Yala National Park
The Yala National Park in Sri Lanka covers 1268 sq km of grassy lands and enchanting lagoons. It's home to an assortment of wildlife, who are free to roam about and enjoy their days out in the open land. You'll find Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka, with parts bordering the Indian Ocean. You could easily spend days exploring the vastness of this stunning park, but if you've only got a limited amount of time, here's everything you need to know:
About Yala National ParkIf you've always wanted to get up close and personal to wildlife, this is your chance. The park is home to a protected area of scrubs, lagoons, forests, and grasslands spanning an area of 130,000 hectares. In 1900, the park was a wildlife sanctuary before being designated a national park in 1938. Inside, you'll discover 215 bird species, including many rare birds and at least 44 types of mammals. If you want to visit when the animals are most likely to be out and about, the best time to go to Yala National Park is between February and July.
Wildlife in Yala National ParkWith so many different types of animals and birds to see in the park, it's unlikely you'll see them all even with an in-depth Yala National Park safari. Some of the animals you might cross paths with during your visit include elephants, leopards, jackals, spotted deer, sambars, sloth bears, crocodiles, and peacocks. If you're into bird watching, keep an eye out for grey herons, black-necked storks, lesser adjutants, Indian cormorants and many more.
Exploring the ParkWhen you arrive at Yala National Park, you'll notice that it's split into five different ”zones.' Three of the zones are closed to the public, which is actually a good thing because it means the animals who call the park their home can go about their lives without interference. As a visitor to the park, you will be able to look around zones one and five. To explore the vast deciduous forest and all of its sand dunes and shrubs, you're going to need to book one of the amazing Yala National Park tours. There are many to choose from ranging from traditional safari styles to private tours that last all day. You'll likely board a jeep, which will take you through the park. Most tours leave pretty early in the morning, which is better since you'll have more space in the park to spot wild animals such as water buffalo and wild boar.
Travel TipsIf you want to explore the park and maybe even return for a second or third visit, you can stay in Yala National Park accommodation. You can stay in a nearby hotel relatively close to the park or rent a nearby villa or cabin. This will help cut your travel time to and from the park, which is great if you want to spend most of your time discovering all this vast park offers.