Thursday, 20 March 2014

Yala National Park, One of the Best Wildlife Reserves in Sri Lanka

Yala National Park is the second largest national park in Sri Lanka, which is considered to hold the highest concentration of leopard in the world. The entry point of the park is Palatupana, located at a distance of about 305 km from Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka.
The park is situated in Hambantota District of the Southern Province in Sri Lanka. Yala was established as a National Park on 1st March 1938, when the Flora and Fauna Ordinance were passed into law by the then Agricultural Minister, D. S. Senanayake. 

One of the main attractions of the park is the wildlife safari provided by the Yala National Park, which allows the visitors to explore the bio-diversity of the region.

The park covers over an area of about 1,260 sq. km, but only one fifth of the park is accessible to the visitors. Yala National Park holds a varied kind of eco system, including dry monsoon forest, thorn forest, moist monsoon forest, semi deciduous forest, grasslands, fresh water and sandy beaches. 

The place is also home to large variety of wild animals, like the leopards, sloth bear, jackal, wild boar, wild buffaloes, elephants, sambar and spotted dear, macaque monkeys and langurs. 

It is also a popular destination for bird watchers as over 215 species of birds have been recorded in this area. The diverse species of birds that you can spot at this place are crested serpent eagle, white bellied sea eagle, pelicon, spoonbill, grey heron, purple heron, lesser flamingo, painted stork, rare black necked stork and darter. 

Reptiles also form a major part of the fauna of this national park. Mugger crocodiles are found in large numbers around the tanks and the rivers flowing through this area. Species of snakes like cobra and Russel’s Viper are found at this place. Its coastlines are also a popular nesting place for sea turtle, Olive Ridley and Leatherback.

Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the park is between the months of June and September.

Tented safari is widely popular along the outer circle of this park, which offers a unique opportunity to explore the wilderness of the place from close quarters and saving much of your time while traveling. If you want better accommodation facilities, then there are hotels and resorts located in Tissa, which is the closest major town to Yala National Park.

How to Reach
By Road: The place can be visited through road by bus transportation from Colombo. It will take you around 9 to 10 hours from Colombo to get to the place, as it is located at a distance of about 305 km.

By Air: The nearest airport to the place is Mattala International Airport, located at a distance of about 27 km. The airport conducts regular flights to several major cities around the world. One can hire a taxi or board a bus from the airport to get to the place.

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