YALA NATIONAL PARK
Sri Lanka’s oldest and most famous national park
luxury in the wild
Base camp Yala is located in the buffer zone of Yala National Park, only 10 minutes away from the second and less crowded Katagamuwa entrance. The area is dominated by dry deciduous forests, shrub jungles, and dry grasslands that provide habitat to numerous species of wildlife. The area is very important as a wildlife corridor between Yala and Lunugamwehera National parks, that enables the movements of Elephants, Sloth bears, and other animals.
Base Camp Yala offers canvas tents with stunning mountain view, customized to suit your individual needs – single, twin, Queen, or King size beds. Each tent has an A/C and comes with a sit-out, hammock, attached bathroom with hot/cold water, and exclusive hot tub.
Our tents are designed and run to allow the most luxury safari experience with the least impact on the environment and surroundings. The camp was built up in a way without harming a single tree from nature. Well-spaced tents are nestled in a dense grove overlooking dry evergreen forests. Relax in the large open tranquil lounge area with a small bar, enjoy the hot tub, comfortable sun lounges and watch the wildlife drinking from the nearby waterhole. The tents offer an open veranda to allow you to relax as it is an elevated platform. The furnishings are soft fabric couches, extra-length beds, mosquito nets with an open-air en-suite bathroom.
yala national park
Yala is the oldest and most famous national park. It was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, while in 1938, Yala became a national park. The park consists of five blocks and a strict nature reserve. It’s protected area complex is 1753 km2. Block 1,3 and 5 are currently open for the public. Thorn scrub and grasslands are dominant in block 1 making it a more open area and easier to spot animals.
A variety of ecosystems including moist monsoon forests, dry monsoon forests, semi-deciduous forests, thorn forests, grasslands, freshwater and marine wetlands, and sandy beaches are home to numerous species. Sri Lankan leopard is the most famous resident while Sloth Bear, Asian Elephant, Wild Buffalo are threatened species that Yala is harboring.
If you are a bird lover Yala has a lot to offer as it is one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka, of 215 bird species of the park, six are endemic to Sri Lanka. The reptile fauna recorded from the park is 46 and five of them are endemic. The two breeding crocodile species of Sri Lanka, Mugger crocodile, and Saltwater Crocodile inhabit the park. The coastal line of the park is visited by all five globally endangered sea turtles.
Animals that you can see if you choose to go on a night drive are Golden Palm Civet, Grey Slender Loris and rare small cats such as Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat and Rusty Spotted Cat. Depending on which animals you are more interested in seeing, there are five national parks and three wildlife sanctuaries in the vicinity of Yala, all definitely worth visiting.
best time to visit yala
For the most reliable wildlife sightings, it’s best to visit Yala in the dry season from February to June. As the water levels lower, it’s easier to spot animals coming out to the lagoons to drink. The park normally closes each year for the month of September for maintenance giving time for animals to rest from the noise of the vehicles.
December and January are certainly the months when most of the tourists come. So a good tip is to choose the right time for your visit and enter through the Katagamuwa entrance which is way less crowded. It is true that Yala is the busiest national park, but that is for a good reason, it really has a lot to offer to its visitors and wildlife lovers.