Situated 22 miles north of Yangon in Mingaladon, the Hlawga National Park is spread in an area of 623-hectare. It houses a wildlife park, a mini zoo and a buffer zone. The place was set up as an educational center for environment in 1982 and continues to attract many ecologists and nature lovers.
This national park was established with joint-funding by the UNDP and the Burmese government so as to preserve the flora and fauna of the region. It holds the catchment area of an old extension dam, Zokanabe Lake that was built in 1921-24 to support the larger Hlawga Lake which has been the source of water for Yangon since 1904. The park is a home to many indigenous animals and birds that can be seen living in their natural habitat.
As per a survey conducted in 1992, there are 21 species of mammals, 145 species of birds and 8 species of reptiles inhabiting the park. In the 818-acre, the landscape varies from semi-evergreen forests, mixed deciduous forests, and swamp forests. Visitors can spot various species of deer along with rhesus monkey, pythons, jungle cats, lizards and pangolins.
This park houses an array of resident and migratory birds. Some of the species are the Jungle Fowl (Gallus gallus), Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer), Lesser Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna javanica), Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans), Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticonax nycticorax) and White-throated Babbler (Turdoides gularis).
There is a total of 295 species of plants in this evergreen forest area, such as, Dipterocarps and langerstroemia speciosa. Some of the deciduous species like teak (Tectona grandis), binga (Mitragyna rotundifolia), and medicinal plants such as sindonma-nwe (Tinospora cordifolia) are also found here.
- This area is a site of small mammals, birds, tigers, leopards, bears and estuarine crocodiles that are kept in big spacious cages, aviaries and moated enclosures.
Broadly the park is divided into three areas:
Rest and retreat zone- featuring forest eco-lodges, boat houses and a health spa resort
Adventure and recreation zone- makes available facilities for various thrilling sports like elephant rides, safaris in buses, bird-watching, trekking, boating, camping ground and training areas for mountain climbing and parachuting
Education and hobby zone- houses a timber species display center, an insect kingdom, a reptile park, a butterfly park, and fishing spots.
This park experiences a monsoonal climate. It receives an annual rainfall of 95 inches (240 cm), mostly between May and October. The time from November to February is the coolest (average high: 32C and average low: 18C), while the hottest months are from March to May (average high: 37C and average min: 24C).
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