travel tips

An epic safari adventure in Sri Lanka’s Udawalawe National Park

Sri Lankan elephants are one of the sight to see when visiting Sri Lanka. We read that the best place to see these wild gentle giants is in the Uduwalawa Natural Park which is located on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva provinces. Although smaller than African elephants, Sri Lankan elephants are larger than other Asian subspecies and can weigh up to 5.5 tons.

Sri Lankan elephant is truly an impressive sight

There are a few hundred Asian elephants in the park so it’s almost a guarantee to see at least one of those mammoths. Park also habits lots of colorful birds, fresh water crocodiles and water buffaloes.

So many elephants and only one camera
Water buffaloes just chilling
This green bird posed to the camera

How to get there – using public transportation

The first thing is to know that there is no easy way to travel Udawalawa by using Sri Lankan public transportation, but if you do, the cost is a minimum and definitely experience of lifetime. We decided travel to Udawalawe by train and bus. You can do this trip using only busses but we prefer trains so our first destination was Matara, which has the last train station in south tip of Sri Lanka. Before park we were staying in the Unawatuna Beach, situated near Galle, so our journey started from there. This is how our trip went:

  • Train from Unawatuna to Matara
  • In Matara walking from Railway Station to Main Bus Station (in Google Maps Bus stand – Matara)
  • Bus number 11 from Matara to Embilipitiya
  • Bus from Embilipitiya to Udawalawa
  • In Udawalawa walking to our hotel

1. Train from Unawatuna to Matara

Unawatuna train station

2. Walking from train station to main bus station

Matara train station
Matara train station and we might have been the only tourists
Walking to Matara bus station with just bought travel necessities. About 1,5 km and 20 mins.

3. Bus number 11 from Matara to Embilipitiya

Matara bus station
Matara bus station
Bus to Embilipitiya was really crowded

4. Bus from Embilipitiya to Udawalawa

The last bus to Udawalawe
The last journey – Bus from Embilipitiya to Udawalawa

5. Finally! Udawalawa town

Udawalawa Junction Bus Stop
Udawalawa Junction Bus Stop

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