UDAWALAWE NAIONAL PARK
Undawalawe National Park 200 km. away from Negombo is a popular sanctuary in which elephants are seen in abundance. This includes an elephant orphanage too where they are preserved, looked after, fed, bathed and rared. Permits are needed to visit the orphanage as well as the national park that can be toured only in 4-wheler jeeps with guides.
Almost all wild animals and birds fauna and flora are found here. Very rarely a leopard may be seen. The journey takes about six hours and another two hours for the safari. On the way are seen large coconut estates and huge rubber plantations. While passing Urapola village one may enjoy the view of pineapple plantations and rubber estates, rubber industry and the methods of obtaining rubber milk. 100 km. away is Ratnapura or the City of Gems and people engaged in gem mining can be seen by the roadside. In and around Ratnapura invaluable blue sapphires, rubies, star sapphires, garnets are found regularly. If you are keen in gems you can have the opportunity to explore and study gem mining. If you enter the city in a morning you will come across gem dealers of small scale dressed in a white sarons and white shirts with flashlights in their hands. Though it is not easy to complete the tour in one day, if you start early morning you may complete the full tour.
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