With your eyes peeled to catch a glimpse of a leopard or an elephant living its daily life in the quiet and uninterrupted settings, you are traveling on a safari jeep as dust from the unpaved road beneath you swirl behind. Suddenly, someone shouts “an elephant!” and points to a direction. Quickly your jeep comes to a stop and you aim your binoculars in that direction. You see the rare sight of an elephant family with two adult elephants and a baby elephant emerging into the sight from the jungle. You marvel at the sight and you hear several camera shutters clicking away, capturing the sight. After the elephant family disappears from the view, you start moving, seeking the next sighting of an exotic animal…
You can get this splendid safari experience during your visit to Sri Lanka, especially during winter (Northern Hemisphere). While the beautiful tropical island is famous for its beaches, that is not all Sri Lanka can offer you. Being the home of diverse experiences, Sri Lanka is renowned for its wildlife. Safaris in Yala National Park in the Southern part of Sri Lanka can be a great opportunity to see various exotic animals that you normally only get to see on TV or in a zoo.
Yala National Park is home for various animals such as the famous Sri Lankan elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sambar deer, peacock, buffalo, jackal, spotted deer, and the crocodile. Because of the protection given to Yala National Park, these animals are able to freely roam around living their daily lives.As visitors, we get to observe them from a distance without being a disturbance. The beauty of observing these animals in their natural habitat is that we not only get to see live animals,but also specific habits of different animals, social dynamics, and symbiosis between different species of animals. For example, you may see a loner leopard taking a stroll among the bushes, but you might also see two or more playing—like our cats in our homes, only bigger. Similarly, you may spot a herd of buffalos on a muddy patch of water. Near them, you will see some cranes loitering, some helping these buffalos by taking out fleas—relief for the buffalos and food for the cranes. You may be able to see such amazing scenes on TV or the internet, but seeing them first-hand is a whole new experience and your visit to Sri Lanka is your chance for it!
Visiting Yala is not only about exotic animals on land, but also a chance to see numerous birds. Many of them share the same reason with you for being there—they are migrating species from various parts of the Northern Hemisphere escaping the winter! Maybe you will see some birds that had been in your hometown few months earlier…small world, huh?
Situated more than 250km away from Colombo, Yala will require a drive of about 6 hours. However, you can travelto Yala usingCinnamon Air daily scheduled flights to Hambantota from Colombo or Kandy and drive from there to Yala to reduce the travel time to a fraction of that by land. You can also charter a flight from Cinnamon Air and fly to Tissa Tank in Tissamaharama which is closer to Yala National Park. Furthermore, you have numerous accommodation options near the Yala National Park such as Chena Huts by Uga Escapes, Cinnamon Wild Yala, and JetwingYala to ensure a remarkable safari experience for you.