Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yala National Park

Yala National Park is the second largest national park in Sri Lanka. It is situated in the Southern province near Hambantota. It is 979 square kilometers large.

Mammals - There are 44 species of mammals are living in Yala National Park. Elephant, leopard, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Wild water buffalo, Toque Macaque, Golden Palm civet, Red slender loris, Fishing cat are few of the mammals that can be seen in Yala.

Reptile - There are 46 species and five of them are endemic. They are Sri Lankan Krait, Boulenger's keelback, Sri Lankan flying snake, Painted-lip lizard and Wiegmann's agama. And also Mugger crocodile, Saltwater crocodile, Indian cobra, Russell's viper are some of reptiles in Yala. 
Five globally endangered sea turtles visit the coastal line of the park.

Butterflies, Amphibians, birds, fish species are the other animals living in the park.

Sithulpahuwa and Magul Vihara are the important pilgrim sites, that situated in the Yala park.

The best period to see the animals is during the January to May dry season. And Dawn and dusk are the best times of day to see animals.

The park is accessible from the coastal highway Colombo - Bentota - Unawatuna - Galle - Tissamaharama. The main gate is at Palatupana, 20 km from Tissamaharama. And also another gate is on the Kataragama - Situpahuwa road.

Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu is one of the largest national parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is situated 176 kms north of Colombo. It is located 30km west Anuradhapura and 26 km north of Puttalam. It is 131,693 hectares large and It has more than 50 lakes (Willu) and tanks. The annual rainfall is about 1000 mm and annual temperature is about 27.2 degrees Celsius
There are elephant, sloth bear, leopard, water buffalo, sambhur, spotted deer, mongoose, mouse and shrew mostly living in Wilpattu.

You can watch birds like painted stork, the open bill, little cormorant, owls, gulls, eagles, pin tail, purple heron and more.

The most common reptiles found in the Wilpattu are the Monitor lizard, Mugger crocodile, common cobra, ratsnake, Indian python, pond turtle and soft shelled turtle.

You can visit their by train from Colombo and also by bus. Or you can use your own vehicle to reach their. To watch wild animals, visitors must hire a tourist cab.