National Geographic Ranks Yala National Park Sixth in the World
by Jetwing ·
The acclaimed National Geographic, in its recently published book, “100 Parks, 5000 Ideas”by Joe Yogerst, has ranked The Yala National Park of Sri Lanka the 6th among the World’s Best National Parks.
The Yala National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s most renowned national parks, forming a total area of 1268 square kilometres of light forest, scrub, brackish lagoons & grassy plains. It’s immensely rich in wildlife where one is certain to encounter elephants, sloth bears, leopards, deer, crocodiles, and monkeys; three of which fall within “The Big Five of Sri Lanka (elephant, sloth bear and leopard).
Positioned on the South coast of Sri Lanka, the national park extends certain areas to reach the waters of the Indian Ocean. In contrast to safaris of Africa, Yala however, is still relatively undiscovered, though one thing the park does undoubtedly compete on is its wildlife.
Though the park is separated into 5 zones, only zone 1 & 5 are made open to the public, while the rest are reserved strictly for documentary filming and professional research. Doing so have paved the way for a huge fraction of the park to remain as a natural habitat for its residing animals, prohibiting the incursion of safari jeeps.
One is more probable to have concluded a majority of drives in and about zone 1 due to most sightings of animals being reported and also since this portion of the park has been open the longest and where the animals are more accustomed to the uproars of vehicles. In zone 1, one may have limited views into the animal’s habitat as the bushes spread right up to the trails and one’s luck plays a crucial role in sighting an animal on the road. In zone 5 however, one would have a broader view of the landscapes and is worth at least one visit. Certain fragments of this zone possess winding trails, with mossy forests and tree canopy over that touch the sides of the trail, eminently named as driving through a scene from a Lord of The Rings trilogy by most foreign travellers who embark on this trail.
Yala National Park is predominantly popular as it offers the chance to witness one of the most gorgeous big cats, the leopard. The national park is one destination most often picked by visitors who do want a peak of one of the majestic cats in the wild.
Zone 1 is estimated to have around 75 leopards, with a span of 144 square kilometres which is a ratio of 1:2 signifies the fact that there is a more probable chance one may spot a leopard wandering in the wild. Though it’s really up to chance, it is crucial to bear in mind that there is a window of missing a sighting even while being a minute late.
Since animal sightings happen throughout the year, one may visit the park year-round. Though November to March is considered the high season, this time of the year offers pleasing weather across the island, with less rain and ample opportunities to spot wildlife.