Yala National Park

The extent of the Yala National Park is approximately 979 km, and located in south eastern arid zone corner of the island. Its northern boundaries border on the Lahugala Sanctuary and It has the added bonus of a scenic ocean frontage. The reserve covers although only the original 141 km are open to the public. It was established in 1894 as a Game Sanctuary.The terrain is varied flat plains alternating with rocky out crops. The vegetation ranges from open parkland to dense jungle, beaches, freshwater lakes, rivers, scrub land, Water holes, lagoons and streams provide water for the animals and birds. Yala has the world's highest concentration of Leopards, although seeing this largely nocturnal carnivore still requires some luck. There are good numbers of Asian Elephants, Crocodile, Wild Boar, Water Buffalo and Gray languor amongst other large animals. The open parkland attracts birds of prey such as White-bellied Sea Eagle and the wetlands have Waders, Painted Storks, and the rare Black-necked Stork. Land birds of course are in abundance, and include Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Peafowl and Sri Lanka Junglefowl.The only way to explore the jungle by jeep safari.

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