Welcome to Wasgamuwa National Park
Wasgamuwa National Park is a natural park situated in the Matale and Polonnaruwa Districts at 225 km far from Colombo. This park is spreading over 36,900 hectares. It borders by River Mahaweli and River Amban Ganga in east and west. It was established in 1984 to protect and to provide a refuge for the displaced wild animals during the Mahaweli Development Project.
Wasgamuwa is one of the best places, with large elephant herds. It is a bird paradise in Sri Lanka. Other than that, there are so many wildlife can observe in this park. Such as Purple-faced langur monkeys, wild boar, sambar and spotted deer, buffalo and leopards, sloth bears, and reptiles including water monitor, mugger crocodile, estuarine crocodile, and python.
In 1938, it became a nature reserve. Also, in the early 1970s, It became a strict nature reserve. The name of the Wasgamuwa has come from the words Walas Gamuwa. The ‘Walasa means sloth bear. The “Gamuwa” means a wood. However, July to September is the dry season. Also, the mean annual temperature is around 27 ° C. Wasgamuwa forest belongs to Sri Lankan dry-zone dry evergreen forests category.
“Sudu Kanda” is the place which is having the highest elevation of Wasgamuwa Park.
History of Wasgamuwa National Park
We can see the ruins of Kalinga Yoda Ela, Malagamuwa, Wilmitiya, Dasthota tanks at Wasgamuwa’s journey. Also, Amban Gangahad runs through Wasgamuwa. Also, we can identify that Yudangana Pitiya, which is the place the battle had taken place between King Elara and King Dutugamunu. The ruins of Chulangani chaitya can see in Wasgamuwa park. The historic evidence stated that King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha’s bowl has kept in this chethiya.
Flora and Fauna
If you are interested in flora and fauna, Wasgamuwa National Park is one of the protected areas which have the highest flora and fauna collection. There are more than 150 floral species and 23 species of mammals record in this park. There are some economic value plants. Also, there is a 1,700 years old tamarind tree which is named “Oru Bendi Siyambalawa” Wasgamuwa National Park is home to valuable and endemic plants, such as Weera, Palu, Wa, Ehala, Buruta, Galsiyambala, Milla, and Kaluwara.
In Wasgamuwa National park, you can see a herd of about 150 Sri Lankan elephants. Also, we can find the endemic monkeys, Samber deer, spotted deer, barking deer，jackal, Sri Lankan leopard ， sloth bear, and some mammals and lots of birds too. More than 143 bird species record in Wasgamuwa national park. Those are endemic red-faced malkoha, Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sri Lanka spurfowl, Lesser adjutant, and other aquatic birds. You have a chance to watch Sri Lankan rare frogmouth and chestnut-winged cuckoo near the Mahaweli river. Crocodiles are common in the water bodies of the park.
Wasgamuwa National Park Map
Wasgamuwa National Park is situated approximately 50km northeast of Kandy and takes about 1 hour to reach the entrance through Hasalaka and Hettipola. If you are going through Kandy-Mahiyangana road, you shall turn off at Hasalaka and go ahead to Wilgamuwa, leads you to the main gate of Wasgamuwa.
If you are comming from Matale, the route goes to Naula, Moragahakanda,Elahera and Laggala – Pallegama. Others are Bakamuna, Elahera, and Laggala – Pallegama provides the routes for the visitors to come from the Dambulla or Polonnaruwa.
Top Attractions in Wasgamuwa National Park
Here is a list of some of the top attractions which you can experience in this national park. Take a few minutes to look for all you need to know.
If you are a bird lover, Wasgamuwa park is the best place to watch a different kind of birds. There are 145 species of birds recorded in Wasgamuwa National Park, such as peacocks, red-faced malkoha, Ceylon jungle fowl, drongo, white-necked stork, Sri Lankan spurfowl, etc.
Wasgamuwa is a home for elephants. Specially marsh elephants (Sri Lankan elephants) to reside in Wasgamuwa. From November to May, you can see large herds of elephants who are walking crossing the park.
