Yala National Park is a widely known Sri Lankan forest reserve which is located in the southeast part of the island. It is prominent among the other national parks due to the fact that it has the highest density of leopards. The park is an internationally recognized wild life preservation. It is located about 309 km away from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. The reserve is spread in about 1,259 square km of land. However, only a mere 141 square km block is open for the public.
Yala is one of the best spots available for wildlife observers and photographers. Apart from the wildlife, the park consists of a range of vegetation from grassland to dense jungle. An abundance of water streams, lagoons and lakes populate the reserve as well. Apart from the highest concentration of leopards, the park contains a numbers of animals. You will find Asian elephants, crocodiles, wild boar, water buffalo and grey langurs to name a few. Birdlife includes White bellied sea eagle in parklands and Waders, Painted storks and Black necked stork in the wetlands. Furthermore Sirkeer Malkoha and Sri Lanka Jungle flow are few of the Sri Lankan endemic species that can be found in Yala.
The total open area of Yala national park could be viewed from the one day jeep safari that is available at the park entrance. You will be provided a trained guide who’ll take you around the forest. This service is not usually available during the night time as a safety precaution for the tourists. But for those who are prepared, small shacks and chalets are available for rent inside the jungle, to spend your night in the wild.