Yala National Park

Over View

Yala National Park is now well recognised as one of the best parks in the world to observe and photograph leopards. The park covers an area of over 100,000 hectares and is divided into five blocks. Block one is easily the most visited part of the sanctuary as it contains the highest density of leopards in the park. However other areas of Yala such as Yala East are only now just re-opening and it will take some time to research leopard numbers in these less visited areas. Yala West consists of scrub jungle, brackish lagoons and stunning rock monoliths scattered throughout the park. Recently there was an excellent 'Natural World' wildlife film on the 'Leopards of Yala' shot by the well known filmmaker Gordon Buchanan. Yala has well over thirty leopards within the park, probably the highest density anywhere in the world. It is also thought that Sri Lankan leopards are a distinct sub-species from their Indian neighbours as well as being the largest leopards in Asia.</p> <p>As well as leopards there is a large number of elephants living inside the park and these can be seen bathing in the numerous lakes within the park. You can also see spotted deer, sambar, wild boar, wild buffaloes, sloth bear, jackal and mongoose. The bird life is also fantastic and it is amazing how close you can get to them from the confines of the jeep, you can see Rosy Starlings, Paradise Flycatchers, Crested Hawk Eagles and Blue-Tailed Bee-Eaters.

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