Short essay on wildlife tourism in Sri Lanka
The good news for any traveller to Sri Lanka is that wherever you are, you are never far away from a unique place to admire wildlife.
If you are an avid birdwatcher, you can read detailed information here.
The island is also has one of the richest collection of amphibians in the world. There are over 90 varieties of snakes, over 75 types of fresh water fishes and 5 types of marine turtles. If you and your kids would like to see bay turtles at close range, a trip to one of the hatcheries in Kosgoda, Kogalla or Bentota can be an unforgettable experience.
In order to protect the rich yet fragile ecosystems of certain areas and varied species that dwell there, the Sri Lankan authorities have designated four types of protected zones, some of them open to visitors wishing to admire Sri Lanka’s rich wildlife population:
Strict Nature Reserves: These are areas reserved for research purposes under the supervision of the Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Nature Reserves: These are similar to Strict Nature Reserves except for the fact that traditional human activities are allowed here.
National Parks: These are open to public to view animals in their natural habitat. Visitors need to observe a few rules and sometimes pay an entrance fee.
Sanctuaries: Permission is not required to enter sanctuaries where human activities and wildlife coexist.
The main attractions are elephants as in Minneriya or Udawalawe, leopards in Yala or in Wilpattu and flamingos in Bundala.
To visit any of the numerous reserves, you can visit wildlife section.