Lunugamvehera National Park
Yala, Sri Lanka.

A nice national park that allows you to get away from the crowds at Yala....

Personal experience

I visited this area in December 2016 as part of a private expedition around Sri Lanka.

the park

This park is located adjacent to Yala National Park. However, unlike the drier open grassland and open woodland habitats of that area, this park is dominated more by monsoon forest. There is a large dam created lake on one side, and a river runs through the park.

Wildlife watching

Because the park is made up more of monsoon forest, wildlife can be harder to spot than at Yala and more open habitat national parks.  There are many artificial cement lined waterholes throughout the park, located near the small roads, and these attract wildlife in the drier months. Because of the difficulty of seeing wildlife here, the park is mercifully quieter than Yala. 


There are several mammals that can be seen, including the ubiquitous 'Spotted Deer'.

I also spotted a Barking (Muntjac) Deer. 

We also stumbled upon a couple of leopards (while we were looking at some birds).


There are several birds of prey to be seen.

Grey-headed Fishing Eagle

Access and accommodation

As with Yala National Park and Bundala National Park, you are only allowed to explore Lunugamvehera National Park in a vehicle. Most hotels in Tissamaharama ('Tissa' for short) have access to tour companies or their own vehicles that can access the local national parks. These cars are jeeps where the passengers sit in high chairs in the open back tray. They offer great views.  Thus, going on a jeep safari around this park is a little bit like an African Safari. There are many hotels in Tissa.

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