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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Why Visit Yala National Park Sri Lanka – Most Popular Wildlife Reserve
Joanna James Joanna James
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Why Visit Yala National Park Sri Lanka – Most Popular Wildlife Reserve

Yala National Park is an archaeological and ecological heritage site, which no self-respecting nature lover should miss exploring when touring Sri Lanka. The place is a bio-diverse haven that's home to a staggering array of wildlife; read on for more details on why this park deserves a visit.


Location of Yala National Park

The parkland was, during colonial rule, a hunting ground for the British; today it is a safe haven for wildlife thriving in its diverse environs. The park boasts a very healthy leopard population, one of the largest in Asia to be precise. The park is located in the deep-south coastal region and boasts rustic jungle beaches strewn with boulders, where herds of wild elephants are known to gather. Due to its location, the parks environs veer between lagoons, freshwater lakes, scrublands, boulder-strewn fields, and wetlands. The parks environs hide within its folds remnants of ancient kingdoms and visitors on Yala Safari tours are able to explore the vintage temples and other sites dating back to the 1st century. You can opt for tailor-made tours of the park via experienced agents; look for reputed companies which like Cinnamon Nature Trails are able to offer you a tour to cherish for a lifetime.


The Diverse Wildlife of Yala National Park

Apart for the large population of leopards, Yala is home to an amazing collection of exotic wildlife; there are 215 types of birds and 7 endemic varieties, over 44 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Elephants, wild boar, buffalo, and pretty peacocks are some of the more popularly sighted animals. Hooking up with the right type of wildlife tour promoter's, you will be able to enjoy a variety of eco-friendly Yala safari exploits, including bird watching, leopard photo tours, elephant and leopard safaris, and wildlife and culture tours.


The Birdlife is Simply Stunning

Do take along the binoculars as you are in for a treat, the varied species of bird life found within the reserve is quite impressive. Some endemic species you will come across include the Sri Lanka Swallow, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, and Sri Lanka Wood Shrike. The wetlands are kaleidoscopes of colour amongst which the black-necked stork can be spotted foraging for food while the Asian Paradise fly-catchers and Forest Old World fly-catchers flutter around.


Get Set to Explore and Savour the Heritage and History

History abounds in Yala and no safari is complete unless you visit a few of the sites. Archaeology buffs should get on board a cultural safari and set about exploring the old stupas; amongst these the most impressive are Akasha Chaithya better known as 'Elephants Rock' where a stupa built in the 2nd century BC stands. The area is also rife with a number of half dilapidated tanks, built as irrigation systems by the ancient kings of Sri Lanka.


Getting To Yala National Park

If you organise a tour with a top Sri Lanka wildlife tour operator, chances are you will be picked from your location with accommodation, safari tours etc. organised as part of the package. An experienced agent will be able to organise a tour to your liking. Yala located on the south coast is 271kms from the Katunayake International Airport.

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