Udawalawe

Udawalawe National Park

Uda Walawe National Park is a 30,000 hectare wilderness in the remote, mountainous south central region of Sri Lanka. Situated 80 km west of Yala NP, and a three hour drive from Galle, the reserve is home to over 500 wild Asian elephants, and considered one of the best places on earth to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Framed by distant mountains, the park’s terrain of savanna grassland and thorny bush forest, adjoining a large manmade reservoir, is home to a wealth of wildlife, including water buffalo, sloth bear, jackal, crocodile, and the occasionally sighted leopard. Bird species number well over 100, including the rare spot billed pelican, stork, egret, and sea and fish eagles, and there are over 50 resident butterfly species, amongst them the distinctive banded peacock.

Uda Walawe is Sri Lanka’s third most visited national park, and its biggest draw is undoubtedly the elephant. Three generations, ranging from babies to seniors, roam the park in huge herds of up to a hundred animals, a spectacular sight. Unlike other national parks, elephant numbers remain constant throughout the seasons, and accordingly viewing is pretty much guaranteed year round. The regions dry season runs from May to September, with the monsoon usually occurring from April to May, and from October to November.

To enjoy wildlife viewing without the crowds, the best times to visit are early morning or evening. Also worth a visit is the park’s elephant orphanage, the Elephant Transit Home. Running since 1995, the ETH nurtures over 40 orphaned elephants, with the aim of safely rehabilitating each of them back into their natural habitat.


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Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

14 day Sri Lankan surf and sightseeing family holiday, featuring idyllic beaches, stunning Tea Country, ancient cities, and verdant national parks

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Adults from $2,772 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

Families from $2,390 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

13 day budget-friendly Sri Lanka holiday combining Tea Country, historic Galle, landscapes, culture, and wildlife, with charming independent guesthouse accommodation.

Tailor-made Classic 13 days

Adults from $2,630 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

Families from $2,229 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

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Accommodation

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Charming eco-friendly rural retreat, 14 rooms
- On site birdwatching and complimentary bikes
- Near Uda Walawe national park
- Pool, volley ball, games room, fishing lake

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 506 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

  • We had the most incredible time thank you. We loved Karen Blixen camp and felt part of a family there, it was incredibly special. And Breezes was very relaxing.
    We can't fault all the transfers and the moment we were greeted on the tarmac at Nairobi airport we knew we were going to be well cared for.

    Thank you so much to you and all the Tourdust team for making it such a happy and memorable trip.

    MissingZoe A reviewing Masai Mara Safari & Beach on 27 August 2019

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