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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Things to do in Yala, Sri Lanka – Popular Wildlife Sanctuary
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to do in Yala, Sri Lanka – Popular Wildlife Sanctuary

Yala is undoubtedly Sri Lanka's most popular wildlife sanctuary and no visit is complete without a sojourn into the wilds. Apart from the exotic wildlife, the park will amaze in terms of diverse environs, ranging from scrub jungles to rugged beaches offering varied and wildly exciting experiences.


Enjoy Safari Tours of the Park

A jeep safari is the quintessential Yala experience, and in truth offers you the best experience of the park. Make sure to book your tour through a reputed operator, or go for one recommended by your Yala hotel. Tours start off early morning or late afternoon. Getting an experienced guide means you will be taken to the best spots for catching a glimpse of the wildlife; remember Yala is home to one of Asia's largest leopard populations. Patience and obedience to your guide's instructions are key, to enjoying the park and staying safe.


Explore the Most Popular Sites in Yala

Once you get settled into a Yala hotel get set to enjoy a touch of local history by exploring the primaeval sites. Sithulpawwa is an ancient rock temple, evoking a serene ambience. Explore the rustic place of worship which during the days of Sri Lanka's ancient kings was home to over 12,000 monks. Head on over to the southern end of Sithulpawwa, and check out the Magul Viharaya. This site is believed to have been the venue where the marriage of King Kavan Tissa and Viharamahadevi took place.


Look Forward to Strolls Along the Wild Beaches of Yala

The wild beaches of Yala Park are closed off to humans, however, there are a few spots where visitors are allowed to get down and enjoy a walk along the sandy beaches. Backed by scrub jungle and decorated with boulders these beaches are breezy sanctuaries to enjoy. You will find many hotels in Yala, like Chena Huts, located off the beaten track, offering easy access to the rustic beaches of the area. Do make the most of your time, chilling at these beautiful beaches and take back memories to last a lifetime.


Set Off on a Bird Watching Tour

Yala is a birders paradise; home to over 90 species inhabiting the wetlands; one can spot both migratory and indigenous feathered beauties on a tour. Look out for water cormorants, lesser whistling duck, and a range of aquatic birds such as grey heron, black-headed ibis, Asian openbill and Eurasian spoonbill.


Look Forward to Yala Nights

Spend a night away from the comforts of your Yala resort, by roughing it out at one of the park bungalows. Perfect for experiencing nature and the wild charms of the park by night, these bungalows can be booked via your tour operator or the tour desk of your hotel in Yala. Experience the magic of the park under the light of the moon when you spend a night there, while you also have the opportunity of getting onto the beaten track long before the crowds of tourist arrive.

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