Over a small amount of land, Sri Lanka has an incredible diversity of landscapes and animals. The best way to quench your thirst for discovery is exploring its mountainous region and coming face to face with one of the world’s biggest mammals located there, the Asian elephant.
Sri Lanka can be proud of its animal diversity. You can observe its hundreds of mammals, butterflies and tropical birds in one of the several national parks. The star animal is the Asian elephant that can be observed in several parks among Yala, Uda Walawe, Kaudulla, and Bundala. If you are on a holiday in Sri Lanka in August, don't miss the big gathering of elephants around the shores of Lake Minneriya. Bird-lovers can go to the forest reserve Sinharaja, to Pottuvil, or to the swamps of Muthurajawela. If you want to go off the beaten track, you can discover other less-known reserves and if you are lucky, you might end up seeing the endangered Asian leopard.
The centre of the island is a mountainous region where some peaks reach over 2000 metres high. It is a hiker's paradise! Adam's Peak, also known as Sri Pada, is located there and is the sacred mountain where Buddha left his footprint. If you take a seven-hour long walk through the mountains, you will be exposed to an amazing view. You can also discover the world's End and Horton Plains National Park, sights gifted with mind-blowing nature and wildlife. The landscape is mysterious and impressive. Adventurers can go in the direction of Knuckles Range where the rocks look like a closed fist. However, keep in mind that walks in this region can be challenging and it is strongly advised to consult a local guide. In Sri Lanka, you can observe the blue whales when they migrate to the southern hemisphere if you go to Mirissa in the South or Uppuveli in the East. Besides the whales, you can also see dolphins and turtles. Don't forget that the development of tourism has put these species under danger. It is necessary to inform yourself how to protect them by talking to a local guide and choosing a trip which respects the sea mammals and the environment.