A Kaudulla National Park Safari is a popular elephant safari option in Sri Lanka. With its large lakes and lush green fields, the park is a haven for elephants, who reside in the park in large herds. It is located 197 kilometres (122 mi) away from the largest city, Colombo. It was designated a national park on April 1, 2002 becoming the 15th such area on the island. In the 2004–2005 season more than 10,000 people visited the National Park, generating an income of Rs.100,000 from entrance fees. Along with Minneriya and Girithale BirdLife International have identified Kaudulla as an Important Bird Area.Historically Kaudulla was one of the 16 irrigation tanks built by King Mahasen. Following a period of abandonment it was reconstructed in 1959.
There are three national parks in the close proximity within that region. They are the Minneriya National Park, the Kaudulla National Park, and the Hurulu Eco Park. All of the three parks are immensely popular among locals and foreigners the world over for their large herds of elephants. Generally, each year during the months of July to September large groups of elephants are found in the Minneriya National Park and then they migrate to Kaudulla National Park during the months October to November due to high rains and lakes getting filled up. Then the elephants move on to Hurulu Eco Park for the final leg of their migration during the month of December to January. In addition to the elephants, sambar deer, Sri Lankan axis deer, chevrotain, wild boar, Asian spoonbill, grey-headed fish eagle, painted stork and openbill stork are common visuals at the park. Aside from these, one could rarely capture the glimpse of leopard and sloth bear in the forest.
ENTRANCE FEE FOR KAUDULLA NATIONAL PARK
It should cost you about 6250 LKR ($40) per person. If you’re wondering about the entrance fee, this is 2700 LKR ($18) per person.
The best option to visit Kaudulla National Park is with a safari jeep ride. Private Safari Jeep consists of maximum of 6 Passengers per jeep. Going on a bumpy ride through an evergreen forest of Kaudulla national park along the small trails is a great adventure, wildlife enthusiasts can’t say ‘NO’ to. The Kaudulla reservoir being the life blood to the wildlife of the park, attracts herds of elephants during the dry season from nearby Minneriya, Wasgamuwa and Somawathiya national parks. You can wear good hiking/walking shoes, sunglasses, hats and sunscreen. Take a good camera along with you or smart phone accessories. A couple of water bottles is a must. Make arrangements for the ride before you leave. The thin green line of trees at distance along with the blue sky and silvery reservoir and the emerald green grassland that contrast the rock black elephants is quite a scenery that charm travellers around the world. June to September being the best time to go on a Kaudulla Safari, the national park offers you the opportunity to go on a paddle boat ride and capture birds at a close range in their natural habitats.
Capture this blissful sight with zero worries as you can arrange a smooth Kaudulla safari experience with the national park members. You can visit the park and make arrangements there as there are many tourist guides and vehicle drivers promising you the best rates and a safe ride.