Yala national park (1570 sq.km) was created in 1938 and is in the south-eastern region of Sri Lanka and extends over two provinces of Hambantota district of southern province and Monaragala district in Uva province. The gateway to Yala National Park is Tissamaharama. A 20 km drive via Kirinda takes the visitors to the Palatupana. At Palatupana, the well-designed visitor centre provides the information to the tourists and try to assign a tracker to all incoming vehicles. Climate of Ruhuna National Park is usually hot and dry. The mean annual temperature is 27 Celsius, although in the dry season the temperature could go as high as 37 Celsius.
The best period to visit the park is from December through to March. April, May and June are rainy and the park is close in September.
Wildlife at Yala National Park
Of all the National Parks in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park gives the best opportunity to witness Sri Lanka’s broad variety of wildlife: colorful painted stork in troops are seen perched at the shores of lagoon where the crocodiles to have chosen to doze off; lovely fan tailed peacocks in their resplendent blues and greens parade about amidst the woods where monkeys hang, leap and chatter; in the bush jungle are the Elephants; crossing the tracks and wandering off into the thorny scrub jungle is the star attraction of the park: the leopard.
A total of 32 species of mammals have been recorded. The threatened species include sloth bear (Melursus Ursinus), Leopard (Panthera Pardus kotiya), elephant (Elephas Maximus), water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), Wild boar (Sus scrofa), spotted deer (Axis Axis Ceylonessis), sambar (Cervus unicolor) and golden jackal (Canis aureus).
Leopards at Yala National Park
Sri Lankan leopards (Panthera Pardus Kotiya) are said to be a distinct sub-species from their Indian neighbors. Leopards can be seen throughout the park. The Best period for enjoying the sights of leopards is during January to July. 120 leopards.
Yala National Park’s Block 1, on the western side of the park, the only one of all five blocks open to the visitors, has recorded the highest density of leopards among the leopard populations scattered in the wildlife parks of Sri Lanka. These magnificent beasts have now much habituated to the encroachment of their domains by the humans in jeeps. Young males don’t betray any sign of disturbance; they seem confident roaming over the gravel roads tracks as well as the bush jungle during the day: the visitors enjoy to no ends, fine photographic opportunities to capture the magnificent beasts well focused at the close range.
Yala National Park is rich in birdlife and around 130 species have been recorded. Peacocks are ubiquitous throughout the park; Raptors include such as the hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle and white bellied sea eagle. Among the water birds attracted to the lagoons are Lesser Flamingo, Pelican, Spoonbill, Painted stork, rare Black necked Stork, Grey Heron, Purple heron, Night heron and Darter. Sandpipers, pelicans, egrets, herons, ibises, kingfishers and the magnificent Indian darter, along with birds of prey and colourful smaller species including green and blue bee eaters, hoopoes, parakeets and bulbuls. Kingfishers and the magnificent Indian darter, along with birds of prey and colourful smaller species including green and blue bee eaters, hoopoes, parakeets and bulbuls. During the north-east monsoon the lagoons are visited by thousands of migrating waterfowl, including Pintail, Garganey, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel and turn stone, which mix with the residents such as whistling duck, Yellow Wattle Lapwing, Red Wattle Lapwing and Great Stone Plover. The forest is home to Orange Breasted Green Pigeon, Hornbills, Flycatchers, including Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Barbets and Orioles.
While you should also spot at least a couple of jungle fowl, a singularly inelegant, waddling creature, like a feral hen, which has been adopted as the national bird of Sri Lanka.
Notable reptiles are Mugger Crocodile, which is abundant in the abandoned tanks, Estuarine Crocodile, found in the main rivers, and Common monitor. Other reptiles include Cobra and Russel’s Viper. A variety of Sea Turtle, Olive Ridley and Leatherback, of which Yala coast line is a major nesting ground.
