The Eastern Province has some of the most untouched National Parks and Safari Parks on the island, allowing visitors to feel they are alone with nature and an array of wildlife. Kumana National Park (previously known as “Yala East”) is one of the better known Safari locations, located at the southern tip of the Eastern Province -- a perfect day trip from Arugam Bay. In the same region sits Gal Oya and Luhugala National Parks, two additional key safari locations in the south eastern corner. The density of animals is lower compared to neighbouring Yala, but it’s not rare to spot a leopard, along with elephants, crocodiles, turtles, white cobras, wild buffalo and tons of birds. There are a small number of accommodation options to stay overnight close by to all safari parks. Entrance to the parks includes a compulsory guide.


Top Safaris

Kumana National Park

One of the more untouched National Parks on the island, Kumana National Park allows visitors to get up close to nature and animals without the crowds. Located at the southern tip of the Eastern Province, it's a day trip from Arugam Bay.

Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Open all year, National Park hours are 6am – 4pm

28km (approximately 45 minutes) south of Arugam Bay by car

Top tip: For bird lovers, Kumana is Sri Lanka’s key destination

Lahugala National Park

Lahugala is one of the smallest national parks in Sri Lanka, but despite its land area, the park is an important habitat for elephants and endemic birds.

Ampara, Sri Lanka

18km (approximately 45 minutes) west of Arugam Bay by car

Top tip: The impressive Buddhist Magul Maha Vihara is located just 2km from the National park Office, make sure to take a little detour to check it out

Gal Oya National Park

Gal Oya has one of the largest water reservoirs in the country, making it a picture perfect place to get amongst nature and marine wildlife. There are a few lodges located near the entrance, as well as various tours.

Ampara, Sri Lanka

Open all year, National Park hours are 6am – 6pm

18km (approximately 45 minutes) west of Arugam Bay by car

Top tip: The impressive Buddhist Magul Maha Vihara is located just 2km from the National park Office, make sure to take a little detour to check it out.

THINGS TO DO

View our top of things to do and see in Trincomalee, Pasikuda, Batticaloa, Ampara and Arugam Bay

ABOUT EAST

Information about when is the best time to visit, water temperature, prime whale watching season and more

HOW TO GET HERE

Find out how you can get to the East via car, train, bus or by air from main cities around the country

TRAIN TIMES

Check out the Sri Lankan Railways official website for train times connecting the Eastern Province to the rest of the island

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WEATHER

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