Yala National Park


Another highlight of the trip was Yala National Park. It’s situated on the south coast of the country and stretches to the Indian Ocean. Yala contains over 375 square miles of forest, scrub, lagoons and grassland and is the largest park in Sri Lanka. 

Yala was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1900 and has been a national park since 1938. It is divided into five zones, only two of which are open to the public. 

Zone 1 is mostly forest and grasslands with many watering holes. It contains the most wildlife. 

Zone 5 offers broader expanses. Many of the roads through the forest are covered with tree canopies. 

Yala’s big draw is its leopards, of which is boasts a higher concentration than anywhere in the world. It’s believed around 25 leopards live in Zone 1.

On the second day, we stopped for a picnic lunch next to a river. We took a short nap after the meal and awoke when we heard nearby rustling. 

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