Things to Do in Yala - A Fun Family Safari - Travel - Travel Tips

Things to Do in Yala - A Fun Family Safari!   by Pushpitha Wijesinghe

in Travel / Travel Tips    (submitted 2012-07-20)

The Yala National Park in Sri Lanka is one of the best places to view the country’s rich flora and exotic wildlife. One of the foremost park’s in the world for a leopard safari, it is also home to Asian elephants, crocodiles and many bird species.

Sri Lanka is famous the world over for its pristine beaches, ancient monuments and lively local culture. However, there is another aspect of this island paradise that also offers visitors countless hours of excitement and adventure; its exotic wildlife!

Blessed with varying terrains from coastal environs to lush tropical rainforests, Sri Lanka is home to a wide range of flora and fauna including endemic and endangered species. One of the best places in the country to view this diversity is at the Yala National Park.

Declared a National Park in 1938, Yala covers an area of around 100,000 hectares and has been divided into five blocks. Located approximately 290 kms from the commercial capital Colombo, Yala is uniquely positioned near the coast and offers visitors a chance to travel past varied landscapes that include scrub jungles, dense forests and coastal lagoons.

Among the foremost things to do in Yala is to engage in a leopard safari. Renowned the world over as one of the best places to view and photograph these majestic predators, the park is home to the distinctive Sri Lankan leopard. The park’s Block One has the highest population density of leopards and is thus frequently visited by those on a safari. The best times to take leopard safaris are either during the early hours of the morning or in the evenings near dusk.

However, leopards are not the only wildlife that you will come across here. Yala also has a large population of Asian elephants that can be seen roaming the park. Continuing your adventures you may come across such animals as wild buffalos, sloth bears, spotted deer, toque macaque monkeys and even mugger and saltwater crocodiles. Avid bird watching enthusiasts will also have plenty to see here since over 120 bird species call the park home. These include such endemic species as the Sri Lanka junglefowl, black-capped bulbul and the Sri Lanka wood pigeon.

Those planning to explore this fascinating wildlife park and looking for a Yala Sri Lanka hotel can stay at Chaaya Wild Yala. An ideal base from which to explore the park, this Yala hotel also organises safaris and excursions for guests.