Thanks to its abundant waters and incredible national parks, Sri Lanka has plenty of aww-inducing animals that could warm even the coldest of heart! With such versatile terrain and climate, the country has plenty of amazing animals that make a trip to these shores even more worthwhile! Here, we explore the most adorable animals of Sri Lanka and take a look at the coolest opportunities for Sri Lanka wildlife holidays. Prepare to feel all warm and fuzzy inside…

Toque Macaques

Small, fluffy and just a little bit cheeky, Toque Macaques are definitely one of the most adorable animals of Sri Lanka. These sweet native monkeys happen to be the most common of their kind to be found on these shores and be witnessed playing in both wet, dry and highland areas across the county. Depending on where they live, the shape and hairstyle of the Macaque changes and many can be found roaming around the country’s religious landmarks, which is how they gained the nickname of temple monkeys. Head to the Cultural Triangle to catch a glimpse of these playful primates in action!

Best place to spot toque macaques:: Golden Temple of Dambulla

Sea Turtles

Does the wildlife in Sri Lanka get much better than this?
Does the wildlife in Sri Lanka get much better than this?

The Turtle Hatchery of Unawatuna is one of the biggest attractions for Sri Lanka wildlife holidays, and there’s a good reason! You can head to this specialist conservation area, dedicated to the protection of Sea Turtles, to catch a glimpse of miniature baby Turtles as they hatch and make their way to the ocean for the very first time. Coming in all sizes, these ultra-cute reptiles are definitely some of the most adorable animals of Sri Lanka and make a trip to Unawatuna truly unmissable!

Best place to spot sea turtles in Sri Lanka: The Turtle Hatchery of Unawatuna or the Sea Turtle Protection Association at Bentota Beach

Golden Palm Civet

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Golden Palm Civet (Paradoxurus zeylonensis) The golden palm civet is an endemic species to Sri Lanka and is not often seen due their nocturnal behaviour. However the prevailing drought brought this individual out into the open for a morning drink. #wildlifephotography #wildlife #srilanka #wilpattu #goldenpalmcivet #Nikon #safari #traveller #wild #livingthedream #Photography #wilderness #naturelovers #adventure #nature_perfection #naturephotography #explore #discover #planetearth #wildplanet #dslrofficial #instanature #travelandBeyond #nikonphotographers #igscwildlife #photooftheday #instagood #igscglobal On safari with #leopardtrails @thephotosociety @wildplanetphotomag @thehopperisland @natgeo @nhm_wpy @londolozi @andbeyondkirkmanskamp @sanctuaryasia @capturethewild @leopardtrails @natgeowild

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Could this be one of the sweetest animals in Sri Lanka? Small, bouncy and completely timid, the Golden Palm Civet is endemic to Sri Lanka and is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, due to their declining numbers. These precious little animals live in the country’s hill regions, are nocturnal and live high up in trees, meaning they are extremely hard to spot. Civets are so cherished in Sri Lanka that they even feature on the country’s postal stamps! Visit the spectacular Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Dodammuluwa for the best chances of catching a glimpse of these wild little creatures.

Best place to spot golden palm civets in Sri Lanka:  Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Dodammuluwa

If you need somewhere to stay during your trip, be sure to take a look at our spectacular luxury apartments, located across the island.

Sri Lankan Leopards

They might be fast and completely unpredictable, but these native Leopards also make for truly incredible Sri Lanka wildlife holidays! Unique to the island, Sri Lankan Leopards can be found in many habitats across the country, with Yala National Park boasting one of the highest densities of this majestic creature in the entire world. Head here for an unforgettable safari to see these amazing animals in Sri Lanka and capture photos that are sure to set your Instagram account alight!

Best place to spot leopards in Sri Lanka: Yala National Park

Sambar Deer

The Sambal Deer is one of Sri Lanka's cutest animals
The Sambal Deer is one of Sri Lanka’s cutest animals.

Also known as Rusa Unicolor, Sambar Deer are native to both Sri Lanka and India. The subspecies is one of the largest deer types in the world, with prominent antlers that add to the creatures’ elegance. Found living in dry forests and high mountain jungles, these spectacular and timid animals also roam wild in Horton Plains National Park – the perfect place to spot these elusive and majestic creatures. As one of the sweetest animals in Sri Lanka, a Sambar Deer sighting is not to be missed.

Best place to spot sambar deers in Sri Lanka: Horton Plains National Park

Sri Lankan Elephants

There are three types of Asian elephants and Sri Lankan happens to be just one! The country is home to a huge number of these gorgeous animals and they happen to be one of the main reasons that people book Sri Lanka wildlife holidays! Thanks to the island’s numerous safari and sanctuary opportunities, Sri Lankan Elephants can be seen in almost all of the country’s captivating national parks. As sacred animals, elephants have protected status across Sri Lanka and the country even celebrates World Elephant Day each year, proving its adoration for these gentle giants!

Best place to spot them: Minneriyaas National Park

Looking for more animal magic? Take a look at the native animals of Asia, with our dedicated guide.

Dolphins

Once in Sri Lanka, head to Mirissa where you can easily spot doplhins.
Once in Sri Lanka, head to Mirissa where you can easily spot doplhins.

Dancing dolphins can be found off the south and southeast coasts of Sri Lanka. Playing and swimming in the waters, these majestic animals are one of the main draws for Sri Lanka wildlife holidays! If you’re keen to see dolphins during your trip, book a reputable tour group to lead you to these wild and beautiful mammals. In the waters you may also spot Blue, Humpback and Orca Whales, making the rich waters of Sri Lanka perfect for a wildlife adventure!

Best place to spot dolphins in Sri Lanka: Mirissa, Southern Province

Langurs

Almost too cute for words, these sweet and compact monkeys are incredibly aww-inducing. Often found living up in the branches of trees, these air-borne animals come in two forms – tufted grey and purple-faced langurs! The word langur literally translates to “having a long tail” and these furry friends can be spotted playing in temples and national parks across the country. Of all the wildlife in Sri Lanka, these tiny fluff balls are definitely some of the cutest!

Best place to spot langurs in Sri Lanka: Wilpattu National Park

Need somewhere to stay during your adventure? Check out our incredible, hand-selected villas found dotted across the country!

Sri Lankan Sloth Bear

Get up close with some of the coolest wildlife in Sri Lanka
Get up close with some of the coolest wildlife in Sri Lanka.

One of the cutest but most unusual animals in Sri Lanka is the Sloth Bear. Another creature to grace the country’s postal stamps, the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear lives in dense dry forests across the island, with Yala National Park offering the best chances of spotting these unusual mammals in the flesh. Just be sure to keep your distance from these adorable animals of Sri Lanka, as they can be very territorial!

Best place to spot them Sri Lankan sloth bears: Yala National Park

Spotted Deer

The most common type of deer found in Sri Lanka is also the cutest! These gorgeous fluffy creatures are shy and sweet, with lovely white polka dots scattered across their backs. The country’s rich national parks are the best place to catch a glimpse of these adorable deer, but make sure you stay a good distance away as they scare easily! Of all the wildlife in Sri Lanka, these precious creatures are certainly some of the most majestic!

Best place to spot deers in Sri Lanka: Maduru Oya National Park

If you’re looking for more inspiration for your Sri Lankan adventure, check out our guide to eight influencer hotspots that went viral.

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