Situated 170 km southeast of Colombo, the Uda Walawe National Park which is a wildlife reserve covers an area of approximately 30,821 hectares in the dry zone where the long dry season is characteristic feature. This park lies within the Ratnapura and Moneragala districts. In the centre of the park is the great Uda Walawe reservoir. This Park comprises grasslands and thorn scrubs and many valuable species of trees especially teak. The grasslands make it an open habitat.
This popular reserve is inhabited by more than 400 wild elephants. The open habitat makes is easy for visitors to view these elephants at close range. There are leopards, spotted deer, sambhur, wild boars, gray langurs, Toque Monkeys, golden jackals, water buffaloes and crocodiles and 30 varieties of snakes. The open parkland attracts birds of prey. Uda Walawe National Park includes a wide diversity of bird life.
Nature lovers and sight seers generally travel through the park in jeeps which are the most convenient form of commuting within the park. There are also popularly arranged elephant safaris for visitors.
A number of guest houses are available around the area for those who wish to spend a few days and view the various elephant herds and other animals. The slow flowing river lined with large shady trees make the park ever more attractive.