Wildlife of Sri Lanka
Wildlife of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, the paradise island is well known for its spectacular beaches, stunning mountains, lush vegetation, outstanding national parks, awesome lagoons, sandbanks, and bays. But there is one more aspect of the land which truly makes this island spectacular. It is nothing but the land’s wildlife. The wildlife of Sri Lanka is fabulous. Sri Lanka is one of the 34 biodiversity hotspots identified in the world. It possesses a high level of biodiversity and wildlife resources.

Wildlife to see in Sri Lanka:


These Asian elephants are the ones the tourists to Sri Lanka yearn to see. They can also be witnessed in elephant orphanages but seeing them in an unrestricted natural habitat is a different experience. 

Best places to see elephants in Sri Lanka:

Udawalawe and Minneriya National Park are the two best national parks of Sri Lanka to see the largest herds of elephants.


The Sri Lankan leopard has a tawny or rusty yellow coat with dark spots and close-set rosettes. Sri Lankan leopards are known to be larger than the ones in the other parts of the world.

Best places to see leopards in Sri Lanka:

Yala National Park contains the highest number of leopards in the world.


The sea turtles of Sri Lanka are being preserved through various turtle conservation projects of the Government. There are many varieties of turtles found in Sri Lanka viz. Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, and Green. The Green turtles are common and the Leatherback is the rarest.

Best places to see turtles in Sri Lanka:

Please proceed to Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project, a short drive from Galle and Unawatuna, or Turtle Watch Rekawa in Rekawa.

Sloth bear

The Sri Lankan sloth bear is an endangered species with a population of around 1000. It is a sub-species of the sloth bear and is usually found in the low land dry forests of Sri Lanka.

Best places to see sloth bears in Sri Lanka:

To see Sri Lankan sloth bears, just head over to Yala National Park or the Wilpattu National Park the two best places to witness sloth bears.

Sambar deer

The Sri Lankan Sambar deer are a sub-species of Indian Sambar deer. They have the largest antlers. They are usually found in lowland dry forests and mountain forests.

Best places to see Sambar deers in Sri Lanka:

Large herds of Sambar deer can be found in the Horton Plains National Park, on the central highlands of Sri Lanka that was designated in 1988. 

Red slender Loris:

The Red Slender Loris is a small, slender primate native to the rainforests of Sri Lanka. They fall to the list of endangered species. 

Best places to see Red Slender Loris in Sri Lanka:

The Red Slender Loris is usually found in lowland rainforests, tropical rainforests, and inter-monsoon forests of the southwestern wet zone of Sri Lanka.

Blue Whales:

Known as the largest animal on the planet, these gigantic mammals are spotted in Sri Lanka than in any other part of the world. Their presence is a delight for the adventure seekers and Sri Lanka is the ideal place to go in search of them.

Best places to see blue whales in Sri Lanka:

Mirissa is the best place for blue whale watching during the period, November to April, and Trincomalee is the best place during the period of June through October.


There are around 505 species of birds found in Sri Lanka out of which 26 species are endemic birds. In addition, there are a large number of migratory birds also found. Some of the interesting birds you must see are Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Sri Lankan Junglefowl, Sri Lankan hanging parrot, Crimson-backed Flameback, Sri Lankan Yellow-fronted barbet, Sri Lankan Grey Hornbill, Brown Wood Owl, Sri Lankan Green Pigeon, and Sri Lankan Woodshrike.

Best places to see birds in Sri Lanka:

There are many places in Sri Lanka for bird watching. Kumana, situated on the east coast is a great place for birdwatching. Bundala, Kalamatiya, Sinharaja Rain Forest, Udawatta Kele, Horton Plains, Bellanwila, Muthrurajawela, Minneriya, Minipe, Yala, and Kitulgala are other places where you can go for birdwatching.

Recommended Sri Lanka Wildlife Tour Packages:

We highly recommend the following tour packages if you are keen to experience the wildlife of Sri Lanka in its purest form. 

  1. Big5 Tour in Sri Lanka 
  2. Wild Sri Lanka Tour 
  3. Bird Watching in Sri Lanka Tour