Udawalawe National Park
Udawalawe National Park
4.5
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
This park is home to several hundred elephants and other rare plants and wildlife.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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Admission tickets
from ₹5,224.95
All you need to step foot in the door.
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See what travellers are saying
  • Lukas Fröhlich
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Udawalawe with a great Guide
    We saw Elephants, Crocodiles, Cameleons and lots of different birds. I think the main reason for our good experience was our guide Lahiru. We saw lots of jeeps in the safari where people had just one person for driving and guiding. In our case we had an extra driver and Lahiru. So he could fully focus on spotting animals and explaining things to us. He said it‘s okay to post his number here so there it is: +94 76 272 6799 Just send him a whatsapp..
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 August 2023
  • Elena M
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Safari With Guide Gimhana
    We had a great morning safari at Udawalawe national park with Gimhana. He has a really great eye and ability to stop animals both big and small. We saw family of baby elephants, crocodiles, deers, monitor lizard, peacocks, pelicans, water buffaloes, birds and two types of monkeys. Unforgettable experience - and worth booking with Gimhana to ensure you have a day to remember. His whatsapp number - +94776830791
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 August 2023
  • Francesca V
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Perfect guide for a beautiful and real safari experience!
    Beautiful and impressive experience firstly thanks to our guide Lahiru Prasad! So well knowledgeable, young and English speaking (with some Italian words too!). We spent more than 3 hours for the Safari and we saw a lot of animals (crocodile, bambi, monkeys, particular birds and a lot of elephants, one at one meter from us included!!!). If needed, contact him to live a real experience!! +94 76 272 6799
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 August 2023
  • Jignesh
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Evening Safari with Lahiru
    We had a great guide, Lahiru Prasad. We booked him very far in advanced after reading the reviews on here that he is excellent and we were not disappointed. He contacted us a couple of days before the safari to advise us to change to an evening safari due to the drought conditions in the park and therefore less animal sightings in the mornings as the heat builds up quickly. We were really pleased with the afternoon into evening safari ( just over 4 hours) and saw a lot of animals. 2 different herds of elephants at the first lake and more at the second lake. Also, jackals, crocodiles, buffalo, chameleons, storks, bee eaters, nights jars, peacocks, jungle fowl and so much more! Definitely a great choice of guide. He is very friendly and knowledgeable and an excellent spotter. - contact him on WhatsApp +94 76 272 6799 to get him booked for your trip!
    Visited August 2023
    Written 20 August 2023
  • bogi1995
    Moehrendorf, Germany295 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Elefants!
    Udawalwe is the place to visit if you are focussed on elefants. The chance to see some of these animals from a very short distance are extremely high. But the scrubs in this park are extremely dense that you might not see too many other animals.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 September 2023
  • Charith Dissanayake
    Colombo, Sri Lanka29 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Touching distance to wild elephants
    Absolute close and natural encounter with the wild elephants. We managed to go during a slightly rainy and cold time period. While our tracker was wonderful, we ended up surrounded by about 15 elephants at one point. Loved the whole feeling and experience
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 1 October 2023
  • Tracey G
    Bromsgrove, United Kingdom60 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lahiru is the BEST!
    Wow! We enjoyed a breathtaking morning safari trip at Udawalawe! Firstly, we contacted Lahiru through WhatsApp after reading such wonderful reviews. Nothing was too much trouble, he organised a transfer from Ella to Udawalawe, overnight accommodation at a wonderful safari lodge for us and a transfer onward to Galle. He is such a knowledgeable, kind and helpful guy. His passion for wildlife in the park is infectious. He is so brilliant at spotting wildlife and was able to share fascinating facts about every species. We took a different route from all the other jeeps, he instinctively knows where to find the animals. When seeing the elephants at really close quarters to the jeep, many other jeeps were around us and then having taken photos, drove away. Lahiru knew if we backed up and waited a moment the big tusker elephant would appear looking for the ‘ladies’ and we witnessed their encounter. We saw many different species - monkey, buffalo, deer, monitor, mongoose, crocodile, peacock, owl, many types of birds and reptiles, it was simply fabulous. Seriously, you need to book him for your safari trip. I have never been so impressed with a guide before, his English was superb and it was so lovely to have the entire jeep to ourselves, just us two, the driver and Lahiru our fabulous guide. Contact Lahiru via WhatsApp +94 76 272 6799 Thank you so much. 😊
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 October 2023
  • Passenger51636951052
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best experience with our guide Lahiru
    We visited Udawalawe national park during a 4-hour safari tour with our individual guide Lahiru. It was the best choice ever to opt for an extra guide on board. Most of the tours at Uduwalawe offer just the jeep with driver, and although these drivers will help spot wildlife, they won’t give you all the background information. When you book Lahiru, he comes along next to the driver, so he can focus 100% on spotting all the species in the park. He has a great eye for spotting wildlife, his English was great, and his knowledge about all the animals was incredible. It was so nice to have all the extra info once spotting an animal. Furthermore, he took us away from the crowds, as he knows the park inside out. I would highly recommend booking him. You van contact him via whatsapp: +94 76 272 6799
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 November 2023
  • Tonylef
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A morning in Udawalawe with our guide Lahiru
    Visiting Udawalawe national park has been magnificent. A park with huge respect for nature and the animals living around. I would like to thank our guide ‘Lahiru’ specifically. My girlfriend and I were so happy to have booked a guide next to the driver. Lahiru has a huge knowledge and experience and he gave us so much information, told with pure passion. Next to spotting the elephants he showed us a huge variety of birds, crocodiles, jackals,… I could sum up a whole list. What a exquisite morning it was. I have experienced multiple safari’s already but this one has been exceptional. We have followed a way to the deeper jungle part of the park, without having other jeeps following us around. Just us and pure nature. Thank you Lahiru! In case you would like to book him don’t hesitate to reach him by whatsapp on the following number: +94 76 272 6799. Cheers, Anthony
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 November 2023
  • Roam64155008091
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice Safari in Udawalawe :)
    We had a safari with Lahiru yesterday. The communication in advance went very well, I contacted him via WhatsApp. His number is +94 76 272 6799. You are welcome to contact him there. He has also arranged accommodation called Dew Safari Cottage. We can recommend them 100%. Lahiru does his job very well, we really saw a lot of animals and he was able to answer all of our questions and is a good bird expert. The safari lasted about 4.5 hours and we would recommend a tour with him to everyone!
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 November 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

