Safari in Yala National Park, Hambantota, Sri Lanka
A little more than a one-hour’s drive from the pier at Hambantota lies the entrance to Yala National Park, Sri Lanka’s famous leopard country. We joined a small group for the drive to the park and then we paired off in groups of 4 or 5, along with a game spotter, in 4×4 vehicles for a 3-hour safari drive through the park.
While we unfortunately did not see any leopards (one was spotted the next morning), we did see quite a lot of wildlife, particularly several herds of elephants. In addition to a large variety of birds (particularly many large peacocks all around the park), we saw domestic buffaloes, wild buffaloes, monkeys, deer, crocodiles, water buffaloes, and unusually, an Indian Rock Python.
Our drive took us through a vast deciduous forest where the land shed its green treetops to expose expansive open terrain, dotted with grasslands and shrubs, water holes and sand dunes.
Photography courtesy of Rich E.