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Ways to Experience Kumana National Park
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Reviewed September 3, 2014

I had not visited the park over 30 years during the war. Childhood memories took me on a nostalgic trip. We stayed at Panama lagoon cabanas. A 45 minute drive away from the park. The park opens only at 6.30 am . we Had problems finding a reasonably priced 4x4 vehicle on our own. I needed a 4x4 vehicle as we wanted to drive on the beach .I was assured on my booking the cabanas that finding a good vehicle & driver was no problem. Mr wijeyaratna 011 3818133 at lagoon cabanas found me sandun 071 2704351 who had a Mahendra 4x4 vehicle. Seats were good mid row folds upto a table , front row seats can face backrow seats making it ideal for a small group to have a drink or picnic inside vehicle. We did a full day tour for rs 11000. Though the water was low managed a river bath visited the mouth of the river ,stunning view. Saw many birds deer jackawls . Couple of elephants. Two elephants mother & baby so near a pilgrim spot both parties unaware of proximity doing there own thing. Another spotting near the bird viewing point. We watched the elephants graze drink water . The elephants upon spotting us made our vehicle reverse quite a distance . Having demarcated a distance ,they went back to graze drink water ignoring our presence.peaceful park . At present very dry. Must be stunning after the rains. There is a bungalow to stay overnight. Need to book it from Colombo or perhaps at Kumana if available. Could not see the bungalow as there was a party occupying. I assume it is like Yala, no fridge need to take all food supplies & drinking water , a cook is provided.The trees in the park are beautiful , large creepers & huge differently shaped barks of trees specially alongside the river. Some areas were so dry that the shrub was silver in colour & looked as though smoke was emanating.scenery very peaceful. On our way out , Just outside the park We did a short stop at the Okanda kovil, climbed kudumbigala monastery rock. Witnessed an argument by a couple over the lady having to wear a sarong over shorts as it is a place of worship. AND surely the highlight of the day on our return journey on the road to Kumana we spotted a huge leopard seated by a water trough made by wildelife dept for animals due to prevailing drought.made our day. Our driver was most disappointed that no photos were taken as we had packed all our camera equipment away . It was getting on to dusk, drive back was as scenic as the early morning drive. A full day in the park is an absolute treat for the Wilde life lover. Need to take your drinking water & snacks & food. We are very grateful for the staff at Lagoon cabanas who promptly & very willingly supplied us at sharp 5 am everything we ordered for take-away breakfast & lunch .

Date of experience: August 2014
3  Thank Chand_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2014 via mobile

We visited this place last week. Whilst we saw a couple of elephants, deer, warthogs, water buffalo and plenty of birds it was really obvious that all the water holes were bone dry. One would assume that had these been full of water we may have had a better wildlife viewing experience. Its not cheap so i'd check with the guide before laying your money down.

Thank thewillco1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2014 via mobile

The park is lovely with amazing wildlife.

The running of the park and the quality of our tour were less good... The vehicle we were in was a grey 4wd with the name M.I.S Mohideen on the side. It was clearly a home conversion of a tray back ute to a safari vehicle and was not safe. The two seats we were on fell apart during the trip and luckily there was room to move to the front seats which were better secured.

The park itself seems poorly managed with long queues to buy a ticket and our "spotter" provided by the park, got in the vehicle and fell asleep. He was able to point out the animals after we'd woken him up and shown them to him though. He was also able to add to our understanding of the local fauna- when asked what type of feet we were looking at he said "deer deer".

Be picky about who you go with, and don't expect too much from your guide. Still worth it though.

Thank Rob T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2014

Top location for birds watchers and wild life lovers, full of nature with one side pure white sand beach and lush green jungle with lakes , pond and rivers.

Date of experience: February 2014
3  Thank Dean A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2014

About 40 kilometers from the picturesque Arugam Bay in the South East coast of Sri Lanka is Kumana National Park. Kumana is famous for its avifauna and is home to a multitude of migratory birds such as Open-bills, spoonbills, Black necked storks, Waterfowl, Ibis, Heron, many types of Egret, cormorant, Pelicans, Sandpipers, Malkohas and many others. About 20 tanks and lagoons support the extensive bird life in the sanctuary. The best time to visit Kumana is April - July.

Some of the mammals found in Kumana are Elephants, Leopards, Deer, wild Boar and water Buffalo. Other attractions are mugger crocodiles, Snakes and a variety of Lizards. The place is inundated with monkeys and peacocks. During the four hours we spent there we saw more than a hundred fully grown peacocks. To see these magnificent birds on flight or displaying their iridescent tails into a magnificent fan is a real treat to the eye.

If you happen to visit Arugam Bay or Potuvil please make an effort to visit Kumana National Park. You will not be disappointed. At the park you can either hire a 4 wheel drive with a guide or if you are driving a 4 wheel drive the park will provide you with a qualified guide for a small fee. The bird watching towers within the sanctuary offers vantage positions to observe the many animals in the park.

Wishing you a memorable holiday and I hope you will enjoy Kumana as much as I did.

Date of experience: January 2014
8  Thank Shanthi398
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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