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Holly Hinman
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
We had the best safari tour of the Udawalawa National Park in February 2020. We were very lucky to have a knowledgeable guide who obviously loves the animals too.

We would very much recommend that you book your safari tour through the Kottawatta Village Hotel and specifically ask for Kalpa as your guide.

Kalpa’s knowledge, enthusiasm and English language skills made a huge difference. We enjoy birdwatching very much and recommend the early morning tour as the best for birds. (We did a 6 hour tour: 5am-11am) I think because we slowed down to really look at and learn about the birds we ended up seeing many more animals than most other groups. It’s not just about the elephants, though we saw lots of those too. The morning is also much cooler than the afternoon. You may want to bring a long sleeved top to keep warm for the first few hours. Totally worth waking up early for.

Kottawatta Village also provided a really nice picnic breakfast.
Written 24 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RKimNYC
New York City, NY78 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
I don't even quite remember how I found out about Lahiru (somewhere on Trip Advisor), but I'm so glad we did. I contacted him via WhatsApp literally two days before our safari, and he was immediately responsive and available. Our driver (for the 9-day itinerary -- not Lahiru) was a bit nervous about us using a safari guide he was not familiar with, but after a quick phone conversation, Lahiru put our driver/guide's mind at ease. Lahiru met us early in the morning and brought us a box breakfast and water. The safari was just my husband and I, which was wonderful ($100 USD). We were able to spend time on the animals of interest, and forego animals that were of less interest to us. He extended our safari by an hour so we could see more elephants (we had seen only a handful prior to the extended hour), and courteously called our driver/guide to ask "permission" to take us for the additional hour. Everything about the safari was professional and enjoyable. I would absolutely recommend Lahiru for safari.
Written 21 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FarAway563120
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
We went on safari with Lahiru for full 4 hours today and were totally amazed! He knew all the places where to spot the animals by at the same time avoiding the other jeeps. For him it is important to give you the best experience of wildlife as possible and also, he can tell you a great deal about the animals, their behavior and habits since he’s a trained national park guide. We had a quite tense situation with a male elephant and he perfectly knew how to behave, keeping the balance between safari experience, fun and safety. Therefore, all thumbs up!! His safari may be a bit more expensive than others but you really can’t do wrong going on safari with him - he’s worth every penny! Booking: +94 76 272 6799
Written 16 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex S
Manchester, UK4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Instead of buying my partner a Christmas present this year, I decided to buy him an experience when we arrived in Sri Lanka. After lots of research in to different experiences and then wildlife parks and tour guides we were sold on a review of a safari run by Lahiru and we are so glad that we did! Lahiru arranged a driver for the journey to and from the park for us - a really friendly driver and 3 hours each way but totally worth it. When we arrived, Lahiru was able to take us through the routes that weren’t well frequented by the other jeeps which meant we had a more tailored and magical experience. Highlights included seeing lots of baby elephants <3, having elephants within arms reach on several occasions, being the only jeep to witness an elephant crossing the lake whilst two crocodiles were sunbathing at the edge of the water, seeing a huge herd of water buffalo bathing as well as seeing many other birds and animals in a natural habitat. Lahiru’s ability to capture fabulous pictures of the animals on our phones through his binoculars for a real close up of the beautiful animals and his friendly banter really made it a great trip. If you’re looking to do a safari and see lots of animals with a personalised experience (ask for a private tour) then I’d advise that you contact Lahiru to book via Whattsapp +94762726799. Thank you for a fabulous trip Lahiru! :)
Written 4 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ExplorersUnlimited
Teddington, UK35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Solo
I had the most fantastic day with Chaminda, and recommend him wholeheartedly. He is polite, professional, sensitive to travellers’ needs and speaks pretty good English. He knows the names of all the animals in English and has reference books in the jeep. Most importantly he is knowledgeable about the creatures in the park and has a very good eye for spotting all manner of birds, mammals, and lizards.

