Sri Lanka Wildlife
Sri Lanka may not be the most obvious choice as a safari destination but Yala and Udawalawe National Parks are two of Sri Lanka’s best-kept secrets. It is a safari experience that feels too good to be true, considering that you are thousands of miles away from Africa. The entire island is dominated year round by seasonal monsoons rain, which create a mix landscape between rain forest and dry forest eco-regions. The drier northern plains belong to the Deccan thorn scrub forest eco-region that extends all the way up to South India. Overall, South Indian Western Ghats and Sri Lanka make one of the eight bio-diversity super-hotspots in the world as well. As you can imagine, the island is teeming with wildlife. Its diversity quite disproportionate to the island’s small size. Her size affords her to have high densities of wild leopards and elephants. In fact, Sri Lanka holds the highest Asian elephant density in the whole world. Endemicity ranges at 16% in fauna, sporting 123 mammals ( 16 endemic ), 179 reptiles ( 109 endemic ), 179 amphibians ( 112 endemic ), 459 birds ( 34 endemic ), 93 freshwater fish ( 50 endemic ), 245 butterflies ( 24 endemic ), 148 bees, 5 species of sea turtle and one of the largest populations of blue whales and sperm whales in the world.