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Maldives Hotels

Yala National Park

A wildlife sanctuary since 1900, Yala is a perfect combination of a nature reserve and a national park. Sprawling over an area of 130,000 hectares, it is divided into 5 blocks. Each one comprises of light forests grasslands, scrubs, lagoons and tanks. A hunting ground for the British, during the Raj, today it is home to 44 varieties of mammal and 215 bird species. Here, one will find Leopards, Elephants, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Jackals, Spotted Deer, Peacocks and Crocodiles.

Best time to visit this park is between February till July, when the animals come out to drink water

Wildlife at Yala National Park

Yala brings forth Sri Lanka’s huge variety of wildlife. Till date, 32 species of mammals are found here. Some of the threatened species here include the Leopard, sloth bear, elephant, wild boar, water buffalo, spotted deer, sambar and golden jackal.

Leopards at Yala National Park

Sri Lankan leopards or Panthera Pardus Kotiya can be seen everywhere in the park. The best time to catch them face to face is between January to July. The leopards in Sri Lanka differ from others; they are  darker, have a russet coat and spots are close set. They choose the rocky outcrops for lazing around.

Elephants at Yala National Park

Sri Lanka is home to the highest density of elephants in Asia. Elephas maximus maximus, the sub-species of the Asian elephant, is available in Yala in a considerable population. Dry season of May to August is the best period to see elephants.

Birdlife at Yala National Park

Just like animals, Yala is also rich in birdlife with more than 130 species of birds. Witness crested serpent eagle and white bellied sea eagle alongwith water birds like Darter, Lesser Flamingo, Spoonbill, Pelicon, painted stork, rare black necked Stork many more.

Reptiles at Yala National Park

Mugger Crocodile are abundant in the park alongwith Estuarine Crocodile in the main rivers. Other reptiles like Cobra and Russel’s Viper and amphipians like Sea Turtle, Olive Ridley and Leatherback can be easily spotted. The Yala coast line is their nesting ground.

Things to Do in Yala

Go for a Date With Nature

The area is full of forest bungalows, spending a night here is an adventure in itself. Listening to the wild animal sounds and birds is the best way to know the animal kingdom.

Camping in the Wild

For an authentic wildlife experience, try out camping in the National Park. Live, sleep, enjoy local food and dance around the campfire. If you are tired in the camp, take a bush walk and meet the locals.

Safari Game Drive

The best way to get acquainted with the leopard country is on a jeep safari. Meet the large population of Leopards, alongwith Elephant, Sloth bear, Monkey, around 215 species of birds and many other wildlife inhabitants.


The park has Sithulpauwwa, which is an ancient rock temple that used to be home to around 12,000 monks. Toward the south of Sithulpauwwa, another site to behold is Magul Maha Viharaya. This marks the place where King KavanTissa got married to Vihara Maha Devi. Both the sites are quite close to each other.

A Walk on the Beach

Stroll in the golden sandy beaches and marvel at the beautiful bungalows that line here. A great moment of silence and solitude!

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