Wildlife in Sri Lanka

Why you should select Sri Lanka as your next safari destination

Wildlife in Sri Lanka

Why you should select Sri Lanka as your next safari destination

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Sri Lanka - The Ultimate Island Safari

Five Amazing Facts
01

Best for Big Game Safaris outside Africa

Sri Lanka is the Best for Big Game Safaris outside Africa. Its Big Five are the Elephant, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Blue and Sperm Whale. Few countries can rival its combination of Big Game safari animals, species densities and tourism infrastructure. It is undoubtedly the Ultimate Island Safari.

02

Best for blue whale and top ten for sperm whale

Sri Lanka is Best for Blue Whale, the largest animal that has ever lived on earth. Mirissa and Trincomalee offer the best Blue Whale viewing in the world.Kalpitiya is among the top ten sites in the world for the Sperm Whale, the biggest toothed whale.Mirissa offers the best chance in the world to see both Blue and Sperm Whales on the same whale watching.

03

The gathering of Elephants

The largest seasonally recurring concentration of wild elephants takes place between July to September at Minneriya (and Kaudulla) National Park. Over 300 elephants may gather on the seasonally drying lake bed. Listed by Lonely Planet as among the Top Ten wildlife spectacles in the world.Uda Walawe National Park is the only site in the world where wild elephants are guaranteed on every game drive.

04

Best for Leopards

Yala National Park is the best place in the world for seeing and photographing leopards. Some areas in Block 1 have an average density of a leopard per square kilometer.

05

Sinharaja bird Wave

The Sinharaja Bird Wave is the largest, longest studied and offers the longest viewing of bird waves.

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Seven wildlife highlights

Seven animals you have to see in the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.

The Sri Lanka department of Wildlife Conservation recently published a list of the seven most iconic wild animals in the island as a way of promoting tourism and the conservation of all species in and outside this list.

Sri Lanka is somewhat of an outlier when it comes to biodiversity. Experts have been studying the biodiversity of this small island since the early 20th century, and all with good reason. The number of animal species in the island is said to be five times as much as it is supposed to be in an island of its size, and the number of endemic species in the country is amazing. From endemic birds to endemic primates, Sri Lanka has them all. The wonder of Sri Lanka – being such a small island – is that you don’t have to travel far to see any of them.

Elephant gathering at safari in Sri Lanka
Leopard sighting at national parks in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Big Five

There were two strong reasons why I felt if we were to brand and market a ‘Big List’, we should go for a Big Five. Firstly, creating a Sri Lankan Big Five creates a ‘symmetry of phrase’ with the Af- rican Big Five. Secondly, Sri Lanka is the best safari destination outside Africa and it makes sense to maintain a ‘symmetry of phrase’ as the large continent of Africa and the tiny island of Sri Lanka are Big Game safari counterparts.

Wild cat sighting in Sri Lanka
Small Feline Predators in Sri Lanka

There are 36 species of small wild cats in the world, based on physical distinction and/or geographic separation; most species are further divided into sub-species. Sri Lanka has four species of wild cats: the Leopard (Panthera pardus), the Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), the Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) and the Rusty-spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginous). All of them are considered nationally threatened, while the Leopard is considered a globally threatened species.

Giant asian elephants in sri lanka
Giants of Asia

The subspecies of Asian elephants are classified under 3 main categories; the endemic species to Sri Lanka is called Elephas maximus maximus, the subspecies of elephants across the Indian sub-peninsula and indo-china territory is called Elephas maximus indicus, and the third group across a specific area of Sumatra Island is called Elephas maximus sumatranus. There is no remarkable difference between the subspecies of the Asian elephant and African elephant.

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