North Central Province Safaris & wildlife activities

Our most recommended North Central Province Safaris & wildlife activities

Minneriya: Minneriya National Park Private Safari

1. Minneriya: Minneriya National Park Private Safari

With the grace of majestic giants and pristine tropical dry forest settings, Minneriya National Park is a perfect spot to spend a few hours witnessing one of the most astonishing wildlife spectacles on earth.  Renowned as a prominent stopover for wandering elephants searching for food during the August and September the dry season, Minneriya National Park attracts up to 300 giants from the neighboring national parks. Enjoy the flicker of monkeys swinging through the branches and search the forest for the sight of majestic elephants, leopards, sloth bears, mongooses, spotted deer, sambar deer, wild buffalo, porcupine and Indian pangolins. Do not miss out on this quintessential safari destination in a strikingly beautiful forest.

Day Tour to Wilpattu National Park from Negombo

2. Day Tour to Wilpattu National Park from Negombo

Spend a day at the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka - Wilpattu, which is also among the top national parks and world-renowned for its leopard population. The park is unique to others in the country with its dense country woodland and masses of birds, lying inland from the coast in the Northern Province. Meet your guide at your accommodation in Negombo and begin your journey around 6:00 AM. Reach Wilpattu National Park after approximately 4 hours. Wilpattu is 508 square miles (131.694 hectares) and was declared as a National Park in 1938. The special feature of this park is the large number of Villus (lakes), where you can watch wildlife and many species of birds. Leopards and elephant herds are the most famous animals in the park. Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Sloth Bear, Mongoose, Crocodile, and Peacocks are also found here. After your safari, enjoy a local lunch at the Puttalam Hotel then return to your accommodation. 

Wilpattu National Park: Leopard Safari Experience

3. Wilpattu National Park: Leopard Safari Experience

This tour starts with a pickup from the park entrance, where you'll then drive into Wilpattu National Park on a modified game viewing safari Jeep, then start your game drive at the National Park. Wilpattu is situated in North part of Sri Lanka, comprising a range of habitats including scrub jungles, water reservoirs, brackish lagoons, and riverine habitats. Wilpattu has one of the highest leopard sightings in the world. Its elephant heard is about 300. After a bit of exploring, your guide will deliver the picnic lunch to a location where you will enjoy a bite to eat. Unwind for a while after lunch and get ready to enjoy your second round of the game drive. Hop in to the Jeep and start the afternoon game drive by searching for leopards. If you are really lucky, you may be able to witness a few of them during this game drive. In addition to leopards, elephants, as well as mammals such as sloth, bears, black-naped hare, wild buffaloes, spotted deer, sambar deer, anuman, langur or toque monkeys, stripe-necked and ruddy mongooses, wild oar, and golden jackal can be found in Wilpattu National Park. You can also see reptiles like the water and land monitors and marsh crocodile.

From Anuradhapura: Full-Day Wilpattu National Park Safari

4. From Anuradhapura: Full-Day Wilpattu National Park Safari

Discover the unique landscape of the Wilpattu National Park as you look out for its resident leopards and other wildlife. Enjoy a fantastic full-day safari on a private tour from Anuradhapura. Get picked up at your hotel and relax in air-conditioned comfort on the journey to the park. Enjoy breakfast, then hop into a jeep to start your game drive through a reserve known for its large leopard population. Ride along forest trails as you look out for animals and admire the natural lakes that give Wilpattu a genuine wilderness feeling.  A delicious picnic lunch will be served at a scenic location. After lunch, continue to explore the dense woodland, looking out for birds, sloth bears, spotted deer, wild pigs, and crocodiles. Visitor numbers are low, even in high season, so you can see incredible wildlife without the crowds.

From Negombo: Minneriya National Park Safari Tour

5. From Negombo: Minneriya National Park Safari Tour

Your friendly driver will meet you at your hotel in Negombo at 8:00 AM. The park is a 30-minute drive away. Sit back and enjoy the ride and take in some of the stunning landscapes as you head there. At Minneriya National Park you'll enjoy a safari experience by Jeep as you explore the vast expanses of land. The park is famous for its Elephant population and hopefully you'll see many of them roaming by the lakes or exploring the jungles. You'll also likely catch glimpses of Wild Buffaloes, Boars, Spotted Deer, Sloth Bears, and even Leopards and Crocodiles. The park is also home to many amphibians, different kinds of reptiles and birds also. Your guide will point out the extraordinary wildlife to you. After the safari, you'll be taken back to your hotel.

From Colombo: Private Minneriya National Park Day Safari

6. From Colombo: Private Minneriya National Park Day Safari

Your tour begins with 8:00 AM pickup. Your friendly driver will meet you at your Colombo hotel and you'll start the 4 to 5-hour journey to the Minneriya National Park by car. Enjoy the ride there and admire the stunning landscapes along the way.  At Minneriya National Park you will enjoy a safari experience as you explore the vast area in a 4x4 vehicle. The park is famous for its wild elephant population and you will hopefully see many of them roaming by the lakes or exploring through the jungles. You might see wild buffaloes, wild boars, spotted deer, sloth bears, and even leopards and crocodiles. The park is also home to many amphibians and different kinds of reptiles and birds. Your guide will point out the extraordinary wildlife. After the safari, you will be transported back to your hotel in Colombo.

