Yala National Park

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Yala National Park, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park Reviews

Fadhuoo Fadhuoo
4 reviews
Yala National Park, april 2014 Apr 07, 2014
Yala National Park is located in the south eastern region of Sri Lanka and extends over two provinces of Hambantota district of southern province and Monaragala district in Uva province. The entrance to the park is at Palatupana, 12km from Kirinda. The distance from Colombo to the entry point of Palatupana is 305 km.

Access the Yala National Park

The gateway to Yala National Park is Tissamaharama. A 20 km drive via Kirinda takes the visitors to the Palatupana. At Palatupana, the well-designed visitor center provides the information to the tourists and assign a tracker to all incoming vehicles. The park provides jeeps with soft –tops which affords better opportunities in viewing wild life. Dawn and dusk bring about the best timing for safari tours in the Yala National Park

Climate at Yala National Park

Being located in one of the arid regions of Sri Lanka, the Climate of Ruhuna National Park is usually hot and dry. The mean annual temperature is 27 Celsius, although in the dry season the temperature could go as high as 37 Celsius. The main annual rainfall is during the North east monsoon from November to January while unpredictable inter-monsoonal rains occur in March or April. February is a driest month, but the main dry season spreads from June to October.

The spread of the Yala National park and Landscape

Yala National Park that consists of five blocks is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Though Yala spreads over an area of 1260 square kilometers, only one fifth of the area is open to the visitors. Four-fifths of the park is designated a Strict Natural Reserve. Adjoining the eastern border of the park is Yala East National Park (Kumana).

Block 1 14,101 hectares (54.44 sq mi)

Block 2 9,931 hectares (38.34 sq mi)

Block 3 40,775 hectares (157.43 sq mi)

Block 4 26,418 hectares (102.00 sq mi)

Block 5 6,656 hectares (25.70 sq mi)

The rocky outcrops scattered over the park provides vantage points to enjoy the sprawling areas with Sri Lanka’s dry zone landscape, low scrub and woods. Still more, the southern border of the park being the south-eastern coast, the brackish lagoons and dunes enhances the distinctive charm of the Yala National Park.

Wildlife at Yala National Park

Of all the National Parks in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park affords the greatest opportunities to sight the Sri Lanka’s broad variety of wildlife. Colorful painted stork in troops are seen perched at the shores of lagoon where the crocodiles too have chosen to doze off, lovely fantailed peacocks in their resplendent blues and greens parade about amidst the woods where monkeys hang, leap and chatter; in the bush jungle are the Elephants crossing the tracks and wandering off into the thorny scrub jungle is the star attraction of the park: the leopard.

A total of 32 species of mammals have been recorded. The threatened species are sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), Leopard (Panthera pardus) kotiya, elephant (Elephas maximus), water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), Wild boar (Sus scrofa), spotted deer (Axis axis ceylonessis), sambar (Cervus unicolor) and golden jackal (Canis aureus).
Yala National Park
Yala National Park
Yala National Park
Yala National Park with my buddies
Nana_gincin says:
A jewel of nature that must be preserved. Thanks for share it.
Posted on: May 07, 2014
cicie says:
A nice review ..beautiful photos :)
Posted on: May 07, 2014
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tj1777 tj1777
378 reviews
Yala National Park Sep 04, 2011
Yala National Park is one of the biggest national parks in Sri Lanka. It is located down at the coast and is known for its abundant wildlife. You used to be able to spend a night in the park - but the tsunami hit the park and hotel was destroyed and has never been rebuilt - hence it is no longer possible to stay in a hotel inside the park. Therefore most people visit the park on a daytrip from one of the nearby cities.

I stayed in Tissa which is one of the biggest centers for tours going to Yala. All over the city you will be met by people who can help you organize a trip to Yala. The only problem is it takes about half an hour to drive from Tissa to Yala - and the best time to visit Yala is early in the morning. Hence you need to leave your hotel before dark - probably around five in the morning. The reason you should go this early is that the wildlife in the park is smart. Unlike humans the wildlife know it is stupid to spend you life in the midday Sri Lankan sun so they will be active in the morning and then go into the shade to relax in the middle of the day. So if you want to see wildlife you should be there early even though the tour operators will offer you a midday or afternoon tour as well.

The distances inside the park are fairly small - so you can se most of the park on a half day trip if you want. You can also spend a full day but the offer I got seemed a bit pricy compared to the half day and you should be able to see most of the park in half a day anyways.

What kind of wildlife you'll see always depends a bit on luck. But you should see peacocks, water buffalos, deer's, wild pigs and lots of birds for sure. Other interesting wildlife includes mongoose, elephant, bears and leopards. Personally I didn't see the bears but I did see three leopards on my trip so I was quite happy with this.

The downside of the visit to the park is the entrance fee which is about €20 for one person plus you have to pay an additional fee for the vehicle.
Family of wild pigs
Jungle fowl - national bird of Sri…
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
abhmalat says:
Nice clicks for the cheetah mate! good review :)
Posted on: Nov 03, 2011
vances says:
From the pictures it appears you had a very successful visit!

Posted on: Nov 03, 2011
Deats says:
I never got chance to go here, so it was interesting to read your review. That's cool that you spotted the leopards!
Posted on: Nov 03, 2011

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Yala National Park
photo by: tj1777