Best Sri Lanka Safari Tours Find out more about the wildlife and national parks of Sri Lanka


After Africa, Sri Lanka is frequently touted as the world's best safari destination. Home to iconic species such as leopards, Asian elephants and sloth bears, the country's national parks are filled with wildlife experiences waiting to happen. The majority of our Sri Lanka group and private tours include at least one day of wildlife viewing in national parks such as Udawalawe and Yala. But for those looking for a more specialized Sri Lanka wildlife safari, we offer several tours taking in many of the country's best national parks, and even some seasonal whale watching off the coast of Mirissa!

Best national parks in Sri Lanka

These are some of the national parks you can visit on a Sri Lanka safari vacation with us!

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park is best known for the "Gathering," where hundreds of elephants congregate around the Minneriya Tank during the dry season. This spectacle is one of Asia’s greatest wildlife events. The park also offers sightings of deer, leopards, and diverse birdlife, making it a versatile destination.

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5 reasons to book a Sri Lanka safari tour

A langur monkey

Wildlife diversity

Sri Lanka's national parks are home to a breath-taking array of creatures, from large species like elephants and leopards to smaller creatures such as monkeys and a stunning diversity of bird life. Don't forget your binoculars!

Expertly guided tours

With our guided safari tours, you will have an expert guide on hand throughout your Sri Lanka safari. These local experts will be able to tell you what species you are looking at, and they know these national parks like the back of their hand. They'll be able to take you to the best spots to catch a glimpse of some of the more elusive wildlife.

Minneriya National Park

Group carmaraderie

What's even better than seeing your first wild elephant, or seeing a sloth bear emerge from the undergrowth? Sharing that memorable experience with a group of like-minded adventurers of course. Our Sri Lanka safari vacations are mostly group tours, meaning you will travel in a small group, making friends along the way. Prefer to travel privately? We have great private tour options in Sri Lanka too!

Scenic landscapes

Beyond wildlife, the parks feature stunning landscapes, including lush jungles, open grasslands, scenic lakes, and dramatic cliffs. This diverse Sri Lankan scenery adds a breathtaking backdrop to your wildlife viewing, perfect for photography.

Yala National Park

Conservation support

As you may know, Sri Lanka recently went through a period of economic turmoil, and although things are much better now, the country's economy isn't in great shape. By visiting the country's national parks, not only are you helping to conserve these environments for future generations, you're also helping to pay the wages of park rangers and other staff who work tirelessly to protect wildlife from poaching, development, and other threats.

Meet Sri Lanka's wildlife

Here are some of the species you can spot on your Sri Lanka wildlife safari, from the largest creatures to the smallest!

Asian elephant

Smaller than its African cousin, the Asian elephant is nevertheless sure to be the star of your Sri Lanka safari. See huge herds at Udawalawe and Minneriya national parks


The elusive leopard is the top predator in Sri Lanka. The lack of competition means Sri Lanka's leopards are bigger than those in India and Africa. Your best shot at spotting one may be in the treetops.

Sloth bear

The last of Sri Lanka's 'Big Three', the shaggy sloth bear is another tricky customer to spot, but the fruit trees of Yala National Park are your best bet.

Red slender loris

Found in the forests of the island's south-west, the endangered slender loris is absolutely tiny, and you're most likely to spot its red eyes peering out of the undergrowth after dark

Sri Lanka blue magpie

Just one of Sri Lanka's many colourful bird species, the Sri Lanka blue magpie looks like it was designed by a toddler. It's endemic to the country's south.

Blue whale

You won't find the largest creature on Earth in any national parks. But many of our tours include seasonal whale watching off Sri Lanka's coast, a hotspot for this gentle giant.

Sambar deer

The sambar is a common deer species across Asia, and you'll see herds of them across Sri Lanka's national parks. They're one of the largest deer species in the world, but no match for a hungry leopard.

Tufted grey langur

Three species of monkey live in Sri Lanka: the endemic purple-faced leaf monkey, endemic toque macaque and the more common tufted grey langur

Find out more in our Sri Lanka wildlife guide
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