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Kumana National Park

Sometimes referred to as the ‘Yala East National Park’, the Kumana National Park is another unique wild life sanctuary in Sri Lanka that serves as a major biodiversity hotspot, especially for the many bird species that reside and migrate from distant lands across the seas to escape the unfavourable winters. Apart from the many birds that take refuge, the park also boasts of an eclectic mix of flora and fauna that undoubtedly awes those who ventures inside the park.

Best Known For

  • The Kumana National Park is famed for being one of the foremost bird sanctuaries in Sri Lanka, boasting of more than 200 species of birds, which includes resident and migrant species.
  • The other known feature of the park is the relatively less number of visitors that make it more of a safari than a zoo - like experience, as opposed to its more crowded neighbor, Yala National Park. Therefore, allowing for a more authentic feel of Mother Nature, without the hindrance of so many vehicles passing by.

Interesting Facts

  • The Kumana National Park is actually an extension of the Yala National Park, however, due to the different location of the entrance, the park was named the Yala East National Park and then subsequently renamed the Kumana National Park.
  • The park has a similar history to its Yala neighbour, being designated a national park in 1938.
  • What makes this such a different park is due to the 200 hectare mangrove that is called the Kumana Villu.
  • The Kumana Villu is a unique swamp that boasts of a number of rare bird species such as the Black-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Eurasian Spoonbill and Great Thick-knee.
  • Apart from the vast amounts of bird species that shelter in the evergreen national park, the park also boasts of an interesting mix of other mammals and reptiles too.
  • The notable mammals being the golden jackal, wild boar, Sri Lankan elephant, European otter and fishing cat.
  • The Mugger crocodile, Indian flap-shelled turtle and Indian black turtle are some common reptiles that can be witnessed too during a safari.
  • It is also possible to spot the elusive Sri Lankan leopard, however, it would not be as easy due to the relatively low population in this particular park.
  • The park is also closely inclined with Sri Lankan culture too in that it serves as the main route for pilgrims who partake in the ‘Padayatra’ (Foot pilgrimage) to the sacred temple in Kataragama.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The best time to visit the park is during the nesting season of the bird species that spans from May to June.
  • The park is open daily from 6.00am to 6.30pm and is best experienced in the wee hours of the morning, as the many birds cover the atmosphere with intriguing musical notes.
  • Entrance cost to the park are subject to change quite unexpectedly due to service charges and taxes. However, the park entrance fee alone (excluding service charge and taxes) will most likely cost the equivalent to USD 15 for adults and USD 8 for children.
  • Apart from the entrance ticket, service charges and taxes, there are other mandatory costs that have to be incurred.
  • The first being the hiring of a 4 wheel drive jeep, along with a guide.
  • The second being the cost for vehicle entrance too.
  • To avoid this hassle, you can easily arrange this from your accommodation provider.
  • Accommodation providers in Arugam Bay, generally will charge around LKR 8,000 upwards per day.
  • Remember to always listen to the tour guide, especially when animals are in close proximity. Moreover, it is also important to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the authorities.
  • Make sure you have a few layers on when venturing in the morning, since it can get quite chilly.
  • Make sure to bring along water and a few snacks, since a safari usually lasts at least 6 hours.
  • Do not forget to bring your camera too.

All in all, the Kumana National Park is one such national park that provides a unique experience to those who visit, due to the relatively lesser crowds along with the presence of some of the rarest birds in the country, if not, the world.

Title image by: Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau The information displayed is provided by Kumana National Park

Location info

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Season

May - June

Tickets

Adults
LKR 2,250
Children
LKR 1,125

Tickets At

Type

Nature and Outdoors

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