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Yala National Park

N 6°28.539', E 81°27.364'
2012-02-02
Our rating: 7.20
Overall rating:

There are more than two dozen national parks in Sri Lanka, but the most famous of them is Yala. A lot of animals live on the area of ​​1,000 square kilometers. The most valuable find for a photographer is, of course, a leopard. Unfortunately, we didn't see it, but searched a lot:) Despite this fact the impression of the park is very positive.

To visit the park, you need to choose accommodation. The nearest village is Tissamaharama (hotels), you can also stay in the park in a bungalo (hotels). We stayed in Tissamaharama (22 km from the park) near the lake. A jeep took as from the hotel and brought back. It's not difficult to find a jeep in Tissamaharama.

The cost of visiting the park depends on the visit duration, comfort in the jeep and tips to the guide/driver. It will be about $50-60 to rent a jeep for all + ticket price of $30 per person. The number of animals seen totally depends on the guide/driver. In Tissamaharama or in the tourist center of the park you can find other travelers and share the cost of jeep rent. It is best to visit the park early in the morning or just before sunset, when the animals come to drink, and in the afternoon there is nothing to do. A trip in the park lasts at least 3-4 hours on a dirt road, so make sure that you will be comfortable in the jeep.

It is possible to go out of the jeep only in one place, near the memorial on the beach, which was devastated by tsunami in 2004. During the tsunami, the waves were up to 6 meters and slid deep into the park for 1.5 km, killing more than 200 people. It is interesting that the animals moved away from the coast before the tsunami. It was determined later by the analysis of tracks of elephants, which had GPS sensors on them.

Jeeps are both old and new.
Jeeps are both old and new. ©Yuriy Buriak


Buffaloes
Buffaloes ©Yuriy Buriak


Sometimes elephants are on the road, you have to wait until they give way.
Sometimes elephants are on the road, you have to wait until they give way. ©Yuriy Buriak


This white bird has a symbiosis with buffaloes, they are together everywhere.
This white bird has a symbiosis with buffaloes, they are together everywhere. ©Yuriy Buriak


Elephant family
Elephant family ©Yuriy Buriak


Quick mongoose
Quick mongoose ©Yuriy Buriak


It is possible to pat a buffalo :)
It is possible to pat a buffalo :) ©Yuriy Buriak


There are many elephants in the park.
There are many elephants in the park. ©Yuriy Buriak


A sparrow decided to fight with his reflection.
A sparrow decided to fight with his reflection. ©Yuriy Buriak


Active sparrow
Active sparrow ©Yuriy Buriak


Find a rabbit :)
Find a rabbit :) ©Yuriy Buriak


Very big elephant
Very big elephant ©Yuriy Buriak


Some animals don't come close and stay at a distance of about 50 meters.
Some animals don't come close and stay at a distance of about 50 meters. ©Yuriy Buriak


Eagle?
Eagle? ©Yuriy Buriak


The elephant is bathing.
The elephant is bathing. ©Yuriy Buriak


Deer are everywhere in the park.
Deer are everywhere in the park. ©Yuriy Buriak


:)
:) ©Yuriy Buriak


With a baby
With a baby ©Yuriy Buriak


Peacock
Peacock ©Yuriy Buriak


You have to be very careful, animals are everywhere.
You have to be very careful, animals are everywhere. ©Yuriy Buriak


Mongoose
Mongoose ©Yuriy Buriak


Crocodile
Crocodile ©Yuriy Buriak


Peacock
Peacock ©Yuriy Buriak


Fox
Fox ©Yuriy Buriak


Deer on the ocean shore
Deer on the ocean shore ©Yuriy Buriak


Elephant mountain
Elephant mountain ©Yuriy Buriak


Find a crocodile
Find a crocodile ©Yuriy Buriak


Buffaloes
Buffaloes ©Yuriy Buriak


Lazy hog
Lazy hog ©Yuriy Buriak


Local heron
Local heron ©Yuriy Buriak


Memorial on the tsunami strike site
Memorial on the tsunami strike site ©Yuriy Buriak


Bee eater
Bee eater ©Yuriy Buriak


Evening swim
Evening swim ©Yuriy Buriak


Lonely elephant
Lonely elephant ©Yuriy Buriak


Buffalo family
Buffalo family ©Yuriy Buriak


Buffaloes
Buffaloes ©Yuriy Buriak


There's a lot of monitor lizards in Sri Lanka.
There's a lot of monitor lizards in Sri Lanka. ©Yuriy Buriak


Tsunami strike site
Tsunami strike site ©Yuriy Buriak


Local herons
Local herons ©Yuriy Buriak


Deer reach out for high branches.
Deer reach out for high branches. ©Yuriy Buriak


We pass through a buffalo herd.
We pass through a buffalo herd. ©Yuriy Buriak


Heron
Heron ©Yuriy Buriak


Ceylon jungle chicken, the national bird of Sri Lanka
Ceylon jungle chicken, the national bird of Sri Lanka ©Yuriy Buriak


Monitor lizard is taking a sun bath.
Monitor lizard is taking a sun bath. ©Yuriy Buriak


Night was falling, I took a picture of an elephant with a flash...
Night was falling, I took a picture of an elephant with a flash... ©Yuriy Buriak


The elephant obviously didn't like it, so it broke a small tree and ran after our jeep.
The elephant obviously didn't like it, so it broke a small tree and ran after our jeep. ©Yuriy Buriak


There are not only animals but also beautiful flowers in the park.
There are not only animals but also beautiful flowers in the park. ©Yuriy Buriak


Pink lotus flowers
Pink lotus flowers ©Yuriy Buriak


Cactus
Cactus ©Yuriy Buriak

Companies that organize safari tours in Yala:
http://www.yalasafaritours.blogspot.de/
http://srilankayalasafari.com/
http://www.yalahotel.com/yala_safari_tours_reservations.html
http://yalasafariholidays.com/jeep_safaris.html
http://www.yalawild.com/
http://www.aliyasafari.com/
Although, booking via the Internet is not necessary unless you want a specific jeep.

Getting there: Tissamaharama village is a reference point. From Colombo it is about 7 hours by car. Taxi cost starts from $150. You can take a direct bus that goes about 9 hours or with a change in Matara. There is a train from Colombo to Matara and bus from Matara to Tissamaharama that goes about 2 hours. There are day tours to Yala from the hotels on the south coast. A taxi from Mirissa or Unawatuna will cost $50-70. One more option is to come from the area of Ella/Nuwara Eliya (a bus runs from the town of Wellawaya).

Tags, Sri Lanka: animals

Tags, all countries: animals
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