Stretching over vast woodlands and open grassy fields, the Yala National Park occupies a special place in the hearts of its visitors. As a home to the largest number of leopards, native Sri Lankan elephants, and exotic species of aquatic birds, the national park never fails to impress those with even a slight fondness for wildlife. The best time to get on to the safari is just at the crack of dawn, for when the gates open at 6a.m., jeeps filled with tourists come racing in to get that very first animal sighting. That said, the major drawback at Yala is the overcrowding, which often leads to traffic jams, delays and loud noises that scare off the animals.
Leopard spotting is the major attraction at Yala, however, its occurrence is very low. For the wildlife enthusiasts, camping is a thrilling option where one can live among the forests in tents, falling asleep to the hooting of owls and croaking of crickets. An array of stone carvings and unusual structures can be seen at Buduruwagala, a historic site that can be accessed only after a short trek through jungles and lakes. The walk is pleasant, and many little amphibians can be seen frolicking around in their natural environment, unaffected by interference from visitors. Overall, Yala has the capacity to satisfy one’s desire of going on a wildlife safari, doubled with the excitement of spotting many animals.