All-Inclusive Minneriya National Park Afternoon Safari

7. All-Inclusive Minneriya National Park Afternoon Safari

Begin with an afternoon pickup from your hotel or residence and make your way to Minneriya National Park to begin the safari.  Minneriya National Park comprises about 21,000 acres (8,889 hectares), and contains a vast abundance of wildlife species. Take the opportunity to observe the large herds of magnificent Sri Lankan elephants in their natural habitat at close range. Also, be on the lookout for two rare species of monkey endemic to Sri Lanka, namely the Purple-faced Langur Monkey and the Toque Macaque. Other rare and endangered species such as Sri Lankan leopard and Sri Lankan sloth bear inhabit the park, as well as saltwater crocodiles and Indian pythons, which you may be lucky enough to spot! After a 3-hour safari spotting these various rare animals, your transport will return you to your accomodation.

Wasgamuwa: Wasgamuwa National Park Private 3-Hour Safari

8. Wasgamuwa: Wasgamuwa National Park Private 3-Hour Safari

Neighboring the historic city of Polonnaruwa, Wasgamuwa National Park is one of the precious national treasures of Sri Lanka. On a morning or afternoon 3-hour safari, discover the opulence of the flora and fauna in the dry tropical forest setting, overlooking the stunning landscape of the park. Enjoy a private safari ride while filling your lungs with the refreshing air and listening to the symphony of crickets and birds. Rest assured you will capture the sight of mighty elephants on this safari ride. The national park is also a home to a diverse range of mammals including leopard, sloth bear, purple-faced langur monkey, wild boar, sambar, spotted deer, buffalo, and endemic yellow fronted barbet. Small water pools scattered throughout the national park are rich habitats for a diversity of aquatic life including water monitor, crocodile, python, and various beautiful aquatic birds. Wildlife lovers will be provided clear sights of the wildlife surrounding the pools, offering a world of opportunities to capture extraordinary photographs to take home. The ideal time to visit the park is during November to May, which guarantees you the largest herds of elephants. For those who are planning to explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa and Dambulla, an exciting and adventurous safari ride to Wasgamuwa National Park is an absolute must.

From Negombo: Dambulla Caves & Kaudulla National Park Safari

9. From Negombo: Dambulla Caves & Kaudulla National Park Safari

Take in both the culture and history of Sri Lanka as well as the natural beauty of it's wildlife on this full day tour from Negombo. First visit the world heritage site of Dambulla Cave Temples, before enjoying an afternoon on safari spotting elephants, deer, buffalo and assorted birds. Head to Dambulla and visit the Cave Temple, which is a vast isolated rock mass 500 feet high and a mile around the base. In the first cave is a recumbent image of the Buddha 47ft long, cut out of the rock. There are images of deities associated with Buddhism all around. The frescoes on the walls and the ceiling are the oldest here but they were painted over in the Kandy period. In the second cave, the finest and largest of all, there are 150 life-size statues of the Buddha in various postures with a few statues of Gods and Kings. The ceiling is also covered with frescoes, which depict great events in the life of the Buddha and landmarks in the history of the Sinhalese people. Have a break to enjoy lunch. Then explore the Kaudulla National Park on a jeep safari. In the Polonnaruwa District, 6,900 hectares include the Kavudulla Wewa and surrounding jungle area, was opened in September 2002. Kavudulla is home to a large herd of elephants, Sambhur, Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, a range of reptile species, and a large number of bird species. The elephant population found here far exceeds those found in other parks. 

Wilpattu National Park Safari Tour from Colombo

10. Wilpattu National Park Safari Tour from Colombo

Benefit from pickup at your hotel in Colombo, and then relax in air-conditioned comfort on the 4-hour journey to Wilpattu National Park, located on the northwest coast of Sri Lanka's lowland dry zone. Enter the vast nature reserve, declared a national park in 1938, and discover the unique willus water basins that fill with rainwater. Look for native wildlife, including herds of elephants in their natural habitat. Keep a look out for elusive leopards, along with spotted deer, sambar deer, barking deer, wild boar, wild buffalo, sloth bear, mongoose, crocodiles, and peacocks. Get some free time to enjoy a local lunch at the nearby Puttalam Hotel, at your own expense. Then, relax on the journey back to Colombo and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

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What people are saying about North Central Province

Punctual pickup at the hotel, very nice guide and a very safe driver for Sri Lanka. Air-conditioned drive to the park in about 3 hours. Then change to a super safari jeep, a guide from the park drove the jeep. Brilliant trip, we saw many animals and were able to observe them in peace. Buffalo, owl, crocodile, birds, bucks and even a leopard. The guides made every effort to find the animals. The park itself is also very beautiful! Lunch was either before or after the visit to the park. Definitely a successful trip with a real highlight and great organization.

The day was well organised. Transport to and from the park worked well. Our driver, in the park, was knowledgeable about a wide range of the wildlife and sensitive to our interests, meaning we saw and identified over forty species (mostly birds), but including elephant, leopard and sloth bear. A very good breakfast and lunch were provided. We ate breakfast in a peaceful spot with a panoramic view of one of the lakes. Would highly recommend this trip.

Booked this, thoroughly enjoyed - managed to see all the animals listed (except a bear). Lots of driving, but car was clean, comfortable and air conditioned. The company was accommodating and we asked to start at 8am, (instead of 9:30) and this wasn’t a problem.

Lalli (German speaking guide) and Jayasuriya (driver) did a super job. We got to see many places and were able to experience Sri Lankan culture. It was fun, thanks for that.

Incredible Safari, saw lots of animals including leopards, elephants, bear, crocodiles, monkeys and more! Comfortable ride to and from Colombo.