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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 03, 2019
Headline for Things to Do and How to Explore Yala National Park Sri Lanka – Safari Lovers’ Paradise
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Do and How to Explore Yala National Park Sri Lanka – Safari Lovers’ Paradise

The Yala National Park of Sri Lanka is located in the deep-south; occupying a portion of the beach and reaching inland, the rustic wilds are home to an exotic collection of flora and fauna. Elephants, sloth bears, and leopards rule while the environs stun; here's a list of what to do and how.


Make a Note Of The Main Points

When opting to set off on a jeep safari to the park; pick an early 6 am tour. This is the perfect time for birders to view the many feathered species of Yala. If you are an avid elephant fan, head into the park at around 3 pm when the giant mammals start to frequent the water holes. Yala is home to one of Asia's largest collection of leopards and your patience will be rewarded with sightings of the exotic cat. The park is also home to sloth bears, although the elusive creatures are hard to spot. The park closes once a year from September 1st to October 16th which is the time that most animals migrate to other regions in search of water. If you are staying at a Yala hotel check with the tour desk about hiring a jeep safari; it's the safest and easiest option since in-house guests are well-taken care of. Many Yala hotels like Cinnamon Wild Yala, are located just 10 minutes from the park and are the perfect base to truly enjoy a feel of the wilds.


The Best Way to Explore The Park

Hiring a tracker is your best option; for a small fee in addition to the vehicle hire charge, you will thus receive a very comprehensive tour of the wildlife reserve. The experienced trackers are a wealth of information and make very interesting companions, taking you to the best places for spotting the elusive herds of buffalo, deer, samba, cheeky monkeys, flying squirrels, and skulking crocodiles. Birders will be taken to the most popular water-holes where both indigenous and migratory birds from India and across Europe gather.


Spotting the Elephants and Leopards

While Yala boasts its collection of mammals, amphibians, and birds; there is no greater buzz than when you spot a leopard or elephant. The park is home to a collection of Asian elephants that don't seem to mind the human intrusions and get about their business; they will only get hot and bothered if they feel threatened by your presence which makes your guides expert experience invaluable. Yala is most popular for its leopard population, one of the densest in Asia with an average of 60 to 70 cats tipped to be living within the area of parkland visitors are allowed into. The nocturnal beasts are pretty elusive but do have a keen eye and you just may spot one, sunning itself on a rocky outcrop, snoozing on the branch of a tree and maybe even chasing prey.


Unwind and Enjoy the Evening

Probably one of the best aspects of a Yala holiday is returning satisfied and happy to your resort in Yala and unwinding. Head back to your beach chalet or jungle chalet as most Yala resorts offer and savour the thrills of living in the wilds, with all modern comforts of course. Watch an amazing sunset, sip a cup of Ceylon Tea and let the sounds of exotic wildlife soothe mind body and soul – that's how you truly enjoy Yala!

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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