although known for being an elephant corridor, it is also a major biodiversity hotspot teeming with an array of unique flora and fauna.
  • According to the Department of Wildlife, the 6900 hectare national park is home to 24 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish and 160 species of birds.
  • Some of the known mammals that dwell within the park are the Sri Lankan sambar deer, Sri Lankan axis deer, chevrotain, wild boar, Sri Lankan leopard and sloth bear.
  • Birds such as the Asian spoonbill, the Grey headed fish eagle, the Painted stork and the Open bill stork are known to be some common species of birds that inhabit the nearby Kaudulla Tank, Relapanawa Reservoir, Olumadu Wewa Reservoir, Puliyan Kalla Wewa Reservoir, Minneriya-Kanthale Yoda Ela Canal, Aluth Oya Stream and Hatharas Kotuwa Oya.
  • The many tanks and irrigation canals have been supposedly constructed by King Mahasen in the 3rd century to aid the agricultural pursuits of the people in the kingdom.
  • The many irrigation works still serve to be a vital source for many agricultural pursuits, along with being a sustainable lifeline for the wildlife in Sri Lanka.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The national park is open daily from 6.00am to 6.00pm, however, the best time to visit the park is either in the early morning or in the evening.
  • The season to witness the park’s evergreen surroundings, along with the flora and fauna that dwell within it, in between the months of June to October. However, if you want to witness the majestic Sri Lankan elephants feeding at the Kaudulla River, along with the other great natural phenomena that occur, then the months of September and October proves to be the best time.
  • There are a myriad of costs that you have to incur, apart from the entry fee, if you are to gain entrance to the park.
  • The first is the taxes and service charges that are added onto the entrance fee.
  • The second is the tour guide and vehicle hiring costs since you have to enter and exit the park in a four wheel drive vehicle.
  • It is best to organize a wildlife safari through your accommodation provider, since all these costs will be covered and all that hassle of finding a tour guide will be negated.
  • Make sure you listen to the instructions of the tour guide and adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the authority.
  • It is highly advised to be clad in appropriate safari clothing, especially in the mornings since it can get quite chilly.
  • Please refrain from bringing any polythene or anything that can pollute the environment.
  • Do remember to take your camera.

If you are looking for a more relaxed safari, one that is not crowded with other safari enthusiasts, then the Kaudulla National Park proves to be an ideal park, since it has almost the same renowned features like the gathering of the elephants and bird nesting of the Minneriya National Park. However, what makes it more enticing is the relatively lesser crowd that visits the park, making your safari much more rustic and authentic.

Location info



June - October

September - October

For Elephant Gatherings


LKR 1,597
LKR 800

Tickets At


Nature and Outdoors

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