Ridiyagama Safari Park – Habantota
The entire animal kingdom is roaming in Ridiyagama Safari Park. The Department of National Zoological Gardens Sri Lanka is eager to unveil another flagship project for nature enthusiasts and pleasure hunters browsing the down south of Sri Lanka. A 500-acre drive-through Safari Park, the first-ever Safari Park in Sri Lanka, was completed in Ridiyagama, Hambantota. No uncertainty, this will add one more landmark destination to the tourist map of Sri Lanka and the gloriest records of the Department of National Zoological Gardens and its 79 years commitment to ex-situ conservation.
Be on the warning to commit a time-lapse in your busiest picnic plan next time you tour down south or on your way to Udawalawe and Yala.
Unique Features of Ridiyagama Safari Park
One of the distinct features of Ridiyagama Safari Park is its open concept. Here, the humans are enclosed in covered buses or safari jeeps while the animals roam freely in their natural habitats. This unique approach allows visitors to observe the animals up close while ensuring the safety of both humans and animals.
Reaching Ridiyagama Safari Park
In the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, Ridiyagama Safari Park is conveniently accessible via the E01 expressway. The park is approximately 65 kilometres from Yala, a 1 hour and 20-minute drive, 110 kilometres from Galle and Unawatuna, a 1 hour and 30-minute drive, and 220 kilometres from Colombo city, a 3 hour and 20-minute drive. While public transport is not available to reach the park, arranging private transportation is recommended.
The Lifestyle of Animals in the Park
Ridiyagama Safari Park offers a captivating experience where animals live in open environments rather than cages. Visitors can explore the park in fully protected buses or safari jeeps, providing a more intimate and enjoyable experience. The knowledgeable tour guides accompany the visitors, giving descriptive introductions about the various animal species.
Zones in Ridiyagama Safari Park
The safari park is divided into distinct zones, each showcasing a different collection of animals.
The Lion Zone introduces visitors to the magnificent African lions. As you venture through this zone, you can observe these awe-inspiring creatures lounging in the shade of trees just a few meters away from your vehicle.
General Animal Zone
In the general animal zone, a diverse range of species awaits. From zebras to horses, donkeys to camels, and ostriches to hippos, this zone offers a remarkable glimpse into the animal kingdom's variety.
The Tiger Zone boasts the captivating presence of Bengal tigers from India. These majestic creatures exude power and grace, leaving visitors in awe of their beauty.
The elephant zone showcases both African and Sri Lankan elephants. While the Indian elephants are relatively docile, the Sri Lankan elephants may approach the safari jeeps, providing an incredible opportunity for a close encounter with these gentle giants.
Observation of Animals in the Park
Visitors who traverse the park will encounter a diverse range of well-nourished animals. However, it is worth noting that the elephants may appear less nourished due to their specific dietary needs. Furthermore, the park's climate can be hot, so preparing for the heat before visiting is advisable. Additionally, the park offers essential amenities such as washrooms, a spacious car park, and small shops where visitors can find various food and drinks.
Additional Facilities and Amenities
Ridiyagama Safari Park ensures visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The park has separate zones for carnivores and herbivores, providing an organized and immersive wildlife adventure. Families and individuals, not avid wildlife enthusiasts, can still enjoy the park's offerings. The park operates under good weather conditions, and if a visit is cancelled due to inclement weather, visitors are offered an alternative date or a full refund.
Safety Precautions and Warnings
Certain safety precautions and guidelines should be followed to ensure visitors' and animals' safety. Maintaining a safe distance from the animals at all times and avoiding entering restricted areas is crucial. Avoid excessive noise, such as playing musical instruments or singing, as it can disturb the animals. Furthermore, pets are not allowed within the safari park premises. Visitors are advised to retain their tickets for future reference and correspondence.
Recommended Experiences and Satisfaction
Ridiyagama Safari Park offers a unique and fulfilling experience for visitors of all ages. The park's natural setting and the opportunity to witness animals in their habitats create a memorable adventure. Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast or seeking a day of fun and education, Ridiyagama Safari Park is an ideal destination to explore. The park has garnered positive reviews, and its addition to Sri Lanka's tourist map further enhances the country's appeal.
Special Warning and Guidelines
It is essential to heed the special warnings and guidelines the park authorities provide. Visitors should always maintain a safe distance from the animals, respecting their space and natural behaviour. In addition, visitors should refrain from making excessive noise and follow the instructions of the tour guides for a safe and enjoyable experience. By adhering to these guidelines, visitors can ensure their safety and contribute to the well-being of the animals.
Opening Hours and Entrance Fees
Ridiyagama Safari Park operates from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays and from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm on weekends and holidays. The entrance fees for Sri Lankans are LKR 500.00 for adults, LKR 200.00 for children, and LKR 100.00 for school and nursery groups (3-12 years old). Overseas visitors are charged USD 15.00 for adults and USD 7.50 for children. SAARC visitors have a reduced fee of USD 10.00 for adults and USD 5.00 for children. The entrance fees are payable in Sri Lankan currency only.
Visitors have the option to explore the park by bus or jeep. The bus fare is Rs. 100.00, while 6/9 seater jeeps can be hired for Rs. 4,500.00. The transportation choice depends on personal preference and the desired level of immersion in the wildlife experience.
Ridiyagama Safari Park offers a one-of-a-kind wildlife adventure in Sri Lanka. With its open concept, diverse animal species, and immersive tour options, the park provides an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. The park's commitment to animal welfare, safety precautions, and additional amenities ensure a pleasant visit. Don't miss the chance to explore this remarkable safari park and create lasting memories amidst the captivating wildlife.
- Q: Can I reach Ridiyagama Safari Park using public transport? A: No, public transport is not available to reach the park. Therefore, it is recommended to arrange private transportation.
- Q: What are the opening hours of Ridiyagama Safari Park? A: The park operates from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays and from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm on weekends and holidays.
- Q: Are pets allowed inside the safari park? A: No, pets are not allowed within the premises of Ridiyagama Safari Park.
- Q: Can I book a private tour/activity in the park? A: Yes, Ridiyagama Safari Park offers private tours and activities. Only your group will participate in the tour.
- Q: What should I do in case of bad weather conditions? A: If the visit is cancelled due to poor weather, you will be offered an alternative date or a full refund.