Observing Wild Elephants at Eco-park in Sri Lanka

Observing wild elephants at Eco-park Sri Lanka

Eco-park is an unpopular safari destination in the central province of Sri Lanka. It is located near Habarana junction in the direction of Trincomalee. One can reach Habarana easily along the A6 (Colombo-Trincomalee) main road. It takes nearly four hours for the journey from Colombo and distance is about 180 km.

Eco-park is a good alternative for Minneriya and Kaudulla national parks. Especially during the rainy season, a large portion of Minneriya national park is flooded and visitors have to find some other alternatives, due to the unsuitable muddy surface to travel in the park. Eco-park is the best alternative national park in a situation like this. Eco-park is located in between the national parks of Minneriya and Kaudulla, therefore elephants and other animals also migrate to Eco-park, which rarely comes under water, when other nearby two national parks are under the water.

Unlike most national parks in the country in Eco-park, one can’t see the water resources such as lakes and tanks, where the animals gather most. Maybe that is the reason, why the visitors have very meagre chance of seeing animals other than elephants here. In national parks such as Yala, lakes and waterholes are the best spots for witnessing the animals, while animals gather into those places in search water. In eco-park, there is no water accumulating places other than the stream that flows through the national park. The most valuable reward for the visitors of Eco-park is the large herds of wild elephants and beautiful vegetation.

One needs to have a four wheel drive cab with plenty of ground clearance in order to travel in the park. Unlike Minneriya and Kaudulla, Eco-park has a very rugged terrain and difficult to travel. The muddy surface in some areas must be dealt with care due to the slippery condition.

Eco-park is most popular to spot wild elephants. It is possible to witness more than several hundred wild elephants in a 2 hours safari at the park. The vegetation at Eco-park can be described as very suitable for elephants. It mainly consists of various types of grass and bushes providing ample amount of food for hungry jumbos. Due to very suitable living habitat for elephants, it is inhabited by a large number of big elephant herds. The vegetation at eco-park can be described as dry-zone forest vegetation.

Eco-park is relatively smaller than the other nearby national parks of Kaudulla and Minneriya. Eco-park is 25800 hectares in extent.  Leopard, bear, various species of deer, crocodile, monkey, and several species of birds are the other most seeing animals here.

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Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity tours)

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