You can call him directly on his mobile
+94 (077) 337 9470

Chaminda charged me the standard rate for each half day game drive (currently 5,000 rupees) and freely gave me extra time on the morning drive in order to arrive early and beat the long queues, and then added more free extra time at the end too, as he was trying to find a brown fish owl. He spotted so many rare birds for me, and the brown fish owl eluded us on this trip!

The afternoons are best for elephants as it’s too hot for birds until late afternoon, when visitors have to exit the park.
Here are some of the notable sightings we had over the day:

Brown Shrike
Yellow eyed babbler (rare)
Woolly neck stork
Blue faced malkohas (rare)
Sirkeer malkohas (rare)
Red breasted green pigeon
Indian roller
Jungle prinia
Sikri
Great coucal
Grey headed fish eagle
Kingfisher (common and black capped)
Chestnut headed bee eater
Little green bee eater
Blue tailed bee eater
Land monitor lizard
Painted storks
Plum headed parakeet pair (rare)
Hoopoe
Crocodiles

Serpent eagle
Sri Lankan Green pigeon
Tufted Grey langur
Toque Macaques
Mogoose pair
Yellow water lapwing
Golden jackal

Plus common:
Many elephants including little babies, lots of fascinating behaviours to observe
Peacocks
Water buffaloes
Egrets
Brahminy kites
Written 1 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sipke vink
Cairns, Australia219 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
We had a 3 hour tour booked for 3500 one way a other at the arrival point we got a tour guide in our Jeep . It’s low season so was not to busy with the jeeps only 50 in front of us before we went into the park a bit of a problem is there are only one person selling the tickets that a bit of a hold up , if you can take a tour guide with you they have a lot of power to get traffic going again when you see elephants. We saw a lot of animals and birds in that short period
Written 9 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Remco P
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
We had a very nice and well organised tour through the Udawalawe National Park organised by Lahiru Prasad.
Lahiru was our guide and operator and made sure we had a great experience: strictly on time pickup with a van (tour in 4x4 with good visibility), able to find right spots in the park where others don’t come, explains the wildlife in the park, speaks English well and provides a complementary snack on the tour. We have seen everything that the park has to offer!!!
The long and the short of it is that we highly recommend Lahiru and the team... you can reach them on +94 76 272 6799.

Remco Prins
Written 28 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nicole N
Greater Sydney, Australia1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Great evening safari with Lahiru- if you would like to experience a safari away from the crowds this one is for you. We managed to see about 9 baby elephants and clocked 38 different bird species. We were collected from our accomodation in a timely manner, our group of 3 had a wonderful time after booking a private safari on WhatsApp 94762726799. Our group has been on safari before in Africa and were slightly worried about the crowds but Lahiru managed to position us away from other jeeps, also of concern was animal welfare as a veterinarian but was most impressed by him “ saying it is their place not our place” and respecting the space of the elephants.
Written 6 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael G
Darwin, Australia2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
My wife and I went on an afternoon safari with Chaminda, we were very specific that we wanted a quieter tour not harassing animals etc and staying away from the other jeeps where possible. Chaminda to his credit was very professional and careful in his driving and approach of the animals and birds that i think we saw much more than other jeeps that seemed to be racing around. Our guide was very informative, spotting the following:
Blue tailed bee eater
Malabar pied hornbill
Peahens and peacocks
Brown headed barbet
Mongoose
Little green bee eater
White bellied sea eagle
Changeable hawk eagle
Coppersmith barbet
Red vented bulbul
Green pigeon
Imperial pigeon
Sri Lanka green pigeon
Sirkeer malkoha
Crested serpent eagle
Rose ringed Parakeets
Brown shrike
Indian blue Robyn
water buffalos wallowing in a pond
And of course elephants, some with very young calves. The highlight of our tour was the pied hornbills as I believe these are shy birds so rare sighting.
Overall a very enjoyable and informative tour.
I can highly recommend Chaminda, give him a ring or text phone No: +94773379470.
Cheers Michael and Asha, from Darwin Australia.
Written 4 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marius B
Cluj-Napoca, Romania67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
This is the park to be if one wishes to see elephants. We also saw lots of birds, some deers, primates a dead deer being devoured by a crocodile, buffalos and enjoyed a nice ride.
Would recommend doing it early in the morning as it wasn't crowded (about 12 jeeps or so in total).
Written 5 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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