Yala is the most visited and the second largest National Park in Sri Lanka attracts thousands of wildlife and nature lovers from all over the world. It is situated in the south of Sri Lanka and consists of five blocks throughout the area of 378 square miles and allows visitors from five different entrances. According to the records over 650,000 travellers both local and international, visit the park every year.
Yala National Park is habitat for 44 varieties of mammal and 215 bird species. Among its most popular residents are Asia’s highest density of leopards, majestic elephants, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted deer, peacocks and crocodiles. The leopard density in Yala is around 2.5 every square mile and can be witnessed mostly in the early morning or in the evening. It is a significant attraction in this park. A population of 300 to 350 Asian elephants lives in the park and can be spotted roaming or bathing in lagoons and waterholes. Six out of 215 bird species in the park are endemic to Sri Lanka and they are Sri Lankan grey hornbill, jungle-fowl, wood pigeon, crimson-fronted barbet, black-capped bulbul, and brown-capped babbler. Almost half of the water birds are migrants and very unique bird species.
The Yala National Park shows a rich combination of environments, mainly the coastal forest area; unspoiled beach stretch and also there are different types of biological system including scrubland, brackish lagoon, freshwater lagoon and coastal dunes which makes the area a thorough natural habitats for the numerous types of wildlife who call it home.
Camping or also known as “Glamping” in Yala National Park is probably the most ideal approach to encounter the different exhibits of wildlife. A rustic feel living in mobile tented camps and campsites with dining around campfires under the stars would be an unforgettable experience for all the wildlife and nature lovers. Usually in the dry season from February to June is the ideal period to spot animals in the Yala National Park as most of the animals come out to drink water due to the low water levels deep inside the park. And the park closes annually from beginning of September to mid-October.
Yala National Park is considered as one of the places a true wildlife and nature lover must visit and experience the distinctive wildness. Not only the international tourists but also local travellers should have that experience in their lifetime.