Love Sri Lanka Explore

Kaudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park is often a less-frequented but extremely important park in Sri Lanka. Spanning 6,900ha, the Kaudulla was officially designated as a national park on 1 April 2002. Kaudulla National Park is roughly one hour away from Sigiriya, and makes for a great day trip! 

Along with Minneriya, Kaudulla is known for its massive elephant population, one of the biggest in the country, and serves as a key site to visit for those keen on seeing herds of the majestic beasts roaming free. While large groups are more likely to be spotted in Minneriya during August, they’re more frequent in Kaudulla during the month of September.

Initially, Kaudulla was one of the many irrigation tanks built by King Mahasen, but it was later abandoned, only to be reconstructed in 1959. Today, Kaudulla National Park is a mix of chena cultivations, grasslands and dry evergreen forests, and is home to numerous mammals, reptiles, birds and fish.

So far, there are about 160 species of bird in Kaudulla, which is notable as it has been labelled as an ‘Important Bird Area’. So if you’re an avid birdwatcher, don’t forget to take your best binoculars with you, as you’re likely to see many unique species around here.

Kaudulla is also home to 25 species of reptiles, 24 species of mammals, and 26 types of fish.
These include the Sri Lankan sambar deer, our very own leopard, the sloth bear, Indian flap-shelled turtles, and more!

Kaudulla National Park is a great option for safaris, er option for a safari, mainly due to the infrequency of vehicles and crowds at the park.