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“Most expensive and worst safari of my life”

Kaudulla National Park
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US$45.00*
and up
Private Tour: Kaudulla National Park Safari
Ranked #3 of 21 things to do in Habarana
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: A safari in the Kaudulla national park in Sri Lanka is a bucket-list aspiration for many tourists, which mean the place is an absolutely incredible wildlife spectacle. Located in the historic city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka, Kaudulla national park presents an ample of opportunities for travellers to spot majestic elephants in their natural habitats. 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. 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.
Reviewed 19 May 2018 via mobile

I am a single woman, which usually is no problem to travel. However, in this case, the guide was a bit weird and I almost felt scared at a moment when he stopped in the middle of nowhere (and no animals), and seemed to want to have a little break for no specific reason and to take some pictures of us, the car, etc. He could hardly speak a word of English and had no clue about wildlife.
The park is beautiful, but they use it as a 4x4 amusement park, destroying everything, driving everywhere.
Interestingly, it was not a sunny day and we saw only 1 elephant in the park. There were many other cars entering at the same time, but I am not sure where they went because we went around the lake without crossing path with more than 2.
The whole thing costed me $80 for 3h, from Habarama, and there was no way to discuss the price.

Thank Atecai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"wild elephants"
in 63 reviews
"jeep safari"
in 31 reviews
"wheel drive"
in 9 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 24 reviews
"sri lanka"
in 32 reviews
"water buffalo"
in 24 reviews
"painted storks"
in 9 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 13 reviews
"late afternoon"
in 15 reviews
"young ones"
in 8 reviews
"great afternoon"
in 6 reviews
"large herd"
in 6 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 6 reviews
"huge lake"
in 6 reviews
"bumpy ride"
in 6 reviews
"bird life"
in 15 reviews
"driver guide"
in 6 reviews
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15 - 19 of 768 reviews

Reviewed 15 May 2018 via mobile

Yes the drive is bumpy but this adds to the fun. We loved it.
Saw loads of elephants as well as many other animals including water buffalo, eagles, egrets, painted storms, peligan, elephant stork and loads more.

Strongly recommend.

1  Thank SafferB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2018

OK so they call these rough vehicle trips SAFARI, but they are not great.
You do have a good chance to see a large group of Elephants, if little else.
Worth your money...not really.

1  Thank f2s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2018

Our 4x4 drive jeep was VERY bumpy as the roads are very, very rutted but in the end I felt it was worthwhile just to see a very large herd of elephants of all ages including a couple of males facing up to each other over a female with he big lad chasing away the younger male. The winner's wee offspring seemed very pleased with his, I presume, dad when the latter returned. We were surrounded by 4x4 jeeps so it is hardly a quiet safari. lots of birds but little other mammal wildlife apart from the odd monkey. A few goanas by the side of the "road" ignored us. We did see some impressive sea eagles.

Thank Kirkcaldylad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 May 2018 via mobile

I was a bit skeptical of the safari beforehand, particularly given the number of vehicles all heading the same way. However, once we got through the first 10 mins to get to the lake we saw loads and loads of elephants all making their way through the park. There were a lot of other tourists but our driver was good at getting us to a position so that we were close enough to take pictures and feel away from the crowd. He also managed to take us around the lake to an area with no other vehicles where we saw a group of 6 elephants by themselves. There were plenty of other animals and birds to see but the elephants are the main attraction.

Thank Stephen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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