Location of the Kaudulla National Park
Kaudulla National Park is located 190 km away from Colombo in the Polonnaruwa district of the north central province of Sri Lanka.
Reaching Kaudulla National Park
Kaudulla can be reached by Colombo- Trincomalee main road. The entrance to Kaudulla is 22 km north of the village of Habarana. The closest railway station is at Minneriya.
Best time to visit Kaudulla National Park
The best time to visit Kaudulla National Park is between August and December, with the population of elephants peaking to over 200 in September to October,following the period of the famous elephant gathering at Minneriya National Park. However, the Elephants could be seen in either one of these parks during any time of the year.
Outside the main wildlife viewing period at Kaudulla and nearby Minneriya National Park, Hurulu Eco-Park (daily 2-6.30 pm), on the edge of the vast Hurulu Biosphere Reserve which stretches west of the Habarana-Trincomlee road too affords the sight of herds of elephants.
Though the small reservoir at Hurlu Eco Park is insignificant in size in comparison to the vast Minneriya reservoir and Kaudulla reservoir, at least about 30 elephants could be seen during January to March.
The Landscape and spread of Kaudulla National Park
Kaudulla National Park, a dry evergreen forest that spread over an area of 6656 hectares is connected to the corridor between nearby Minneriya Wildlife Park and Kaudulla.
Kaudulla Reservoir (6675 ha), the centerpiece of the park is surrounded by the grasslands and scrubby forest. Two thirds of the park is under water during several months of the year. Kaudulla National Park includes Relapanawa reservoir, Olumadu Wewa reservoir, Puliyan Kalla wewa reservor, Minneriya-Kanthale Yoda Ela canal, Aluth Oya stream and Hatharas Kotuwa Oya. In view of the large water bodies in close proximity to each other, two thirds of the park is get submerged in water for several month each year. In view of the large water bodies in close proximity to each other, two thirds of the park is get submerged in water for several month each year.
Climate at the Kaudulla National Park
The average annual rainfall is between 1500 mm. – 2000 mm. The rain is mainly from north-eastern monsoon. Dry weather condition prevails during the period from April–October in the year. The average annual temperature varies between 20.6 C – 34.5 C.
Elephants at the Kaudulla National Park
Kaudulla National Park was opened in 2002 providing the elephants more expanses in the wilderness, in the process connecting to the elephant corridor between Minneriya and Wasgomuwa national parks to the south. Kaudulla also connects Somawathiya National Park to the east. The centerpiece of the park, Kaudulla reservoir draws herds of elephants during the dry season. September and October are the best times to visit Kaudulla to enjoy the sight of large herd of elephant. 211 beasts were counted in Kaudulla in 2008.Habarana road too lies in the midst of the elephant domains. Vehicles travelling in the evening to/from Kaudulla National Park often come across these beasts, who are now well used to human interference.
Wildlife at the Kaudulla National Park
Apart from the elephants, Kaudulla National Park is home to 23 species of mammals including Sambar Deer, Sri Lankan Axis Deer, Chevrotain, Wild boar, Leopard, and Sloth Bear are other mammals. Very rarely one could spot leopard and sloth bears. The best period of time to visit this park is during the months of June to September.Tourists find a ride in Paddle-boats on the lake an excellent opportunity to enjoy bird watching.
Birdlife at the Kaudulla National Park
160 species of bird including large water birds such as Spot-billed Pelican and Lesser Adjutant visit the Kaudulla tank. Asian Spoonbill, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Black-headed Ibis, Painted Stork and Openbill Stork are common sights at the park. Peacock, Eagle, Giant Eagle that are hereditary to Sri Lanka are always hover over the park. One of the most spectacular sceneries in the park is hundreds of pelicans at the tank when it is about to sun set.
Reptiles at the Kaudulla National Park
Kaudulla National Park is a sanctuary to numerous reptiles including Freshwater turtles, Indian Flap-shelled Turtle and Indian Black Turtle.