Near 37,000 hectares of untouched wilderness, Wasgamuwa is one of Sri Lanka’s most well preserved National Parks, offering a unique wildlife experience for any enthusiast or general traveler seeking an escape into the wild. Situated between the Matale and Polonnaruwa districts, at an expanse of 225 kilometers from the capital city of Colombo, this forest experiences a rainfall of 1650mm – 2150mm each year. The Park is bordered by the Amban River, Mahaweli River, Wasgamuwa Village and the Kalu Ganga (River) in the North, East, South and West and was declared a National Park in the year 1984. According the census report in 2011 there are over 360 Elephants in Wasgamuwa.
Being a Dry Zone Park, the Wasgamuwa National Park is home to over 150 floral species, many of them endemic. The park also houses 23 species of mammals and over 140 species of birds and a number of reptile species as well. The park is known for its hordes of elephants that you may see especially in the evenings. The Marsh Elephant is a subspecies that can only be seen near the Mahaveli River. You may also get to see two of the endemic monkey species found in Sri Lanka, or water buffalo, or even the rare sloth bear or golden palm civet.
Some of the bird species that you may see are the endemic red-faced malkoha and the Sri Lankan jungle fowl. You could also catch an elusive look at colorful pea fowl, painted stork, black-headed ibis or even a Sri Lankan frogmouth.
There are many reptiles you may see on the banks of water bodies, such as the Mugger Crocodile or water monitors. There are quite a few species of skinks, lizards and snakes as well. There are around 50 species of butterflies in Wasgamuwe Park that may interest butterfly enthusiasts. Eight of these species are endemic.
The Safari & Camping Experience
Anyone visiting Wasgamuwa National Park will experience wildlife safaris that will surely make their stay something memorable and unique. With a choice of two safari sessions that are available for the 1 Night 2 Days, the Wasgamuwa National Park wildlife safari and camping tours cater to the visitor’s needs, either providing an all-out experience of the entire park, or the must-experience 1-day tour that will cover most of the park’s features and must-see locations.