The Yala National Park is the second largest National Park in Sri Lanka and lies in the south eastern part of the island and stretches from the Southern Province to the Eastern Province. Yala consists of five blocks including Ruhuna National Park (block 1) and the Kumana National Park (Yala East). Yala was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1900 and then a National Park in 1938. This is also a historic area and the ancient sites of Sithulpauwa (once home to 12,000 Arahaths) and the Magul Maha Viharaya (associated with Queen Vihara Maha Devi) is within the area. Two of the earliest mentions of Yala is made by a Spanish cartographer Cipriano Sanchez (1560). A big attraction of Yala is that it is leopard country and has one of the world’s highest densities for leopards. This and the other attractions of Yala make it a prime destination for Sri Lanka tour packages and if you are looking for adrenaline rush wildlife experiences with comfort and convenience then Jetwing Eco Holidays would be a good choice.
The variety of eco systems within Yala including moist, monsoon, semi-deciduous and thorn forests, grasslands, marine wetlands and sandy beaches. Forty four species of mammals roam this vast sanctuary including elephants, sloth bear, wild boar,monkeys, red slender loris, golden palm civet and deer. Yala is one of the 70 important bird areas in Sri Lanka with Kumana (Yala East) being a bird watchers’ paradise. Of the 215 bird species recorded at Yala 07 are endemic to Sri Lanka and include the Sri Lanka grey hornbill and Sri Lanka jungle fowl. Many migrants fly here including the white billed pelican. The grey heron and black headed ibis are among the common water birds while rare species include the black necked stork.
All five of the globally endangered turtles (leather back, Olive Ridley, logger head, hawks bill and green turtle) nest along the Yala coastline. The mugger crocodile is another inhabitant of Yala. Eighteen species of amphibians and 21 species of fresh water fishes also inhabit Yala.
Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting. Google+