Moving onto land, the island’s most popular safari destination is Yala National Park. Recently, it has received much publicity, from wildlife documentaries such as “Nightstalkers” by BBC and “Wild Sri Lanka” by National Geographic.
Yala’s most prominent attraction is its healthy leopard population and high probability of quality sightings, even with relatively high tourist traffic to the park. We bet you didn’t know that Sri Lanka has its own endemic sub-species of leopard – panthera pardus kotia –, which has slightly different features to a typical African leopard.
Yala is a mix of dry woodland with a few grasslands, plains and several watering holes and rocky outcrops. Sloth bear, deer, elk, monkeys, a plethora of birdlife – both resident and migrant, buffalo and reptiles are on display (of course, a bit of luck never hurts!).
The Park’s cast and crew of wildlife are dynamic and entertaining. A good guide will help you track leopard and bear and read the signs of the jungle, such as alarm calls and foot-prints and increase your chances for good sightings.
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