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Yala National Park

4.6 /5

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Best Time: February - June Read More

Ideal duration: 1-3 days

Nearest Airport: Bandaranayake International Airport Check Flights

"Highest population of leopards in the world!"

Yala National Park Tourism

Yala National Park was originally a hunters arena during British colonial rule but now has the highest population of leopards on earth. Not only animals but it also provide a quaint environment for birds as well. It is Sri Lanka‚Äôs largest national park with a total area of 900 Sq Km. Yala National Park attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year due to its high density of leopards, sloth bears, crocodiles, and deers.

Yala national park in Sri Lanka borders the Indian ocean and is filled with scenic beauty and wildlife. Its excellent terrain has exciting visuals of freshwater lakes, dense vegetation and forest. The park is sectioned into five blocks, and there are campsites all over.

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Things to do in Yala National Park

1. Spotting the Sri Lankan leopard: This animal is the reason why Yala National Park always has a lot of tourists. Not only in Asia but Yala National Park has a high density for leopards in all over the world. Take a safari when you are here. Choose a time of either early morning or late evening as it's the best time to spot a leopard. Your safari ride would be of 3 to 4 hours.

2. Wildlife Safaris in Yala National Park: The park is is split into five sectors and out of these only two are open to visitors. You can also find a herd of Asian elephants. If you are lucky you might as well see a sloth bear apart from crocodiles and deer. Also, there are around 400 bird species which includes 33 that are rare. Don't forget to carry your binoculars while you're in for safari ride! The safari rides last nearly 5 hours and will take you on a wildlife experience of a lifetime! The thrill exists in unexpectedly coming across animals in the wild, in their habitat. You never know what you could find here! Cost: It could cost you up to 4800 INR for a 5-hour trip, per person. A number of people: a typical jeep safari can accommodate up to 5 people in one jeep, excluding the driver and guide.

3. Beach Walks: Because a large area of the national park is the sandy beach, you can also spend a day walking in the sand or spend the evening watching the sunset, having a relaxing time with friends and family by the beach, enjoying the cool breeze.

4. Bird watching: In a national park that houses over 400 species of birds and 30 unique species, what could be better than going for a long day of relaxing birdwatching? As you may have guessed already, birdwatching here is a popular activity. You will get many paid guides to show you around the best locations to spot some of the most uncommon birds.

5. Camping: If you want to stay the night at the national park, the eco-friendly camping sites are also available for you to witness the marvels that a forest brings out at night. Sleep under the stars and spend some time spotting animals and birds who are nocturnal, in the dimly lit area by natures torches, the fireflies!

Wildlife at Yala National Park

Yala National Park is known as a home to the largest number of leopards in the entire world. The huge number of leopards that this single national park has is unmatched to any other national park or sanctuary in the entire globe! If that does not make you want to come to Yala, then this surely would- the Yala National Park is also home to a large number of elephants and deers that freely roam about in the vicinity of the tourists. It is easy to spot them amidst your safari or any other tour. If you are lucky, you might even witness the Sri Lankan Sloth bear in its natural habitat. When it comes to birds, the national park has over 215 species of birds! With a mix of migrating birds, endemic birds, and national park-bred birds, this national park is filled with wide color and types of birds. Can you imagine what kind of beautiful heaven this place would be for birdwatchers? You will definitely see a lot of birdwatchers spectating and keeping a lookout for the most unique species of birds that migrate to and from here every so often. This is the reason why Yala National Park is considered to be one of the 70 most Important Bird Areas (IBA) in the world! In the list of reptiles are a wide variety of snakes (including water snakes) and lizards which are endemic. Yala National park is also seen as important because of its aim to preserve freshwater aquatic life. There are more than 20 types of fish bred here. Crabs and prawns are also seen frequently here.

Restaurants and Local food at Yala National Park

Here are a few most sought-after restaurants in the area: 1. Orchid Restaurant: This restaurant serves some of the best fish curries in the area! You will simply love the spread during the buffet, which consists of a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items. 2. The Grand Gala Restaurant: If Sri Lankan local cuisine is on your mind, then head to this place. Their service is even better than their marvellous food. 3. Smoky Kitchen A unique way to spend the evening is by spending time in their live cooking session, where they will cook your favorite dish in front of you. The food is reasonably priced, and the atmosphere here is absolutely amazing!

Flora at Yala National Park

The huge land area of Yala National Park, being home to such a huge number of plants, animals, and birds also supports a number of ecosystems on its own. The ecosystems vary over a number of types because the national park is a culmination of different types of lands and water bodies. Including dry and wet monsoon forests, the national park also has marine wetlands, deciduous forests and thorny forests and even sandy beaches. The trees are, thus, from a variety of species like mangroves and others that support the endemic species of the forests. The Yala National Park has been divided into 4 blocks - all consisting of different species of plants, trees, and vegetation. Some of these blocks are out of bounds for the common public, while others remain open for safari tours.

Accommodation facilities at Yala National Park

You will find easy accommodation here but here are a few of them that are most popular. These facilities are within an affordable range, and their services are impeccable! You should not miss out of having the local food here, as that is what they specialize in. Some spots include: 1. Cinnamon Wildman 2. Lakeside cabana 3. Yala safari camping

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