Sri Lanka’s vibrant culture and bountiful national parks and reserves are a real draw for travellers throughout the world. Each month brings a new festival, a celebration, and each city is an attraction in itself. Many of these festivals coincide with the peak visiting times and can be combined with visiting one of the fantastic national parks.
During the dry season, this safari paradise offers tourists an opportunity to see some of the most magnificent animals in their natural habitat. While planning your visit to Sri Lanka you will have to consider the rains, which can be quite unpredictable. Sri Lanka is considered a year-round destination because you can plan around the regional monsoon seasons and visit the region that has the most favourable weather.
Sri Lanka Monsoon Seasons
Sri Lanka has two monsoons, as well as two inter-monsoon seasons. The southwest monsoon season, from May to September, brings heavy rains to the southwestern part of Sri Lanka. Similarly, the northeast monsoon, from December to February, sees heavy rainfall to the northeastern regions of Sri Lanka.
During the first inter-monsoon season, there is a general decline in the rainfall all over the country. The first inter-monsoon season begins in March and lasts through April, during which, the southwestern regions receive varied rainfall. The exception to which is the southwestern slope, which experiences 700 mm rainfall. Other regions in Sri Lanka, experience a rainfall between 100-250 mm.
The southwest monsoon is followed by the next inter-monsoon, beginning in October and ending with November. There is heavy and widespread rain that can sometimes result in landslides and floods.
The unusual Sri Lankan climate makes it difficult to pinpoint the best time to visit the country, but December to mid-April is generally considered peak season for the best overall weather. The best time to visit Sri Lanka really depends on the region, city, and place in Sri Lanka that tourists are interested in visiting. We have prepared a table that gives the best time to visit the capital cities of each of the nine Sri Lankan provinces.
Best Time to Visit Sri Lankan National Parks
The following table presents the best time to visit some of the top-rated Sri Lankan national parks, game reserves, and sanctuaries.
|Popular Sri Lankan National Parks||Best Month to Visit Sri Lankan National Parks|
|Bundala Bird Sanctuary||October To March|
|Horton Plains National Park||January to March|
|Minneriya National Park||January to September|
|Sinharaja National Park/ Forest Reserve||January to March. Also, in April, or August to October, under favourable conditions.|
|Udawalawe National Park Safari||Throughout the year, due to favourable climatic conditions. To watch Asian elephant herds and mating, the ideal time is from October to January.|
|Wilpattu National Park||May to September during the dry season.|
|Yala West National Park||June to September|
Best Time To Travel To Sri Lankan Provincial Cities
|Capital Cities||Best Time to Visit The Capital Cities||Sri Lanka Province|
|Jaffna||January to September||Northern Province|
|Anuradhapura||April to November||North Central Province|
|Kurunegala||Early January to February ending||North Western Province|
|Kandy||December to April||Central Province|
|Trincomalee||February to April||Eastern Province|
|Colombo||January to March, and November to December||Western Province|
|Ratnapura||January to March, and September||Sabaragamuwa Province|
|Badulla||February to March, and June to September||Uva Province|
|Galle||December to March. January, specifically, for the Galle Literary Festival.||Southern Province|
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