One of Sri Lanka’s smallest national parks, LahugalaKitulana National Park is located in the southern region of the country. It was first designated as a sanctuary on July 1, 1966, and then as a national park on October 1, 1980, when it received its current designation. This is a popular destination for elephant enthusiasts as well as bird watchers and wildlife photographers. The four reservoirs that are located within its boundaries are frequently visited by the locals. The park was established in 1980 as a corridor reserve between the larger Yala-Kumana complex of reserves and Gal Oya National park, and it protects a moist forest and all-grass habitat that is bordered by the Monaragala Road and Hada Oya in the south and the Koranda River in the north, and it is home to a variety of bird species. In addition to the massive Lahugala, Kitulana, Sengamuwa, and Yalpotta tanks, the area’s abundant grass provide an ideal habitat for elephants, particularly during the dry season from July to August, when the small resident population is supplemented by migrant elephants from further afield to increase the numbers around individual elephants. Leopards and sloth bears are present but rarely seen, while other reasonably common large mammals include spotted deer, wild boar, toque macaque, and grey langur. Leopards and sloth bears are also present but rarely seen. Waterbirds abound, including the endemic Sri Lanka jungle fowl and red-faced malkoha, as well as a diverse range of other species. There are three tanks that feed into the Heda Oya reservoir. These tanks have been largely established and provide an abundance of Beru grass, which is a delicacy for elephants and other wildlife. These lakes also provide a haven for a diverse range of birds, both resident and migratory.
Location: Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
Nearest city: Pottuvil
Coordinates 6°53′N 81°40′
E-Coordinates: 6°53′N 81°40′E
Area: 1,554 ha
Established: October 31, 1980
Governing body Department of Wildlife Conservation
The Lahugalakitulana entrance gate and ticket office are located on the north side of the Monaragala Road, approximately 15 kilometers west of Pottuvil, and immediately after passing the Lahugala post office. A jeep safari from Arugambay is the most convenient way to see everything the park has to offer. The internal road network of the park is currently limited to a radius of a few kilometers around the entrance gate and to the shores of Lahugala and Kitulana tanks, both of which are prime elephant habitats, particularly in the afternoon, but plans are in place to extend this radius by a further distance in the near future. The board of Kitulana can be reached by walking across a 150-meter paddy field from the main road west of Lahugala Hospital. The main road also provides direct views of Lake Lahugala, which is about 3 kilometers away to the west. Even if you do not enter the park properly, you can walk to the board of Kitulana across a 150-meter paddy field from the main road west of Lahugala Hospital. The Sengamuwa and Yalpotta can be seen from a distance from the Kotuwehera Raja MahaTample, as can the Sengamuwa itself. Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world to observe birds, and it is a true haven for bird watchers of all levels of experience and expertise. In recent years, the activity has increased in popularity, particularly around bird sanctuaries and wetlands reserves in southern Thailand’s southeast region, where the mild climate is ideal for migrating birds. Elephants abound on the east coast, and they are enormous. A safari through the Lahugala National Park will almost certainly result in sightings of the magnificent herds of elephants, but you will almost certainly also come across some lore elephants. The tropical climate and exotic landscape of Sri Lanka’s paradise make it a true haven for bird and animal enthusiasts from all over the world who come to enjoy the island’s natural wonders.
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