Set sight on a plethora of colourful birdlife, and escape the crowds of Yala when you traverse the vast grounds of Bundala National Park…
Meandering waterways, expansive lagoons and glittering sand dunes make up the landscape of Bundala National Park, one of Sri Lanka’s top destinations for avid birdwatches. The park is also home to a significant population of elephants, turtles, crocodiles and tropical fauna. Compared to the popular Yala National Park, visitors to Bundala are smaller in numbers. Unlike Yala, Bundala is open all year round, allowing for wildlife enthusiasts to visit the park during the wet season months.
- Birdlife Paradise
An important wintering ground for migratory water birds in the country, Bundala home to myriad birdlife. A diverse variety of aquatic birds, such as pelicans, painted storks, egrets and spoonbills are drawn to the grounds of the park, which shelters a total of about 200 bird species. These birds journey from locations such as north India and Siberia to spend the wintering months here, and the best time to view these exotic species are beween the months of December till March.
Bundala’s most famous birdlife visitors are the greater flamingoes; a large flock are believed to migrate here from north India. You’ll also find a sizable population of eye-catching peacocks in the grounds. Get your cameras ready, and keep your eyes peeled for these pompous creatures as they perch upon the branches of the park’s many rosewood trees, for it promises to be a colourful and arresting sight.
Visitors in the park are free to explore the grounds of the park by feet. However, for a thorough exploration of the vast grounds of the park, a safari jeep tour is not to be missed. You can take your pick from half-day tours that usually last between three to four hours, or a full-day tour that spans over ten to twelve hours. It is particularly helpful to have an experienced driver as a guide, for he will drive you to quiet spots within the park and point out sightings of the wildlife creatures. Do note that the route is rather bumpy, so a full-day ride may be a tiring experience for some.
Get ready for a feast for the eyes! Held in the mornings and evenings, eager bird watchers exploring the grounds of Bundala should keep a lookout for birdlife species such as the greater flamingo, Sri Lanka jungle fowl, great egret and Asian open bill, as well as migratory species like the sand piper and rosy starling.
Fancy spending a night outdoors in the expansive grounds of the park, under a star-studded night sky? Join in an overnight camp at Bundala, and take your pick between spending your night by a calm lagoon, or upon the sandy shores of the beach. Accommodation options are well-equipped, ensuring a comfortable overnight stay outdoors.
- Essential Travel Information
The best time to visit Bundala National Park is the period between the months of September to March. In these months, flocks of migratory birds arrive, providing wildlife lovers with plenty of opportunities to set sight on a wide array of bird species. IT is best to schedule your visits to the park in the early mornings or late afternoons.
Visitors may access Bundala from Tissamaharama and Kirinda. The costs of hiring a jeep from these locations are the same as hiring a jeep from Yala.
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