"Dear Cyril, Here are some photos for you as we promised, and also little gift to you. Here is some photos of elephant boy which we were took on elephant ride. Please give to them when you go to Habarana again. We are very grateful to you for your services that you have done to make our holiday in this beautiful country. Still we are thinking over our nice trip with you. It was fantastic, really! Here in Holland, life is normal again. Greeting for your wife and daughter too. George and Cala ..." George and Cala
"Hi Mr.Cyril, Hope you and family and grandchild are doing fine. Hope to come to Sri Lanka again. We really enjoyed our trip especially with your special help and guidance. We will definitely contact you if at all we wish to visit Sri Lanka again. Thanks & Best Regards Mr. & Mrs.Pillai Singapore 29/7/11 " Mr & Mrs.Pillai from Singapore
"2nd to 15th November 2016 Dear Cyril, Thank you for arranging our first visit to your beautiful country. We had a very enjoyable, comfortable, safe, interesting and memorable holiday. All the accommodations you provided were very clean and comfortable and we will always remember the welcome, we felt when the smiling staff cheerfully looked after us and our every need. The itinerary you arranged was just right for us and made even better with the care you took whilst driving your very c..." Satwant and Doug from Australia
"Dear Cyril, Thank you for truly amazing oneweek tour your beautiful country.We have seen so many amazing sites in such a short space of time. From Sigiriya to beautiful temples, Scenic tea gardens of Nuwaraeliya the colonial land ark hotel Mount Lavinia. We have seen so much more. You have made this an utterly memorable holiday with your expert knowledge, amazing, facinating stories, patience, careful+safe drivingand your unforgetable smile. We will cetainly recommonding your tours to all of fr..." Sara Kitson - UK
"Dear Cyril, We want to thank you so much for making our trip so unforgetable and delightful. We received your name from our friends lives in Geneva who travelled with you in January 2009 and they gave you such a high recommendation that we decided to conbtact you for our two weeks trip this year. Although we have been to Sri Lanka a few times already. We have never found such an excellent driver and guide. It has been a great pleasure to visit Colombo with you and then to Koggala for two day tr..." Mr.Gabor Kato & Mrs.Ann Kato
"Thank you Cyril for caring us and giving a very enjoyable tour to all of our family while we are on holiday in Sri Lanka. Definitely we will recommend you to our friends and relatives. Hitendra Molleti and family" Hitendra Molleti
"We are an older couple celebrating a lot of years of marriage (and hiking) in Sri Lanka in February this year, for two weeks, and three days in the Maldives. Although we love to drive, we chose to go with a driver-guide, after planning the trip completely independently. (It turned out he might help us in the planning and selection of hotels, we own). The main advantage is reaching the sites, some of which are tired, refreshed after someone else used to bad roads, with bad signage - If you are i..." Sam
"We found Cyril on-line and after checking with lots of other guides we decided he is the one for us, that decision was the best one we did for our trip From the beginning, in our emails, Cyril listen to us and was very helpful, he gave us information and helped us to create the best trip for us.We had 10 days trip, for our honeymoon, to many parts of Sri-Lanka. the country is amazing, green, nice people and good food.Cyril was a great driver and even greater guide, he has so much knowledge and e..." Coral and Oded from Israel
"Dear Cyril, Thanks for taking care of the Dr.Sethukavalar and his wife very well. They were indeed very happy for all the care you have shown during your tour. They were very impressed of your patience and kindness. I look forward to see you soon and maintain this good relationship we have developed in a short period of time. We will not hesitate a second to recommend you to all our friends who would like to visit Sri Lanka. Taking this opportunity of wishing you all the best. Thanks fo..." HARIDAS KANDASAMY
"Dear Cyril, Thank you very much for wonderful holiday. Your attention to detail and care of your clients is extraordinary. We certainly hope to cross paths again and we will recommonding you to all of our friends and to family too. Many thanks again. Paul nad Machelle Brisbane, Australia. Visited during 10/10/2012 - 26/10/2012" Mr. Paul and Mrs. Machelle from Australia