Wasgamuwa is a place which is having a large amount of bear population compare to the other parks in Sri Lanka. The peoples believe that the name of Wasgamuwa has derived from the Sinhala name “Walas Gamuwa” In English, it means that the gathering place of bears. You can see the sloth bears at this park. Wasgamuwa National park is the second-largest park is having a large population of sloth bears after Yala.
Other than the elephants and bears, Wasgamuwa is a house for the other mammals, reptiles, aquatic lives, and various kinds of birds and insects.
Safari at Wasgamuwa
If you are planning to explore the adventurous safari ride, Wasgamuwa National park safari shall be an unforgettable safari ride for you. During the safari rides at Wasgamuwa, you can discover the beauty of wild animals the large herds of elephants and enjoy the sights of various species of birds. Also, this park is a home for diverse mammals like spotted deer, purple-faced monkey, Leopard, somber deer, etc.
Small water pools inside the park are the rich habitat for divers of aquatic lives such as including crocodiles, water monitors, and various kinds of watery birds who bathe themselves in the water pools. It offers full of opportunities for wildlife -lovers to snap their cameras for shots. You can fully use your binoculars and try to catch up on the sceneries of the hundreds of species of birds and wild animals.
The safari experience at Wasgamuwa includes the wild safari in the morning and afternoon, a private safari jeep around six passengers with English speaking driver, and free pickup and drop off. In addition to it includes the park entrance tickets, hotel pickups, and drop-off to areas that lie within 5 km of the park’s main gate, foods and drinks, and 1 Liter of bottled mineral water per person. The duration of the safari at Wasgamuwa is about 3 hours.
The evening safari from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm is the best time to see the elephant bath and the various kind of birds heading off their nests. Other than that, you can visit through the park is from 6:00 am to 9:00 am because that is the ideal time to hear the birds chirping.
The ideal time to visit the park is from November to May because you can see large herds of elephants during this period. Make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes and hats when you visit Wasgamuwa park. Also, make sure to wear cotton clothes. It is very sensible.
Wasgamuwa camping is the best solution for those who are interested in wildlife. Wasgamuwa tour will give you a chance to experience an unforgettable night with a camping experience. You can go to a wildlife safari in the day time and can get a wonderful camping experience at night with an experienced tour guide. The camping at Wasgamuwa extends to three days and two nights is inclusive of two safari sessions at the National Park.
Camping at Wasgamuwa includes the standard tents with standard package and spacious tents with luxury package. Also, it incorporates park entrance tickets, mattresses, and pillows. You can gather around the campfire for a three-course dinner with full board and B.B.Q dinner. There are no limitations to sing songs, dance, and drink in the firelight. You can sleep under the stars with the listening sound of night birds. There are two safaris on a one-night package and four safaris on two-night packages. Also, they offer separate washroom facilities. You can double your fun when you select a two-night camping trip.
Buduruwayaya Buddhist Temple
The remaining ruins at Wasgamuwa show that it was one of the prosperous villages. Per the archeological review, they have estimated that the Buduruwayaya was a temple, and it is about 1800 years old. Also, you can see reclining Buddha statues. You can find those ancient ruins on the map of Wasgamuwa Park right at the confluence of River Amban and River Kalu.
Top Attractions Close to Wasgamuwa National Park
Best Time to Visit Wasgamuwa
The ideal time to visit Wasgamuwa is the months of November to May. The weather is pleasant during this period. Also, these months are the best time to enjoy the sight of large herds of elephants. The rest of the year, elephants tend to migrate to Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks.
If you are looking for an insider experience in Wasgamuwa park, you can choose three bungalows situated at Wasgamuwa National Park like Mahaweli, Kadurupitiya, and Wawul Ebe. Also, Gale Bungalow and Angammedille are the two villas located outside of the park. If you are interested in camping, there are campsites within the park. The sites are Wawulu Ebe, Mahaweli Ganga 1 and 2, Ulpath Hatha, Hatharaman Handiya, and Medapitiya 1 and 2.