Lunugamvehera National Park

Lunugamwehera located in the Monaragala district in the Uva Province, is 261 km from Colombo and is accessible via Tissamaharama in the Southern province or via Kalawana in the Sabaragamuwa province.

The Park was established in 1995 with the intent of establishing an important catchment area for the Lunugamvehera Reservoir and as a sanctuary for the wildlife in the area. The park also acts as an elephant corridor between the Yala National Park on the east and the Udawalawe National Park on the west, facilitating the animals to move from one to the other, in addition to providing a favourable habitat for Elephants coming from the nearby Uva and Southern regions, making it a preferred destination for Elephant sighting.

The Park with a dry mixed dense evergreen forest is made up mainly of Weera, Pallu, Teak, Eucalyptus, Kon amongst others, vast expanses of grasslands and scrublands, in total covering an extent of 23,498 ha of which 3,283 ha is occupied by the Lunugamvehera reservoir. The park is rich in biodiversity and is a favaourable habitat for large herds of Elephants, Wild Buffalo in addition to 43 species of mammals such as Wild Boar, Sambar deer, Spotted deer, Sri Lankan Axis deer, Fishing cat, Asian Palm civet, Grey mongoose, Grizzled Giant squirrel, Sloth bear and Mouse deer. The park is also home to 21 species of fish, 12 amphibians and 33 species of reptiles.

The reservoir and other water bodies in the park welcome thousands of water birds; nearly 200 species, both endemic and migratory who have made it a popular nesting and breeding ground. Some of the bird species found here include Jungle fowl, Sri Lanka Woodshrike, Chestnut headed bee-eater, Blue Faced malkoha, Sri Lanka Brown capped Babbler, Spot-Billed pelican, Malabar Pied hornbill, Grey heron, Black headed ibis, Painted stork, White-necked stork, and Marshall's iora, Asian openbill, Jungle owlet, Barred bustard quail, Indian peafowl, Crested hawk eagle, Crested serpent eagle, White-bellied sea eagle, Indian roller, Grey-Headed fish eagle, Indian pitta amongst other dry zone birds.

The Park, being a dry zone forest records temperature close to 30 degrees centigrade with rain between November and January each year making the park suitable for visiting all year round.