Designed as a sanctuary for the wildlife in the area, especially for elephants and also protecting the catchment of five reservoirs, the Maduru Oya National Park is located about 288 km North-East of Colombo with the nearest city being Polonnaruwa. Covering a land area of over 58000 hectares, even a community of Vedda people (a minority indigenous group of people in Sri Lanka) lives within the park’s boundaries. A private jeep safari with a guide will take you through the park which is mainly made out of tropical dry mixed evergreen forests which have been exploited and resulting in vast open plains dominated by grass. There are shrub areas and woody plants in the area as well. With the population of the Sri Lankan elephant being about 150 - 200 while other mammals including the wild boar and the fishing cat and many more are there to find. Aquatic birds, reptiles and fish are also taking refuge in the Maduru Oya National Park.