Uda Walawa national park is situated at the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva province. It was designated and established as the fifth national park of Sri Lanka in 1972, with a total area of some 3,500 hectares, and includes the largest reservoir in the vicinity, referred to as the “Walawe reservoir”. Uda Walawa was created to accommodate displaced wildlife when the Uda Walawa reservoir was built.
The national park is awash with elephants, wildlife, bird and waterfowl watching areas. These include sloth bears that are seldom seen, sambar and axis deer, wild boar, water buffalo, golden jackal, Asian palm civet, leopards, tufted gray langur, rusty spotted cat and crocodiles that are some of the residents of the park.
The forest consists of marshes, grasslands, rivers and their tributaries, and thick forests.
Prior to the establishment of the park, the area was used by local farmers for chena/rotation crop cultivation of vegetables.