Yala National Park

Yala National Park has two access roads from Colombo, one is along the coast via Galle, Matara, Tangalle, Hambantota, Tissamaharama which is 295 km. The other is via Ratnapura [the Gem city of Sri Lanka], Pelmadulla, Embilipitiya and falls on to Hambantota. It is approximately 285 km. The only entrance is at Palatupana 12 km from the turn off of Tissamaharama – Kirinda road. To visit the park a permit and a guide has to be obtained before entry.

Yala East National Park is in the southeast coast of the eastern province. There are two routes that lead to it from Colombo . They separate from Pelmadulla and one runs via Thimbolketiya, Udawalawe through Thanamalwila and joins at Wellawaya, while the other passes Balangoda – Haldummulla and goes downhill from Beragala [just 7 km from Haputale] via Koslanda and connects at Wellawaya. The only park entrance is at Okanda. To visit the park a permit and a guide has to be obtained before entry. The distance is approximately 390 km. Yala National Park and Yala East National Park are renowned for its Elephants, seen alone, and in small and large herds, Sambhur, Barking Deer, Wild Buffalo, Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, and many varieties of Birds of which the Peacock is globally famous. However, the East Park scores an additional point because of its world famous mangrove swamp which is a habitat of birds.

Lahugala National Park – Lahugala National Park is located 16 kms hinterland of Pottuvil. Its a small national park consisting of 1555 hectres but most valuable conservation areas for elephants and endemic birds. The approach is via Balangoda – Haldummulla and goes downhill from Beragala [just 7 km from Haputale] via Koslanda and connects at Wellawaya. The only park entrance is at Okanda. To visit the park a permit and a guide has to be obtained before entry. The distance is approximately 320 km.

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