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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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05 Must See things in Yala – The wild side of Sri Lanka

The Yala National Park is shrouded in thick bushes and wildlife that will make your safari tour an adventurous delight. Keep your eyes open!



Majestic beasts roaming the wide open plains of Yala National Park will make you realise just how amazing nature is. Sri Lanka treasures their elephants and the wild ones in Yala will make you realise just how small you are compared to these gentle giants. While on your safari, do keep in mind that you are visiting the animals' territory and you should be aware of your behaviour. Elephants get easily agitated and although would not attack people unless they feared their safety, their attacks can become quite fatal. Remember not to taunt or make loud sounds when you're near elephants as they're pretty sensitive to loud sounds and can get agitated. The Sri Lankan elephant is rapidly becoming an endangered species as there are many threats to them, most of which are man-made, especially with the rise of human elephant conflicts.



This graceful, beautiful bird is quite commonly spotted in Yala. Peacocks are known to be proud creatures, especially during mating season. If you're lucky enough, you'll be able to spot these colourful birds span their tails out and perform a mating dance near a female. The peacock is mainly deep blue in colour with a fan like tail that is used for its dance, while the peahen is predominately more brown and less colourful than the peacock. Pea fowls generally give out a high pitched call when they sense the potential threat of danger. If they're not prancing around the rough terrains, you'll be able to see them perched on a tree! So keep your eyes peeled.



Sri Lanka is known to have its fair share of leopards roaming freely in the wild terrain of this beautiful rugged landscapes and Yala in particular, is famous for spotting leopards! These agile swift beasts are a sight to behold, but spotting them in the national park takes patience and luck. Do remember that due to their traits, leopards are incredibly shy and must not be disturbed during your safari. Many hotels in Yala Sri Lanka will be able to plan your safari tour and properties such as Cinnamon Wild Yala even offer night-time safaris. However, due to man-made threats, the population of leopards in Sri Lanka is said to be on a steady decline.


Sloth Bear

The other popular wild animal which can be spotted in Yala is the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear. Usually found in the lowland dry forests of Sri Lanka, finding sloth bears are harder than spotting Leopards. They usually shy away from loud noises, especially that from vehicles and can only be seen when they're on the quest for water or food. Sloth bears generally feed on berries, roots, nuts and some kinds of meat.


Other animals

There are plenty of animals in Yala, some which include the wild boar, Sri Lankan jungle fowl, golden palm civet, toque macaque, crocodile, water monitor, etc.

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