Bundala National park
Bundala National park is found in the Hambantota District of the southern province. Bundala has initially declared a sanctuary on 05th December 1969 and was renewed to a National park on 4 th January 1993. This is the last home in the more numerous flamingo in this part of the island and is vital for elephants and a variety of threatened reptiles.
The park contains five shallow, salty lagoons with salt pans in three interconnecting waterways and marshes, including the adjacent coast. This unique area of scenic lagoons and intertidal; mudflats where the wintering birds relax and feed, golden shores and dunes snubbed by nesting sea turtles. The park is additionally a heaven for 149 species of resident migratory birds, and the region of the park is 6,216ha.
Plans are tropical and monsoonal, with a base annual temperature of 27 ° C. Annual rainfall ranges from 900mm to 1300mm, with an extended dry period from May to September.
Best Time to Visit and Go Safari in Bundala National Park
The best time to visit Bundala National Park is from mid-December to March, when the birdlife is very active, especially with the arrival of migratory birds. However, other months are also suitable for bird watching, except for the migrant birds. Mid-April to June and October to mid-December are rainy periods in the area. But any time of the year, you could see birds on a safari in Bundala.
How to Get to Bundala National Park?
The park is located 251 km southeast of the capital city of Colombo and can be reached from various tourist destinations around the country. For those travelling from Colombo, the route is via Galle, Matara, and Hambantota and from Kandy via Badulla. The climate at Bundala is primarily hot and dry, with average temperatures at 27 degrees Celsius from May to September, with plenty of migratory birds arriving between September and March.
How to Explore Bundala National Park?
The only way to explore Bundala National Park is by Jeep Safari. An experienced Jeep safari driver will ensure you are at the right place and time for the best game viewing opportunities.
Opening Times of Bundala National Park
Bundala National Park is open from 6 AM to 6 PM every day of the year. Visitors are advised to plan their visit during these hours as the park is closed outside these times. It is important to note that visitors must follow the rules and regulations of the park during their visit to preserve the natural environment and wildlife within the park. Additionally, visitors should check with park authorities for any changes in opening times or closure of the park due to unforeseen circumstances such as extreme weather conditions.
Wildlife of Bundala National Park
The park boasts nearly 200 species of birds, of which 150 are endemic and the rest migratory. Amongst the migratory birds are the Petite Blue Tailed bee-eaters, flocks of Flamingos, Brown Flycatchers, Sandpipers, Barn Swallow, Water Fowl, Common Redshank, the Lesser Sand Plover, and Forest Wagtail. In addition, the complex wetland system within the park, now declared as Sri Lanka's first 'Ramsar' site, is a haven for several aquatic birds such as the migratory Greater flamingo (large flocks of over 1000 birds), Ibis, Painted storks, Terns, Gulls, and Ducks, and the resident water birds such as Pelicans, Herons, Egrets, Cormorants, Stilts, and Storks.
Bird lovers and nature enthusiasts have observed that these migratory birds stop at the same site yearly, as birds are believed to follow established migratory routes well-defined over long distances.
Apart from the birds, the park is home to 32 species of mammals, including elephants, spotted deer, sambars, wild boars, and water buffaloes. In addition, there are several species of reptiles and amphibians, including the mugger crocodile and the Indian python.