Kumana National Park is known as a bird’s paradise in Sri Lanka. Being bordered to Yala by the Kumbukkan Oya it is also called Yala East, however it is less crowded compared to Yala. Kumana has been identified as one of the most important bird breeding and nesting grounds in the island. Prepare yourself with binoculars to do some serious bird watching. Hotels in Arugam Bay and the surrounding can arrange safari jeeps with pick ups and drop offs. Early mornings are best to visit.
It is recorded that Kumana is home to 255 species of birds out of the 400 species identified in the island.
Within the park there is a 200 hectare natural mangrove swamp, fed by a narrow canal connected to Kumbukkan Oya. Many water birds nest within this mangrove swamp, mostly within the months of May and June. From April to July lots of migratory birds visits the swamp including some rare species like waterfowls, Pintail snipes, Yellow-footed green pigeon, Greater racket-tailed drongo, Malabar trogon, Red-faced malkoha, and sirkeer malkoha. Pintail snipes visit the area from Siberia and fly about 9000 to 11000 kms.
Unlike the dry forests in Yala, Kumana has a lot of mangrove trees, massive kumbuk trees. There are other mammals who live in the area including a herd of elephants, golden jackal, wild boar and fishing cat.
Safaris normally starts at early mornings for evenings, and takes about 4 to 5 hours, mornings are more scenic.