Yala National Park is recognised as the most visited and one of the best eco-tourism destinations in Sri Lanka. It is a great place to see elephants, leopards, birds, deer, bears and other wild-life. It was a life time experience for me to visit Yala with my friends. We left Colombo in the morning and we started our trip from galle road. We selected galle road to travel there because we knew that we will be passing places like Hikkaduwa beach, Galle, Unawatuna, koggala. It was a very nice and we didn’t feel tired because of the wind flows from sea and eye catching views.
We enjoyed our way to Yala very much. Hikkaduwa and Galle were very beautiful places that we enjoyed very much. It was nearly 11 a.m. when we reached there. We planned our trip well because we knew that we want plenty of time for a good safari. And we knew the ideal time for a safari is either morning or evening.
Yala national park lies 290km away from Colombo to the southern end of Sri Lanka covering a wide area more than 97,897 hectares. It was almost 1 p.m. when we stepped in to the Yala national park. The staff members were so friendly and they arranged everything for our safari. We all got into a safari jeep with an experience driver and a guide. Slowly we got away from the entrance in to the park.
We were surrounded by the large trees and the songs of the birds. It was very much like we are in some other world. In the next minute we saw a nice water stream which is very much like a tank made by a king at an ancient time. There were pigs, crocodiles and birds as well. The guide told us in Yala National Park there are nearly 200 bird species, from that 6 are endemic and it is very much easy to find elephants, leopards, buffalos, bears etc.
Then again we continued our safari in to the park. Suddenly we saw something moving towards our jeep from the trees. It was a big elephant coming to cross the road to the other side of the park. We all were very much exited and scared because we have never faced such an incident before. The guide asked us to stay calm till it move to the other side. Though we were inside the jeep the elephant was well capable to harm us. It was very big and strong one. I heard the guide say that 44 mammal species are available here including elephants.
We saw bunch of deer next to the road and the driver was very clever to stop the jeep from little away. They didn’t notice that we were taking pictures. It was really beautiful and very innocent. They are very sensitive group of animals and that’s what the gifted to get rid from danger. One of my friends dropped the water bottle and the sound made of it was well enough to make the deer run away from us.
We continued our safari in to the jungle again. Next one we saw was the leopard. Yala National park is very famous for leopards. Once I read in a book that Yala has the highest density of leopards and the largest leopards in Asia. I asked it from the guide to confirm. He said us that there are more than 30 leopards in Yala National Park and this is a great place to study about leopards and their activities.
We had no idea where we are going but we felt the driver and the guide were very much familiar with the jungle. At last we end up near a water stream again. It was Kubukkan oya according to the guide. It was a marvelous dusk. We all got off from the jeep and had a walk together towards the water. It was very much pure than I expected. Bunch of wild water buffalos were there at the other side of the water. We had lot of fun there playing, laughing, joking and making fun at each other as typical guys.
It was almost getting dark and we didn’t want to leave that valued park. But the guide said we must leave, otherwise it is hard to find the way back and it will be dangerous because all the animals coming out of the jungle. So we came in a hurry out of the park. We started to come back at about 8 and it didn’t take much time to reach Colombo thank to the Southern highway. It was a lifetime memory for all of us to go on a trip to Yala National Park.
(CC Image – james_gordon_los_angeles @ flickr)
Photo Gallery of Trip to Yala