Wildlife Safari Sri Lanka
Yala was named a wildlife sanctuary in 1900 and was designated as a National Park in 1938, situated in Sri Lanka’s South-East hugging the panoramic Indian Ocean. The Park was used as hunting grounds for the elite under the British rule. Yala is home to 44 varieties of mammals and 215 bird species. Among its more famous residents are the world’s biggest concentration of Leopards, majestic Elephants, Sloth Bears, Sambars, Jackals, Spotted Deer, Peacocks, and Crocodiles. The best time to visit Yala is between February and July when the water levels of the park are quite low, bringing animals into the open. Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest National Park in Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean. The gateway to Yala National Park is Tissamaharama. The visitor center provides the information to the tourists and assign a tracker to all incoming vehicles. The park provides SUVs with soft tops which provides an opportunity to view wildlife. It is one of the 70 important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka. Yala harbors 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. Remember you will be in Leopard country, with a Leopard density that’s higher than anywhere else, these menacing predators prowl majestically in Yala, while Elephants roam in their numbers with cautious herbivores like Deer scampering by their side.
It’s home to Panthera pardus kotiya, a majestic Leopard endemic to Sri Lanka. But among the magnificent spectacle of wildlife, you’d also witness the signs of a lost civilization. The Monastic settlement of Sithulpawwa, the ancient monastery with a history over 2200 years, was a place of worship for devotees as well as a center of Buddhist education for Buddhist monks. The restored rock Temple, among a series of well-preserved ancient temples offers a glimpse into an exciting past. Yala was home to a thriving civilization, dating back to the glorious days of our Sri Lankan Kings. Multitudes of tanks, mostly in ramshackle state today, are testimony to an agriculture-based civilization. The large, thriving tanks now provide a lifeline to the animal kingdom, especially during dry season.
Make sure you’re in comfortable clothing when embarking on this wildlife adventure. Avoid wear white and avoid bright colours. Yala is in a hot, semi-arid environment despite its lush greenish look, especially during the Monsoon season. Temperature ranges from 260C to about 300C. If you are traveling on the Buttala-Kataragama Road, watch out for wild animals, especially Elephants. This road runs through the Park and some elephants are in the habit of soliciting fruits from motorists by standing across the road. However, Elephants will give way when a vehicle approaches and are known to be well-mannered. Don’t assume every Elephant venturing on to the road to be of a friendly nature. Drive cautiously. Never alight your vehicle.
Come and discover the wildlife of Sri Lanka with Beyond Dreams and Travel!