Discover the Ultimate Wildlife Family Adventure in Sri Lanka

Discover the Ultimate Wildlife Family Adventure in Sri Lanka

Experience the Rich Culture and Ancient Wonders of Sri Lanka's Capital Cities and Get Up Close with Wild Elephants and Leopards at Sri Lanka's Best National Parks

Get Up Close with Wild Elephants and Leopards at Sri Lanka’s Best National Parks

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Sri Lanka is a bucket list destination for many families. Experience the Rich Culture and Ancient Wonders of Sri Lanka’s Capital Cities. Properties like Uga Chena Huts make the … [+]UGA

Get ready to experience a slice of paradise! Sri Lanka is a gem of an island that offers families an unforgettable holiday filled with breathtaking landscapes, idyllic beaches, rich cultural heritage, and amazing wildlife encounters, all within a small area.

This teardrop-shaped island, located just south of India and in close proximity to the Maldives, boasts eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, over 800 miles of pristine coastline, 15 national parks teeming with exotic wildlife, lush tea estates and botanical gardens, 350 cascading waterfalls, and a culture steeped in history that dates back over 2,500 years.

As you explore this vibrant land, you’ll discover the soul of Buddhism still thriving, and the natural beauty and wildlife thriving like nowhere else. Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in Sri Lanka!

Family Travel in Sri Lanka: First Stop

Jetavaranama dagoba Buddhist stupa in ancient city
Jethawanaramaya dagoba Buddhist stupa in ancient city Anuradhapura, Sri LankaGETTY

Embark on a journey through time and history as you begin your adventure in Anuradhapura, the original capital of Sri Lanka. Explore the rich cultural heritage of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to ancient temple ruins, some of the world’s largest stupas, and palaces dating back to the 10th Century BC.

Before reaching Anuradhapura, make sure to stop and witness the marvel of Sigiriya, the rock fortress built by rebel king Kashyapa. Admire the stunning gardens, bathing pools, rock carvings, and palace perched on the majestic rock, as well as colorful frescoes on the rock walls that highlight the historical significance of this site.

No visit to Sri Lanka is complete without experiencing the natural wonder of Minneriya National Park. Witness one of the world’s largest recorded assemblies of elephants as they gather in this teeming wildlife sanctuary.

For an up-close encounter with Sri Lanka’s iconic wildlife, visit Wilpattu National Park. Spread over an area of approximately 500 square miles, this park is home to Sri Lankan elephants, elusive leopards, sloth bears, spotted deer, buffaloes, sambar, mongoose, exotic birdlife, reptiles, and amphibians. Get ready for an unforgettable safari adventure!

Uga Ulagalla caters to families. UGA

Take your time exploring the wonders of Sri Lanka with a stay at Uga Ulagalla. With its convenient location, you can easily embark on day trips to various sites, including a cycling tour of the ancient capital Anuradhapura, wildlife safaris to see elephants in Minneriya and leopards in Wilpattu, tours of ancient engineering marvels such as the giant reservoir Kalawewa, exploration of ruins in Ritigala and Sigiriya Rock Fortress, and visits to archaeological and historical sites in Dambulla and Polonnaruwa.

Families will love the spacious and luxurious accommodations at Uga Ulagalla. Each of the 25 large villas is almost 2,000 square feet in size, with its own private pool and separate living area. Relax and unwind after a day of adventure, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of Sri Lanka’s countryside.

Tuk Tuk Ride
Tuk Tuk (ThreeWheeler) ride UGA

The property is spread across 58 acres of land and focuses on authentic experiences such as village cycle tours, Tuk Tuk tours, horseback riding, archery, kayaking in the local lake and kite making.

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Activities at Uga Ulagalla include horseback riding. UGA

Don’t be surprised to see monkeys, peacocks and elephants wandering around this cultural triangle retreat.

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Cooking classesUGA

Family cooking class allows kids to learn the flavors and tastes of Sri Lanka by making a traditional curry using locally-sourced rice and produce from the resort’s organic garden.

Junior Ranger Program 1
Junior Ranger ProgramUGA

Younger rangers can join Ulagallas junior ranger program which has been designed to catch curious minds when it comes to nature, wildlife and the environment in a fun and engaging way. Rangers take children on a journey of natural discovery including identifying animals and birds; learning about the importance of ecosystems and threats to wildlife and exploring the traditional harvesting techniques of rice.

Exploring Yala National Park in Sri Lanka

Leopard, Srilanka.
Yala has one of the highest leopard population densities in the world.GETTY

For the ultimate wildlife adventure, families should head to Ruhuna National Park, commonly known as Yala, after exploring Anuradhapura. This expansive park features semi-deciduous and thorn forests, grasslands, freshwater and marine wetlands, and sandy beaches where only foraging birds and animals leave their footprints.

Yala is the largest and oldest of a chain of six national parks and three sanctuaries in the area, and it boasts an impressive biodiversity. With 44 different resident mammal species and one of the highest leopard population densities in the world, there’s no shortage of wildlife to observe. Dozens of reptile species, including turtles, crocodiles, flying snakes, and elegant fan-throated lizards, also call Yala home. And bird enthusiasts will be thrilled with the park’s 215 resident and migrant species, including the flamboyant peacock.

In addition to Yala and its satellite parks, families can also explore other nearby attractions, such as the Great and Little Basses reefs. This is an ideal spot to see blue and humpback whales, as well as dolphins, in their natural habitat.

Resident Ranger Team (1)
Uga Chena Huts has morning and evening game drive safaris in Yala with an experience ranger guide. UGA

For families seeking a truly immersive wildlife experience, Uga Chena Huts is the perfect destination as it borders the stunning Yala National Park on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. With all meals and morning and evening game drive safaris in Yala included in the property’s rate, families can explore the park’s vast landscapes with an experienced ranger guide. As one of the world’s best spots to sight wild leopards and sloth bears, Yala is also home to plenty of birdlife and other fascinating mammal sightings.

In addition to exploring the national park, Uga Chena Huts can also organize thrilling whale-watching expeditions, adding to the already impressive list of unforgettable experiences available at this luxury property.

Uga Chena Huts blend into the surrounding environment. UGA

Chena Huts is popular with families because there are private pools in each cabin—with only 14 cabins in this seven-acre property. Each cabin is over 1,600 square feet and includes a spacious living room, bedroom, and en suite bathroom with a free-standing bathtub.

Sri Lanka is known for its elephant populations. GETTY

Sri Lanka will feel like an adventure for the whole family, from animal encounters with elephants, leopards and baby turtles hatching on the shores of the Indian Ocean, to plenty of culture and history thrown in.

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