Yala hosts the second largest and most visited national park situated 300 km (190 mi) away from Colombo in the southeast region, lying in Southern Province and Uva Province of Sri Lanka. The Yala national park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public and also adjoining parks. These blocks carry individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park (block 1) and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. The park covers a ground area of 979 square km (378 sq mi). Yala was formally designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900 and is known as one of the first national parks in Sri Lanka. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals and is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants, Leopards and aquatic birds.
Tourists Attractions in Yala
Wildlife National Park
Yala hosts the second largest and most visited national park situated 300 km (190 mi) away from Colombo in the southeast region, lying in Southern Province and Uva Province of Sri Lanka. Yala was formally designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900 and is known as one of the first national parks in Sri Lanka. Yala (Ruhuna) National Park, is home to the greatest variety of Sri Lanka’s wildlife. Its varying habitats, consisting of scrub plains, jungles, rocky outcrops, fresh water lakes, rivers and beaches, provides home to many species of animals including sloth bear, herds of elephants, buffalo, monkeys, sambar, deer, crocodiles and the endangered leopard sub-species, Panthera pardus kotiya, which is found only in Sri Lanka.
Bundala Birds Sanctuary and Wild Life National Park
Bundala National Park, covering an area of 6216 hectares of eco-tourism appeal, is located about 250 km southeast of Colombo in the Hambantota district. The park falls within the southeastern zone of Sri Lanka, with a general climate that can be classified as hot and dry. The terrain is generally flat with sand dunes bordering the coastline, the vegetation consists mainly of dry thorny scrublands and lagoons. The bio diversity of this park is immense: A total of 383 plant species have been recorded from the park, including 6 endemics and 7 species that are considered nationally threatened.
It is also home to 32 different species of mammal, 5 of which are classified as threatened. The bird life is also diverse. For keen bird-watchers, the complex wetland system harbours a rich bird life (approximately 197 species), including several species of migratory waterfowl. This has led to the declaration of the park as Sri Lanka's first ‘Ramsar' wetland – one of great international importance especially for the migratory waterfowl.