Sri Lanka has 21 national parks and locations however undoubtedly one of the most popular locations is the Yala National Park. Yala is a Strict Nature Reserve and divided into five blocks. the park has a protected area of nearly 130 thousand hectares. consisting of light forest scrubs grassland tanks and lagoons. ironically this area now a strict Nature Reserve was used as a hunting ground for the elite during British rule. Yala is 270 kilometres from Colombo and a Southern Expressway is a logical route to access it. once you get to this tissamaharama and head towards Kirinda the block one entrance is just 12 kilometres away. there is a variety of accommodation available just outside the park and if you have an inclination for creature comforts and pampering there are a few hotels just minutes away from the block one entrance also referred to as the palatupana entrance. these hotels have the privilege of fast entrance access as well as some of the beach frontage available around the periphery of Yala. to the north, the park is Katharagama to the east Panama and Kumana National Park. to the south the sea and to the West Kirinda and Thissamaharama. there are two other entrances Katagamuwa and the third galge. the Palatupana entrance to block one is a popular entry point and sees an early-morning scramble at the ticket office to gain access through the park gates. topographically the area is a flat and mildly undulating plain that temperature varying between 26 and 32 degrees Celsius. whatever your passion elephants both lie for trying to capture limps or meeting with panthera pardus Katia the leopard endemic to Sri Lanka the park is sure to please and deliver. increasing numbers of visitors every year can take its toll on the infrastructure of the park as well as the animals. be sure to follow park etiquette and blend in rather than stand out we are in their habitat so patients along with minimum noise is a good way
to ensure great sightings. the park is home to 44 species of mammals and 215 species of birds. there are also a diverse range of reptiles amphibians fish and invertebrates within the park boundary.
youngers diverse ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands has made it one of seventy important Bird Areas. the most famous occupants which inhabit the park are the majestic elephants sloth bear jackals spotted deer peacock and crocodile. Yala is also one of the best locations in the world to observe the leopard. the park is said to have the highest density of leopard population per square kilometre in the world. infact the leopards roaming the periphery often use carps from cattle herds just outside the park for extra albeit easy sustenance. the best season to visit Yala is February to July depleted water levels in the small tanks and pools bring the wildlife out into the open. the Kumbukkan oya in the east and manik river and its tributaries in the West flow across the park and provide wild animals with an important water source during the dry season to experience nature in a rustic setting there are several park bungalows. these can be booked through the wildlife department in Battaramulla and are in high demand. there are also several campsites within the park all near water sources and these accommodation options give visitors a little extra time to beat the crowds. the park has its fair share of problems from poaching to gem mining and to add to its issues the
Sithulpawwa temple is located inside the park boundary and is visited by thousands of pilgrims. this along with annually increasing tourist numbers means that there is a competition to have the best sightings and for guides to provide the best experiences. however,
it’s our duty to respect Park etiquette and observe rules while
enjoying nature at its most glorious whoa in sync up the magnificence of the animal kingdom. let’s protect while
enjoying the irreplaceable national heritage that we possess.
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