Why Sri Lanka is one of the best destinations to visit during winter

Sri Lanka in December

Visiting Sri Lanka is wonderful throughout the year, however December to March sets the ideal temperature and the right climate for both locals and foreigners to travel around in Sri Lanka. It is not too cold nor too hot during this time.


tourists at Yala

If one may ask if it is good to visit Sri Lanka in December, most people would say ‘yes’. Sri Lanka receives the torrential monsoon rains from May to September. Following these rains December becomes quite dry but chilly making it the ideal time to travel. Be it the hill country, Down South or Colombo, you can freely go anywhere without getting soaked in the rain. 

Best national parks to visit in December

Yala National Park

During this time of the year when the water levels of the park becomes quite low, most wild animals come out in search of water. It will be crowded however you will be guaranteed of the best sightings.  Yala National Park is most popular for its leopard sightings. Apart from the leopards one can also see elephant herds, crocodiles, deer, buffaloes, birds, sloth bears and many other animals. Make sure you book a full day safari because Yala park is a massive place which is divided into five blocks.

Other attractions near Yala park: Sithulpavva, Kataragama, Magul Maha Viharaya, Tsunami Memorial etc. If you book now we can plan your itinerary to cover all attractions in and around in Yala within 1 or 2 days maximum.

Bundala National Park

Bundala is a wonderland for bird lovers! And December provides the ideal weather for bird watching safaris in Sri Lanka. Bundala park was declared as the first Ramsar Wetland in Sri Lanka in 1990 as well as the fourth biosphere reserve in 2005 by UNESCO.  It is popular as a wintering ground for many migratory birds while sheltering many other animal species like elephants and leopards. Bundala shelters more than 200 bird species and nearly 150 of these birds are endemic. Most of the birds who are escaping their northern cold climates migrate to Sri Lanka during the months of November to April as they find this island has a favorable temperature climate. You will see lovely lagoons, waterways and dunes in Bundala which is a top reason that attract the birds. Among the lagoons within the park, three of them are almost entirely developed as salterns for salt production.

Other attraction in and around Bundala: Dry Zone botanical gardens in Hambanthota, Tissa Lake, Yala national park, Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara temple, Kirinda Vihara Maha Devi Temple and Kirinda beach.

Bundala is approximately 245 kilometers from Colombo, located between Kirinda and Hambantota. Learn more about this park here >>

Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe National Park is the third most visited place in Sri Lanka and is a popular destination among the tourists who visit Sri Lanka is December because it is home to large numbers of monkeys, deer, leopards, sloth bears, crocodiles, giant flying squirrels, elephant herds as well as birdlife. You will not miss the large elephant herds who are roaming around the place because of the Udawalawe Reservoir. As per the estimates there are over 500 elephants living in Udawalawe, so you will never miss seeing them during your Udawalawe safari tour. If your tour guide is smart he will get you to the closest spot to see the animals as they know the best times and places to see the animals. Seeing elephants up close at Udawalawe national park is a once-in-a lifetime experience and you will always remember the wild encounters.

Book your safari online in advance which will save you time, stress as well as money too! 

Udawalawe is about 4 hours’ drive from Colombo and a couple of hours drive from Mirissa.  While you are in Udawalawe you should also visit the elephant orphanage which is also called the Elephant Transit Home. Here you will see many baby elephants who are orphans. You are able to see these adorable baby elephants during their feeding hours. At this place the babies grow with very limited interactions with human contact as they need to integrate back into the wild when they are big. 

Other attractions near Udawalawe: Ella, Udawalawe Elephant orphanage, Mahapelessa Hot Springs, Ussangoda National Park and Ramba Viharaya

Horton plains National Park

Horton plains National Park is another popular destination to visit during December as there is less rainfall from December to March. Apart from the lush greenery, fauna and flora, the park shelters a number of wild animals, birds and insects. The park boasts of over 150 species of wild animals including the purple-faced langur, otter, wild boa, red slender loris and Sri Lankan leopard. Horton Plains is known as one of the best hiking places in Sri Lanka and December is the safest and best time to do that. The weather gets even better in January and becomes less crowded. The highlight of this park is the World’s End. It is one of the most photographed places because of its scenic beauty at the summit.

Other attractions in and around Horton Plains: Bambarakanda Falls, Baker’s falls, Ravana Falls and attractions in Kandy.

Apart from visiting the national parks there are many other attractions and things to do in Sri Lanka if you visit in December. We also plan round trips within Sri Lanka if you share your itinerary with us. We arrange your airport pick up and drop from Katunayaka International airport to any destination in Sri Lanka. Our drivers and tour guides are reliable and trustworthy, you may read our review on Trip Advisor as well as Google business