Sri Lanka has numerous national parks which makes it a popular safari destination. Do you want to spot large herds of elephants in the wild? Kaudulla National Park or Minneriya National Park is the place to be! These parks are the home to more than 200 elephants. Since the elephants were staying in Kaudulla National Park when we were there, we visit this park. In this article you will find more information about a safari in Kaudulla National Park.
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Kaudulla National Park
Kaudulla National Park is one of the many national parks in Sri Lanka and is located about 40 kilometers from Sigiriya and Dambulla. There’s another park next to the Kaudulla National Park, the Minneriya National Park. The Minneriya National Park is the bigger brother of Kaudulla and attracts many tourists. Kaudulla also has tourists, but fewer of them. Even though there are about the same species of animals in both parks, since they can move between the parks
Kaudulla initially served as an irrigation tank and was constructed by King Mahasen. The area was neglected for a long time and was rebuilt in 1959. The area attracts a wide variety of animals and plants. For example, large groups of elephants, birds, crocodiles, monkeys and deer.
The jeep picked us up at our accommodation and less than an hour later, we arrived at Kaudulla National Park. We had to pay our driver here, after which he bought tickets. Someone else got into our car and a few minutes later it turned out to be the guide. At first, we thought this was a bit weird, as we hadn’t asked for this and already assumed that we’d have to pay extra. On the other hand, it was quite neat, because he actively searched for different animal species and was able to tell us all about the park and the animals.
Less than 10 minutes later we saw a huge group of elephants. It must have been about 50 of them. Very cool to see! The elephants walked around, ate some grass and cooled down in the water. The guide also told us that the water is the reason all those animals are in the park. Because we spotted the elephants quickly, our safari took about 1.5 hours. If you don’t spot animals right away, the safari may take longer.
After the visit, the guide asked us for a contribution. He did not ask for a fixed amount, but we were allowed to give him what we thought was fair. Perfectly fine!
Safari Kaudulla National Park costs
Just as with the safari in Yala National Park, it is wise to book a tour here. We did this through the accommodation where we stayed, The Courtyard Villa in Sigiriya. It is less than an hour drive from Sigiriya to the park.
Because we decided very last minute to do the safari, we were forced to book a private tour. The costs are 6,000 rupees per person. This included a jeep, driver and a guide.
Tip: Do you know in advance that you want to do a safari to Kaudulla or Minneriya National Park and do you want to cut down on costs? Book through your accommodation or look for a Facebook page where you can find other people who also want to do the safari and share a jeep. This keeps the costs per person down.