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Yala National Park

The Yala National Park is the most visited wild life park in Sri Lanka. It has a variety of ecosystems, including moist monsoon forests, dry monsoon forests, semi deciduous forests, thorn forests, grasslands, fresh water and marine wetlands, sandy beaches and plenty of wild life. Safari in Yala Sri Lanka is best served, staying in Deep South beachfront hotels, like the Cantaloupe Aqua which is situated at Talpe.

Among the 44 species of mammals that reside in Yala National Park, elephants, Sri Lankan Leopards, Sri Lankan sloth bears, wild water buffalos, Toque macaques, golden palm civets, red slender Lories, and fishing cats are some of the most prominent. Yala is one of the great national parks of Asia and the best location in the world to spot Leopards in the wild. It has about 350 Sri Lankan wild elephants and the highest leopard density in the world. Yala is an important bird watching area in Sri Lanka. Among 215 bird species of the park, six are endemic to Sri Lanka like the Sri Lanka grey hornbill, Sri Lanka jungle fowl the National Bird of Sri Lanka and many migrant wetland water birds.

Among the 47 reptiles seen in Yala, the Sri Lankan krait, Sri Lankan flying snake, painted-lip lizard, fan-throated lizard are some of the endemic species. The coastal line is visited by the all five globally endangered sea turtles for laying eggs- a wondrous sight that can be seen in the night. The two crocodile species found in Sri Lanka inhabit the park, these being the mugger crocodile and the saltwater crocodile.

There are 18 amphibians species seen in Yala, while, two buffalo species are endemic to Sri Lanka; crabs and prawns are found in the lagoons with many fish species as well. A variety of butterfly species such as the common bluebottle, common lime butterfly, crimson rose, common Jezebel, and common Mormon are also found here.

Yala is closed in September each year to give the wild animals some respite from the large amount of vehicles entering the reserve. Thus it can be said that, a Yala safari during other months is a must for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Sri Lanka.

Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.