Yala National Park – Sri Lanka Travel

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Yala National Park is a huge area of forest, grassland and lagoons bordering the Indian Ocean, in southeast Sri Lanka. It’s home to wildlife such as leopards, elephants and crocodiles, as well as hundreds of bird species. Inland, Sithulpawwa is an ancient Buddhist monastery. Nearby caves contain centuries-old rock paintings. Southwest, Magul Maha Viharaya also has ancient Buddhist ruins. Both are pilgrimage sites.

This is leopard country, and they are the Lords of the Jungle! With a leopard density that’s higher than anywhere else on this planet, these menacing predators prowl majestically in Yala, while elephants roam in their numbers with cautious deer scampering by their side

This is leopard country, and they are the Lords of the Jungle!

Yala – All Gates Open

The animal kingdom is back in full glory with Block 1 & 2 (Palatupana & Katagamuwa) open again from October 30 – complementing the Galge & Yala West Gates on Buttala-Kataragama Road which remain open 365 days.

Leopards in Yala National Park – Sri Lanka

Things to do in Yala National Park

A visit to Sri Lanka is never complete without a sojourn in the park that brings the fabled Jungle Book to life. If you are a Sri Lankan and haven’t experienced it, it’s time you did!

Bungalows

A series of wildlife bungalows operated by the park afford nature enthusiasts to spend a night in the park. These bungalows are very basic, promote open space but give you an unforgettable experience as you experience a night in the animal kingdom. You can book a bungalow here. You can also be out on the beaten track before the rest of the traffic gets in.

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Camping

The campsite can provide accommodation for a maximum of 10 people at a time. You can also have 2 kids below the age of 6 in addition to that.

Campsites are open for any bookings of not more than 3 days.

There are onsite toilets for campers and don’t forget to clean it when you are leaving.

Littering inside the park is strictly prohibited so don’t leave anything behind apart from your footsteps.

Permanent constructions are not allowed inside a campsite, you have a 20 X 20 ft. land to build your temporary dwellings.

If you have more than 1 camp tent, you may have to pay extra for each additional tent.

All campers are entitled to a seasoned trekker when entering the park.

No refunds are entertained under any circumstance.

The guest registration forms must be filled on arrival.

Alcohol consumption and smoking is strictly prohibited on campsites.

You have to be responsible for your actions inside the park. Make sure that you leave it as you see it.

Any harm caused to the nature by you is a serious crime and will be dealt with extreme prejudice.

Campers must be fully aware of the rules of the park and expected to be in line with all of them.

Visit Sithulpauwwa

The name Sithulpauwwa is derived from the word ‘Chittalapabbata’ which means the hill of the quiet mind. The ancient rock temple is a place of worship for devotees. It is believed that in ancient times this rock temple housed a total of 12,000 monks.

Visit Magul Maha Viharaya

Located to the south of Sithulpauwa, Magul Maha Viharaya is believed to have provided the setting for the marriage of King KavanTissa to Vihara Maha Devi. One could combine a visit to Sithulpauwe and Magul MahaViharaya as they are located closely together.

Bird watching in Yala National Park

Bird Watching

The number of water birds inhabiting the wetlands of Yala is around 90, and roughly half of them are migrants. These include waterfowls (Lesser Whistling Duck, Garganey), Cormorants (Little Cormorant, Indian Cormorant), large waterbirds (Grey Heron, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Asian Openbill, Painted Stork), medium-sized waders Tringa spp., and small waders Charadrius spp. Black-necked Stork and Lesser Adjutant are some of the rare birds that can be seen in the park. The migrant Great White Pelican and resident Spot-billed Pelican have also been sighted at Yala. Other water birds attracted to the Yala lagoons include Lesser Flamingo and pelicans, as well as rare species such as Purple Heron, Night herons, Egrets, Purple Swamphen and the Oriental Darter.

Thousands of waterfowls migrate to the lagoons of Yala during the northeast monsoon. They are Northern Pintail, White-winged Tern, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Godwits, and Ruddy Turnstone. The visiting species mingle with residing Lesser Whistling Duck, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Red-wattled Lapwing, and Great Stone-curlew. Rock Pigeon, Barred Buttonquail, Indian Peafowl, Black Stork, Black-winged Stilt, and Greater Flamingo are among the other bird species that call Yala their home. Crested Serpent-eagle and White-bellied Sea Eagle are the raptors of the park. The forest birds are Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Hornbills, Old World flycatchers, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Asian barbets, and Orioles. If you are not into bird watching, these magnificent flying machines invite you to study them, get to know them and be wowed by them.

Beach Walks

While most of the long coastal stretch that hugs the park is out of bounds for the human kind, the park lets you get off at designated places. It gives you a chance to exercise your legs and take a stroll on the golden sandy beaches.

The primary beach spot open to public was the location for one of the bungalows which was wiped out by the Asian Tsunami along with its occupants. Remnants of the devastation and a memorial for the dead will offer you a profound moment of silence and solitude.

Safari Rides

Obviously, your trip to Yala revolves around the safari ride that takes you on an experience of a lifetime. Remember, this is no circus and animals are not on duty waiting for you. It’s that feeling of uncertainty and adventure that makes it a wildlife experience. To catch the inhabitants of the jungle you need to be there at the best time and thread patiently.

Site Seeing

While most of the long coastal stretch that hugs the park is out of bounds for the human kind, the park lets you get off at designated places. It gives you a chance to exercise your legs and take a stroll on the golden sandy beaches. The primary beach spot open to public was the location for one of the bungalows which was wiped out by the Asian Tsunami along with its occupants. Remnants of the devastation and a memorial for the dead will offer you a profound moment of silence and solitude.

Tourist Map of Yala National Park

For more information please visit the Official Traveler’s portal – https://www.yalasrilanka.lk/

http://www.lankatimes.com.au

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