Wildlife is undoubtedly one of the biggest assets that the paradise island nation of Sri Lanka flaunts. From the many wildlife parks and reserves spread throughout the country there is none other that is as acclaimed as the Yala National Park. Best known for its wide variety of animals and also for having one of the highest leopard densities in the world, Yala presents a range of activities for those ardent explorers.
Now before you set out to quench your wanderlust in Yala, its imperative that you find a comfortable accommodation among the plethora of hotels in Yala Sri Lanka. Almost hidden in the verdant jungle land, is The Secret Yala by The Secret Hotels, a premier hotel that’s conveniently just 10 minutes away from the park.
After settling down, it’s time to set off and explore! The Yala Safari undoubtedly tops the list of the many things to do in Yala. Parked near the entrance to the park are many safari jeeps you can hire. The best time to enter the park is when the park opens just after 6:00am or after 4:00pm when animals resurface after taking cover from the sun. During your safari you will get to see a wide range of truly remarkable creatures such as elephants, sloth bears, colourful peacocks, wild boar, massive crocodiles, endemic and migratory bird species and of course Yala’s crowning glory, the magnificent Sri Lankan Leopard.
Pay a visit to ‘the hill of the quiet mind’- Chiththala Pabbatha or the Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya that’s situated deep within the Yala National Park. This ancient Buddhist monastery houses number of rock caves, pagodas, chapter houses and ponds. The walls of these caves are adorned with many beautiful paintings.
Take a stroll along pristine sands to relax and stretch your legs. The primary beach spot in Yala that’s open for public was once the location of a bungalow that was tragically wiped out by the 2004 Tsunami along with its occupants. Today, as you stroll through the beach you can see the remnants of the devastation the monument built to honour them.
Filled with wanderlust that seeks to explore distant shores and captivated by the colors and vibrancy of exotic cultures, Melissa Somawardana, concealed under the name of Kanya Mae, writes on the beautiful, exciting, and enchanting wonders of the world. She is a writer who not only has a passion for travel, but also has a background in fashion, art and media. Google+