This is leopard country, and they are the Lords of the Jungle! With a leopard density that's higher than anywhere else on this planet, these menacing predators prowl majestically in Yala, while elephants roam in their numbers with cautious deer scampering by their side
The animal kingdom will get its customary break from the human kind, this year too!
In all likelihood, Block 1 & 2, Palatupana and Katagamuwa Gates of Yala National Park will be closed from September 1 to October 31, 2018. This means, Galge & Yala West Gates on Buttala-Kataragama Road will remain open. Final decision will be announced in due course as authorities strive to keep at least the latter two gates open to public.
The closure coincides with the drought experienced in the area at this time of the year and will provide much-deserved space for animals. The Department of Wildlife ceases the time to repair tanks and other infrastructure, facilitate temporary water holes for animals and to attend to other contingencies.
There are four Gates to the Park. Gates at Palatupana and Katagamuwa leading to Blocks 1 & 2 remain the most visited. However, the two Gates at Galge on the Buttala-Kataragama Road, covering Blocks 3 & 5 are becoming known among visitors who do not want to contribute to congestion. There are reports of frequent sightings of leopards on these routes, too.
If you are traveling on the Buttala-Kataragama Road, watch out for wild animals, especially elephants. This road literally runs through the park and some elephants are in the habit of soliciting fruits from motorists by standing across the road, allowing passage once appeased. However, elephants will give way when a vehicle approaches and are known to be well-mannered. Don’t assume every elephant venturing on to the road to be people-friendly. Drive cautiously; never alight your vehicle.
|Area||378 sq miles|
|Location||260km South East of Colombo|
|Entry points||Gate1: Katagamuwa Gate 2: Palatupana Gate 3 & 4: Galge|
|Aver.Temp||26.4 °C (79.5 °F)|
|Climate||Dry most of the year|
|Distance to nearest city||25km - 30 minutes drive|
|Best time to visit||June to September|
|Open hours||6am to 6pm|
|Made a Park in||1st March 1938|
|Distance from Kataragama to:||Katagamuwa Entrance: 14Km Palatupana Entrance: 41Km Galge Entrance: 18Km|
|Distance from Buttala to:||Galge Entrance: 25Km|
|Nearest Hospital:||Debarawewa Government Hospital|
|Head office:||Open from 9am to 6pm|