wasgamuwa national park
Wasgamuwa National Park

Wasgamuwa National Park

Wasgamuwa National Park stands as a remarkable testament to the country’s biodiversity and natural beauty. Spread across the districts of Matale and Polonnaruwa, this captivating sanctuary is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Embarking on a safari adventure in Wasgamuwa promises an immersive experience, where the untamed wilderness unveils its secrets and wildlife thrives in abundance.

History and Overview

Established in 1984, Wasgamuwa National Park spans over 36,948 hectares, encompassing both pristine forests and grasslands. Historically, the region served as a hunting ground for ancient kings, and remnants of ancient settlements can still be found within the park. Named after the Sinhalese words “Walas Gamuwa,” meaning “a garden of bears,” the park is renowned for its significant bear population, particularly the Sri Lankan sloth bear. However, the park is also home to a myriad of other wildlife species, making it a hotspot for biodiversity enthusiasts.

Breathtaking Flora and Fauna

Wasgamuwa National Park boasts a diverse range of ecosystems, from dense forests to sprawling grasslands, providing a perfect habitat for a rich variety of flora and fauna. The park is adorned with towering trees like ebony, teak, and palu, along with a colorful array of flowering plants and shrubs. Its remarkable biodiversity is a result of its strategic location between the Knuckles Mountain Range and the Mahaweli River, serving as a crucial wildlife corridor.

In terms of fauna, Wasgamuwa is a sanctuary for several endangered and endemic species. Apart from the sloth bear, the park is home to elephants, leopards, sambar deer, spotted deer, wild boars, and water buffalos. Avian enthusiasts can delight in spotting over 140 species of birds, including endemic species like the Sri Lanka junglefowl and the Sri Lanka grey hornbill. The park also hosts reptiles, amphibians, and a vibrant array of butterflies, adding to its ecological marvel.

Thrilling Safari Experience

A visit to Wasgamuwa National Park is incomplete without embarking on an exhilarating safari adventure. Safaris can be arranged through authorized tour operators, ensuring a knowledgeable guide accompanies you throughout the journey. The park offers both jeep safaris and guided walking safaris, each providing a unique perspective on the wilderness.

Jeep safaris are the most popular option, allowing visitors to explore vast areas of the park and venture deep into its untamed corners. As you traverse through the rugged terrain, keep your eyes peeled for elephants grazing by the roadside or a stealthy leopard hidden amidst the foliage. The experience of encountering these magnificent creatures up close is truly awe-inspiring.

For a more immersive experience, walking safaris offer an opportunity to explore the park on foot, accompanied by experienced trackers and armed guards. This allows for a deeper connection with nature, as you observe the smaller creatures, study tracks, and learn about the park’s intricate ecosystem.

Conservation Efforts and Responsible Tourism

Wasgamuwa National Park’s importance extends beyond being a tourist attraction. The park plays a vital role in conserving Sri Lanka’s natural heritage and promoting sustainable practices. Efforts are underway to protect the park’s fragile ecosystems, combat poaching, and manage human-wildlife conflicts effectively.

Visitors are encouraged to practice responsible tourism by adhering to park regulations, respecting wildlife, and minimizing their ecological footprint. It is crucial to refrain from littering, maintaining silence during wildlife encounters, and following the guidance of the knowledgeable guides to ensure the welfare of both animals and the environment.


Wasgamuwa National Park offers a mesmerizing experience for nature enthusiasts, where breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife merge harmoniously. Embarking on a safari adventure in this hidden gem of Sri Lanka allows visitors to immerse themselves in the wonders of untamed nature, leaving lasting memories and a profound appreciation for our natural world.


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Useful Tips

  • The park is open year-round from 6:00 am – 6:30 pm. 
  • The best months are from February to May and from August to September.


  • National park :- +94663669046
  • Rent a jeep :- +94 777976528
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