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Stop At: Wasgamuwa National Park, Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka
Consisting of dense riverine forests, dry monsoon forests, grasslands and marshy wetlands along the Mahaweli, Wasgamuwa National Park is a true paradise for nature lovers and was first established as a refuge for wildlife that had been displaced during the Mahaweli Development Project. It is most famous for its elephants that are known to be less accustomed to humans than other elephants around Sri Lanka resulting in their wilder and more aggressive behavior. Wasgamuwa consists of 150 plant species, the most common tree species include Palu, Weera, Satin and Ebony, and the wettest areas are dominated by Kumbuk trees. The name of the park is derived from the words “Walas” (Sloth Bear) and “Gamuwa” (Forest). There is a high population of these animals living within the park as well as 22 other species of mammals such as Spotted Deer, Grey Mongoose, Hanuman Langurs, Wild Boar, Leopards and Jackals. From the 428 species of bird to be found in Sri Lanka, 143 are found in Wasgamuwa including endemic species such as the Ceylon Jungle fowl, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Brown-capped Babbler, Blue-faced Malkoha, Lesser Adjutant, Grey-headed Fish eagle and Brown Fish Owl. Wasgamuwa is also home to 17 reptile species, 17 freshwater fish species and 8 amphibian species. After the North East Monsoon, 50 species of butterflies can be seen fluttering in great numbers in all areas of the park.
Duration: 4 hours