Day 7. Nurwara Eliya / Udawalwe.
Breakfast at hotel before leaving for Udawalawe via Elle and Wellawaya. Check in at Grand Udawalawe Safari Hotel before proceeding on a Jeep Safari to visit the Uda-Walawe National Park.
This national park was established in 1972 to protect the catchment area of the Uda Walawe reservoir, crucial to the livelihoods of the farmers in the south east dry zone.
With the land only recently reverting back from cultivation, the park has some fascinating characteristics that make it well worth a visit. Not least of these is the large elephant population. Uda Walawe is the most reliable place to see elephants in their wild habitat year round.
Some 400-500 elephants live in the park and herds of up to 50 are commonly seen. The open plains are covered in thick manna grass up to the borders of the large reservoir in the centre and the Walawe river. The park is also covered by some abandoned teak plantation and dense scrub jungle. This variety in habitat makes for a rich variety of wildlife and game. As well as elephants, leopards live in the park (though you will be very lucky to spot one), toque monkeys, grey langur, spotted deer, wild pig and sambar.
There are numerous bird species of course and Uda Walawe is particularly rich in raptor species, among them the white bellied sea eagle and the crested serpent eagle. Return to hotel for overnight stay.